Son of a Bad Man is no stranger to the "Do-It-Yourself" work ethic. The band, formed in 2007 by singer-songwriter Shawn Fisher, has been through countless ups and downs during its first few years on the map. However, it has taken their persistence and determination to make it through those hardships on top and in control of their future.
The Jacksonville, FL, natives released their first EP in mid-2007 under their old moniker, Shawn Fisher and the Jukebox Gypsies.
"We never expected that EP to take off the way that it did", says Fisher. "We recorded that in just a few days at our friend's house studio."
And take off it did; their first EP went on to sell a formidable 5,000 copies with no radio promotion or label support. Not bad at all for a band that had been together less than a year.
The year following that release saw a whirlwind of changes in the band's world. Shawn signed a publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing and was named one of the "Top Nine Songwriters to Watch" in 2009.
To follow up their last EP, the band flew to Los Angeles to record with one of their favorite producers, John Fields.
"John just knew exactly how to handle us as a group", says drummer Brad Moxey. "Not to mention, he's extremely fast; to the point where we would get a song done per day."
Pretty soon after recording the EP with Fields though, things started to go south for the band. That CD never saw a physical release date from their current label, and even though the band had great things to look forward to, such as a performance slot at Lollapalooza in 2010, the morale was waning significantly.
"I didn't write a single song by myself the entire year we were on a major label", says Fisher of the experience. "I'm not bad mouthing or blaming anyone that we worked with, because they were all great, it just wasn't the right team for us at the time. It was overall, a very demoralizing year."
Eventually in September of 2010, the band was finally on their own again, allowed to call their own shots. The only problem was they had completely drained their funds touring for a CD that was never released.
That was when the band discovered the website Kickstarter through a few of their fellow musicians.
"Since we didn't have a physical record to give our fans in over 3 years, we thought 'heck let's give it a shot'", says bassist Brett Barley.
They started a fund-raising campaign with a goal of 2,000 dollars, which would have been just enough to record the songs and hopefully get it mixed and mastered.
"If there is one thing to say about Son of a Bad Man fans, they are extremely dedicated and willing to get involved any chance they can", says guitarist Jordan Allen Davis.
Not only did their fans raise the band's campaign goal in less than 24 hours, but they also ended up doubling the amount by the time the campaign was over.
So what did they decide to do? Take it all back to where it started.
"We decided to record our first full length album in the same house-studio we did our first EP at", says Fisher. "We tried to capture the same original energy we had at the beginning."
The energy was just one of many things they were trying to capture with this full length album. The band was also attempting to sonically re-create what it is like to see them live.
"One of the biggest complaints I've heard from fans and critics of the band, is that they sound so much better live than on CD", says band manager Tim Hall. "With this album, I knew they were trying to raise the bar as much as possible, and I think their hard-work paid off."
By using organic drum tones and real, amplified, guitars, Son of a Bad Man has truly captured their essence in the album entitled, "Here's to the Falling In..."
From the heavy-hitting rockers, such as the opening growl of "Can't Have You" and the arena foot stomper "Idea of Me and You", to the more stripped arrangements of "Miracle Jet", "Over It", and "Harvest" (which features vocals from Jordyn Jackson), it feels like you are in the room with the band as they were recording them.
"We even called up our good friends in Runner Runner to see if they would lend a hand in one of the songs", says Fisher of the track "Love Like Mine". "We just wanted to make the recording process as fun and natural as possible."
This album also witnesses a growth in Shawn Fisher's songwriting abilities. The lyrics on "Here's to the Falling In..." start to take on a much more personal feel than his previous attempts. One prime example is the song "Die Alone" which Fisher wrote after viewing the independent, Terrence Malick, movie "Tree of Life".
"I had a last minute writing session in Nashville with Ben Cooper the morning after I saw that movie. He started playing this riff on the piano and the words just began pouring out of me. 90 percent of the lyrics you currently hear on that track were the first words that came out of my mouth", says Fisher of "Die Alone".
"Here's to the Falling In..." is a testament to the staying power of Son of a Bad Man. After receiving their first industry "black-eye", they brushed themselves off and got back to working at what they love to do. And with a sound that captures the ears and hearts of all ages, you can expect Son of a Bad Man to stick around for many years to come.