WELCOME BACK. IT’S ANOTHER ONE. AND I’M MAKING A GODDAMN POINT. EVERY WEEK, FUCK IT, TWICE A WEEK I COULD HIT YOU WITH INDIVIDUALS, BANDS, PRODUCERS OR WHATEVER THEY WANT TO CALL THEMSELVES THAT HAVE HONORABLY BEEN WORKING WITHIN THE D.I.Y. MUSIC SCENE FOR YEARS WITHOUT COMPROMISING THEIR ARTISTIC INTEGRITY; PEOPLE WHO HAVE CREATED AN EMBRYONIC CAREER TO BASE THEIR LIFELONG MUSIC JOURNEY ON, AND THIS WEEK, I’LL TELL YOU ABOUT MARK FLETCHER — A MAN WHO WOULD HATE THE TITLE ASSIGNED TO THIS ARTICLE, A MAN WHO TOOK FRED DURST’S “IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY” TO VERY DISTINCT LEVELS; SOMEONE WHO’S MADE SACRIFICE FOR PURITY. FLETCHER HAS GIVEN IT ALL, AND I’LL LEAVE IT AT THAT.
IMPENETRABLE SOUL: INDOCTRINATED BY HIMSELF, MARK FLETCHER HOLDS TRUE TO WHAT HE’S COME TO STAND FOR. EXPERIENCE IS ONE THING; HAVING PLAYED IN BANDS AS WELL KNOWN AS SHAPES AND AS DEEPLY THOUGHTFUL AS SHAM-POO WHILE CHAOTICALLY BIRTHING NEWPORT REDS, HE NOW BEGINS HEENEY — PERHAPS A PROJECT THAT WILL DEFINE HIM, OR JUST ANOTHER STEPPING STONE IN A MUSICIANS QUEST TO FIND PURITY IN MUD.[photo by Mavy Ent.]
Fletcher is someone I can say I personally know, for better or worse. That’s rare for a kid sitting behind a computer screen who can barely afford to get into Manhattan from his Brooklyn apartment, trying to stay involved in a globally scaled blog. Fletcher’s personality…well if you don’t understand it you just dont understand it; but the gist is, “I’ve got ideas, and you better shut the fuck up and listen to them” (with a touch of kindness?). Beginning in punk outfit Shapes, Fletcher lead the guitar section and held his own showmanship against front-man Andrew Fanelli. The songs were nothing in terms of structural genius, pretentious artistic expression or even innovative creativity. They were visceral, filthy; and that set the tone. Been to a Personality Crisis? Than we’re on the same page.
Shapes wrote glamorous pop punk songs that captured a rawness felt only within — something unattainable to most who search the self, desperate for motivation, let alone to those who output themselves for public consumption. But when Fletchers takes the stage, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear song lead-ins where he screams “I’m gonna suck your dad’s dick” because the filter is gone. Shapes gave Brooklyn what it needed — it was like 5 hour energy, replacing the word “hour” with “year” and the word “energy” with “outpour”. But, always having to compromise, Fletcher wanted something to call his own baby; thus, the Newport Reds came into the sphere.
The Reds began as an experiment upstate — you can fact check me assholes, we have a comment box underneath now, please shit on me, please. Output anything, everything, like a writer scribbling in a notebook, and while in that particular comparison a writer might be satisfied with a small percentage of his scratch, Fletcher produced something innovative every damn time. The project still exists. You can catch them from time to time — in fact, in my personal observation, it seems like the the Newport Reds are deeply the future of Shapes.[photo by Mavy Ent.]
Rewind to college. Sham-poo owned Bard. Sham-poo owned Bard because while simultaneously bringing that visceral aggression, they hid some sense of humanity within. Perhaps it’s the balancing act. Add Fanelli to Fletcher- outcomes Shapes in all its glamour and glitz. Add Jonah Wolf to Fletcher and you’ve got Sham-poo. You’ve got something relatable to the masses, at least the local masses, no matter how repressed.
Now we’ve got Heeney? And If I’m being honest: I’ll let you listen and see for yourself because I wouldn’t want to end this article on my own ignorance. Heeney is new — and I’ll digest. But I will tell you one thing: bringing Max Keagan into the mix will be like drinking four or five Four Locos — before they took out the cocaine. Just you wait. Fuckers. @Dingusonmusic