What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
My Dad was in a band in the 80s called Red Guitars, so when I as small I lived in a household full of music, this all went in by osmosis pretty much but it planted seeds – there were guitars, there were records, there was an Atari with an early version of Cubase. Fast forward to my mid teens and I was asked to join a band, so finally started learning guitar and immediately wrote songs because I didn’t know what else to do with the chord shapes I was learning! Fast forward to finishing university, having studied art, I recorded an album that was never released but signed a publishing deal and recording contract that led to the formation of Fragile Creatures.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Parallel Lines was written while I was coming to terms with the end of a long term relationship and struggling to open up to new possibilities – you spend so long going down one road with the same person and then you get hurt. It’s hard to change direction – it’s hard to trust again! Over the last couple of years we’ve gone fully independent and learned to record and release the music ourselves. This is going to be on our DIY second album, Punk Yacht, out August 21st.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I think most of us find our musical roots in our mid teens, and my writing fro Fragile Creatures draws heavily on this period for me – bands like Blur, The Manics, Mansun, Supergrass, Ash, At The Drive In, The Longpigs, early Radiohead… probably The Beatles and The Clash deserve a mention too. As for the lyrical stuff a lot comes from personal experiences, relationships and such, but also I’m quite invested in what’s been happening sorta socio-poitically; the rise of populist politics and mass manipulation. The Meaning of Life, for example, probably wouldn’t have been writted without watching Adam Curtis’s film Hypernormalisation.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
I listed some of my formative influences, but the band is democratic in terms of our sound. Aaron K. Neville, our keyboard player and the other main singer in the band, writes a lot of the music too and he comes from a very different angle: much more pop oriented. Everything we do is filtered through our collective tastes and playing – that’s where punk yacht comes into it. Our influences effectively range from hard rock to lounge via melancholic prog. You know that meme where someone took two Nickelback songs and put them on top of each other to show they’re fundamentally the same song? Well we’re the opposite of that, not cookie cutter.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
The Clash – London Calling
Andy Shauf – The Party
Radiohead – The Bends
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Enquiry Into Values – Robert Pirsig
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Has to be live. I love recording, but I don’t think you necessarily need a traditional studio to have fun and make great sounding music-wise any more. I’d love to go and hire a cottage somewhere and take all our gear down there for the next album, for example, but that’s not exactly ‘studio’ – recording can be laborious at times. Ultimately it’s amazing playing to a responsive audience… and thrilling to have to get everything right there and then, without the opportunity to retake. Having said that it’s terrible playing to an empty room with a bored crowd, and incredibly rewarding when a track comes together or you nail a take recording.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Early on we played a show in Eastbourne for some Brighton University ‘event management’ students. Long story short the event was not well managed: there was a shit on the stage and nobody was willing to move it. “What’s the problem? We put a table over it, just play round it.”
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
I think ‘Body In The Boot’ from our first album is one of my favourites, in terms of being unique. Structurally it twists and evolves throughout, going from this mellow smoky feel to a powerful rock out and back. I don’t think that recording quite does it justice though!
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
As I’ve mentioned out second album Punk Yacht is coming out August 21st, finally. It was a little delayed by coronavirus. We’ve just released ‘Parallel Lines’ as a single, and will be following that with ‘Give Me The Rhythm’ and ‘Distant Star’ in the run up, about a month apart. We’ve been finishing off some songwriting during the lockdown too. I’d really like to go to France, where Tristan and Aaron McClenahan who mixed our record are living, and record these as a little EP to release in 2021 – all a bit dependent on travel restrictions right now!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
With all the music venues closed for the foreseeable future how are you adapting to the COVID-19 restrictions?
We recorded a cover of Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd and made a video at the start of lockdown, it started as a fun message to friends and a test of our self-recording capabilities, but it came out great so we did a limited release. We’re donating all Bandcamp downloads to the #SaveOurVenues campaign. This spurred me on to get the band involved in a web series I’d been doing on Instagram: I was playing a song every Tuesday, and calling it #TuesdayTunes. Now we’re recording a lockdown, stripped version of a song together and putting them out fortnightly. The only way people can see us play while the restrictions are in place – check them out on our YouTube channel.
Photo credits: Jon Mason
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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