Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I can’t say it was a conscious decision – it just kind of happened. Everyone I knew was doing something so I just fell into place.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I’m Fat Frances, I’ve been playing in various bands around Calderdale, West Yorkshire (and sometimes further afield) for like, 16 years or something. When lockdown hit I figured I might as well give recording a go. It’s been fun, and difficult. I’ve learnt a lot of things.
Name me your 3 favourite Albums.
Hard to say – it changes regularly depending on what I’m listening to but I’ve been obsessed with Andy Shauf’s Norm which came out in February, and Kevin Morby’s This Is A Photograph, and Angel Olsen’s Big Time. The instrumentation and feel of those albums are a big vibe.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
My cool kid answer is that my stepdad played me Furniture by Fugazi. The actual answer is the cover of Death Letter by The White Stripes.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
Honestly, poorly. I think a lot of that is on me though. I don’t have the time nor inclination to market myself properly, or play gigs all too often. I’m a house cat.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
Well… where to start? How big of a picture are we taking? Is it looking at reducing the inherent male violence in society or closer at a venue level? I’m not sure I have a good answer for either. I would say however, that it’s good for venues to have zero tolerance policies but they actually need to enforced.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
As I said before, I’m really not good at it. Occasionally I might put a wee acoustic version video up. For this album, I put up small teasers which seemed to have gone down well.
Tell us two truths and a lie about you.
I never lie
I never tell the truth
I guard a door that behind, lies certain death.
What are your thoughts on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I don’t use it myself. No one can deny the convenience of it though. Artists need to be paid properly. How is it justifiable to pay anyone fractions of a penny for their work?
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Too many synths. Just too many. All gear; no idea.
What was the worst experience on stage?
The most recent bad experience was a pint getting knocked over (by the bassist) onto the plugs powering all the gear. It knocked the electricity out for the entire place. Took 10 minutes to get it back on whilst we stood around looking like idiots in the dark.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I might not seem like it because I look like a dweeb but I’m a full-time idiot.
What makes you stand out as an artist?
I’ve got a certain way with words I’d say. I’d like to say I’m adept at imparting a feeling.
I hear you have a new album, what can you tell us about it?
I do! It’s called OYSTER. It’s pretty rad if I do say so myself. You might call it the (sad) sound of the summer.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tunes.
Initially, I was planning on doing a generative ambience type thing with found sounds and the like but when I sat down to do that, all these songs just happened instead. I just ran with it. I might go back to the ambience stuff at some point though.
What was the recording process like?
I got a twelve-track recorder. I’d hated recording on a laptop on my last albums as it just didn’t feel intuitive. Also, my laptop is rubbish so it was slow, painful work. I purposefully kept it minimal. What does this song need? When you’re only working with a few tracks, you’re forced to make executive decisions.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
I have a propensity to go for high-gain sounds. On this record, I tried really hard to keep that to a minimum.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
No, that’s not what I like to spend time thinking about. It’s where I was at the time. It’s the best I could do at that point in time. I’m proud of it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?