Beware Fashionable Women is an indie pop-rock band formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Started and fronted by singer-songwriter Barak Shpiez in 2008, BFW became a means for Shpiez to release his music Dashboard Confessional style. Shpiez, a Berklee School of Music grad who also has a Master's Degree in music technology from Duquesne University is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the Audio Engineering Society, and is represented by Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). He relocated to Los Angeles to progress the band, and has been doing jingle work and music library tracks while not working on BFW.
The same year the band was formed they independently released their debut album under Barak’s recording entity, Spearhead Audio. Several tracks have since been featured on MTV, ESPN, and A&E. BFW has gotten recognition from publications including taking in the number three spot in Music Connection Magazine's Top 25 Unsigned Bands of 2009. Most recently thirty seconds of their song “Parade” was used in an episode of American Picker’s on A&E. Shpiez remarked, “It may not be conquering the world, but it is a thrill to hear your song played on TV.”
The band considers The Eels, Violent Femmes, The Beach Boys and Weezer as influences. Coincidently, Weezer’s front man, Rivers Cuomo shares a mutual musical attraction with Beware. In 2009, Cuomo went to the online music making community of Indaba Music to get help on one his latest demos and ended up choosing a version by BFW. Rivers was to then write the lyrics and put together the song using BFW’s music as the foundation to be included on his solo album due in 2010. As far as the exact release date for that album, BFW has no updates. “I haven't had any contact with Rivers after finishing up that second track for his solo album. I keep a scan of the check he sent me as a memento. Rivers, if you're reading this, call me.”
The band is described as “four guys who look exactly like any other four guys you would find in a local MA and PA music shop or record store. No, you won’t find their picture gracing the cover of their album. Their sweaters hold as much appeal as their faces do. What you will find however is a collection of songs that cover all the bases of the great potential of indie rock (whatever that means anymore).” Though Shpiez continues on as the main face of Beware Fashionable Women, the lineup of the rest of the band often goes through many lineup changes based on availability of the members and location of the venue.
Why Beware Fashionable Women? “The band name came to me from a combination of two experiences: being involved with a self-obsessed girl with a "heightened" sense of fashion. The other from the years I spent running sound in clubs and seeing the same type of girl walk in with mismatching clothes and a bored look. I just always felt it was better to stay away from these types. There was one reviewer who started her review with the phrase ‘judging by the band's name they probably didn't have good relationships with the opposite sex’. She wasn't wrong in that regard. But what band has ever existed that wasn't built, at least in part, on the failures of previous relationships, romantic and otherwise.”
As far as using Audrey Hepburn’s likeness on their album, Shpiez
commented that, “Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's just
seemed like the quintessential fashionable female and I enjoyed corrupting her image and co-opting it for the band.”
The band’s sound has been described as having “Beach Boys style harmonies”, but BFW’s hope is, “that anyone listening to the record
will say, that was a solid record, I liked that, I liked it a lot. From the point of view of the person who created that album, that's reward enough.
The band is currently working on producing music videos for a few tracks off the album to be released this summer. For more information on Beware Fashionable Women and to have a listen visit their official website.