Take Five [or Eight, if you want]: an Interview with Fable Cry


Siblings Zach and Kirstie Ferrin comprise the dynamic musical duo known as Fable Cry. Originally from the great state of Colorado [I know it's great. I've been there], they have spent the last few years living in Lebanon; playing shows in and around Nashville.

I first saw Fable Cry earlier this year, and let me tell you something: If it’s originality you want, you can count on them to be there with bells on. . . literally.

In addition to jingly anklewear, Fable Cry adds a wide array of unique instrumentation to their performances such as the guitar, glockenspiel, violin, accordion, ukulele, and pots and pans.

Delivering a raucous live experience that includes clapping, foot-stomping, oceanic sound effects, eye patches, and audience participation segments, it’s no wonder Fable Cry is gaining the affection and attention of a growing number of  loyal fans and listeners.

I had a smile on my face the entire time I watched Zach and Kirstie perform. Their whimsical, rowdy sound showcases their humor, versatility and all-around pleasantness. And Fable Cry dabbles in a variety of styles.

Their sound may retain familiar folk and bluegrass influences,  but their lyrical content runs the gamut. Focusing primarily on myth and storytelling, their muses include pirate captains, galactic seahorse, the Pied Piper, and the Abominable Snowman.

Ever since we formed the unbreakable bond of the Group Hug, it has been my pleasure to continue getting to know Fable Cry, and to proclaim their talent and charisma from the [proverbial] rooftops.

It had been a while since my last interview, so I was tickled pink when Zach and Kirstie agreed to lend a hand to the resurgence of Take Five.

It went a little something like this.

What are 5 of the most played songs in your itunes right now? 

“Clap Hands” – Tom Waits 
“Love Lust” – King Charles 
“You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” – Jim Croce 
“Ultimate” – Gogol Bordello 
“Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine” – The White Stripes

How has your music/songwriting evolved? 

Zach: When I first started playing guitar I was 11 years young, an adventurous whippersnapper with a gentle heart towards animals — including bears! So naturally I started learning old folk/classical tunes from my dad, while my big bro simultaneously taught me rock ‘n’ roll, baby! For the next several years I would continue down both paths, finding Django Reinhardt, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, The White Stripes, Gogol Bordello, and Tom Waits along the way–and many others! I began writing music immediately…

Kirstie: At age 10, when the sun was shining brightly and the whinny of a golden pony could be heard across the fields, I picked up the violin and my musical journey began! My mum and dad had always played a huge role in my musical learning (growing up we all used to sing jolly ole tunes together a good deal), and then when I started taking violin lessons from my music teacher, David Johnson, he began teaching me Celtic/Irish fiddle tunes, then classical techniques and onto more contemporary styles of music…. 

Together: We both started playing around the same time so it wasn’t long before we began playing together. We played in several recitals (K’s violin recitals, with Z accompanying on guitar) and later joined a couple bands together, taking our past influences and writing a mix of metal, folk, and irish music–it was interesting! We played mostly violin and guitar at the time but soon began experimenting and playing around with other instruments as well (drums, cello, accordion, ukulele etc). All of this progressed so by the time Fable Cry officially began we brought all of the instruments to the mix and it never really occurred to us to try anything different. Our instrumentation has changed the most over the years, but we wouldn’t sound the same now had we not gone through all of the stages we went through before. 

Where would be the first place you would go, if given a magic carpet? 
We would go back in time! Flying carpets are uber fast, no? YES! We would turn back time the same way Superman did: By flying around the earth at supersonic speeds, opposite to the direction of its natural rotation. The force of our speed would cause the earth to rotate backwards, thus turning back time. Then to go forward in time we would repeat this process but in reverse. With time limits not being against us we would go anywhere and everywhere, starting with a trip to see the Dinosaurs.

Why does the fantastic [robots, pirates, etc.] play such an important role in your songwriting?
We grew up reading adventure, fantasy and mythological stories, and running around in the woods (activities we still frequent) pretending that we were a part of those fantastical tales. So it only feels natural to write about them. On top of that, the songs we enjoy the most are the ones that tell stories, and the more extraordinary the better! We try to write about things that we would want to hear in songs. 

Would you rather eat a whole batch of funfetti cupcakes, or a whole roll of cookie dough? explain.
The one thing that would have made “My Favorite Things” (Sound of Music) 100% perfect instead of just 99% perfect, would have been if Fraulein Maria had thought to sing about cookie dough: 

“Raindrops on Cookie Dough and cookies on kittens
Cookie Dough kettles and Cookie Dough mittens
Brown tasty Cookie Dough mixed up in me,
These are a few of my favorite things”

Need we say more?

