BrooklynRocks Interview with Brad Fischetti from LFO (Summer Girls) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

BrooklynRocks Interview with Brad Fischetti from LFO (Summer Girls)

DOWNLOAD: LFO - "Life Is Good" (MP3)

LFO Reunites for a Summer TourLFO (best known for their 1999 #1 chart hit ‘Summer Girls’) has reunited after a seven year hiatus and just finished up a cross-country tour with Rookie of the Year, Go Crash Audio and Kiernan McMullan.

I had the chance to catch up with Brad Fischetti while the band was traveling down the southern part of the East Coast.

BrooklynRocks: What’s been going on with LFO over the last few years? It seems like the last time I remember hearing about the band was 2001 – 02.

Brad: In 2002, we took a hiatus. At that point in time, we were several months into the promotion of our second record (Life Is Good). The second album was successful but not like the first – shortly after its release 9/11 happened, Napster came about and people were getting music for free. For a variety of reasons, the band just couldn’t stay working together. We worked together for so many years and it was time for a break.

I started making plans for a record label (111 Records) which I still own today. Devin spent five years holed up in his apartment reading, writing and recording music. Devin came out of this an extraordinary musician. I put out his solo disc, Devin Lima and the Cadbury Diesel, on my label. Rich was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after our break and was given a 50%/50% chance to live. He was given chemo and went into remission. The leukemia came back and Rich was given a stem cell transplant, after which he started the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation to help bring awareness to stem cell treatments. Shortly after that, he went into remission again. A further complication happened though - on a routine hospital visit, medication was administered incorrectly which caused Rich to have a stroke. He wasn’t expected to live and, if he did, he would be a vegetable. The hospital tried an experimental treatment and Rich woke up but he is still feeling the after-effects of the stroke. It takes every ounce of energy he has to get on stage but he is passionate and dedicated to making this reunion work.

Last year, I approached the guys about the concept of a reunion. The timing seemed right in both our lives and with the music. Our original plans were to put together a couple new songs and go out on the road. It has come together so well, God willing, we will continue this comeback with more touring.

BrooklynRocks: I saw that your new single “Summer of My Life” is streaming on your MySpace profile. Are there other new songs that you are putting in the set?

Brad: We have two new songs “Summer of My Life” and “Hey Radio” in the set. Devin also performs one of his solo songs called “Hanging with You” and Rich performs his solo song “Story of My Life”, which is a powerful song that recaps the last ten years of his life.

BrooklynRocks: When you look back into the 90’s/early 2000, do you ever shake your head and say “I can’t believe I wore that or did that?”

Brad: (Brad laughs) A lot – specifically in video footage that came from 1996 – 98. I can’t believe some of the things we wore but guess it was kind of cool at the time. We also didn’t have creative control at that time and were following the direction of the record company. If you look back at the career of just about anybody who has had some success, everybody has something wacky in their early days. Kid Rock’s first album was laughable and he is a mega-star now.

BrooklynRocks: I know that you have only played one date so far (The Masquerade in Atlanta) but what sort of crowd are you drawing?

Brad: Probably 15 – 35 years old with the majority of the crowd in their mid-20’s.

BrooklynRocks: Did I read correctly that you are doing meet-and-greets with everyone who buys a ticket?

Brad: We are trying to give people an experience. We are trying to play smaller places that give as many people who are interested the opportunity to come to the show. I think there is tremendous impact that you can have in meeting people personally. I know this is the case for me – I ran into a baseball player once in a chance meeting and I’ll never forget that. We are trying to make our shows ‘An Evening with LFO’ rather than ‘come see our show, drive an hour each way and then go home’. We have VIP passes where you essentially get to spend the whole day with us. At the Atlanta show, I had a couple fans tell me it was the best night they ever had. We’re not touring to make money and bring home a check but rather to rebuild the LFO ‘brand’, reconnect with the fans and have some fun.

BrooklynRocks: What was it likely in 1999/2000, headlining large auditoriums and playing with Britney?

Brad: One of the coolest tours we did was this tour of amphitheatres with Nickelodeon. We were playing to 5,000 – 25,000 a night. I have some extraordinary video footage from those days. Our fans continue have such passion.

BrooklynRocks: Thanks for the time today. As a wrap-up is there anything that you want people to know about you, the band, the shows?

Brad: Check us out on our social networking sites – we are very active and always try to respond to people. We are on MySpace, Twitter and we have been posting some YouTube “shout out” videos to try and respond to all of the tweets that we have been getting.

LFO’s MySpace Profile