RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW SWANSEA’S THE FIENDS
Hi Fiends, What made you decide to start the band?
Ethan was looking to start a band during the pandemic and our drummer Quint got in touch with him through Facebook. Quinty recruited Josh and then our guitarist Bal somehow Dm’d Quint out of nowhere looking to start a band. We all went to Josh’s garage, jammed a few ideas and recorded some songs. Later, we had Ceulan join the band to be our second guitarist so that Ethan could focus on vocals.
Introduce us all to the members and your musical history?
So, we’re a 5-piece indie band with a bit of a punky edge to our music, we love our music almost as we love a good piss up and we absolutely love playing to a crowd and showing people our music.
Our singer, Eggy is the genius behind the music. Basically, writes the structure to every song we have so far and he is the man who writes the lyrics. We wouldn’t be the fiends without him. The Fiends is Eggy’s first band he’s been in but he’s always been a lover of rock music such as Radiohead, Pink Floyd and The Strokes. He is an absolute strokes nut and is obsessed with Julian Casablancas but he is the glue that holds the band together and we wouldn’t have him any other way.
Quinty, our drummer, is the most hot-headed member of the band. Anything and everything sets him off and once he’s started he’s a pain in the arse to be around. Never seen someone kick off at a takeaway over a bit of cold cake before he came about. Quinty was in one former band before he started the fiends, but they drifted apart and eventually split due to difference in music tastes so eventually he formed The Fiends and things clicked straight away. Classic indie fan all day Quint is. Oasis, Stone roses, happy Mondays and all that is Quint’s music all day and the bloke never stops listening to them.
Josh, our bassist, is the old man of the band. Even though he’s not actually the oldest you would never guess otherwise. He is just 100% a grumpy old man. Always tired, always grumpy, and never wants to do anything. He does love his music though and is the pickiest person you will ever meet when it comes to our music. Always looking to fix something and will find something wrong with every song. Not always the worst thing but he’s an annoying bastard. This is Josh’s first band as well, but he’s been playing bass for years. His favourite band include The Beatles, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and Fontaine’s DC.
Bal, one of our guitarists was originally an alt-rock guitarist playing in many different bands around Swansea and he is one of the most annoying blokes ever. We love Bal to bits but by God he annoys the shit out of us. He is an absolute menace who listens to no one. If he has an idea he will play it on repeat even if you beg him not to, if he’s thinking something he will say it even if it ruins the mood and if he wants to do something then he will and by God he just annoys us with it haha. Bal loves his rock as well with bands such as Queens of the stone age but also loves his indie as well with bands such as circa waves and Catfish and the Bottlemen which is why his playstyle he brings is so different and unique compared to all of ours which brings a fresh feel to our songs.
Finally, Ceth, our other guitarist, was the last to join the band but he is by far the funniest member of the band. He never takes anything seriously which is a curse and a blessing to be honest. He is fun to be around at good times but the worst to be around when you are in a bad mood because he’s constantly doing stupid shit like in Liverpool when he slept in a cupboard in nothing but socks just because he thought it looked comfy or we all laugh at him when he falls in love with a new bird in every city we go to. Ceth has never played in a band before the Fiends but has had plenty of on-stage experience as he has played shows with his tutor many times. Ceth was originally a Blues rock guitarist taking his style from guitarists such as Hendrix, john Mayer and B.B King but we are slowly pushing him towards indie with bands such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Strokes and Arctic monkeys drawing him in.
What advice would you give other artists starting out?
Just love the music you’re making and keep trying to improve your sound and good things will come.
What’s the Swansea music scene like at the minute? Which bands are standing out? There are a few good bands standing out in Swansea at the moment like Zac and The New Men, and String Theory. For Swansea as a music scene, it’s pretty solid right now, we have great venues like The Bunkhouse and Sin City where we’ve put on a few good shows with bands like the Snuts and so many other. For such a small city people love their live music.
If you could choose, would you prefer to time travel to the past or go forward in time? And why?
There are definitely a few different answers for this depending who you ask.