What are some social issues you are passionate about? [and how do you feel artists/musicians can help promote social change]?

We feel strongly about the importance of the imagination. Nothing could have ever been achieved without someone imagining it first. So, for every one of us as people, a crucial part of our growth comes through our mind: learning, creating, imagining (thanks Reading Rainbow!). It can be as simple as asking “why” or “what if” and expanding the thoughts we might have originally had about something. Basically, “you have a brain, use it.” 

A lot of our songs are abstract and open to interpretation. We like it that way. We have no intentions of changing anyones’ minds or getting them to think a certain way. We are story tellers and some of our tales, like most, have deep meanings woven throughout them while others are simply stories or pictures to be enjoyed for what they are. Some of our songs we have written thinking solely of the story we are telling and then the meanings behind them have revealed themselves to us afterwards. Our song “Sand Cyborg” started with the instrumental parts and a name. Then we thought about how we could make a song that made sense with the title and we came up with a story about a Cyborg who crash lands on an unknown desert planet and then is freed from the scorching elements and sand creatures by a torrential downpour. But his initial relief soon turns to fear. The planet is flooding! The water is too much for his metal bits and he inevitably turns to rust. What started as two words randomly put together grew into a story that exclaimed, be careful what you wish for because the very thing you thought might save you might be your downfall. While others the meaning is evident from the get go and we try to find a way to get our point across in an abstract or new way. With “Der Rattenfänger Von Hameln” we wanted to write a love diddy, but love has been written and rewritten so many times it’s difficult to be original with it. Well around the same time we also knew we wanted to write a song about the Pied Piper. LIGHTBULB! We forged the two ideas together and were really surprised at how well they worked out. 

So in that way we like to expand the listeners imaginations by giving them something that they might not expect. Paint a pretty picture with sweeping melodies that may suddenly turn into something gnarly and deranged – and visa versa. 

How can bands promote social change you ask? Music is a great tool for connecting people and is one of the most powerful means of doing so. If the band A Flock of Seagulls could inspire a haircut as ridiculous as they did, we think it just goes to show that bands can have the power to achieve any social change they desire! 

You are hosting a dinner party and can invite any 3 famous people-
living or dead- who do you invite and why?

  • Charlie Chaplin – for his mustache, his good humor and dashing sunshine smile. (Plus he’d be able to do that thing where he makes fork legs and bun feet and makes them dance on the table.)
  • Vincent Price – For his macabre stories told with a voice that could make you leap from your trousers with fright, or chuckle with dubious delight. Simultaneously.
  • Bruce Lee – For his intensity, his little known cha cha dance moves and (in Way of the Dragon) he beat The Chuck Norris. Need we say more? I think not. 

Imagine it’s 2016. where is Fable Cry, and what are they doing?
We are in Nashville, revisiting our roots in the middle of yet another world wide tour. Everything we explain and sing about can now be viewed in an extravagant display of detailed sets and wild theatrics. We will sing on a stage full of cartoony trees, fallen space crafts, mighty ships among moving 2D waves, and emblazoned with an array of lights and fog. The crowd will be given props to be warn or wielded during certain songs as crowd participation will be strongly encouraged (Pirate patches for EVERYONE!). Our impromptu story telling will continue like always and we will continue to be the same Fable Cry everyone knows. Just more fantastical. Much much more… 

Want to keep tabs on Fable Cry in a non-creepy way? Here’s how!


GO TO THEIR UPCOMING [and very free!] SHOW:

[with Siberian Traps/Reid Magette/Jason Green]

8 PM Sat April 30

Casablanca Coffee [Nashville]

And Link to their Social Media:

ReverbNation.

Facebook.

YouTube.

MySpace.

Twitter.

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About Beth

Orthodox Christian, Grad student, camp counselor, recreational writer/reader, and apparently, maker-of-lists...
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3 Responses to Take Five [or Eight, if you want]: an Interview with Fable Cry

  1. kimmie says:

    they had me at “pirate patches for everyone”

  2. Robert Stone says:

    I have seen Fable Cry four or five times in three different locations. I love them. The first time I heard them Django Reinhardt came into my mind. But one needs to see them perform, not just hear them.

  3. Pingback: first dibs | In Case of Fire, Use Stairs

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