Fernway was created in 2017 by five unique, musical minds looking to redefine the sonic landscape of traditional rock. The band’s sound pulls from a wide pallet that blends elements of pop rock and alternative emo, with rudiments of jazz harmony tucked underneath, resulting in a conglomerate that is equally refreshing and unpredictable.
According to Fernway’s RJ DeMarco, “XXIII is about falling out of love with someone who pretends to love back. Investing your entire being into a person who doesn’t exist”
Check out our premiere of Fernway’s video for “X X I I I” below, and keep scrolling for a brief interview with the band.–
Interview conducted on January 21.
What was the writing and recording process like for “X X I I I”?
The writing process for “XXIII” was a fairly fast process from start to finish. The whole song was written in the matter of a day or two over quarantine in March of 2020.
We had just gotten back from a tour; it was a time for deep introspection and reflection as the first lockdown was being put into place. RJ spent a lot of time thinking about the people who have come in gone in my life over the past two years, trying to figure out what it all meant. Then the song idea was born.
It started when Brett came up with an idea for Melody on the guitar, and him and RJ started experimenting with different chord progressions. After a few minutes of playing through different voicings, we found something that we both liked.
Then RJ ran downstairs, put a few microphones on the drums, and recorded a quick rough drum take to get the demo going. After that, I started humming a melody and stringing words together.
Once we had a set-in-stone melody, the lyrics fell right out of me, and I ran into the vocal booth and laid down vocals. After we had the demo completed, we sat on it for a few weeks just listening back and seeing if there was anything that we could change or make better.
This is one of the few scenarios where the arrangement, chords, and voicings mostly stayed the same from demo to the final recorded song. We even used a majority of the demo vocals in the final recording—there was so much raw emotion that was present at that time.
How much has COVID impacted things for you in trying to get the song and video put together?
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has had an impact on the writing process, the recording process, and the rehearsing process.
We tried to maintain as much momentum as we possibly could during these difficult times, recording parts remotely, and sharing them via email. That’s how a lot of the demos came to fruition over the course of the last year.
One person would write a part and send it to the other members. And subsequently, we would all add parts until we had a complete demo. As far as recording goes, we have always wanted to maintain a healthy, socially distant space for creation.
For a while, we were only meeting in groups of two or three people, the other members joining in via zoom. We knew that we weren’t going to be able to meet up in person as much as we would’ve liked to, but we also knew that we couldn’t let the distance stop us from creating.
A lot of the new music that we are working on came about this way. Demos that were created remotely, collaborating on remotely, and then put together in the studio. It was interesting to write music this way, as I feel that it truly gave us a good amount of time to fully develop ideas and hear things with a new perspective.
The video for “23” came together in the course of about a month, with Alec, Tanner, and Tanner’s girlfriend Francesca working on it. They had never created a stop motion video before, so we took it as a challenge, and something new in exciting that we could shoot for.
We started by compiling any photos that we had that held a sentimental meaning to us. We wanted to show the intimacy and delicacy of the human soul in the song, and in the video.
Photo credit Matt Sledz.