RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW WIGAN BAND FLECHETTES
Hi Lads welcome to the RGM lounge, hope you are all well, lets have a chat.
I Interviewed Stanleys the other day for a podcast that’s coming out now, they mentioned you guys as one to watch any secret stories about Stanleys you can share.
Johnny – I did my first ever live performance with Jake Dorsman in college. We both played a mediocre instrumental to what felt like the whole college. They left very disappointed.
Will – Just that we’re all best mates (Dorsman from Stanleys will get a kick out of that!)
There seems to be something in the air from bands in Wigan at the minute what is it?
Will – You know what I feel it’s just a genuine sense of community and support. When bands from out of Wigan come into town, a lot of them comment on the feeling around the shows – It’s a great feeling to be in a passionate and friendly scene.
Johnny – Probably illegal substances…
Let’s go back a bit. Introduce us to the members and your musical history.
Will – I’ll give my perspective on where we all came from:
For me and Jack – I started playing guitar around age 10, with Jack starting to learn more around a similar age. From there we joined bands around age 12 until maybe around 15. I came away from playing for a while, whilst Jack continued with bands and had started to gain traction as a solo artist. I then came back into bands when Jack started FLECHETTES, after already having Johnny and Kitts in the lineup. Since then the band has evolved to the point we are at now, and meanwhile I produce music for people, and play bass for Mark Frith and the Faithful, and have also played for the Lathums on tour.
As for Johnny and Kitts – It is a similar tale although I couldn’t tell you in as much detail! They through college had been together as friends, and then had played with a few other people in jams and bands (including I’m sure Stanleys’ very own Jake Dorsman). In 2019, Jack asked Johnny and Kitts to start FLECHETTES, and they were an easy call to be the first choices as incredibly accomplished musicians.
Johnny – For myself, I’ve been a lover of music since being passed down tastes from my parents (Bowie from my father and Simon and Garfunkel from my mother mainly. Then when I was 14 I got more into alternative rock and I heard the Strokes so I picked up my guitar for the first time in 5 years and haven’t looked back since.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums?
Will: Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the deaf
Nirvana – In Utero Oasis – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants Johnny: Sonic Youth – Goo The Strokes – Room on Fire The Smiths – Meat is murder
Jack will be a Blossoms album I bet my life on it, and Kitts’ is most certainly a Beatles album.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Will – I had always liked music and felt connected to songs, but I remember playing guitar hero with my dad, and learning guitar after hearing Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana on there. Johnny – Hard to explain by the Strokes.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Will – I believe well, as we are just enjoying the process and earning our stripes as we go. As said there, it is such a saturated and busy industry, that for me making your mark and being as respected as you can be is a big win.
Johnny – I feel we’re at a crossroads with the industry. Our next steps need to be carefully planned and executed in order for us to really make a dent in the industry.
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?
Will – It’s such a huge problem, obviously not just at gigs but in the wider world – no one should have to feel unsafe at any event they attend and are just going about their lives. I guess just putting as many measures in place as possible.
I know there are drink covers around now to stop people from being spiked, but then again you don’t see them everywhere. Hopefully, people more qualified than myself are doing the right things!
Johnny – Even though it shouldn’t have to come to this, there, fortunately, are anti-spiking measures that should be adopted across all venues. Everyone should be vigilant – be it the performers, crowd members, sound techs, bar staff, or security. Everyone should stop something they see isn’t right, no matter their role for the evening.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Will – Obviously nowadays as mentioned, social media is such a massive part of being seen and heard, but like the industry as a whole, it is incredibly competitive and saturated. Networking on the scenes you’re on is such a big part of it for me, just being known to a lot of musicians, promoters etc, could put you in the right place at the right time down the line I guess!
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
Will: Truth – I will wear shorts all year round – I own too many pairs of shorts Lie – I am good at interviews
Johnny: – I own 28 guitars
– I originate from Leeds – I once stood on Mac Demarcos foot and he made fun of my accent
What’s your thought on Spotify monopoly on the music industry?
