The Pelage People
I’m often asked how I find the bands I write about. The reason I’m asked, I suppose, is because I have an ear for a good thing, when it comes to music. While I’m much too humble to admit it, Fur make it evident that I do indeed know my shit. They’ve two songs selected for two separate episodes of Showtime’s Homeland, so yeah.
The band hails from Detroit, that once upon a time land of factories, fumes, and fast cars. Evolution is an inevitable component of all existence, but it isn’t always pleasant, and often unwelcome. It was unkind to Motor City, but Fur are proof that there’s still a lot of amazing happening there. Listen...
Several years ago, I did online social media promotion for metal bands, and so many of those bands originated in Detroit. I began to think that was all there was in that city, but here you are.
Ryan: I heard Zach say something interesting the other day, and I think he's right: Artists might migrate to Detroit because they are intrigued by the articles they’ve read or the cheap rent. But they don’t come to Detroit to “make it.” It’s not LA or Brooklyn. So in that sense, there’s a lot of room for risk-taking and experimentation.
So to answer your question: there’s plenty of metal in the Detroit area, but there’s also a decent amount of moody, experimental bands we admire who have come out of the city. Bands like Adult, Matthew Dear, Zoos of Berlin, 800 Beloved come to mind.
There have been changes in your music from your first EP to your most recent, and everything in between. How important is progression for its own sake to you, versus just putting out good or great music. What I mean is, when you record each project, are you thinking “How about we do it with an orchestra this time?”
Ryan: The only time I think we really made a conscious decision to mold our sound and really "produce" something was on Image on the Reverse. We put a lot of time and money into that record. And while I still think it’s good, I hear a band that was overthinking and overcomplicating absolutely everything.
We approached our newest record, Closing the Loop, in the exact opposite way: Songs were written and recorded very quickly. It’s raw, noisy, a bit more immediate—and I think it captures the energy of what happens when the three of us are in a room together.
Two of your songs have appeared in Homeland on Showtime ("Pan/Op,", and "Break Me, My Love, off of the Devastate the Details EP), how does something like that come about? Did you get a phone call from a director, a rep, somebody involved with the show who’s a fan?
Ryan: We were lucky enough to partner with a small LA-based licensing company. They are an amazing group of people. We are extremely grateful and indebted to them.
When a band such as yours has as many influences as you do, how do you choose which kind of band you’re going to be, or does it occur to you at all?
Zach: I think we've struggled with this in the past because we weren't sure what type of band we wanted to be. We were throwing ideas out there and seeing whatever stuck. But now that we have a better understanding of what FUR is and what we each bring to the band, it's much easier to say what songs or ideas we should pursue and what others we should not. For Closing The Loop we made a conscious effort to focus on the strengths of the band.
What fuels your music, or rather your will to record and perform more than anything?
Zach: There seems to be an inherent desire in humans to create, be relevant, be noticed, be remembered for something. I feel a sense of importance from music. It's an emotional outlet as well.
Fur are: Ryan O'Rourke, Michael O'Connor, and Zach Pliska. Purchase their music and merch at BandCamp, receive their updates at Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. All photographs of Fur, courtesy of Puspa Lohmeyer.