If you haven’t heard of the Hampshire Alt pop/rock quartet “Fake The Attack”, we’re hoping you soon will do. Sure there are similarities to Paramore and the like, but don’t dismiss them too quickly, sit down, and have a look through their Youtube channel, it’s worth it.
In fact, if you can catch them live, even better especially since they’re on tour in November in the UK with another one of our favourites, Altered Sky. Fake The Attack have a debut LP out entitled “Stranger Times”, so it’s a very exciting time for them. We spoke with Callum and Ashlyn about “Stranger Times”, touring, and their football escapades.
You have a debut LP out, “Stranger Times”, recently released on iTunes, could you tell us a little about some of the songs and themes on that album?
Well we didn’t really set out with a theme for the album, it just kind of evolved along the way. The writing process was a bit different to what we usually do as we recoded it in two halves. At first it wasn’t exactly what we had planned for recording the album but after going through it, it actually felt really right. It was like doing a first and second act. I feel the album feels like a play in that respect. The songs really just chronicle our time making the record, they were stranger times.
Where did you record “Stranger Times” and who did you work with?
We recorded ‘Stranger Times’ at Outhouse Studios in Reading, UK with John Mitchell, Ben Humphreys, Mike Tompa and James Billinge. It was a really collaborative experience, they really know how to get the best out of an artist.
Who did the artwork for the CD and how did that come about?
The artwork was done by a friend of ours called Fiona Brett-Blything. We knew we wanted a fox in the artwork somewhere as we feel it represents where we come from and the lion is meant to represent everyone else. Us vs the world if you will but it means what you want it to.
Having released the LP, I’m assuming there’s a great sense of accomplishment, but are there still moments where it all seems a bit surreal?
For sure! We feel very proud of the album. It’s like a milestone in our lives. It documents a period of time that was really defining for us as people but also as musicians and songwriters. The surreal bit is actually letting it go into the universe. We’ve held it close to us for so long that it feels so good to let it all go. Like the best most satisfying sneeze of all time!
And what were the biggest challenges in recording it?
I think the biggest challenge was just satisfying ourselves. We’re the most self critical people and all kind of perfectionists. Some songs came to fruition really quickly while some had to marinate for a while.
How have you changed since FTA first formed and how has that impacted on your music?
Well apart from being older and wiser, not an awful lot has changed. We still write what we want to write. Growing up and embracing responsibility definitely changes you. As we’ve grown up together we’ve always managed to stay on the same wave length so adapting and evolving as people and musicians has been really natural and symbiotic.
There was a comment on Youtube about loving the music, but they would have liked to have owned it on CD as opposed to iTunes. How do you decide upon a medium through which to release your music, and are CD’s and Vinyl potentially quite limiting?
We are releasing the album on CD very soon. We would love to bring the album to vinyl in the near future too. We are all big lovers of physical music. ITunes is great as it allows you to own the music forever instantly, but with physical music it brings you that bit closer to the music. The art surrounding a record cant be just as important as the music. It’s all about expression.
Great videos for “Foreign Words” and “Through The Trees”, who did you work with on those and how much of an input did you have to the visual aspect of it?
Thank you very much! We shot ‘Foreign Words’ with Tom Barnes on location in Surrey and Hampshire and ‘Through The Trees’ was shot by Jam Jar Media at ITV Studios in London. They were both amazing experiences and we were so happy with how both of the videos came out! With ‘Foreign Words’ We came up with the idea for the narrative and the way we wanted the video to look and Tom just ran with idea. He’s such an easy guy to work with and he has such a great eye that he can’t help but make every shot look beautiful. The concept for ‘Through The Trees’ was entirely the brain child of Dan Baker, James Neal and Richard Bone at Jam Jar Media. They got the vibe of the song and just ran with it. Before we knew it we were stepping onto this incredible hand built set at studio 5 at ITV Studios. It was a joy to shoot and something we’re all so proud of.
You’re due to tour with Altered Sky I believe (November), who are lovely people, how are the preparations going for that? How do you go about arranging your set lists?
They’re an awesome band and we can’t wait to tour with them! We’ve just started to craft the set for tour. We like to create an atmosphere so we like things to flow. The order of the songs in the set is important and we don’t like to play for too long. Leave them wanting more, don’t bore them.
What are the most enjoyable aspects for you being on tour, and what are the things that quite frankly you could do without?
The half hour or so that we’re on stage every night and meeting new people is defiantly the highlight of touring. We’ve made friends for life on like every tour we’ve been on. The worst thing about touring is probably sleeping which can be a bit of a challenge some nights and sitting in traffic. Both we could most certainly do without. But touring’s awesome!
You were involved with in the Soccer Six Fest, could you tell us a little about that and how you were involved?
We were indeed. It was a great day! Lots of fun was had and the weather was beautiful. Everyone was in good spirits and was jus there to have a laugh really. Obviously some teams/bands took it a bit more serious than others but we were just happy to a part of it.
And how well did you do?
We did pretty terribly. Played 3 games… lost them all. It was a good day though and we had fun. Many a laugh was had that day.
Any special mentions of brilliant skill on the pitch or dirty play?
No brilliant skill from our team. We were all pretty shameful. Some other teams really pulled it out of the bag though! Next time maybe we’ll hire a coach, or just leave it to the pros! Soccer Six was a great experience though and we were really happy to be a part of it.
We’d like to thank FTA for their time, and hope to catch them on tour at some point!
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