Written by Sebastian Gonzalez
With the recent release of “Human Car” by Californian skate-rock outfit Most Fried, KZSC sat down with a few members of the band and discussed their musical backgrounds, diverse creative influences, as well as the band’s overall artistic development from their initial conception to their newest album.
Founded in Berkeley, California, Most Fried is the collective effort of six individuals with a shared passion for all things music and skateboarding. It is through the balance of these two distinct mediums that best defines the band’s aesthetic, attitude, and overall essence. From being the very thing that brought members into contact with one another to playing live shows at various skateparks along the West Coast, it would be near impossible for one to adequately describe Most Fried’s music to a new listener without mentioning the band’s strong connection to skateboarding. This passion was most evident when asking the band their favorite show so far, to which they unanimously agreed on their recent performance at Portland’s Burnside skatepark. Beginning as a community project operating without the city of Portland’s permission, Burnside ultimately inspired the do-it-yourself construction of subsequent skateparks across the West Coast. It is only fitting then that Most Fried’s finest performance to date was held there, with the band’s respective D.I.Y. attitude matching that of the iconic location. In addition, the band’s close relation with the skateboarding community has proved to be incredibly helpful at times; When COVID lockdown protocols began shutting down live music venues in 2020, the band adapted to playing their shows at outdoor skateparks where they were met with open arms by the skate community.
However, to simply categorize their music as standard garage/punk music for skaters would be massively understating their musical talent and inspirations. When asked about a genre Most Fried would best fit into, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Mac stated clearly, “we aren’t your typical 4-chord skate-punk band… we just play the music we like to hear”. And upon listening to their newest record, it is certainly apparent that their musical tastes expand farther than the traditional punk and hardcore associated with other skate-rock bands. While iconic artists such as Bad Brains and Black Flag were listed as obvious inspirations for their music, the band also cited Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and even Willie Nelson as heavy influences on their songwriting. This wide array of musical influences are best reflected through songs such as “Mama Brick” and “Pick it Up” featuring heavy elements of ska, reggae and funk, along with other non-punk rhythms, as well as their suggested intention to record an acoustic album in the near future featuring country-inspired songwriting.
Most Fried’s aversion to traditional cliches is further evident in the way they go about creating and performing their music, with many members not having a definite role/position within the band. Members frequently alternate musical roles and instruments depending on what feels ‘right’ for the song, not focusing entirely on technical mastery but rather the pure release of creativity that comes with playing the particular instrument at a given time. As explained by the band, the traditional barriers reinforcing strict musical roles within a band can be detrimental to the overall creative process by limiting what members can and cannot do musically. Their emphasis on the organic, creative aspect of music is something that has materialized and evolved over the course of the band’s existence, and is further evident when inquiring about the difference in songwriting and recording processes between their two albums. While initial songwriting duties were primarily held by one member throughout the recording of their first release, their newest album, Human Car featured all members sharing songwriting duties, with each individual having their own unique creative process. This best exemplifies the band’s overall growth and subsequent progressive attitude towards creating music as a collective.
While many complain that ‘rock’ artists of the modern era lack originality and authenticity, Most Fried’s unpretentious authenticity, determined do-it-yourself attitude, and subsequent circumnavigation of traditional cliches set themselves apart from their modern rock contemporaries. Their fusion of different musical inspirations, and their subsequent emphasis on organic, creative expression present in both their recorded music and live performances make them a must-see act for skateboarders and self-respective music fans alike.
Follow @mostfried on Instagram for music, merch, and tour updates and listen to their new 2021 release, “Human Car” on all streaming platforms!