If you’ve been living in a hole this year, you probably don’t know who Fews are. Well, its time you dig yourself up and let me introduce a band who are something a bit special.
After a breakthrough year releasing their debut album, multiple tours across Europe supporting Spring King and fat white Family to name a few, the band finished off their mental year of touring by supporting the iconic and brilliant Pixies around Europe, with their last date in Birmingham.
Luckily enough i was given the opportunity to interview one of my favourite bands of the year.
So, me, Jay (Bassist), David (Guitarist/backing vocals) hunted down a bar, in which we stumbled upon the delightful and brilliant Sunflower Lounge. We bought a drink, went outside and sat down on the cold wooden stools, with oncoming traffic flowing through the busy street. This is what was said.
LIH: So guys, I’m gunna start with the tour with Pixies, whats that been like for you?
Jay: Yeah, um strange! Very busy and fast and insane really.
David: Really intense actually, it feels like something is happening all the time. I mean if we are waiting in the van for something to be done or waiting for them, it just felt like something insane was going on!
LIH: Those guys are legendary, at the start of the year you release your album then at the end you’re playing on the same stage as them. How does that feel?
Jay: Yeah I mean when we found out we were going to support Pixies, we were like what, this is really really crazy. It was really hard to understand. I mean, its felt kinda natural since we started the tour, I think we’ve been made to feel comfortable but its insane.
David: Yeah the crew has been really great as well helping us out a lot so it just feels like we are part of the whole thing.
LIH: So you’ve played around 20 shows with them, it must of been a tough run!
Jay: Yeah not many days of rest!
LIH: What do you think has been the best show on the tour?
Jay: I mean some of the ones which we weren’t expecting, Newcastle, Cardiff were really great. Prague and Porto in Portugal they were the ones we least expected to be great crowds but they were a nice surprise!
David: I mean, I think Portugal was really special somehow, like we were well they really loved us, i mean Paris is always special and we love playing in London, it feels like a home crowd so I guess even though we supported pixies we got a great reception from them.
LIH: Talking about touring in general, what is your favourite song to play live?
David: ill for sure
Jay: Yep same again! I think its the one this most fun for people to just wig out and loose their minds to which is great!
David: I would say its more of a live song than an album song, i mean it sounds great on the album as well but yeah for me its definatly my favourite to play!
LIH: So you’ve played an abundance of shows this year, what has been your highlight of the year?
Jay: We all really enjoyed playing at Green Man Festival, that was a great crowd for us and it was really good fun to be there. I mean obviously this has been a highlight but yeah, festivals in general man are really great fun and it means we get to hang out more!
David: Yeah i mean i think that the highlight is always in the moment, i mean it sounds really fucking tacky but thats how i feel haha, everything we’ve done so far this year is just a big blur somehow, i do remember Green Man, we’ve just played so many shows this year it’s hard to pick one specific highlight!
LIH: Who’s your favourite band you’ve toured with?
David: We’ve supported a lot of bands, like we’ve done supports for Bloc Party, Spring king, Fat White Family and now obviously Pixies. But its weird being on a support tour you’d think you’d hang around with the headline bands but you end up hanging with the crew!
Jay: Yeah the crew are more rock and roll, they’ve been everywhere for years and then the bands aren’t so much, rock and roll these days, where as the crew have been having it for 40 years!
LIH: Is there a band you’d love to tour with that you haven’t already?
Jay: Radiohead. Please.
David: yeah id love to tour with them! The dream is to play with the original lineup of Interpol! I love that band especially their debut album.
LIH: I mean Radiohead could be a possibility with the connection between you and Phil they have those two nights in Manchester next year.
Jay: I mean that would be insane but wed have to push it with our GREAT manger and GREAT producer and GREAT label to push that!
LIH: Are there any festivals you are hoping to play next year?
David: All of them.
Jay: I mean we’d love to go back and play Green Man but theres so many we haven’t played so all of them haha! We want to play as many festivals as we can, especially if the lineup is good!
