There's one major difference between Fidlar's debut album and its recently released follow-up, "Too."
Frontman Zac Carper got clean.
"I stopped drinking and I stopped doing drugs," Carper, 28, says by phone from Iowa during the southern California rock group's current tour. "It was just years of it. Ever since I was a kid I was getting (messed) upon everything I could. During the whole 'Fidlar' album cycle I was pretty much a full-blown heroin addict. I'd smoke meth to keep myself up. So it was a constant up and down thing for me.
"Finally, after overdosing three times in one month, that's when I was like, 'Maybe something's wrong with me...'"
Carper wound up in rehab and says when he came out he had the "cliche" fear that he wouldn't be able to write like he used to. But as soon as he wrote, ironically, the song "Sober" for "Too," he found himself not only still productive but, to his mind, better than ever.
"The songs became a lot more personal and a lot more emotional, and that's kind of what this new record is, just learning how to deal with life," Carper explains. "Moby once said that, 'When I was high, I would have a lot of epiphanies, a lot of great creative moments, but I'd never remember them.' ow that he's sober he has less of those, but he can actually finish the work.
"That's what I was dealing with. I was just kind of this weirdo crazy person on drugs for a long time, and now that you take the medication out and the drugs and the alcohol and the weed and everything else, I'm even more weird and crazy, 'cause I don't have anything to level me off anymore."
Fans will notice a different kind of sound on "Too" as well. It still has some of the thrashy punk roots that Fidlar's first album displayed, but there's an increased emphasis this time on songcraft and melody, which Carper says was a conscious goal for the band.
"We could've made that first record again and made it sound better, but I didn't want to stick to one thing," he says. "YOu've gotta keep growing, keep moving forward. I didn't want to make another punk/garage rock kind of blown-out sounding record. I wanted to make a rock 'n' roll record.
"So it was definitely a conscious decision to go to a recording studio and have a producer -- I mean, the first record I recorded in my bedroom, and this one we did in a studio in Nashville, Tenn. We just wanted to take the next step."
Saturday, Sept. 19. Doors open at 8 p.m.
The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
Tickets are $15.
Call 248-546-3696 or visit www.thelovingtouchferndale.com.
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