Johnny – It’s shameful. Artists deserve a lot more than they get, especially more than their billionaire CEO gets.
Will – I think although there are the issues with Spotify and paying artists etc – someone would have always filled that spot
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Johnny – Paul is dead…
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
Will – I bought a load of new clothes that in the insanity of the pandemic I thought were great – within a couple of weeks I had them shoved away.
Johnny – An awful print camera that I used once then sold on eBay for less than half of what I paid.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Will – For me it was when things only slightly started to open up in covid – FLECHETTES got asked to go to a live taping with an interview and performance and all that good stuff. We arrived at this studio, and after not really going out, nor seeing each other for a few months, we got a bit too carried away with the wine, and absolutely butchered our set – not our finest day
Johnny – One time I was about to begin a solo, a rather pivotal one at that as it had been building up, and the power supply to my pedal board cut for some reason and alas nothing was heard from my guitar
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Will – That’s a hard one! For me – I’m surprisingly okay at football considering my physique….. Jack – The smartest man you’ll ever meet, yet the least intelligent man you’ll ever meet at times (He may not like that, but I’m allowed to say that haha!)
Johnny – From my perspective, I believe that Johnny could write the best riff to any set off chords on the spot out of anyone I have ever known – its not fair frankly. Kitts – There was a video went round a little bit back of someone naming any Beatles song within like 3 seconds or something – So Jack obviously had to try this with Nicky, and low and behold, he passed the test!
Johnny – We hate each other…
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
Will – Again a hard one to answer, as we are in a great scene with great bands. I would think that maybe just the strive to sound different, which has really come about in the past year, with our new single being the start of that.
Johnny – I would say our vocals would be our biggest distinction, as they’re northern and strong. Other than that the fact that we all like different genres of music creates a distinct blend of sound compared to just 4 meme bees who only like the same music.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it. Will – I’ll be going into more details in later questions I guess, but the song itself is fast, raw and doesn’t let up for the 3 minutes you are listening.
Johnny – It’s fast, unapologetic, and exciting. And it’s almost out!
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Will – So, the song is called ‘WE SHALL FIND OUT’, and is a song I wrote and recorded a few years ago on my own, with the help of a local producer Michael Holcroft in Wigan. Not long after I did this, FLECHETTES started, and Jack had been asking can we use the song, from pretty much that time in 2019. Finally, I bit, and I’m very glad I did as we’re really happy with how its come out!
What was the recording process like?
Will – This is the first single that we have self-produced, as I now work in music production at the TMP studio in Wigan where I also teach. Although we have loved working with other producers in the past, putting ourselves in that position really suits us. (Michael Holcroft did our first single ‘ In the Mood’ , the legendary John Kettle produced ‘ Man of the Hour’, and then the absolute wizard that is Gareth Nuttall at the Lounge has done all of our other releases). Being produced by ourselves naturally gives us more freedom and room to experiment, but it also just felt like it was time to move this way, with the idea again of sounding different this time.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Will – I think that over time we have just learned to put our absolute trust in each other as musicians. We have always been a band that shared the writing responsibilities, but maybe at first we challenged things quicker. Now I feel we let things play out, give each other freedom to write our own parts and mark our mark on each other’s songs. The new release ‘WE SHALL FIND OUT’ definitely shows this, as it is far and away better than my original version – due to Jack putting his own vocal mark on it and suiting it greatly to the song, Kitts adding his unique feel in the drum fills which are so prominent in the song, and Johnny instantly throwing on more distinct and better lead guitar parts.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Will – I find that I always want to, especially now it’s self-produced, it’s so easy to overly scrutinise it, but we have drawn the line and it’s out now!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just keep your eye on FLECHETTES I guess, we’re entering a new era for us, and we hope you enjoy what comes from it!