21 DISARMing Questions for Rein Fuks of Pia Fraus

Pia Fraus is an Estonian Shoegaze / Dream Pop band comprised of Eve Komp, Kärt Ojavee, Rein Fuks, Reijo Tagapere and Joosep Volk, six art school students, that formed the band in 1998. Described as mixture of “Dream Pop, subtle Shoegaze and beautiful Electronica, blissfully topped off with shimmering layered male-female vocals”, the band have released five studio albums and several EPs.

We caught up with Rein Fuks to ask him our 21 DISARMing questions about music, art, day jobs, holidays, and life outside of the band.  This is what he shared with us.

DISARM: What are you listening to right now?

Rein Fuks: Sasami, Angel Olsen, Omni, Yumi Zouma, and so on….

What was the first LP/tape/CD you remember owning?

The very first tape was Guns n’ Roses Appetite for Destruction it was the year 1991. My first CD was Sex Pistols compilation Kiss This, the first vinyl was The Beatles Love Songs. I still own it, such an excellent collection!

Vinyl or CD/Digital?

I buy vinyl, CD and also digital files. I like music, and I like the idea that I can support the bands and small labels.

What are your favourite bands?

It’s tough to pick one. 

My first favourite band was Estonian punk group called J.M.K.E when I was six years old. I still like the band a lot. They sound like Dead Kennedys.

One of my all-time favourites has also been The Pastels. I really liked The Wedding Present and Stereolab when I was a teenager, these two where biggest influences when we started with Pia Fraus in the late nineties. And of course, I like Yo La Tengo, Hood…. But my newest favourite artist is Sasami.

Why do you live where you do?

Because it’s not that bad in here 🙂 I live in Tallinn, which is the capital of Estonia. A lovely little town on the North coast of Estonia. I think my second favourite city is Glasgow in Scotland. I think it would be cool to spend some years in there.

What is your favourite journey?

I kind of like them all. I travel a lot with my day job, but I also like to stay at home.

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?

Spending some time at home with my daughter and wife, and a few hours in the studio!

What essentials do you take on a plane or tour bus?

In-ear headphones!

What is your dream vacation if money was no object?

Somewhere at the country house, surrounded by beautiful nature and my instruments. Btw, It’s doable without billion dollars 🙂

What do you do with 4 hours to yourself in a new city?

Vegetarian restaurants and record stores!

Photo by Lauri Liivak

What inspired you to take up music?

Punk music made me do it 🙂 I started when I was eleven.

What was your most memorable day job?

I used to work in a record shop. It was my dream job until I started to hate it. I still like the music and the records, but there was something that made me quit the job. Btw in the past 15 years I have best day job ever! Living in a dream 🙂

What advice should you have taken but didn’t?

Listen and learn!

What should everyone shut up about?

Freedom of expression!

Who’s your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would the menu be?

My own friends, bandmates and family. Vegetarian Mexican or Indian food!

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Spiderman! (Pia Fraus “Thank You, Peter Parker”) 😉

What was the best live gig or music festival you attended (as a fan or artist)?

As a fan, the Yo La Tengo gig in Malmö, Sweden in 2003 was life-changing. Best in the last year was Cass McCombs in Glasgow at The Great Western Festival.

What are your “must” read magazines, news, websites, blogs?

Good news only! Life is too short for bad ones.

Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art.

Art is everywhere 🙂 I like record covers!

What does the next 6 months look like for you?

Day job, family, home, rehearsals, gigs, recordings.

Which musician rule do you agree with? Always meet your heroes or never meet your heroes?

You don’t always need to meet your heroes, but it would be nice to meet some of them. I have met many of my idols, and it’s great 🙂 

I have also worked with some of them, which is even better than just meeting them.

Thanks Rein!

Check out more from Pia Fraus on their Bandcamp page HERE.

Wild Arrows – Tell Everyone

Wild Arrows
Tell Everyone
Black Vinyl (Gotta Groove Records)

Wild Arrows, the Brooklyn Alternative/Dream-Pop duo once consisting of Mike Law (vocals and other instruments) and Shiori Takenoshita (drums) released Tell Everyone in 2014, an album that was planned for release two years earlier, but had been cut dead by the devastating arrival of Hurricane Sandy. The band’s instruments, recording equipment, the studio itself, and all the countless hours of time invested in the album were wiped out by the ruthless winds and rain. Amazingly, Law and Takenoshita persevered and overcame these overwhelming obstacles to ensure Tell Everything saw the light of day.

It’s an interesting and complex album both lyrically and sonically. Musically, the album floats in and around Alternative, Post-Punk, New Wave, Dream Pop and even Psych-Rock aesthetics without losing any cohesiveness. Album opener “Ruiner” sets the dark lyrical tone that is consistent throughout the entire record.


Despite the obvious angst in both the lyrics and Law’s vocals, they are offset and complimented by the warm jangle of guitars and background wash of synths. Takenoshita’s drumming is a driving force throughout, adding yet another layer of contrast to the warmer sounds coming from Law’s instruments that are unrushed despite the urgency of the percussion.


