Music is the only thing that has really resonated with us and makes us feel alive. We feel restless and uneasy without something musical going on. Plus, James is my Brother, so fighting with chords rather than fists is less painful.
Introduce us to the members and your musical history?
Dave Lightfoot – vocals and guitar, James Lightfoot – Bass, Jonny Barnard – guitar, Alastair ‘Flash’ Thorpe – Drums
We’ve all been involved in different musical projects individually and together over the years, but the Fades has been the one true constant love.
We started out as Molotov Cocktail and had our first demo played on BBC Radio 1. From there we have been on an amazing ever evolving rock and roll adventure.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Describe your band…..
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
In this day and age, it’s very hard to be trustful of anything. There’s so much misinformation, fake news, and corruption everywhere you look. Powerful people, politicians, and corporations with their own agendas try to influence others to their advantage. I don’t think we sign up to any conspiracy theories but are always mindful to acknowledge that there are a lot of shady perfidious practices going on in the world and someone somewhere is always, unfortunately, going to be abused along the way.
With the current set of conspiracy theories going around, the people who are pushing them always pride themselves on “doing their own research” but nearly all of that “research” can be pretty easily and quickly debunked. It’s also important to try and look at the nefarious forces that are ultimately behind these theories – a lot of them are supported by right-wing fascist groups. Trump fell into that bullshit with Qanon etc quite hard and then some really dark shit happened…….
What useless party trick do you have?
Flash is the limbo champ of the band……
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
It’s always great fun when we get a load of the crowd on stage with us. We usually have a load of people on stage with us when we do the song ‘Another Song About Motorbikes’.
There have been many big sweaty masses of bodies bouncing around on stage and in the audience at our shows particularly at the Windmill in Brixton or the Fighting Cocks in Kingston.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Jonny was stung by a wasp onstage at a festival once.
We were also so drunk at a really important gig that we blew a big chance to get signed. We had just come off tour with Art Brut and had a couple of days off before this gig in London. I think having the time off was a bad idea. We’d played in Reading and John Moore (who was working with Rough Trade at the time) saw us and loved it, so told the rest of Rough Trade to come down and see us in London. He phoned us before the gig and said “do what you did in Reading”. The thing is, we were halfway through a tour in Reading and our bodies were living 100% on alcohol, adrenalin and anything else. We’d had a few days off, so lost that momentum. Therefore, we had to emulate that state again by drinking as much booze as possible before going onstage. It did not work out as planned…..
Rough Trade had just signed the Libertines and basically said that they couldn’t cope with another wild waster band so didn’t want to sign us…. whoops
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Flash has a tattoo of a stick man. Dave has a garage full of retro arcade machines. Jonny has many monikers, one of which is Monica. James has made a video game.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Ever changing post-punk soul rock.
The Fades create songs full of humour, angst, despair, and energy
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
We have the ability to parody anything musically within 30 seconds
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
The UK Government and the sheer amount of brazen corruption within it. That’s a big one right now, along with the shambles of Brexit. Music venues closing down.
Also, I’m pissed about having to sell all my stuff on Ebay 😉
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
Usually, it’s whichever one is the newest. We’re very impatient and get bored of things pretty quickly, so if there’s something new in the set then that is what we’ll probably enjoy playing the most. I think at the moment, for me it’s Follow Me Around from the new album
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
We’re releasing a new AA single ‘Lost My Job/Time is Right’ on Feb 25th. In the UK right now (and pretty much the rest of the world) there’s a cost-of-living crisis. Created by the debacle of Brexit, the devastation of COVID and the greed/corruption of our despicable Government. Things are tough and lots of people are losing jobs and struggling to pay for food or heating their homes. Lost My Job is a sort of reflection of that with lyrics like ‘I’ve sold all my stuff and everything I’ve got is now on Ebay’ – basically a story about losing your job and having to sell everything you own to survive.
Time is Right on the other hand is a big all out indie rock chant anthem for singing at the football.
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
We decided to use our time during the lockdowns and that different pace of life; lack of gigs, opportunities etc to write and record a new album. We went into Brixton Hill Studios in Southwest London to take advantage of their selection of vintage analogue recording equipment. We wanted to get the band playing live on tape with the refreshing limitations that generates. By having to capture the sound of the band in one or two takes without hundreds of overdubs and edits.
The album is going to be called ‘Night Terrors’ and it’s a collection of songs and thoughts that try to describe that moment you wake up at 4am and can’t get back to sleep because your mind is flooded with thoughts. Memories, regrets, fears, worries. You try to counteract it with positivity, fight bad memories with good ones, but the night terrors overwhelm you and you are faced with them alone. Lying there in the pitch black with a panic attack…… There is also a lot of humour in it. Sometimes those dark places can be surreal and you have to try and find humour in the ridiculousness of it.
What was the recording process like?
It was fantastic, but a little strange due to all the extra COVID precautions that need to be taken now. As mentioned before, we really wanted to get in and record the album without the safety net of digital. Too often with modern recording, you don’t always nail the take properly because you are conscious that you can easily edit it later, or record it a thousand times if necessary. We wanted to do away with that and get in and play like we do in the rehearsal room and capture that. One or two takes, vibing off of each other and getting the feel of the band. It was a lot of fun working with Stephen Gilchrist who made us feel very at ease. We also got to invite a lot of our friends to be guests on the record.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single/album/ep?
It’s hard to juggle your time. We have less time than we did when we were younger and trying to rehearse for gigs and learn and write new songs is always a battle. In a way COVID helped us to focus on the writing side a bit more, as we didn’t have to split our rehearsals into writing and rehearsing. We could just write for a bit
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I genuinely think that this is probably the first record where I wouldn’t change anything. It’s always hard not to think about what you would want to change, but I don’t think it’s healthy to do that anyway. I think it’s better to try and let things go once they are done, otherwise, you can drive yourself mad.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We still haven’t decided when to release the album. A combination of COVID dragging on for the world and all the disruptions that has caused and actually sitting down to decide on a release date! But the plan for the year ahead is to release the album, probably with another couple of singles around it. Then gig, tour and promo it. We’ve got a couple of gigs coming up and we’re hoping to try and start live streaming everything we’re doing too.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
If you don’t buy our record we will cry…. support local venues, record shops, and artists….. don’t vote Tory…. buy music directly from the artists when you can….buy music, not apps…