Formally known as Lad’s Holiday, The Frets are taking on a new identity. They may have parted ways with their Hawaiian shirts, but The Frets are taking on a new sound, new EP,a new look and a new music video. Their new, energetic song Break Me, just debuted it’s music video. Check it out for yourself at the end of the interview!
1. We’re stoked to be able to talk with you guys again, but this time as The Frets. Being formally known as Lad’s Holiday, tell us about the transition from one name to another, and it’s significance.
We are thrilled to be working with Revolt again, and appreciate the continued support. We have been asked this question a lot lately and there were really a few main things that we took into consideration. When Liam and I (Cody) started “Lad’s Holiday” it was really sort of an experiment. We went straight to recording an EP just as the 2 of us, without a band and weren’t really sure what to expect. We had a narrow mindset at that point in time and weren’t thinking bigger than just San Diego. As the band developed and we found our set lineup – with John Martinez on Drums and Skyler Lutes on Bass- we slowly realized that there could be more to this than just playing some local shows every now and then.
This past January we were selected to play Springboard West Music Festival in OB – Thanks to the tremendous local support we had gained (especially from: Heather and the Revolt team, Liz and Blunt but Sweet Marketing, Michael from 710 Beach Club, and all of our other great friends and fans). It was at Springboard where we met 5 time Grammy nominated producer, Billy Smiley, and started to work with him.
After a lot of thought and consideration we decided to change our name. Our sound had matured and changed since we first recorded as “Lad’s Holiday”, we were taking things more serious and thinking much bigger in terms of reach and appeal. “Lad’s Holiday” was a fun name and everyone liked it, however, we didn’t feel we could take that name out of San Diego and go anywhere serious with it.
After a million different name ideas we settled on “The Frets” – which we were surprised wasn’t already taken by anyone on Spotify or iTunes. “The Frets” has a much more serious feel to it and one that sounded familiar/easy to remember.
2. What was the deciding factor on choosing a new identity as a band?
The name change and new identity had been something we talked about for a while… at least a year. We had a new sound, a full band, and finally realized there was a chance for things to materialize more than we initially had thought. We had a blast as “Lad’s Holiday” – with fun marketing, played shows in Hawaiian shirts, brought a large pineapple costume with us everywhere, etc. – but it was time to take a more serious approach. We decided it was time to develop our image as a Rock band that mirrored our sound and vibe.
3. Was the transition as a band easier or harder than you expected?
We had a lot of great friends and fans that really loved the branding and image we had as “Lad’s Holiday” and noticed some disappointment at first. For the most part everyone stuck with us and understood the transition.
4. What were some things you had to do to prepare for a transition from one identity to another?
Defining our new image was defiantly a challenge, and is something we will continue to shape and change. We had to come up with a new theme, EP and Single Covers, website…really everything was rebranded. We no longer play in Hawaiian shirts… however; still invite anyone coming to our shows to wear them. Our new sound really drove everything and our band identity is slowly developing more each day.
5. You recently released an EP titled, Blur; what was the process like producing that EP?
Our EP Blur – that was just released at the beginning of August – was a yearlong process. We never stop writing and recording demos, so the first step was really finding a different sound from Lad’s Holiday, one that was more fitting of everyone in the band. The most important thing for us was playing our new songs live before recording them. We asked people what they liked, what they didn’t… and it really helped us figure out what would work on the recordings.
In January Producer, Billy Smiley, approached us (who I mentioned earlier) and we ended up working with him on the EP. Billy came out to San Diego for 3 days march and we pitched all of our songs and ideas and narrowed it down to the 6 (out of 20 or 30 rough demos) that ended up being on the EP.
In April – we flew out to Nashville and spent a week recording at Castle Recording Studios and Dark Horse Recording. It was such an amazing experience and the creative energy was at an all time high. We worked with many well-known engineers such as Billy Whittington and also was fortune to have Mark Needham mix two of our tracks – “Blur” and “Don’t Wanna Know”(Mark has worked with The Killers, Fleetwood mac, Imagine Dragons, The 1975 etc, etc.)
We worked and fine tuned mixes for a few months back and forth, and released our first single, “Break Me” on May 25th. We followed that with a second single, “Blur”, in June and released the EP “Blur” August 1st.
6. Do you feel as though you’ve changed as a band from writing as Lad’s Holiday to writing as The Frets?
Yes and No. The initial process is still the same for me. I usually come up with a demo recording of a song at home with multiple parts – maybe a vocal melody or lyrics/general theme of the song… and I bring it to the band. If they like it – we work on the structure together, John is great at creating unique drum parts and Liam does a killer job finding the vocal melody and going over lyrics with me.
As Lad’s Holiday… I would bring Liam rough ideas we would finish lyrics and melody together and go record it, without ever playing it live as a band. It was much more difficult that way… and is kind of why our sound is different now. Our new stuff has more of a live feel and energy to it, where as Lad’s Holiday is lacking that.
7. Do you personally have a favorite song off of the EP?
It changes for all of us on a daily basis. Right now I am really digging “Feeling Tonight”. The good sign to us is that each one of the six songs we have heard is someone’s (or multiple peoples) favorite.
8. What did you enjoy the most after creating and shooting the music video for your song Break Me?
It was just such a fun experience and our first music video as a band. We shot the music video with Rowlbertos Media here in San Diego. They did such a killer job – we would highly recommend them to any other bands out there.
My favorite part has been the response we have received so far. It paints a picture of the image we are trying to portray and shows that we are dedicated to our music.
9. Change can be an unknown and uneasy feeling. What advice could you give to people when it comes to going with the flow and embracing change?
We are big on just trying to live in the moment and enjoy it. If change didn’t give us an uneasy feeling then I would probably be a little concerned. It’s really that uneasy feeling that helps give us a drive to succeed and take things a day at a time. So much has happened this past year that we are grateful for and it is all a result of the change and transformation we are going through.
10. What’s the future looking like for The Frets?
We plan on putting out more music over the next year and hopefully a full-length album in the near future. The goal now is to start tapping into L.A. market more, as well as, expand into other cities. We are hoping to play some festivals over the course of the next year and continue to increase our exposure.