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Black Country's Fear Without Reason look to spread the world - unsigned column

By Leigh Sanders | Music | Published:

They're trying their utmost to spread the word, and Black Country rockers Fear Without Reason hope their new single and video will do just that.

Black Country rockers Fear Without Reason - with roots in Wolverhampton, Cannock, Cheslyn Hay and Walsall

The five-piece recently released Towers Of Gold, available to hear on their Spotify page, and follows on from Four Walls released earlier this year. A total of six singles have been aired to the public following their debut EP, Home, re-released digitally in 2016.

For guitarist Ste Roberts, it was a simple decision to plump for this track now.

"Our approach has been to release a song when we think it is ready," he said. "We’ll play it live and as soon as funds allow we’ll hit the studio to put it out.

"We record with Dan Willett in Birmingham at The Mushrooms - he’s our ‘fifth Beatle’. He helps us get our songs over the finish line and get them out there sounding the best. He’s great.

"We also shot a video at our headline gig [at Cannock's The Station] in September and it is so cool to look back and see what a night that was. So all the things lined up for us to push the single now.

"So far, pretty much anyone who has heard our stuff has really liked it. But it’s not really out there beyond our fans and there is an online publication called Down the Front who really like us and the single and support us.

"Hopefully with the video out there now we can start to spread it to more people. Beyond that we’ve found it really difficult to get the word out to radio and publications."

That video is available to watch on their YouTube channel, and after Wolves recently used the track as the accompanying music to one of their highlights videos a quick glance at the comments posted underneath their video shows Ste and the boys are starting to reach those new audiences.

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One viewer, Jorge González, said: "Just came from Wolves highlights! You have a new Mexican fan in here!"

Joining Roberts to complete the line-up are vocalist Zaz, Rich Yates, also on guitar, drummer Andy Goodwin and Phil Wilkinson providing the bass. All are in their 30s and hold down jobs outside of their band commitments. Zaz is a plumber, Roberts works with geo-mapping, Goodwin is a web developer, Yates works with a car manufacturer and Wilkinson is in IT.

"Me and Andy grew up in Essington together and went all the way through school together, and we met Zaz at high school. Zaz is from Cheslyn Hay," Roberts continues. "We’ve been in bands together for so long, starting our first band in the summer of 2000.

"This incarnation of FWR started in 2009 but went on hiatus in 2010. It's most modern form started in 2017 and includes Rich, from Walsall, who met us through the internet and auditioned and we hit it off straight away. I met Phil through work and became friends for a few years before the bass position came up. He’s from Dudley. So if you draw a circle around us all the hometown kind of becomes Wolverhampton – we class Wolverhampton or Cannock as our hometown."

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Their influences vary greatly and like many other aspiring artists they make a conscious effort to avoid pigeon-holing.

"We don’t make a conscious effort to channel anyone through our music, but we all bring our own personal influences into the band and it will definitely impact anything we do," Roberts adds. "We’re influenced by a lot of modern American rock music and even other things like video game music and jazz. Some artists people like to compare us to recently include Alter Bridge, Incubus, 3 Doors Down and Staind."

And that intention to spread the FWR brand spreads from talking to the press to their online presence through social media handles and their own professional-looking website with accompanying merch store.

According to Roberts, being "simple and clear" is the best way they can get noticed more.

"Our website is new and something we are exploring. We think it’s important to have a simple and clear portal to all of your stuff - whether you want to hit our merch store or head over to our Facebook, Spotify or YouTube page.

"Our online store has only just launched. However our fans at shows have been great and have been buying our merch. Seeing people wear our merch at gigs is still a shock to us, but we love it and we’re super grateful.

"Merch is so important. We fund so much of the band ourselves from what we make in our day jobs, but merch can help us get projects like music recordings and videos over the line. Digital streaming is a double-edged sword, we are exploring growing our listener base on all the big platforms and it’s all easy to use, easily trackable and seems to help build your credability as a growing band. But it earns next to nothing - around 0.02 pence a stream.

"But anyone who supports us who is a fan in any way, whether that’s just a listener on a streaming service, someone who comes to gigs or buys merch - we’re really honoured that people spend their time and money on us."

They're taking a break for now after the single release, but have told fans to check back in the new year to enjoy the next adventure.

"We’re having a couple of weeks' holiday but then we’re getting our heads down and the plan is to write an EP to hit in 2020. We also might drop a single while we do that to keep things fresh for listeners. But there are a lot of ideas floating around us right now and that is great."

Fear Without Reason can be found on Twitter and Facebook, both @FWRBANDUK, while their website and merch store - as well as links to other social media channels - can be found at fearwithoutreason.com

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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