Social Club released their new album, “The Misadventures of Fern & Marty”, yesterday. Our editor sat down on release day and listened to Fern and Marty get into the vision of this album, how each feature was chosen, and the story behind that poppin’ pastel album cover!
TDB: Congrats on being #1 on Hip-Hop charts and #4 overall on iTunes! That’s huge! How are you guys feeling today with the album release and all the love from your fans?
Marty: I mean, we’re excited. We were on a plane last night and we had like an eight hour flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Sacramento and so last night we were super tired! But you know the excitement of a new album, me and Fern are so pumped up. We get to perform tonight, the day of the new album, in Sacramento in front of a really dope crowd. It’s like a celebration, that’s what it’s all about. Today is a celebration.
TDB: The last time we talked, you had just signed on to Capitol CMG, Marty had just gotten married, and the EP was releasing. How has life changed since then?
Fern: It’s been good. Everything’s been good, and at the end of the day it’s all been a procession. Ever since we got partnered up with Capitol we made it a conscience decision (obviously we’ve always been doing the best that we could) but we knew that this was the time to really just leave it all there, go all the way in, and give them the album they’ve been asking for. We want to make sure when we make this music we continue to make it for the Misfits – we knew that. Pulling up to this moment, when we look back it all lines up so perfectly. Everything’s beautiful right now at the end of the day. But, we gotta stay and pray just because everything’s so beautiful right now. It’s like that song, “How Good”, how good you love, we gotta stay prayed up regardless of everything looking so good. Right at this season at the top we gotta stay the strongest.
TDB: Coming into this album and into being with Capitol you guys did not want to change on your fans. What was your vision for this album?
You know, I think that the main thing we wanted to deliver on this album was a good body of work that really kind of showed our skill set, I guess. We wanted to be able to have many types of vibes, many types of emotions and feelings. We wanted to give a full picture of who we are as people and what kind of artists we are – and the vision of what we want to accomplish which is to encourage people to accomplish their dreams, to not feel like they have to fit in to be cool or to feel of value – that they’re cool the way they are. This album is like everything we’ve always worked up to and all in one album; basically four albums in one album. And it’s 15 songs which is our biggest project by far! Really exciting.
TDB: What do you feel like separates this project from anything you’ve done so far, is it the growth?
Fern: Actually, you said it – I think it’s the growth. I saw a guy yesterday who tweeted us saying he saw my first mixtape and Marty’s “When Darkness Falls”, which was his first project. He saw us from the beginning – before Marty and I even knew each other and were doing our own little stuff – he’s seen us from then. He’s seen us partner together, do music together, and get to this level. So to see somebody see us from day one and actually see the progress, like he actually typed it out and I was able to just reminisce by what he typed. I think for us to see that people actually have been following us since day one to this album we just wanted to make a culmination of everything we’ve ever learned. We look back and we’re like, “Obviously we sound a little bit different now because we were younger and just getting into this. Now you can see the progress and the level up, but regardless, all those albums were perfect for those seasons because look where they landed us.”
TDB: One thing I absolutely love about this album is how many guests and features are on it. Each song feels natural with each feature. Andy Mineo was on “Pop Out Revenge” and that’s such a pump-up song that Andy is so good at.
Marty: “And he’s our family! We were able to showcase different artists that we love that we started with. All these artists are on other songs that we have and I think that’s the coolest part about this journey – I’m telling you, we were really just encapsulated every single project into this one. Everyone we worked with in past projects we have them on this album! You have Andy, you have Chris Batson (who is one of the first people we ever started doing features with), Aha Gazelle, even down to Chris Durso (one of our best friends and pastors). We wanted to make sure that people understood two things: 1) Even though we’re signed to a major label (what Capitol is doing with NF right now is bigger than any other label, especially on the Christian side has ever done with a hip-hop artist) we want to show that even in the spotlight or as far as we can get with a very successful company, we aren’t gonna change. I think that was the main thing that we wanted to prove. That hey, listen – we are still who we are and we’re proud of it. The second thing we wanted to communicate was that we can do a lot of things and we want to be known as the guys who make dope hit songs and have fun, you know? Life is not about taking yourself so super seriously that you can’t enjoy it. So we want to always communicate that message of hope, encouragement, and love for people.
Fern: It’s funny you said that Maddy, when you heard the features, how they kind of sounded custom-made for those people. Listen – the difference between Marty and I when we make features is that we don’t make features to sell albums. We pick features out because that’s what we wanted, like we were literally creating songs thinking, “Wordsplayed goes right here. Aha goes right here, here’s where he’s gonna sing.” We made songs according to the musical dynamic of what’s going on. We’ve been blessed to know these guys and we can call them and make music with ’em. It’s so amazing. That’s the difference when we hear the authenticity and love because we’re not doing it to sell six more records. We’re not putting Andy on the song to sell a thousand records. We know Andy and we’ve been blessed to partner with him in many musical things, so it’s just been an amazing thing.
Marty: A lot of people trick the game like that, too. I like that Fern said that because a lot of people will try to trick the game and say, “if I can get Andy Mineo on that record,” and they don’t have a relationship. Our thing is this – we’re all about relationships, that’s why we’ll choose someone less popular over a feature we can absolutely get. Originally this album had some features on it that were gonna be very popular radio artists and things that people would not have expected. But deep down, if we don’t have a relationship with somebody, the music just doesn’t click right. We chose people like Aha Gazelle, Chris, and even a newcomer like Riley on “Misfit Anthem”, like this was her first song out in the public; first time on iTunes, you know? So I think it’s important that we are building a culture of “we’re doing what we want how we want to do it,” and people either adjust or don’t listen to it. This is the culture we want to promote – we don’t do it to be “self-righteous”, like Fern said. Do what you love and be proud of it, and I think that’s hard. Would you rather have a job that you just made money or a job that you really love and you can’t wait to do every single day? That’s true happiness, that’s success – is when you do what you love rather than something you get paid and are miserable for.
TDB: I think that was special that you picked relationships over numbers, though.
Fern: People we love, yeah. Wordsplayed we just had coffee with. I mean we love these people, they’re our friends.
TDB: I keep hearing Alex Medina had something to do with this album cover, what’s the story behind that?
Marty: Actually, Alex didn’t design it. I wanted something with animation, so I hit up my boy Danny. Danny was able to draw us. He’s an amazing artist and he drew us. We sent it to Alex because Alex is really good at programming and color-correcting. He did the font for it, which was great. The actually artwork direction was me but the artwork itself was drawn by Danny. That’s another part of what we do, like we’re investing in the youth and the young guys coming up. So, Alex is an amazing artist and he’s a friend of ours and we needed him for sure but there was a lot of like you can almost, it’s like when you have a great song but you need someone to master it. He really put that together and made the cover polished and stuff. The actual artist’s name is Danny. He’s an 18 year old guy from New Jersey and he’s just a wild kid. We’re about to post another picture that he just sent us of me and Fern as Batman and Superman. The kid is just a genius, so that’s just another part of it. We love the youth and the young guys coming up who just have raw talent. When you mix that with someone like Alex who has the experience he can take it to the next level. It’s like a collaborative operation, we all do it together and that’s what it is.
We were honored to get to chat with these guys and look forward to the continued success of their album (they’re still topping charts the day after release) and their tour!
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