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Non-Stop Music
Liverpool Student Radio
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Student Media Society
of the Year 2016
Liverpool Student Radio
On Air Now
Non-Stop Music
Interview: Fickle Friends

Welcome back to Liverpool! I know you have been here a few times, like last year you played at Studio 2 on Parr Street. What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool?

N: The culture, coffee shops and the bars are so good.

J: The accents.

N: Yeah I love the scouse accent. It’s very warming to me because we used to live here.

Didn’t you go to LIPA?

N: Yeah so it’s like coming home.

So what sort of music have you been listening to on tour?

J: Well we’ve made a tour playlist. It’s like a 2-hour long playlist of just absolute bangers and we’ve just been playing that. Because obviously there’s the music playing in between bands so we have it on when doors open and then have it on between the bands.

N: It’s got everything on it. Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, Chainsmokers…

J: There’s throwbacks and current songs. All the hits. It goes from like Queens of the Stone Age to Chainsmokers to throwbacks – it’s just a big mix.

Was it a band thing that you created together?

J: Oh no I created it. I was drunk one night and I just made this playlist.

So over the years you’ve toured quite a lot and played a lot of festivals. Is there anywhere on a bucket list that you’ve never played?

N: Manila.

J: Manila, yeah, somewhere in Asia.

N: We wanna go to the Philippines because that’s where our music is most popular. People are just begging us to come and play out there so we need to go there. I would just love to. We also haven’t played in America yet even though we spend a lot of time there.

J: Well we’ve played Texas.

N: Apart from Texas, but yeah, I would love to play LA just because we spend so much time there.

You’re recording your album there right? How’s that going so far?

N: It’s good yeah. We’re getting there.

J: Yeah, it’s coming together nice.

N: …I just want to go to Japan and play out there and stuff.

What’s your favourite thing about touring?

J: Someone asked us this the other day and it’s just the shows but that’s so obvious. Like obviously it’s the shows because that’s what touring is. But yeah it’s just the hour or whatever we’re on stage which is the fun bit and all the rest of it is just like waiting around, setting things up…

N: Driving…

J: Yeah driving.

N: It’s kind of like you’re in your own little world for like a few weeks and it’s like going on holiday. You want to forget about everything else that’s going on. You’re just in a band with your mates and you just play an awesome show and get a bit drunk and then do the same thing the next day which is good.

Do you ever pull pranks on each other when you’re on tour?

N: There’s a lot of sassing.

J: Haha yeah we sass each other. So it’s not really pranks because if you start pranking people too much it gets a bit annoying but sass is good. We just take the piss out of each other.

N: Our drummer is really good at sass, like he sasses our tour manager quite a lot. We were playing a show in Paris and our tour manager was like ‘have you guys got any guest lists?’ and our drummer sent a list of names and on the list was the name of the French President. Then he sent it to the promoter who was like ‘the French President is coming?!’ and our tour manager was just like, I’ve just been sassed.

J: Haha yeah it was on our group chat and I was just like ‘I wonder who Morris knows in France?’ but I didn’t question it because I saw his name and I didn’t know who it was so I was just like ‘ah interesting.’ Then we found out later on.

N: That was a good sass. That’s the difference between a prank and a sass. A sass is always funny and always relevant and it can’t get old. Whereas pranks get a little bit old.

J: But then remember when we were rehearsing and my shoes got thrown up onto that big wire and they were just hanging by the laces for ages. Now that kind of thing…

N: Haha, that’s annoying.

That’s the kind of thing that you just look at and think, why…

J: Haha yeah.

N: Do you remember when you guys sassed me when I was really late to a rehearsal with a producer in Brighton? I arrived there and the guys were like ‘right we’re gonna play this song’ and I was like alright cool. It was an old song and then the guys started playing so awfully. I was stood there mortified because this producer was there and I was just looking around at everyone playing out of tune and out of time and I was just like ‘oh my god, oh my god.’ Then they stopped like 30 seconds later and went ‘hahahaha!’

