Jeran and Shanden Simmons of the western Kentucky progressive rock band Fairseas join Tracy Ross on Sounds Good to talk about the upcoming release of their dual documentary and EP, The Rotunda Project.
The film follows Fairseas and twelve other local musicians as they collaborate to develop and record five original songs in the rotunda of Paducah’s Coca-Cola Plant. Jeran says the project started with an idea at a Fairseas band practice.
“It really kind of started with these five songs that we didn’t really know what to do with. They didn’t really fit the rest of the music that we had,” Shanden said. “And then we also thought about the rotunda space and how it hadn’t ever been used for something like that.”
“So we wanted to put them out in a new way and we wanted to also involve a lot of the local talent and just see what they could do with them and make them better,” Jeran added.
Embarking on the project with no money and no credentials, the bandmates relied on the pull of their creative idea and the tight-knit community of local musicians to bring the project to fruition. Jeran and Shanden sent song demos to participants who then added their style and made the songs their own. The musicians filmed and recorded in the rotunda turned make-shift studio for five days, having to wait until the businesses at the Coke Plant closed to start working. The crew worked until 4:00 in the morning during some recording sessions.
“High energy the first night, started to decline by the second night. It was tiring but each night it was brand new, so it kind helped keep the energy alive,” Jaren said.
The Rotunda Project EP and documentary will be released Friday, July 14, at Maiden Alley Cinema. The documentary will run through July 18. Physical copies of the EP will be available at the premier and at various local businesses around Paducah and Murray. The EP will also be made available online. Jaren and Shanden plan to submit the documentary to film festivals with revenue from album sales.