With no disrespect intended towards Moncton punk band Fear of Lipstick, they just might be the quietest success story to emerge from the Moncton independent music scene in the past decade of their existence. After all, how many bands are hand-picked by legendary band Bad Religion to open a show for them? Not many bands anywhere in the world, let alone little old Moncton, can lay claim to such good fortune.
2012 marks the tenth anniversary for Fear of Lipstick and in grand style, the group is releasing their newest offering, Seasons, with a show at the Manhattan Bar & Grill Friday evening.
Comprised of band members Eric Neurotic on vocals and guitar, Derek Dillema on guitar, Jerms Lipstick on drums and Joe Cynic on bass, Seasons finds the group in excellent shape, delivering short, snappy tunes that would have been at home at famed New York City club CBGB’s in the late 1970s.
From his home in Moncton, Neurotic says that it was almost exactly one year ago that the group started recording Seasons with Fear of Lipstick drummer Jerms at the helm. Having a recording engineer as a band member is certainly not without its perks, Neurotic says.
“It definitely gives us an edge as we don’t have to watch the clock at any given point when we are recording,” he says. “Not having to rush through making an album really works to our benefit.”
Once recording wrapped up in June of 2011, Neurotic says the band spent a couple of months contemplating how to get their new music out to the public. Admitting that the group is not really ones to “shop” themselves to prospective labels, P Trash Records, a German punk label, stepped forward and offered to release Seasons on vinyl for the band.
Over the past five years, there has been a resurgence of interest in vinyl with many bands and labels choosing to make music available via LP. Although Fear of Lipstick had the option to make Seasons available on compact disc, Neurotic says the group was confident in their decision to seek a release on vinyl.
“With our last release, we sold three times as much vinyl as we did compact discs so the decision to go with vinyl only this time around made sense to us,” he says.
Asked why he believes vinyl is being embraced by so many, just a couple of decades after the format was supposedly killed off by the CD, Neurotic says the experience of listening to a record on vinyl is indeed a special one.
“For people interested in vinyl, it is more about the love of the music and it seems as though fans of vinyl are more passionate about the bands they like and listen to.”
When talk turns to the fact that Fear of Lipstick have been plugging away for more than a decade now, even Neurotic seems slightly taken back by this fact. The humility displayed by this quartet certainly is something to note and is undoubtedly one reason why they have remained such a consistent draw where ever they play.
“I think (our longevity) has a lot to do with making friends,” Neurotic says. “Just be yourself, wear your heart on your sleeve and keep doing what you do. When we first started, we had a goal of playing a gig at (defunct bar) Doc Dylan’s. After we got that under our belts, we wanted to release a 7-inch single. Now, four or five 7-inch singles later and with a few albums under our belts, everything is gravy at this point. We all have real jobs and none of us have any delusions of grandeur or making it big.
“Honestly, I think I would be scared trying to make a living off playing music. I think that when you start doing that, the stakes are higher and your art can suffer because you start doing what everyone else wants you to do. This band has always been about doing it our way. It took us a long time to get recognition for it but we have never compromised our work for the sake of trying to appease others.”
Fans interested in getting a free download of Fear of Lipstick’s new record Seasons can visit the group’s Bandcamp site.
Article published in the March 2, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript