For FIDLAR's Zac Carper, the mantra "F--- it dog, life's a risk" might seem like the perfect excuse to throw caution and responsibility to the wind, but that's not necessarily the case.
In fact, for Carper (guitar/vocals), the riskier things get -- especially for others -- the more f---- you should give.
After seeing the Aussie punks in Gooch Palms start a girls-only mosh pit at one of their shows, he realized how "f------ genius" the idea was.
"In America, the mosh pit scene is so agro [aggressive] sometimes and very dominating and girls get hurt. Girls can take care of themselves -- they're f------ strong, independent people ... But I've talked to people after the show and girls come up and say a lot of the time the mosh pits are just dudes pushing each other around," Carper told me over the phone last month.
FIDLAR has followed suit, creating a sort of "safe space" in the pit for high energy fun without machismo aggression. But while he's all in favor of physical safe spaces like this, applying that idea to ideas and free expression becomes troublesome for him.
It's what inspired the band's newest single, "Too Real," which demonstrates how little Carper shies away from speaking his mind, because, "F--- it dog."
"I think it's ['Too Real'] pretty polarizing. People I see on Twitter are stoked on it. But there's the people that are absolutely like, 'This is horrible.' Honestly, that's the issue: That's your [hypothetical 'you'] opinion and that's Twitter and that's the internet, and I also have my opinion and you can't control that. It's funny because the left or the right or whatever you want to call it -- either side gets mad at something. And I'm just like [in reference to 'Too Real'], 'This is exactly my f------ point,'" Carper said.
His efforts are not intended to stir controversy or stoke the flame of divisiveness. Rather, Carper is trying to get people active, to get people to actually care about something beyond 140 characters of outrage.
"I think there's a lot of really f----- up things politically that are going on, especially with music. There's so much safe s--- and nobody wants to say anything about it. You guys realize we're all humans trying to live life? And then there's families getting thrown in jail and deported back to Mexico. Get off f------ Twitter and do something about it. But that's my perspective, and I'm also calling myself out to get off my f------ art ass and musician ass," he said.
Luckily, it's easier to get off your musician ass than to get on it, and Carper knows that well.
"There's something to dropping out of school and quitting your job and starting a band. You don't have any plan B. I didn't have a plan B. I dropped out of high school, and I actually ended up getting a really great job as an engineer for a producer, but I quit that to start FIDLAR. We all quit everything we were doing, and I can't see us doing anything else. We've been through a lot: addiction, dying, a lot of things that happen with playing in the music industry," Carper said.
But in the process, he's at least found a kindred spirit in the Frights' Mikey Carnevale.
"They opened up a set of ours and Mikey came up to me and gave me his CD, a burnt CD with a bunch of demos. A year goes by, and I put the CD in, and I'm listening to the CD and I'm like, 'Holy s---, this is actually really f------ good.... He had a 'me gusta Sublime' and My Chemical Romance sticker on his acoustic guitar, and I was like, 'You know, we're gonna work together.' He has basically become a brother to me," he said.
"We're talking about doing a reggae side project.... We both have Sublime tattoos -- I gave him his Sublime tattoo and he gave me mine," Carper added.