Interview Exclusive: Fizzy Blood

Fizzy Blood

Words: Samantha Sadler


Lively five-piece Fizzy Blood are definitely a force to be reckoned with. Formed in 2014, the Leeds lads have been touring relentlessly throughout May and are jumping straight onto the festival circuit this summer.


But what’s their story? I caught up with Benji Inkley (vocals), Paul Howells (guitarist/songwriter) and Jake Greenway (drummer) at Live at Leeds festival to chat all things Reuben, South Korea and what their music is all about…


Fizzy Blood was originally formed when childhood friends Benji and Paul witness their band “crash and burn.” Whilst Paul studied at Leeds University, they recruited fellow bandmates Jake, Tim and Ciaran by putting up adverts on campus. But where did the name come from? Well it’s actually a Jamie Lenman (solo artist and frontman of Reuben) song.


“Fizzy Blood was the first single Lenman released after Reuben had split up, so of his solo career, and we thought ‘that’s a cool band name’” explained Benji.


And it turns out that the guys, especially Benji and Paul, have taken influence from Reuben and Lenman due to growing up with their music. “When me and Ben were kids and we first started writing songs, Jamie Lenman was a songwriter that we very much looked up to.” But Paul doesn’t think that they sound anything alike and they aren’t trying to replicate Reuben in their own work.


Unfortunately, the guys are still yet to meet their hero but they were invited to play at Lenmania (an all-day festival curated by Lenman himself) in November to which Paul says was a huge honour. “We were lucky enough to be asked to play. Obviously, it was all Jamie Lenman fans at the gig and it was such an amazing atmosphere ‘cause everyone was just so buzzing off the music.”


The band have also even toured with Jon Pearce and Guy Davis, also formerly from Reuben, in their new band Freeze the Atlantic. As big fans, Benji and Paul were obviously amazed at being able to perform alongside their childhood heroes. Paul explained: “the songs meant a lot to me growing up. Basically, we’ve got to play with all three members of Reuben just not at the same time.”


So taking influences from Reuben but not replicating them, what genre exactly would the guys put themselves in? Well, it turns out that they just want to do their own thing without labelling themselves with a specific genre.


In fact, Paul tells me that Fizzy Blood is what you make of it. “Whatever you want it to be, then that’s what it is to you. Maybe that’s not the same as what it is to me, but that doesn’t really matter, as long as you like it. All of the stuff we are doing, like the new stuff that isn’t out yet, some of it’s not even really rock. We like the freedom to be able to go wherever we feel like going.”

But Benji insists that it isn’t a dodge of the question. “It’s just what we believe. We don’t sit down and say ‘right we’re a rock band and we play rock songs’. We have guitars and we write decent songs that kind of vaguely mirror rock music.”


And it’s with Fizzy Blood’s lyrics that their talent really does shine through and Paul tells me that they are all written through experiences. “It all comes from something and there are different levels of abstractions in different songs. It’s not always necessarily take it literally but it’s based on personal experience, ‘cause otherwise, how can you write something that’s honest?”


When creating their music over the years, a constant thrive for evolution has run throughout each release, with Paul insisting that they’re always changing. “Like I mentioned previously, some of the new stuff that’s not out yet is way, way different than anything we’ve ever done, which is exciting and hopefully we’ll continue in that vein. I don’t think we’re ever going to release something that sounds like something we’ve already released.


“I like bands that reinvent themselves and that you can pick out different eras of that band. We’ve always wanted to be one of those kind of bands.”


Adding to that, Benji explains that it changes to the point where it doesn’t alienate the people that are already fans. “There’s always the themes but it evolves enough to the point where it may be a different band but not. It’s just a different sound.”


With releasing music comes touring and Fizzy Blood have had their fair share of tour dates across the world. It’s actually South Korea that has won the hearts of the Leeds lads, with them all agreeing it is the best place they’ve played so far. They loved it that much that Paul didn’t even want to leave. “The people are so friendly, the food was amazing and it’s refreshing to go somewhere that is so different.”


It was actually in South Korea that one of the band’s craziest moments together took place (even though they had loads to recall) and Jake can remember it perfectly. Following a failed first visit to a Korean BBQ and befriending a Korean band, the guys returned to try Korean BBQ food again but and it naturally escalated quickly. “Afterwards, this guy gave us a lift in his Toyota Aygo and he was wrecked, bombing down narrow streets at 5 in the morning. We were like hanging out of the sunroof and windows going down little side streets in Korea and I was probably still jetlagged as well as being very fucking pissed. It was just very surreal – that was definitely one of those crazy moments and I was just sat there and even though you’re losing your shit and having a great time, there’s still 10 seconds in the back of your head where you’re lie ’what the fuck is going on? How did I get here?’”


So with a fantastic few years already under their belt, what is next for Fizzy Blood? Well, of course, their new EP is due out soon and we’re to “expect the unexpected.” On the EP, Paul explains “it’s four songs that are all going to be released as singles and given their own day in court. They all sound very different to anything we’ve done before – Pink Magic is more towards the stuff that we’ve done previously so it’s easing people in to it. We’re still pushing that one so go check it out, but get excited for what’s coming out. It might change your definition of what you think we are.”


The band have also got a whole load of festivals this year (including Reading and Leeds this summer) and they’re in the “very, very early stages” of starting to write their first album. It’s going to be a little while before we hear that but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for any updates…

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