Interview: Fatherson

Fatherson

Words: Gary Lambert

Photos: Gaz Jones

fatherson popped music gaz jonesIt has not been easy these last few weeks to remember what winter really felt like, but when Glasgow’s leading men, Fatherson, came to Liverpool back in February they brought the bitter cold of the Highlands south with them. On such a day it was recommended to stay indoors, so Popped Music’s Gaz Jones and I had only one idea. “Follow us, we want to take photos of you with a Lambanana”. Thankfully Ross, Greg and Chris said yes to the admittedly bizarre idea but what better way to show off a band who revel in an earthy sound than to take them as far from that as possible. The guys seemed to enjoy it though and even posed for another Lambanana photo that we had missed.

 

With an early curfew in place, we returned to Arts Club and the warmth and sanctuary of the dressing rooms to speak with the trio as to why they were back out on the road and what 2016 had in store for them. And why they were all feeling a bit worse for wear.

 

“We’ve just had two shows up in Scotland, in Glasgow and Dundee and they were mental. We hadn’t done a Scottish headline show in quite a while really. We have done the odd little bit here and there, but really last year we took the time off from doing our own tours and instead focused on getting the right support slots and doing some festivals. So it had been that long the last few nights turned a bit crazy

 

“It is funny that even though we had not been back to Dundee in quite a while when we turned up there were the old faces we recognised.” The guys even ended up in the role of DJ at the after pa

rty. The spinning turned it into a long, heavy night that still brought a smile to the face the next night.

fatherson popped music gaz jones

Although they were on tour to plug their then latest release, the warm up single to their forthcoming album, Open Book, was what we wanted to talk about. And so did Fatherson. Even in my last listen back to the intervie

w months later giving on ultimate check before sending to Popped’s Editor you can hear pride in every moment they speak about the record. Fatherson have not just made this album, but they believe in it. I was enthused then about it and it has been a long wait to be able to hear it play.

 

“We are obviously not playing the whole album so early, but we have been playing a couple of new songs with tracks from our first album and the reaction to them has been so good. It’s really nice when you get that from your fans”

It is always a tough ask for a band to write their second album as usually that means songwriting to schedule whereas the songs that form a first album are often started when GCSE revision should be getting done – and then spend years getting tweaked in back room music venues, bedrooms and dingy rehearsal rooms until the miracle of someone offering them money to record it. The second album though is different. That has to be started as soon as the promotions for the first album are done and dusted – and generally it is recorded when the email from the record label says the studio is booked.

 

Just to make the process a bit more difficult, Fatherson were writing the new album whilst also looking for a label to sign to. But fortune favours the brave and when they signed up with Easy Life / Sony RED and told them their planned timeline for the release it was a meeting of like-minded folk.

“When we were having the talks with the label we wanted to hear what they had to say, but we had already decided that if we didn’t sign with them then we would be looking to get the record out in summer anyway. Then everything got agreed so we actually ended up speeding up the process.”

 

fatherson popped music gaz jonesSpeed is part of the Fatherson recording process anyway. With the first album recorded in just eighteen days, the band did not want to get involved in a long, drawn out affair in the studio. “You don’t want to spend a lot of time in the studio. In fact we think that the longer you spend in the studio either the lazier you are or the more you ruin what you were trying to do in the first place. You are always second guessing yourself when you are in the studio, but we did the first album in eighteen days and we had spoken about how good that felt to do it and stay fresh, so we wanted to repeat that. We did this album in twenty days which was good and did allow us a couple of lazy days too.”

 

“Our style isn’t to spend much time in a studio anyway. Some bands have home studios set up even for practising, but we prefer to hire out a rehearsal room or get round to someone’s bedroom to work out our songs – and then take that to the studio.”

 

This efficient style of recording also has an effect on the finished product. “This definitely sounds like a more cohesive album. Everything was written at the same time, in the same mindset so there is more of a theme and identity to the music whereas the first album contained songs that had been written between one and four years earlier. There is a confidence element as well. We now know that we can write an album of tunes in a month and a half without them being rubbish, so that’s always going to be in our mind. Although the next album will be written more when we are in the mood rather than when someone gives you the time”.

So Fatherson have so much faith in Open Book that they are already looking to the next. That is good enough for me. Keep it going!

Open Book is released on June 3rd 2016.

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