A decade of unbearable hardships and almost complete isolation from society enabled Friendly Timo to imagine a dystopian future in which all of human civilization has fallen into a living hell, created by themselves and with their own good intentions. Mechanical, bureaucratic, social and internalized control systems keep everyone in a state of helpless compliance.
Friendly Timo said he relates to the quote by C.S. Lewis, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Each song in the arisTotal EP by The Fair Attempts relates to an aspect of the future human condition. “Blowback” expresses the point of view of the control mechanisms personified. “Bad Battery” relates to society’s complete disregard of individual struggles, with a satisfied feeling of having solved the problems already. The song “arisTotal” is very straightforward about self censoring ones thoughts and feelings because they are given no place in society. “A Day of Concern” is much more complex, as it expresses several concepts simultaneously—of course there’s a strong influence from Friendly Timo’s battle with the health care system for fair treatment of his wife’s illness, but it is also about the ways individuals self-medicate in order to cope with their own personal hell. “Catwalk” returns to the perspective of the callous and inhumane controller above it all.
When asked why he created an EP for his debut release, as opposed to a full LP, he explains, “Making an EP has always felt most natural for me. I feel I have an easy time to combine a cohesive artistic theme and soundscape, without running a risk of repeating myself. It was my goal as a composer and producer of this EP to avoid forcing these songs to fit in any standardized, premade mold, doing the same song five times over. Rather, I wanted to preserve the richness of the creative process behind each song, that comes when you are doing music purely on its own terms as it flows.”
About the music he makes, Friendly Timo stated, “It may be that reaching far beyond 30’s in my life, I simply can’t afford to be afraid of being myself and let it show.” It would seem that’s excellent advice for us all, regardless of how many years we’ve gone through–and survived–this thing we call life.