Review Fix chats with Fatal Switch’s Steve Tobin, who discusses the band’s origin, standout work and goals for the future.
Review Fix: How did the project start?
Steve Tobin: The project only began once I had a clear vision of how I wanted to shape and mould myself as an artist. And what brought the picture into focus was the inspiration that other artists triggered in me. Hearing concept-based songs centred around a story conjured a very particular feeling that stuck with me. It was cinematic masterpieces like Stan, Guilty Conscience and The Black Trash album that lit up my mind and convinced me to make it my mission to master the art of storytelling. My goal isn’t to bring it to a higher level, but more to bring it to a different one… mine. One I would like to think is completely unique to me and my stylising’s of writing. And only once I had found this could I say the project had really begun. But I still had a very long road ahead filled with many different adventures as I perfected my skills along the way.
It’s important to understand that I was total hip-hop head and never really saw myself in the metal crowd yet my path led me right to the heart of the metal community. And what a blessing that was for me! You see my city has an almost non-existent hip hop scene and a rather large one for rock and metal. And it was within these groups of people and that I meet the industry professionals who would kick start my career.
But as luck would have it after I had just formed a band and gained some momentum everything fell apart and I suddenly found myself without any members to support the project. However, I didn’t let that stop me from creating my debut album with session players. And once I had my record in hand, I then used it as a calling card to find my official members. Together we crush the first album live making it our own while we work on some incredible new material for our second album that we are in the process of writing.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Tobin: It typically starts with the instrumentation. We let all kinds of emotions and thoughts fester in our brains and then release them in the form of musical notes. We then take those notes and work extremely hard to build the right structure around it. The placement of every verse, chorus, into, outro and bridge are given careful consideration. We have not been shy to revisit songs and pull them apart until we are satisfied with the outcome. As we jam out various variations and let our minds absorb the melodies, I begin to piece together a story. Like a mad scientist I begin writing draft after draft as I map out my message and pass them through the other members for input and approval. We all push each other to be the best musicians we can be and so far, the results have been nothing short of spectacular.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song? How was it written?
Tobin: The funny things is that even though we released certain songs as singles, (thus giving them more publicity), everyone we talk to, including the band members and the rest of the Fatal Switch team has a different song that they claim as their favourite. We are yet to hear a unanimous consensus and I don’t think we ever will. Right now, our latest single Doctors & Demons is doing really well on social media while our first single Who We Are charted extremely well on national television. Yet we have been told by more than a few people that our second single Heartless is their favourite song as well. Who We Are was a very simple introduction song, while Doctors & Demons and Heartless are stories that I invented. I really try and think of a beginning middle and end to let my narrative unfold. Doctors & Demons for example is a love song gone bad, where a sick man falls under the care of his psychotic lover. Head over heels in love he doesn’t quite realize that he has fallen for a woman who has turned him into a human lab rat until it’s too late. Can’t really say where the ideas for my songs come from to be honest. They start out as a thought that I build upon, then I sculpt it until what I had in my head is what you have in your ears.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2020?
Tobin: To promote our first album and get the word of Fatal Switch out to as many people as possible. Make new connections with fans and industry folk alike as we continue to build our team. With radio servicing on the way we are very excited to see where this first record takes us. We are also working very hard on our second album as well so we will keep at it until we hit the studio again early 2021.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Tobin: I’d like my listeners to walk away feeling like they just listened to a series of short films. The lyrics can be quite in depth with topics of domestic abuse, time travel, demons, cyborgs, murder mystery, child soldiers and much more. I hope my songs can bring comfort to those who have been through dark times, acting as an invisible thread that weaves the imprint of our life experiences together. Like the roller coaster of life at times the music is meant to make the listener feel uncomfortable, excited, powerful and scared all within a short period of time. And through my thought-provoking lyrics I would love to highlight the possibilities of what a song can be about and break away from the traditional format of content creation. I believe music is meant to be a channel for storytelling and that is what I attempt to capture. Whether your sitting by a campfire or lying in bed with your head phones on, I aim to bring you tales that make you think long after the music stops.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Tobin: Our next album has us really stoked and busy right now. Seeing as the performance sector has taken a hit with COVID we are constantly thinking of different ways to reach our audience. Similar to our goals for 2020 we just need to keep building and reach as many people as we can. Their also might be a new video in the works!
Thanks so much for having this conversation with us. And thanks to your readers for getting to know a bit about us. Much love and noise – Fatal Switch.