Q&A // Fatherson

by Kyle McCormick
Kyle McCormick
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on 27 May 2016 in Features

Over the years, we've had a lot to say about Fatherson on Shout4Music, with myself (Kyle McCormick) having written quite a few pieces on the Glaswegian outfit. Therefore, let's start with a short history lesson ahead of this Q&A:

Firstly, there was this interview from 2013, conducted ahead of the show which this live review relates to. Then in 2014, the year of their debut album I Am An Island, this extended album review was accompanied by yet another live review from Glasgow, and this insightful Q&A piece. Fast-forwarding to 2016, this particular Q&A comes at the time of album two, Open Book, for which there is of course a (slightly shorter) record review.

Returning to the present day, with another Fatherson article, we hope that our latest round of questions of the band illuminate the state of affairs of the trio, and shine some light on the inspirations behind that forthcoming record. Read on for those questions and answers...

To begin, sell Fatherson to those who may not be familiar with the band?

We're three best friends who started a band when we were at school and have been lucky enough to still be doing this now. We play honest music that people can jump about and dance to and then sit and have a good cry to. The best way to get familiar with us is jump on Spotify / YouTube and have a listen.

Similarly, sell Fatherson some more to those who are already familiar with the band?

We're just about to release an album that we think is better and more exciting than our first. If you're already a fan or have listened to us before then on the 3rd of June pick up a copy and we hope you'll enjoy what you hear!

How does the new record, Open Book, compare to the previous one, I Am An Island?

It is the next natural step. Whilst we've not consciously changed our sound it has moved out in both directions. The quite sentimental songs are quieter and the bigger rock songs sound bigger. With this album the entire process was much quicker than with the first. The old "you have your whole life to write your first album" thing. Bands usually have that "difficult second album" syndrome going on but we felt like it was much easier to write a cohesive album and came out the end of the process ready to go straight into a third album. It was a really enjoyable process.

Having created the latter after growing to a quartet, how was the writing of the former affected by returning to the original trio line-up?

Some of the songs on the first album were written when we were originally a trio so there isn't too much of a drastic change there. I guess it was most to do with arranging the songs and working out the instrumentation. If there are four people in a band then usually there has to be four things going on and if that person is a guitarist or plays keys then you will usually put in a guitar or keys part. There was a freedom with this record to take a step back once we had got the bare bones of the track down and decide what else it needed, and sometimes that was very little or perhaps a lot, but there was freedom to do that.

How has that change of personnel affected the band's sound / dynamic more generally, and why did it occur?

As I mentioned before, the main change was how we put the songs together to become the final tracks you'll hear on Open Book. It was a natural process, we just got to a point after the first record where it was going to work better for everyone involved moving ahead as a three piece.

Why should people head out to see the band on the upcoming album tour, and how do your The Road to T in the Park dates fit into that tour?

The Road to T in the Park tour is a great opportunity to visit some places in Scotland that we've either never visited before or haven't in a while. We're going to be trying out some of the new songs from the album out ahead of the album release shows in London and Glasgow. Now that we have two albums to pick songs from its really exciting to vary up the set list and have a lot more choice with what to play.

The tracks which have been released ahead of the record all display a slightly different side of the band, but which would you say best represents Open Book as a whole and why?

I would say 'Just Past The Point of Breaking' represents it best. It's one of the tracks I am most proud of and I think it showcases both the louder and quieter aspects of this new album. The previous singles 'Always' and 'Lost Little Boys' follow on reasonably similarily from 'Mine For Me' and 'I Like Not Knowing' from the first album. However that song shows a slightly different side. This album has a lot of different sounds and vibes throughout it and I hope that people will enjoy that about it.

As your career progresses, what have been your most memorable moments (high and low) thus far?

We've had some great experiences so far, going to America, supporting Biffy Clyro, our last experience at T in the Park and just generally touring and seeing how people have responded to our music has all been great. I'm really excited to see what happens after this album comes out and find out what is around the corner.

What is the significance of the title "Open Book", and what are the themes of the record more generally?

The significance is that I think personally we have the tendency to just try and deal with all of our problems on our own with varying levels of success. On this album lyrically it's the opposite, everything that the songs are about can be read more clearly and there was just a sense of being open and honest I felt. Then when the song ‘Open Book' came around we felt it was the perfect title to represent the album.

Finally, what is your favourite TV show to (binge-)watch, and why?

Lately it's been Family Guy, it's just a classic. I've always been more of a cartoon guy than real dramas and stuff. Other than cartoons I watched the Aziz Ansari show called Master of None and thought it was excellent.

Now that you've had your Fatherson exposure for the year, you can check out the band's new sound via the 'Just Past the Point of Breaking' official video below, and if this music is very much your thing then the record is available on iTunes (release on June 3rd). Finally, you can check out those aforementioned tour dates at the foot of the band's official webpage, with the Glasgow album release show having recently sold out!

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