David: If you’re talking about lineups id love to play Primavera in Barcelona, wed love to do that next year!
Jay: We’d also like to play Coachella as well, haha!
LIH: Is that the sort of festival you want to play?
Jay: Yeah, i mean just festivals in general. We love the chance to hang out together, obviously on tour you go to a gig, setup, play, pack you shit together and get the fuck out, but on the festivals we’ve been doing we’ve had the chance to stay for a few days and just have a good party and hang out with other bands and have fun!
LIH: Im just going to go back to the album briefly, What was it like to finally get your debut album out into the world?
David: You know, we had been working on it for so long, it feels like its years of work all condensed into 36 minutes, so yeah it felt special but at the same time you just wanna move on to the next thing like the next album or a tour but yeah it was defiantly special! I would say I’m definalty ready for the next album!
LIH: Correct me if I’m wrong but i saw somewhere that ill was recorded in two days?
David: I mean it was recorded with our producer dan Carey. That was actually our first track we recorded rum, so we did a speedy wonder ground session with him, so we just went in with him into the studio and he has these rules like no talking, no lunch breaks you just go in and look at each other an just play what you feel like. So you basically just jam all day. We had a basic idea of what we wanted and we basically did everything in one take.
LIH: So it started as a jam?
David: Yeah! so i think thats why it does sound like a good live track instead of an album track. I mean it wasn’t till recently that i actually learnt the form of the song, I mean the last 20 gigs I’ve played the same thing but before that it was just random!
LIH: Are there any bands that have inspired you guys?
David: I think its just our own style i think, i mean you can’t help borrowing from other music when you write, but all of us listen to, well we like the same music but our own individual influences are different. I mean i listen to a lot of electronic music you listen to more punky music haha, you’re a lot tougher than i am
LIH: Are there any particular artists you like then?
David: Theres loads of them, i mean at the moment I’m really into Crystal Castles, I’ve loved them for a while now, and yeah i listen to them a lot now but i like Four get and Buriel stuff like that as well.
Jay: They change a lot for me, i mean this year a lot of Thee Oh Sees and an Austin band called Institute who we actually needed up playing a show with. And they were fucking shit. And i was really gutted because i really love them on record. I hope one day they read this because they were awful. But yeah, anything noisy and fast for me at the moment!
LIH: Just some general questions now, When i first listened to your music, i was hearing a lot of Foals come g through and when i saw you live for the first time Fred reminded me of an early Yannis is that something you can see?
David: yeah i defiantly can! i really liked foals debut album Antidotes, like i really liked it but the rest of their music is well, its good but I’m not a fan of it as such, but yeah i guess thats the thing with bands, they release stuff that they feel is good and some people like it and some people don’t, i guess its just personal preference. But anyway,
LIH: One from a friend of mine now, I’ve got to ask you about the name of the song Zlatan, is it named after the one and only footballing lord himself?
David: (Laughter) yeah it is! i mean he’s such an interesting guy, he can get away with a lot of things, i mean he’s fascinating with his charisma and charm!
LIH: So is that why its called Zlatan then? The thought you can getaway with everything?
David: Yeah thats kinda what its about, and he’s from Malmo which is where I’m from so thats pretty cool!
LIH: Do you feel more at home playing in the UK than Sweden because a few of you guys are from there?
David: Well he’s not Swedish he’s from the UK but yeah i am Swedish . its weird but we feel like we are a more British band than a Swedish band. we’re based in the UK and spend a lot of time here and He lives in London so yeah we feel at home here! I Love to play here!
LIH: Speaking of Sweden, do you know what the music scene is like there?
David: yeah i mean theres always a lot of bands coming out of Sweden, theres multiple scenes going on at the moment at the same time, but um theres an indie rock scene coming up at the moment and theres always been an electronic and pop scene as well, those two are still going strong! Theres a few small underground venues reopening again now which is really really good for that music scene. they are privateer kinda things, probably illegal but oh well!