J: Yeah we’d planned it with the producer because Natti was a bit late.

N: I felt so sick when it was happening.

J: Man that was so good.

N: That was a really good sass.

J: We can’t go into all of them, there’s so many that we do. We’ve yet to send our management something like ‘this is a song we’ve written’ and it be, like, terrible. But not so terrible that they know it’s a joke but just enough that they definitely won’t like it. It will take a lot of work to get it to that point where it’s awful but believable. But yeah, we’re gonna do that.

Can you imagine if they were just like ‘yeah that’s amazing?’

J: Haha I would just piss myself.  

So you’ve just released you’re new single ‘Brooklyn’. Do you want to tell us a bit about it?

N: Yeah, well our bassist started it. He just kind of showed like a little bit to Jack and you were like great. We actually went in and did a couple days working on it and lyrically we were writing it when we were still doing everything DIY and were a bit miserable. Like obviously we were doing the best thing in the world but it was just difficult financially and it kind of just takes its toll a little bit. And a couple of us suffer with a bit of anxiety and stuff and it’s kind of just a bit like mental insanity scribbled down on a piece of paper.

And what’s the response been like for it on the tour?

N: Well we all wear in ear monitors so sometimes you can’t really hear the crowd reaction which is a bit weird but last night the guys were like ‘all the kids were singing Brooklyn,’ even the instrumental bits. Jack had an ear out didn’t you?

J: Yeah I take an ear out for the end because it’s a bit of fun. But yeah everyone was singing along to it, more than we’ve ever had for a song that new.

N: Yeah they’ve only had a couple of weeks to know it so it’s cool. I think it’s because we were playing it before it came out so like the mega fans who have come to previous shows will be familiar with it.

So we were talking about you recording your album in LA and you’re from Brighton. Does where you are in the world influence your song writing?

N: I’m not sure if it does. It’s more like it’s a new exciting place and like when we first got to LA we were there for a month and we had this house, we rented a bunch of gear and we just set up a studio in the living room and we were just churning out stuff. We were like we’re here to write and there’s no pressure. I think it’s more about us being in a fresh environment. Whereas when we go home sometimes it’s like we’re against the clock and we’ve got a certain amount of time to rewrite a chorus for the 6th time and it just gets really stale and frustrating.

What advice could you give to new bands starting out?

J: The gigging thing really. We got a booking agent before anything else and he just put us in so many shows and we just gigged for years.

N: We were just driving ourselves and doing everything ourselves. We weren’t paying anyone. It was just us, like all of the merch we did ourselves. You just have to be so switched on because if you can try and self-fund and make fans at the same time it’s going to get you noticed. I mean it was a long hard road for us but eventually we got a record deal.

J: Yeah, you have to be prepared to get fired from your job and be poor.

Any finally if you could pick up a new instrument and start playing it tomorrow what would it be and why?

J: Interesting…

It can be anything!

J: I tried to play the cello once.

I play the cello!

J: Really?! You know what, this was a few years ago and I was like I really want to play the cello and my dad knew someone who had one that I could borrow. So he brought it round and I just stood there with it, not knowing anything, and I tried and it was so bad. And I’ve kind of self-taught on most other things so I thought I would be able to pick it up but no, it was awful. But I wouldn’t necessarily want to play that now.

N: Could you imagine if I could play the Saxophone? If I had like a sax solo – that would be f***ing sick!

J: Imagine if you just played it on one song.

N: If there was one bit in the set where there was a bit of sax. Like say we put out a record and there’s sax on it, and I’ve saved it up and no-one knows about it –

J: Not even us.

N: Not even you and then we do the album tour and it gets to the song and suddenly I’m like it’s time and whip it out. Maybe I’m just going to start learning it.

J: You should, because you never know.


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Laura Copestake
Laura Copestake is a student at the University of Liverpool.

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