FArt with Alana: Fowler/Viracocha

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Fowler is an up-and-coming band composed of three rad dudes who go by the names Forrest, Eli, and Simon. Forrest Nolan, a senior at School of the Arts (SOTA), sings tenor in the vocal department. Eli Recht-Appel, also a senior at SOTA, plays in the guitar department, while Simon Clinton –– a recent SOTA graduate –– focused in the band department as a percussionist. 

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After school in their freshman year, Recht-Appel and Nolan started “writing simple songs, jammin’ with other cats from school, using a different band name every week, [and] occasionally sharing a grilled cheese sandwich.” After scoring a gig, they needed a drummer and asked Clinton to join.

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“The first time we played with Simon things really jelled. Then we recorded our first EP [this March] and the rest is history,” Recht-Appel said. After being together for a year and a half, “we’ve become more comfortable sharing our input about where we individually think a song should go and kinda have a majority rule thing from there.”

Fowler’s influences include Jeff Buckley, Wilco, Grizzly Bear, Radiohead, and Bill Frisell creating an alternative folk rock group.

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Recht-Appel wrote the tracks, “Rather than Lifeless” and co-created “Yer Dream is to Blame” with Clinton, while Nolan wrote “On the Road,” “Past Last,” and “Memo.” Although the three of them each have different writing processes, they all compose astounding pieces.

Personally, I love each song, but if I were to choose a favorite on their five-track EP, it would have to be the amazingly written “On The Road” (props to Forrest on the writing portion). Each time I hear them perform it, it gets better and better and the same goes for all their originals.

As a band with so much talent, I had to ask what their band future looks like. “I think our only real plans are to keep exploring and advancing until what we’re doing is no longer fun or inspiring,” Clinton said. “The hope is that someday we do it big time for the Benjamins.”

While working to do it “for the Benjamins,” they are also working on a “semi-experimental, super dope, rap side-project,” called Prince 5, which will drop its first single “What we talkin’ bout?” sometime this year.

Fowler’s performance at Viracocha I attended on October 23rd was unbelievably awesome. The vibe of their music really fit the venue. Viracocha –– an event hall that repurposes furniture and promotes local art, antique items, jewelry and music –– is located in the Mission, on the corner of Valencia and 21st. They were established as an event space five years ago, however, they had been functioning as a speakeasy four years prior.
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Aside from the live music, the art featured in Viracocha is absolutely beautiful and all is crafted by local artists. They include various types of items such as homemade candles, soap, jewelry, and antique items. Every time I go there, I discover new things and get lost in it all. If you like – for lack of a better word – hipster stores, you will definitely love Viracocha.

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Between the rockin tunes Fowler has been producing and the rustic vibe of Viracocha, I really enjoyed my night and definitely recommend checking out both.

 Check out Fowler at http://fowlersf.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out Viracocha at http://viracochasf.com/#!//

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Words and photos by Alana Poole

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