RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW EMMA AND THE FRAGMENTS
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
Emma joined a musical theatre project and the band basically evolved from it. Emma started writing songs about eight years ago and decided we wanted to create an indie rock band. There have been changes to the line up over the years, and Emma is the original remaining founding member alongside Jon who joined as the drummer- we’ve evolved into the band we are today!
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
Emma – lead singer
Donn – lead guitar
We’ve all been playing music for most of our lives
Emma has been singing since she was a child and starting started songwriting about 8 years ago. In the last couple of years she’s started playing ukulele and progressed to the guitar too so it’s definitely a journey with lots more to come
Donn got into music when he was 8 years old – mainly inspired by listening to Queen! He started learning guitar at 12 and it very quickly became part of his life playing everything from jazz to metal and he now teaches guitar too.
Jonny started playing piano at 6, clarinet at 11 and then guitar at 14- he’s been in all kinds of groups from acoustic, indie to a metal bands and plays anything he can get his hands on!
Jon’s been playing drums for 10 years and as well as playing with Emma and the Fragments is also a percussionist in Brazilian carnival bands.
What advice would you give other artists starting out?
When it comes to being in a band, it is important to get along, be honest and open with each other. There will be differences in opinion musical taste etc. Our former guitarist used to have a sticker on his guitar that said ‘don’t be a dick’ which is pretty much our mantra! You also never know what’s around the corner – 8 years in and we’ve recently signed with Regent Street Records this year so looking forward to seeing where that takes us next!
Whats the best piece of advice you have received?
Be confident in what you are creating, it is not possible to please everyone as musical taste can be so different. One person’s poison is another person’s nectar!
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
As long as it’s about the band and the music we’re all good
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
No, we don’t but If you don’t believe luck you’re mad. We do salute magpies and if you bump your elbow you’re going to get a surprise. I guess that’s more superstitions than conspiracies!
If you could choose, would you prefer to time travel to the past or go forward in time? And why?
Travel back in time, there are a few things I would have done differently given the choice, and I’d definitely give my younger self some support and encouragement. We’ve seen Back to the Future though so would be worried about messing up the space-time continuum!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
We always have loads of fun when we play live – for us it’s all about the energy we bring when we’re on stage. There’s been a couple of performances that were standout and we really enjoyed – we supported All Saints at an advertising event in London at Koko to 2000 people, the reaction was absolutely incredible!
What was the worst experience on stage?
We’ve had some dodgy equipment at times – the worst probably being when Emma’s microphone kept cutting out at a gig which was a bit of a nightmare
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Emma- I’m also a samba dancer!
Jonny- I was part of a marching band from the ages of 12-14
Jon – once danced as part of a German Schuhplattler group in full lederhosen
Donn – I used to work in Nandos
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
The Earth is full of happiness and sadness and our songs will help you make sense of it!
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
We all know each other pretty well so we’re pretty predictable really – the most unpredictable thing is what mood we’ll be in when we get to evening rehearsal after a tough day. We all work in very different industries from finance to media and teaching so we often use music to help de-stress from the day!!
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
Ooh, that’s a tricky one! Jon (the drummer) is really loud (both on drums and in person) so that can be quite annoying sometimes but he loves the attention. We do get on really well though…. most of the time!
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
Emma: Jon – as well as being a Fragment he’s also my husband so that would have to be her first choice!
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
I think we’ll generally steer clear of UK politics for this question too! Emma keeps getting nearly run over by electric scooters on pavements around London so that’s pretty annoying. This also includes bikes!
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
We try not to take ourselves too seriously and there’s always a rich vein of healthy banter when we rehearse, write and perform! We definitely have a good laugh when we play live, which helps to break the tension and calm the nerves.
I hear you have a new single brewing, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! Our new single has just been released and is called No Hope For Love. We released it on Valentine’s Day as it’s kind of an anti-love song; the song itself it’s a pretty upbeat indie track but it actually explores the death of a relationship using imagery of birds which we also brought to life in the video too! So the song kind of fools you into thinking you’re singing and dancing along to an upbeat track when in fact it’s pretty sad!
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
I use imagery all the time in our songs and really wanted to use birds to represent how love can be a really painful bit also hopeful emotion. We also wanted to create something that was an upbeat indie track that contrasted with the lyrics of the song
What was the recording process like?
Quite intense! We recorded 5 singles across 4 days not too long after we came out of lockdown in 2020 and we hadn’t been able to meet to rehearse so had to do quite a bit of the pre-production remotely. Luckily our producer (JB Pilon at Buffalo Studios) was great and really helped us connect everything together.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
It was less about writing and more about the production – looking back we would have spent more time in the studio finessing the track
Would you change anything now its finished?
Probably added more layers- keys and acoustic guitar
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We were lucky enough to have a really good 2021- we released 4 singles which all went well, signed with Regent Street Records and also put on our own mini festival (Fragfest) in October. So for this year we want to build on this – after No Hope For Love has been released we will pull all the singles together into an EP called Smile ‘til It Hurts. From there it’s planning gigs and hopefully a festival, and writing new music to release later this year
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
It’s been a tough year for independent artists so I hope people will make an effort to get out there and watch local bands and listen to new releases too, we need everyone’s support!
Thanks for doing us today folks, all the best and keep in touch.