Artist Spotlight: Angry Fix

A new band is on the block! Avant-rockers Angry Fix played their debut show at Linneman’s in Riverwest Friday night, drawing a full sit-down crowd. SSAANN and Wicked Realm book-ended Angry Fix, making Friday night one hell of a sonic escapade.

Angry Fix consists of vocalist Xai Osa, bassist/vocalist Jeremy Zelman, guitarists Jordan Thomas and Brian Fisher, auxiliary percussionist Alex Keimel, and drummer Yanni Chudnow (Chudnow was not present so Keimel filled in on drums). The band takes its name from an Allen Ginsberg poem line “the junkies on the street looking for an angry fix.”

“There’s a lot that went really well and a few things that didn’t go as well as we planned,” Zelman said. “That’s the nature of first-shows…but the energy was great and I think it’s pretty clear we’re all having a great time up there.”

The band takes an uncanny fusion of blues, shoegaze, bluegrass and avant-garde while maintaining somewhat of a traditional rock structure. It could be considered “cerebral” music; Zelman and Osa had been in experimental music school together.

“If we were doing what other bands were doing, why would you see us?” Zelman said.

Osa speaks about the anticipation for their first show.

“I was really full of excitement for what possibilities might have been in store, because a lot of things we do in rehearsal we’ll start jamming and then we conceptually put things together…we bounce a lot of ideas together. – it feels like we’re cooking. Then we bring each meal to the show.”

“I thought it was difficult because I joined the band a little bit late,” Keimel added. “I’m also not the drummer; I’m the auxiliary percussionist. I was in the process of learning these songs and then all the sudden they were like “hey, learn these on the kit.” We had enough rehearsal and it was a lot of fun but going into it I was confident I knew (the songs), but we’ll see. It’s a lot easier knowing I’m playing with Jeremy – we’ve been playing together for years. It helps playing with so many great musicians so that if I mess up, they’ll pick up the slack. We all synthesize really well together.”

“It helps with our improvisational songs,” Osa said. “We did two of those tonight – we’re actually improvising lyrics and improvising structure. It’s following more of a fixed form, so that adds edge to tonight’s set.”

“It’s similar to the idea that we don’t want to sound different not only from other bands but from what we did last time,” Zelman added. “We don’t want it to get stale at any point along the way, and I think that’s what’s so exciting about this band. I trust these musicians to let me trip over my feet and catch me. If you don’t have that, there’s no way to make it work. Let’s be real – we all go to see live music because at any moment it might fall apart, and we all want to see a trainwreck. Nobody talks about how they might have seen an okay band; they talk about either how a band could have biffed at every opportunity but they didn’t, or they saw a really awful band. No one talks about the in-between.”

Angry Fix is working on recording demos and have another show in West Allis in November.

“There were songs we wanted to play tonight but just weren’t ready,” Zelman concluded. “There might have even been one we played tonight that wasn’t quite there yet…but that’s okay. If I didn’t think we were ready for it we wouldn’t do it.”

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