Florida rockers, FayRoy, just released their debut LP, Heaven at Twenty Seven, March 10th of this year. The record is a highly diverse collection of songs inspired by the rich musical mood of St. Petersburg, FL. Below, we chat about the concept of the record, difficulties in writing and recording and much more!
MFL: I am unfamiliar with the Florida rock scene that has inspired FayRoy. Can you explain this and why you took this musical avenue?
Zach Hoag of FayRoy (ZH): We ended up moving into this 100 year old house just outside of downtown St. Pete. Between that house and the house next door there’s about 16 tenants who are all musicians or artists of some sort. There’s been so many bands and musical projects to come out of the two houses and they all put on crazy high energy live shows. It’s been really inspiring to be surrounded by the productivity of other bands and to be able to walk downtown and see great live music on almost any night.
MFL: Heaven at Twenty Seven, should listeners take this literally? What is the concept behind this record?
ZH: Heaven at Twenty Seven is a reference to basically all of our music idols who died at 27 and how much of an impression they left behind. We wrote the majority of these songs during our 27th year so it was definitely an existential evaluation at the time. Those mid to late 20’s years are really when you start seeing your friends get careers and start families, it’s easy to compare that to yourself and question why the hell you’re in a crowded smelly van playing bars every night.
MFL: How did the four of you come together and what do each of you offer to FayRoy that is unique?
ZH: Zack, Greyson, and I have known each other since high school. We all used to surf and skate together. Our buddy Drew touring with us right now was introduced through other St. Pete friends. I think all four us have our own weird sense of humor. It keeps everyone amused. Plus all the guys really shred their instruments and keep the stoke level high.
MFL: It seems like you all had fun creating Heaven at Twenty Seven. It’s such a diverse record! Do each of you have a different favorite track on the record? If so, what is it?
ZH: I like the title track. I think it’s the most diverse song within itself, which is a good representation of the album as a whole. Zack likes “Napoli Bay” the most, that was the first one written on the record.
MFL: What was the most challenging aspect of creating Heaven at Twenty Seven?
ZH: This is our first studio album, so working with more people during the recording and mixing process was new and occasionally challenging. Zack and I are pretty hands on so it was a new experience just letting it go a bit. Luckily, the engineer/studio owner, Steve Rosicky and the mixer, Chris Irving are pretty weird people too so all of our styles really matched up. Also, we bartered yard work for our studio time, so I think pulling weeds and laying mulch in the heat of summer may have been the toughest part.
MFL: Looks like you’re playing at SXSW! Is this the first time for all of you at this event? These questions will probably get answered after the event since it’s March 14th as I’m writing them! Summarize your experience at SXSW.
ZH: It was all of our first times at SXSW, and it was equally exhausting as it was continually exciting. We were walking about 10 miles a day all over Austin, often aimlessly, but we kept stumbling upon these amazing shows. It was really great for us to get to play for a bunch of new eyes and ears and really inspiring to see countless performances from other bands that blew us away.
MFL: Do your individual musical inspirations differ than those of FayRoy?
ZH: Greyson and Drew have bands of their own called Someday River and Sonic Graffitti respectively. Someday river has a lot of funk and folk aspects in it, and Sonic Graffiti is straight up shredding rock n’ roll. Both bands are seriously so sick and we’re really lucky and appreciative to have them playing with us.
MFL: What do each of you never leave town without (for example, on tour)?
ZH: A rice cooker, beef jerky, and our TM, Alex.
MFL: What happens once the tour wraps up at the end of March?
ZH: We have quite a few dates in Florida booked and are working on an east coast tour for the fall!
MFL: Finally, name a few dream venues to play at and a few musicians you’d love to tour with.
ZH: I think for the sake of a self fulfilling prophecy, playing some of the venues I’ve seen my favorite bands and shows in would be the dream. Jannus Landing in St Pete, the Filmore and Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, then a big stage in Golden Gate Park. Haven’t made it for a tour out of the country yet so that would be sick. As far as musicians go, the list is too long, but we basically just want to tour with our best friends and all of their awesome bands.
Thank you to Rich Nardo of 24West and for Zack Hoag and the guys (Kyle Fournier, Greyson Charnock, ) for doing the interview! Follow FayRoy on Facebook, their official website , Instagram and Bandcamp.