Fickle Friends are currently on a huge UK tour, 8 concerts down and 20 to go in just over a month; I met up with them for an interview just before their performance in Liverpool at Studio 2, Parr street.
You’re currently on your biggest tour yet, how are you finding it?
Chris – Well, we’ve been thrown right into it! We’ve just come off a four day break but personally I’m ready to get back in it again, we really go at it hard.
Natassja – Touring’s fun when you do it for two weeks, but we’re doing it for six weeks and then we’re going to America, so it’s a combination of being like ohh yeah awesome show and then it being so boring just driving around. Then, like today for example, it takes so long to get the gear going.
Chris – The fun part is obviously the gig and the aftermath.
Harry – Travelling’s alright for me, I’ve been learning some French, Sam’s been learning some Spanish, which isn’t very good because we can’t speak to each other!
Jack – I’ve just been reading a lot.
Natassja and Sam, you guys actually met in Liverpool at the Institute of Performing Arts: is it good to be back?
Natassja – We’ve been here quite a lot since we left, every time I come back I feel like once you’ve lived in Liverpool, it’s like you’ve never left!
So, you’ve just joined Polydor Records Company, that’s a big step, are you excited?
Chris – It’s everything that we’ve worked towards for the last 3 years. I guess it’s down to the help we’ve got especially from our management and our booking agent; we’ve done some great gigs last year and this year. We’re also going to South by Southwest so now we finally get to go to America!
Natassja – We’ve got an album coming out as well.
I was just about to ask! So will you be releasing something soon?
Natassja – Yeah, we have our first single with the label coming out on the 12th of March and then we’ll be getting in to an album cycle, it could be coming out this year or this side of next year. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment depending on traction and how everything goes. We got signed on the New Year and we had this tour booked and we’re trying to shoot a music video, it’s all been a bit mental.
Do you have a dream festival? Or a place you’d love to perform?
Chris – I’d personally love to perform at Coachella – it’s one of my favourites.
Natassja – Glastonbury is just… yeah. I’d also love to play at one of the festivals in Barcelona as well.
Chris – Italy is meant to be fantastic for shows as well, they really go crazy over there!
Do you have any advice for new artists?
Chris – The work that you end up hearing bands do: they’ve already put so much work in before you’ve even heard about them to get to the stage where you’ve even heard about them.
Natassja – It’s quite simple, there’s no trick to it, write good songs… work hard… be good. Sacrifice everything else; we were working 3 jobs at one point in the summer. We were getting fired from our part time jobs all summer because it was like ‘we’ve got four festivals this weekend; sorry I’m not coming in!’ The band comes first; it takes priority so you have to be prepared that you’re going to have to sacrifice a lot to get through the tough sh*t.
Chris – The main thing for a band to work well is to make sure that the chemistry is right. You have to make sure everyone is getting along and has their place in the band, like now we know each other so well, so we know how to work each other.
Natassja – A tour like this could make or break you.
Chris – You’re in the rehearsal room for hours and then the writing studio for hours, you can get knowledge and have a great time with each other but at the end of the day you need a solid foundation.
What music are you guys currently listening too?
Natassja – Dive In, their songs are very very good.
They’re one of your support acts tonight aren’t they?
Natassja – Dive In are awesome.
Chris – The first show we did with them was in Cardiff and it was just great to see and hear them live. Their music just reminds me of touring and travelling in our old Ford Galaxy.
Natassja – Lots of other music too: The 1975; Duo Luco; Jack Garratt.
Would you say you got inspiration from them or is it just their music you personally enjoy listening too?
Natassja – I think it’s a combination of the two, we love a lot of music and then if there’s something from specific bits of the song where we are like ‘that’s amazing!’ then it’s going to influence us.
What would you say has been your high point so far as a band?
Chris – We sold out Dingwalls in London which has a capacity of about 500/550, and we really really didn’t think we would.
Natassja – At that point we didn’t have a manager and we didn’t have a label or anything so it was just us by ourselves and we did it. That was the game changer when suddenly the music industry was like ‘oh sh*t!’ . After Dingwalls we all came off the stage and where like, oh my god that just happened.
Chris – Our fans are fantastic, we see people joining us at shows, especially on this tour; who were at the Dingwalls show and famously carrying and umbrella and coming on stage, like these people who catch us, wherever we are playing seem to really want to come and see us again.
So do you recognise some of your fans?
Chris – Yeah! They often post on our social media and you see the same names flash up and everything. It’s really cool.
That’s everything I have for you guys, thank you for your time it was great meeting you!
After seeing Fickle Friends myself at a small festival two years ago, it was great to see their progress as a big up-and-coming band in the UK. They came across as a very genuine and hard working group who have a lot of potential. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.