fishnchips

During a semester abroad, Zags formed their band "Fish and the Chips" and brought the sound back to the Logan. 

Five talented students, one electric band. 

Seniors Ethan Davis, Kate Fischer, Conrad Herold, Colin Pottinger and Clyde Twitty make up what is known to campus and Spokane as the musical group, Fish and the Chips.

The bandmates said the idea for the band was formulated this past summer in Florence, Italy, during a couple of jam sessions among Herold, Twitty and Davis. Once the trio returned to Spokane, Pottinger was added to the mix due to his encyclopedic musical skills. Later on, the group realized a female lead singer was essential. After hearing Fischer belt in a car ride one summer afternoon, word spread of her talent. The group was sold and Fish and the Chips was born.

Fish and the Chips derives its name from a playoff of lead singer Fischer’s last name. According to the band, once the group was set on the “Fish” idea, they tried a few variations of fish-related puns until Fish and the Chips came to the surface. “Fish” represents Fisher, and the “Chips” refers to the rest of the bandmates — Davis, Herold, Pottinger and Twitty. The name stuck and the band was made official.

Fish and the Chips rehearses three times a week among the bandmates' houses in the Logan Neighborhood. These practices have turned into somewhat of a collaborative experience with passersby coming up to the house, allured by their music and ready to join in on the fun.

“If you hear us practicing, come say 'hi',” Twitty said.

According to Herold, the band has shifted from a group of individual musicians to a tight-knit family that  is fueled by their collective energy and talent.

“It’s not the same when everyone’s not there," Herold said. "You can just tell that something’s missing."

In the month and a half since forming the band, they have developed a deep camaraderie. Fischer said that Josey Clancy complimented them on their individual talent, and said that while that is easy to come by, a group of musicians who love to perform together, collaborate easily and genuinely enjoy spending time with one another is not as common.

The band said it was important to get their male lead singer, Davis, to step up to the plate. Although talented, he had never sung in front of a crowd until their backyard performance at Fall Family Weekend. Bandmates Pottinger and Twitty were integral in inspiring him to sing publicly. Even before the group was formed, they have always expressed their confidence in his abilities.

“I know they think I’m good enough to be doing this,” Davis said.

Davis said their consistent support is part of what empowers him to get on stage as a lead singer. 

Their shows include music ranging from Tom Petty to Taylor Swift. Twitty said that the band is open to playing all types of music that the audience would like.

They want shows to be a fun experience for everyone which begins with the tone they set on stage.

“As long as you’re having a good time, the crowd picks up on that,” said Twitty.

Fish and the Chips tries to create memorable experiences for the crowd during performances.

“The crowd interactions make it a lot more fun," Pottinger said. "We build off of each other’s energies, I crack some jokes … we love practicing, but performing for others brings it to a whole new level."

According to Pottinger and Herold, the crowd and the band have a unique ability to bring out the best in each other. 

 “Once you’re up there, you can see how everything comes together," Herold said. "The band is in sync, the crowd is into it — the energy is unmatched.”

Due to nerves, the biggest difficulty for them is just before going on stage. But, after a one-minute power pose and words of encouragement, they are ready to bring the heat.

“The hardest part about performing live is not turning around," Fischer said. "As lead singer I’m in the front, and it’s so hard to not look back at Conrad, Clyde, Colin and Ethan. I can feel their excitement and I want to turn and see the joy, be a part of it."

Countless morning practices to work out the kinks allowed them to get their music where they wanted it. 

“Colin was sitting behind the piano, sipping his coffee, looking like a proud dad,” Fischer said. 

Bandmates know Pottinger as the music man. His experience as a drummer, guitarist, pianist, bassist and production manager, in addition to his extensive instrument collection, allowed the band to hit the ground running.

With a live performance under their belt, Twitty and Pottinger want to build off their greater sense of confidence and creativity to start pursuing their goal of creating original music.

For fans wondering when they can catch Fish and the Chips live, head to Den after Dark on Nov. 9 or Wild Walls on Nov. 11.

Lauren O'Grady is a staff writer.