Maryland native Lucas Fendlay learned his way around Philly and threw himself into the local music scene’s grind. While still actively playing with indie rock band These Polar Opposites, Fendlay recently brought a new pop-punk project, Collect Yourself., to the table.
Collect Yourself., currently a solo project, released its first EP, “–if ever you should,” on Sept. 9. It has since been released on cassette by Sorry Girls Records. Fendlay describes his sound as bedroom pop/post-skramz hardcore.
Collect Yourself. will be on a Northeast tour in early October.
The Temple News: So Lucas, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Lucas Fendlay: I grew up in Maryland in a town called Hereford, like, half an hour North of Baltimore. I moved to Philly for school [Art Institute of Philadelphia] in 2011 and went to school for audio production. My focus was theater sound design and composition.
TTN: When did you first start playing music?
LF: I got my first instrument that I cared about when I was nine or 10 from my dad. It was my black Les Paul knockoff, made by Bradley. It was his when he was a kid and I was way excited about it. I learned an Eric Clapton song first and played blues scales for a while until I got into writing songs a couple of years later.
I always wanted to play drums since I was little and I actually had this miniature Pearl drum kit that I had gotten for Christmas when I was really little but I was pretty distracted about it and didn’t care enough at that point to start playing seriously, I don’t actually even know what happened to that kit. So the guitar is what I would say made me get excited about playing music.
TTN: Besides Collect Yourself., what have your done musically?
LF: I started recording on a four-track Tascam tape recorder when I was in middle school. One of my best friends stopped using it and gave it to me to play with. I recorded a lot of really rough lo-fi sad 13-year-old jams for a couple of years and then played “lead” guitar [laughs] in a couple of pop-punk bands and then I started my first band in 10th grade. It was a pretty interesting emo/indie band I guess, called Bottom of the River.
We played shows for about a year. Then we had weird lineup switches and I started writing songs for a project with two of my other friends that actually sort of became what These Polar Opposites is.
TTN: How would you describe the Philadelphia music scene and your connection to it?
LF: The Philly music scene is a really cool thing. Baltimore had somewhat of a show scene but it wasn’t nearly as energetic or prolific.
Kids didn’t really go out to regular shows and houses got shut down a lot. Kids in Philly go to some shows, at least the ones that are interested in the scene and some houses still get shut down I guess – neighbors and things – but there’s a handful of people who take booking and running shows really seriously and it’s approached a lot more legitimately than I remember DIY shows in Baltimore.
More than that though, it’s a super friendly scene. I’ve met a lot of people in the last few years that have been so welcoming and inclusive, regarding meeting for the first time at a show during a cigarette between bands or whatever, and I’ve made more friends than I ever had playing in bands before I moved here.
I guess my connection to the scene is sort of just that – I started going to shows at some of the more consistent show spaces, and made some friends at those shows and it sort of just rippled. It’s really pop-punk, but the amount of friends I know I’m going to see at certain shows or certain houses makes this scene really fun.
TTN: You’ve mentioned plans to make Collect Yourself. a full band. What’s the plan and reason for that?
LF: I have more of a plan for it than a reason I think. Mostly, I like yelling and moving around a lot and I want to not play guitar, at least some of the time. I just feel restricted holding a guitar the whole time and I’ve never been in a project where that isn’t the case. Also, I’d like to utilize more live-triggered samples, I wrote some cool ukulele and glockenspiel parts, and some of the songs I’m working on are a lot heavier. I also own a megaphone now so I need two hands for that. It won’t happen until I put out my full-length in January, but it should be cool.
TTN: What are some future plans for Collect Yourself.?
LF: Split with Turing Cops next month, tour in October, full-length in January and scattered Philly shows and weekend runs.
Jared Whalen can be reached at jared. firstname.lastname@example.org