LIH: I just want to ask you about how you came together to form the band.
David: Well me and Fred met on myspace, i posted some weird electronic stuff on the internet and he found it somehow i dunno how and messaged me and said we need to make music, and eventually we met up and talked about starting a band but we didn’t do it and partied git wasted and wasted our money, and all of a sudden we had loads of songs out o nowhere so we went to a studio and recorded them. At the time it was just us, him on vocals me on guitar we had no drummer or bassist but we knew the studio guy was a good drummer so we lured him in to play drums on our demos! (Laughter). then we met Rusty (Drummer), he got involved and then through our producer we found this guy! And yeah!
Jay: Yeah he sent me a message asking if i wanted to play a few shows with these guys and we went from there really! Now I’m poor… and ill… No pun intended.
LIH: Swiftly moving on… i want to ask you about Phil Selway (Drummer of Radiohead), what was that like?
Jay: Yeah that was fucking nuts. We knew he was coming to our Oxford show, he had played us on Radio 6! We were all just there like shit! Did that just happen? The we heard him say I’m going to the show and yeah he was there! It was the last show on the tour, he was into it and he bought a record, which we over charged him for!
Jay: We had no change and he ended up paying £2 more for the record to avoid us getting change but yeah its great, its a really wonderful thing!
LIH: What was it like meeting him?
Jay: Awesome! i mean he ended up complimenting us more than we had the chance to compliment him and his band, he was into us and a really humble guy!
David: He was just really into the music he was a really nice guy!
LIH: Do you listen to Radiohead at all?
Jay: Yeah yeah ia actually urm, been buying the albums in order of them being released and yeah, theres actually a bit i don’t like but they have such a wide range of music and they are incredibly talented. Fucking geniuses really!
LIH: What plans do you have for next year?
Jay: Well we haven’t got anything planned as much apart from, i have to be careful what i say here but we have a european tour and a few dates here, but other than that not much!
LIH: Any plans on releasing new material?
Jay: Possibly yeah, there will be music released next year 100% We aren’t sure what yet or when but yeah the answer is yes!
David: Yeah eventually new material will be released!
LIH: Well is been brilliant talking to you guys tonight! So thane for giving me your time its been a pleasure!
David: Thank you so much, enjoy the show tonight!
After interview we quickly made our way to the academy as they had to return to prepare for the show.
When Fews arrived on stage, strong strobe lighting emitted from behind the four piece. The band blasted into La Guardia, the new unreleased song produces a thumping build up and that energetic fast paced guitar playing from Fred.I I can’t wait to hear a studio version of this.
100 Goosebumps was up next as the band tore the roof off the venue before pixies even set foot on stage. The echoed vocals of Fred and David combined with Rusty’s heavy drum beats and blended perfectly for the fast paced anthem. The queen and Drinking Games followed and continued the trend of the fast and energetic performance.
Keep on telling Myself is defiantly Fews most laid back song in a set which couldn’t be any faster if it tried. Even though its slow, it packs some punch with the reverbed guitar and steady beats. Lead album single The Zoo and possibly one of my favourite songs of the year was played superbly. The reverbed guitars echoed through the building with Fred and davids screams in the intro chilling the audience.
Then came ill. The staple song in which they end with never disappoints. The 8 minute long epic track has to be one of the best live songs I’ve ever seen if I’m honest. It fades in it fades out and it just gets louder and louder until the point of your ear drums bursting. Its exciting and thrilling to watch as Fred and the gang shred their guitars and bash their drums as the strobe lights flicker on and off creating a blistering performance to both watch, and hear.
Pictures below and through out this post are courtesy of Jacob Winter. Images taken of Fews before and during their support set for Pixies in Cardiff 07.12.16.
To read our Pixies live review click here!
I would just like to persoanly say a huge thankyou to FEWS for allowing the interview to go ahead and how crazy their show was. Best of luck in the future guys, hopefully see you soon x