One of the swiftest rises from obscurity to notoriety in recent years has been I Fight Dragons. During 2009, their chiptunes-infused post-punk power pop lit Chicago aflame and soon swooped over the rest of the country, touring bars, convention centers, and music festivals with their distinctive sound. Concert goers were wowed as they rocked out both with not just guitars and drums, but every accessory ever made for the Nintendo Entertainment System re-wired as musical instruments. They were also at the pinnacle of d.i.y. self-promotion with a massive fan community, free weekly songs, and a super-snazzy website. In just a year’s time – boom – the band was signed to Atlantic Records. After a wild and crazy year of buzz and hi-jinks, I Fight Dragons faded into the quiet repose of the studio, lost its only female member, and left many fans wondering if the band would be the same when they returned.
The time of uncertainty has ended, and the Dragon has risen once more! This Saturday the band will break the silence with an EP of brand new songs to debut at Chicago’s Metro, free songs are again appearing in the mailing lists of fans, and the finishing touches are being put on their first full album. CoS reporter Cap Blackard spoke to the band’s lead singer-songwriter, Brian Mazzaferri, to find out just what I Fight Dragons has been up to behind closed doors in 2010 and what experiences the former indie band have had joining up with a major label.
I Fight Dragons exploded in 2009 and the band was quickly signed to a major label – what’s the experience been like from your perspective?
After the announcement of you guys being signed to Photo Finish/Atlantic it’s been relatively quiet, at least from the outside- what’s it been like on the inside?
What led to the creation of your forthcoming EP, Welcome to the Breakdown? How did you select songs for the EP?
Word is, the EP has already been released to your elite fanclub members, did they get the final versions?
Because you’re the first act from the nerd music scene to be singed to a major label, there’s been a lot of talk and skepticism going on during the big blackout period of the band being in the studio this year. What rumors or hearsay have you heard about yourself or the band during this time?
In the UK, there’s been a lot of pressure on chiptunes artist to not show their Nintendo gaming on television interviews or music videos. Have you experienced similar pressures?
Aside from the EP release, the biggest piece of news from you guys this year has been that Laura Trainor isn’t a member of the band anymore. What led to her parting ways with I Fight Dragons?
Having a female in the band added to a certain amount of the group’s visual dynamic and vocal range – will there be another girl in the band?
The fist major music video release from the band, for “Heads Up, Hearts Down”, felt a little off. What’s the story behind that, and what does the band have planned for future music videos?
Is I Fight Dragons looking to have any music available for the Rock Band series?
You shifted from being a self-managed indie band to being with a major record label. What has the change been like?
What makes a good pop song?
In Chicago this weekend? Be sure to check out the group’s EP release party this Saturday at the Metro. Grab tickets here!