Pop punk innovators The Downtown Fiction bring elements of music from every source to their new album, Losers & Kings, making it one of the stand out albums of the punk scene this year. The Virginia quartet of Cameron Leahy (Vocals/Guitar), David Pavluk (Bass/Vocals), Wes Dimond (Guitar/Vocals), and Kyle Rodgers (Drums), is not satisfied with the status quo and it shows in the irresistible music they create.
Music requires education. However, not all musicians need to sit in a classroom. Leahy started with an acoustic guitar that was in bad shape. He learned through trial and error, absorbing everything he could from other artists. With a basic knowledge of music theory, Leahy continues to explore the unknown. He stated, “The main thing is, you tell yourself that I have never learned enough.” Leahy believes that what he does not know is the reason he is determined to learn more. He borrowed an electric guitar from a friend (which he never returned) and discovered a new way to express himself through music. Playing at local talent shows, Leahy was astounded when the audience responded favorably, screaming for them, from the first note to the last. The culmination of successful live shows at an early point in Leahy’s musical endeavors led to The Downtown Fiction, the band we know and love today.
Are you serious? Reality can be overwhelming with everything we have to resolve on a daily basis. Sometimes, it is beneficial to take a moment and just laugh at ourselves. In the song “Cool Kids”, the lyrics say “I’m just laughing to myself/The joke’s on everyone else/I’ll play my guitar/And I can break your heart/And we can rock and roll/Cause the cool kids ain’t got soul”. If you spend all your time being ‘cool’, you can miss out on the things that are fun. It is better to do what makes you happy, without worrying if it is acceptable or not.
The party never ends. As if a hectic touring schedule is not enough, The Downtown Fiction slipped a number of house shows in between club dates. The band saw it as something special, an acoustic performance in private homes of fans. Overall, it was an amazing experience for Leahy, who said “It’s really fun. It’s cool. I love playing acoustic, because it’s a different sound”. A house show is casual and less structured, leaving the opportunity for many things to go wrong. But The Downtown Fiction’s house shows went off without a hitch, and are something they look forward to doing again, when time permits.
The doctor is in the house. The Downtown Fiction celebrated Halloween this year at the Grog Shop in Cleveland, Ohio. They took the stage dressed as doctors, complete with white coats and stethoscopes, and proceeded to rock the audience with their high-energy stage show. Playing to a full house of witches, zombies, ghosts, and more, The Downtown Fiction brought the fun. From hard driving punk anthems that made the supernatural audience jump to the melodic tunes tailor-made for a group sing-along, there was something for everyone. As it turned out, it was just what the doctor ordered.
The Downtown Fiction is signed to Fearless Records and have just released Losers & Kings, their second full-length album. They will continue to tour non-stop and are always writing new songs and music. Leahy’s favorite song from the new album is “Santa Cruz” which you can hear below.