Quinty would want to go forward in time because he wants to see how he’s doing in terms of the band, money, and things in general.
Josh would want to go back in time because he’s an old man and would do anything to watch the Beatles rooftop concert live.
What support is out there for new artists in Swansea?
Venues like the bunkhouse are great for giving opportunities to new bands which can help them start off with their passion for music. Definitely no where near enough support for new artists but that’s the thing about music, it is all about how bad you want it yourself and that is 100% the case at the start so the only thing that can get you through that starting point is yourself and your drive.
What useless party trick /talent do you have/?
Only thing we can think of for that is our singer Ethan can down a pint in less than 6 seconds.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
The most fun we’ve had on stage so far has to be our first headliner. Just a right laugh together and a huge crowd there just for us loving our tunes. Wouldn’t change a thing about it.
What was the worst experience on stage?
There was one gig we did last year where we drove 8 hours and ended up playing to about 4 people and the roof above the stage ended up leaking. Didn’t find out until we got off stage that the room above us was the girls’ toilets and what was leaking all over us was piss. So that was fun. What makes that gig even better is that one of the boys crashed his car on the way up so that set us back about 4 hours on top of the 8 hours.
If you had to describe your band to an alien how would you describe them?
A lot of noise and then some weird guy on one side with a guitar and a shit haircut who can’t dance.
Which one of the band is the most unpredictable and why?
100% bal. absolute wildcard. He’s either the quietest bloke in the room or an absolute menace to society. There is no in-between.
Which one of the band is the biggest nightmare? (Just a bit of fun)
Honestly, we can’t decide between Ceth and bal.
Bal is a menace because after a pint you just can’t control him. Like one time he was drunk on tour, jumped down a set of stairs into a massive crowd of people landing on them then proceeded to get chased by a bouncer for throwing a glass outside.
Ceth is a menace for a whole different reason. That boy just thinks with his cock. Every time we play away somewhere he ends up falling in love with some random bird that shows him the slightest bit of attention and then gets his heart broken. Some would call that romantic, but we know he’s just a twat.
You have one phone call and you have been locked up for a crime you didn’t commit? Which member would you call first?
Ethan because he can charm his way out of anything.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
Tell us about a time when you had a proper reyt laugh while you were all together?
We’ve had a good few laughs together especially when we travel to play gigs. Liverpool was a great time when we all got ruined the night before our gig in the jacaranda in a god given gift of pub called the dealers arms. We were on karaoke until 2am with the scouse Jesus Stephen. The next morning the boys went to check on Ceulan who was eating a kebab whilst in a cupboard in just his socks.
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Cyanide (original song due to release later this year) is a fan favourite as they all sing it back.
I’ve had a sneak peek of the new single, loving it lads, what can you tell us about it?
Go out on the lash and you’ll understand. See it every night. Some boys with no game trying to use small talk to get a girl in their bed. Never works but worth a shot init.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
I Went out and I understood.
What was the recording process like?
This song took us by surprise cause we had no expectations for it going into the studio. To be honest we didn’t have a finished song for this when we went into the studio. We just kind of winged it when we got to the song, and it ended up being the right tune that we loved.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Don’t leave Bal alone in the studio. He’ll end up doing 300 takes of the same lead line.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Umm I think we are all really happy with how the song turned out in the end, we definitely didn’t expect it to turn out this but if it was up to ceth I think he would make the solo at least 3 times longer.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Got loads coming up for the first half of this year and hoping to do loads more. In our hometown of Swansea, we’ve got a few gigs booked such as our sold-out show with As December Falls in February and our headline in March which will be the beginning of a short tour we are doing, travelling to London, Swindon, Leicester, and Southampton all to support the new single. We also plan to release more music throughout the year including a fan favourite which our hometown crowd will know called “Cyanide” which already has an acoustic version out. We cannot wait to show you our new music and can’t wait to play some more class gigs wherever they will be.
We are on a promotional tour In March to support the new single, we’ve got a sold-out sin city show with as December falls in February. We plan to release more across this year.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?