James Fabio, a 26 year-old artist hailing from New York, as been on the music scene longer than you would expect. Now based in California, this multi-talented composer-singer-drummer powerhouse took the time to speak with us on his upcoming release, Controllum Controller, and its efforts to aid those struggling with mental health.
Give us a little background on yourself: When did you first get involved with music? How and when did you get involved with this project?
I’ve been involved with music since I was an early teen, but I started taking writing and composing seriously in college. At my first job at a music library in New York I was in contact with composers and music supervisors so frequently, as well as interacting with music used in television and movies, that it shaped my own writing and pushed it into professional realm. I even began to have my own tracks placed in television shows. I started Controllum Controller around mid-2018 as a musical calling card to showcase my composing style and writing, but to also bring more attention to some of the mental health issues we place stigmas on.
Who would you say would be your biggest influence musically?
My biggest influences would be Maynard from Tool and Perfect Circle as well as Trent Reznor and Disasterpeace, all fantastic composers blending synths, industrial sounds and psychological vocals.
Controllum Controller is such an interest piece: It borders nu-metal with certain intonations that are very Chester Bennington against instrumental’s that remind me a lot of alt-J. How would you describe your sound, in your own words?
It’s tricky to pinpoint since it borrows from different genres and each track has a unique sound, but I would characterize it at atmospheric electronica.
You’ve said yourself that you’ve explored the darker facets of mental health, such as suicide and schizophrenia. Are you comfortable discussing what caused this rumination? What is Controllum Controller saying on those subjects? How is it trying to speak to those dealing personally with mental health issues, and how would you like for it to help?
So Controllum was written in an effort to connect with those who might have trouble communicating what they’re going through, while also attempting to step into their shoes and shed light on their afflictions. Having family ties to schizophrenia and personal experiences with suicide, I wanted to build a better understanding of each on an emotional level. I hope to show people suffering from some of the most isolating illnesses that they aren’t alone by connecting listeners to the experiences of those afflicted.
Where do you see you and Rachel, the guest vocals on this track, as artists going in the future? Are you thinking of continuing dual projects, or remaining solo?
Rachael is actually an actress primarily, as well as a talented singer, so she plans on continuing to work in musical theater and film. As a composer, I’ll continue to write music for media and I hope to branch out and write for horror films and video games; I’m not sure if I’ll continue to release albums, but it’s definitely in the realm of possibility and I would probably bring in additional singers again!
‘Controllum Controller’ drops June 18th on all streaming services and for direct download here.