Without knowing the backstory of how the album came to be, it’s still perceptible upon listening that Tell Everyone was a labour of love. There is care, purpose, and meaning infused into the record that bears repeat listening sessions to fully appreciate.

Stand-out songs:  “Ruiner” “Hey Liar”, “All Of You”, “Disease”

(We will soon follow this piece up with a review of the band’s newest release, Dreamlike Dream.)

Dave MacIntyre

Beliefs Live at The Garrison

The 16th installation of Wavelength festival featured must-see Toronto band Beliefs on Saturday night at The Garrison.  Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe formed the Dream Pop duo after meeting at a party and discovering a shared love for My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, and other bands of the ’90s that still matter to so many.  They have since released a self-titled album and 2015’s brilliant follow-up Leaper, which is making great impact with friends of Step On’s in the UK.

The bitter-cold of Saturday night (the first really cold snap Toronto has had this winter) did not prevent fans from filling The Garrison, and Beliefs did not disappoint.  Accompanied by supporting musicians, the set was short but sweet including a highlight performance of wall-of-sound “Ghosts” from the Leaper release.

Listen to “Ghosts” below.  Get the rest of Beliefs releases from Hand Drawn Dracula.

Photo by Dave MacIntyre

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to – Part 15

LendAnEarWe’ve got a new Shoegazer playlist up featuring some pretty amazing songs.  A few of these have been on a looping repeat in the Step On household.  That is when we haven’t been playing Suede songs!

This playlist features Valet, Forsaken Autumn, SeaDance, No Climate, GrowHouse, The Snowy Owls, The Ambient Light, Softt, Eerie Glue, and Rancho Relaxo.


Dave MacIntyre

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to: Part 12

Lend An Ear Part 12We have a great new playlist of Shoegaze, Dream Pop and Noise bands for your listening pleasure.  This time around, the selections have been suggested entirely by our very own Shoegaze aficionado and Step On writer Phil Locke!

On this playlist you’ll find The Lees of Memory, SPC ECO, Hot Glass, The History of Colour TV, We Need Secrets, Hammock, Crimsonettes, I Am Your Captain, Tokyo Shoegazer, and Slowness.

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to – Part 9


By Dave MacIntyre

A fresh list of some of the finest Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Nugaze and Noise curated from SoundCloud.  Part 9 features some truly incredible finds including Bad Apes, Drape, Lush Purr, Afraid of Stairs, The Bilinda Butchers, Young Lovers, Lights That Change, 17years, Cochlear Kill, and Neon Comet.

A big thanks to all of you that listen, like and share the playlists!

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to – Part 8

Shoegazers8By Dave MacIntyre

Back again with another playlist chock full of some of the finest Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Nugaze, and Noise found on SoundCloud.  This list features Secret Shine, Snow In Mexico, Echodrone, Crisis Arm, Woodsman, Witness 9, Strata Florida, Mermaids, Hexagrams, White Glow, and My Invisible Friend.  So sit back, let it play and enjoy!  If you like what you hear, please share and follow the artists on SoundCloud and Facebook.  Comments are also welcome.

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers you should know about – Part 7

Nothing at Adelaide Hall. Toronto.  Photo: Dave MacIntyre
Nothing at Adelaide Hall. Toronto. Photo: Dave MacIntyre

The ongoing search for the best of the best Shoegaze, Nugaze, Dream Pop and Noise bands continues with Step On Magazine’s 7th playlist of the series.  Some of these bands have been mentioned and highlighted in past articles (and will surely be mentioned again), and some are newly discovered. .  Listen, enjoy, and follow the bands on SoundCloud and Facebook!

Dave MacIntyre

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to – Part 7

Shoegazers7By Dave MacIntyre

The ongoing search for the best of the best Shoegaze, Nugaze, Dream Pop and Noise bands continues with Step On Magazine’s 7th playlist of the series.  Some of these bands have been mentioned and highlighted in past articles (and will surely be mentioned again), and some are newly discovered. .  Listen, enjoy, and follow the bands on SoundCloud and Facebook!



New release: Ufornia – Days of Yore linger between dreamy skies and dark taverns

Ufornia, Days of Yore, Denmark, release date February 24, 2015

Ufornia -Days of Yore
Ufornia -Days of Yore

This Danish duo have crafted some wonderful textures here. Synthesizers are a big part of their sound. The whole song makes you feel like you’re wrapped in silk sheets, floating on a cloud of melancholy. The vocalist has a pained edge to his voice which matches the mood of the song well.

Dutch performance artist Michiel Tange Van Leeuwen stars in the video. Production values are high, and so was whoever was styling the hair that day. It’s pretty out there.

The band identify themselves as Shoegaze, so fans of My Bloody Valentine will definitely want to give this a listen.

Watch the just-released video here:


Review by J.Crawley: a UK based music writer hailing from Sheffield city. He also writes for Street Up Music and spends his evenings fighting crime as a vigilante superhero.

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