Fake Shark, a Vancouver alt-pop band, has taken a page from Paul’s Boutique’s playbook by heavily sampling, collecting bits and parts from other recordings to create something entirely reenergized and highly fascinating. Their freshly unleashed single “Paranoid” tackles the pains of disagreeing with someone who knows too much about you – it’s a guitar-led ballad with harsh yet laid-back vocal lines.
Indeed, Fake Shark’s latest releases successfully straddle numerous balances other than new and familiar. It’s both generally attractive and individually relatable, thanks to the smart writing woven within the huge hooks.
The last couple of years has been a signature musical movement for Fake Shark, as fans notice more hype around their recent singles. Their 2021 song Loser went top 10 on rock radio, and they have had music in the Apple Watch 2 commercial, Tiny Pretty Things, The Order, MTV Catfish, Degrassi, Reboot, and the major motion picture Rabid.
Fake Shark may combine nearly any instrumentation or aesthetic quirks to create something magnificent, but the constant at the centre of their production is the distinctive, absolutely unavoidable vocal hooks.
On the release of their latest single “Paranoid”, lead singer Kevin Maher shares: “Paranoid is a song about having conflict with somebody who knows you well enough to pick you apart perfectly. There’s no point in making something up to win an argument because they already know it’s not true. It’s the frustration of being close to somebody.”
Noctis sits down with Fake Shark to explore their favourite musical moments, the evolution of their approach, and the release of “Paranoid.”
How did you guys get into music? Have you all, always wanted to pursue a musical career?
I wanted to be a comic book illustrator, and then an NBA player, and when I didn’t grow quite 7 feet tall (I’m 6’3-almost) I decided fronting a rock band would be best. Me and the guitar player, Louis went to a fine art school, but I didn’t get accepted into the music program and he did. Listen to our new single and find out why (kidding, our music is amazing!)!
What are some of your guy’s favourite musical moments so far?
In our lives? We’ve been lucky enough to travel and perform in a lot of interesting places most people never get to see. China and Japan were wild.
It’s been said you guys create distinctive, yet genre-fluid sounds, can you elaborate on your music style?
It’s whatever is inspiring us currently. It needs to feel fresh to us to even finish the song let alone release it. Each record has been a different approach. In our last one, I was obsessed with starting songs like old-school hip hop producers, starting with meshing together vinyl samples. This one has been very Britpop-inspired, so most of it started with bass and drums.
And, what inspires your music? Personal memories, art, etc.
Recently, it’s a very personal experience. I feel like my next challenge is to take someone else’s story and try to tell it via song, the same way Nirvana did with songs like Polly. All I seem to watch is true crime documentaries, so it’s something Id like to attempt.
You have just released a new single called “Paranoid”, a song about having conflict with somebody who knows you well enough to pick you apart perfectly. Can you go more in-depth into the meaning behind this track?
You encounter more sociopaths and narcissistic people in entertainment than anywhere else, I assume, besides maybe law. I produce comedy too, and there’s a lot of egos involved, and an incredible amount of backstabbing.
How do you guys want people to feel when listening to the track?
I want them to relate to it. I feel like putting yourself out there emotionally pays off the best when it’s just honest. Hopefully, people who have been through similar things can find it.
How does this track “Paranoid” portray you guys, as a solidified ‘freak-indie- pop’ band?
That’s just a term that someone used to describe us and we thought it was funny. But, now we like it! Every time we release music it’ll feel pretty straightforward to us and then everyone tells us we’re weird. Can’t fight it anymore.
How would you like your music to develop, even more, over the next couple of years?
Even better songs! This will be our 5th album in 7 years. I think we’re just getting great now.
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Interview by Izabel Rose