FEEDING THE BEAST

Published in encore magazine, July 20, 2016

“Someone will bring the bare bones of a song and try not to be too attached to anything,” The Fritz’s Jamie Hendrickson (guitar, backup vocals) describes of their songwriting process. “They just throw it into the machine of the band and that usually ends up with us all coming up with really cool things that none of us would have thought to do.”

It’s a big change from when the Asheville, NC, band first started in 2009. Hendrickson and Jake O’Connor (bass, backup vocals) usually brought in songs almost, if not entirely, complete.

“We’d have charts for everything,” he admits. “We’d have keyboard charts, drum charts, we’d pretty much play the song exactly how they were written, and then we’d edit it a little bit from there.”

As time passed the five-piece funk-rock band has become more fluid in their work together. Lead vocalist and keyboardist Jamar Woods’ soulful voice adds the promised funk to high-energy instrumental rock jams by Hendrickson, O’Connor, Michael Tillis (drums), and Mikey Spice (percussion).

“We’ve gotten a lot better at cooperating and collaborating with each other,” Hendrickson tells. “[But] we always feel like we’re six months away from sounding like we want to sound.”

Hendrickson and company are somewhat workaholics … er … music-holics. In spring of 2013, The Fritz released their second album, “Bootstrap,” and have filled their schedules since with touring and festivals like Wakarusa in Arkansas and West Virginia’s Camp Barefoot. Their 2016 summer tour is bringing them back to Wilmington for a two-night run at The Whiskey on July 22 and 23.

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