Like many great bands, Fish Detective started out as friends, working on different musical projects. When Alex Hegyi (vocals, guitar), Ram Campbell (vocals, bass), Brian Pratt (drums) and Brian Jacobsen (guitar) all came together, they found a fun chemistry between each other, helping the new band approach each opportunity with enthusiasm.
“After years of being together, we still look forward to our weekly rehearsals and musical camaraderie,” Pratt said. “I don’t think any of us has been in a band this long that still feels fresh and fun.”
The four-piece, based in Astoria and Sunnyside, combines rock and roll with a little soul, easily adapting their style to whatever suits their songs the best. Pratt said that many of their tracks put a unique touch on interpretations of their musical influences, which range from the Cars to Motown, the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Grateful Dead.
While the group started under the name There They Go, they came up with Fish Detective to distinctly separate their identity for their adult audience. As There They Go, the band performs music for children.
Fish Detective songs usually start as a collaboration between Hegyi and Campbell, where they come up with a catchy vocal and then write the music to fit. Once the demo is set, the band works on it as a whole, deciding on what needs changing, improving or discarding.
“No one takes offense at being given direction for his part; we try it out and if it gels, we use it,” Pratt said.
The group does not immediately separate songs into categories for children and adults during the writing process. If something winds up sounding better suited for a kids’ tune, then they will turn it into one. On the other hand, if a really strong children’s song is written, the band may change the lyrics and see how it stands up as a Fish Detective track.
While the studio experience is loose and open to any changes, the band buckles down for their live concerts. They make sure they have every number down pat and the setlist prepared.
“Basically, we’re trying to establish muscle memory so we don’t even have to think about what comes next,” Pratt said. “We can relax into our music and enjoy the night with you and I think that feeling comes across in our playing.”
Although Pratt admits that Sunnyside is not as well known for its music scene and Fish Detective often goes to Brooklyn for gigs, the band loves its home both there and in Astoria, and hopes to contribute to western Queens’ culture through music.
“We’re always keeping an eye out for opportunities to play, and not just in bars,” he said. “We believe in our community and would like to engage in more community events. Music is a great avenue for that.”
Expect to see Fish Detective at a New York venue near you in the coming months. To keep up with the latest news, visit www.facebook.com/FishDetective.
– Joe Marvilli