How Fervor Records Built a New Business with Classic Arizona Music
Valley rock veteran Bruce Connole's music with legendary band The Jetzons can be heard on shows like How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), How I Met Your Mother, Fairly Legal, Parks and Recreation, and Parenthood, while you can hear one of his Suicide Kings tracks on an episode of the TNT-resuscitated Dallas.
"David and Jeff, they're both great guys," Connole says. "They're intelligent, hard working, and they actually enjoy music. The fact that the office and studio are both located in Sunnyslope is a definite plus for me. Sunnyslope sleaze has never received the attention it deserves."
Hilker's band The 1933 were contemporaries with The Jetzons and other bands like Blue Shoes and the ASS, who most Phoenicians around in the '80s figured to be THE AZ band that would break out nationally. It's a public service that their long-out-of-print records have been made available digitally. That they are getting attention nationally and earning some shekels years after their sell-by date is almost corrective history.
|Phoenicians Blue Shoes received a belated brush with fame when their song "Better" was retconned into Bones' fictional history.|
In the episode, Stephen Fry's character explains that he was once a glam-rock guitarist named "Noddy Comet."
When it was founded in 1990, Fervor operated like a more typical record label--albeit it one with an altruistic streak, doing various artist compilations for St. Mary's Food Bank and Central AZ Services, trying to do something positive in the community.
"Dave was doing some really creative things promoting local artists no one else was doing," says Freundlich. "There really weren't AZ compilation records outside of what radio stations were doing, so the idea of bringing all these Arizona artists together, it might seem so obvious now but it wasn't back in the day."
The Fervor imprint lay dormant in the late '90s and early '00s; meanwhile, Hilker and his songwriting partner, John Costello, were placing their self-penned hip-hop music in a lot of television shows, because their tracks were sample-free and therefore easy to license. When Freundlich joined forces with the pair in 2002, they realized they already had a catalog for music for film and TV licensing between them, which they named Wild Whirled Music, after Hilker and Costello's recording studio.
Says Freundlich, "We had to reactivate the label because we'd get music on a show like One Tree Hill, and literally the next day we'd have 100 emails, I don't even know how they found us, and they'd say, 'Where can I buy a copy of this song?'"
Fervor was lucky to get in ahead of the curve in 2002, when there weren't a lot of people doing music licensing, and build a lot of solid relationships in the industry.
Four years ago MTV came to Fervor and asked them to be their eyes and ears in Phoenix, and that's when they signed Super Stereo, who were in the Top Five of MTVU.com for 35 weeks. They scored right out of the box on NBC's Parks and Recreation, earning a 40-second vocal placement. Super Stereo has also had a lot of non-vocal placements on Keeping Up with The Kardashians.
"That show is wall-to-wall music, says Freundlich. "But Kim Kardashian is the star of that show, not Super Stereo, so that's the reason it's been non-vocal usage."