Weds 20th Nov
We spoke to Ben Duffy from electronic outfit Fenech-Soler ahead of their UK tour and their gig at Concorde 2 on the 20th November. We find out how it all began, their favorite festivals, music video inspiration and their future plans.
How did it all begin?
My self and my younger brother Ross who is also in the band, we kind of grew up around music because of our father was a musician. Dan who’s the bass player went to school with Ross and they started a punk band quite a long time ago. When I came back from university I joined the band and we were very much this thing in a bedroom writing music, electronic music. We met Andy through the local studio. The four of us lived within a four mile radius of each other, we used to live in the same village in Northamptonshire so we’re just four guys from the shire!
You started the band in 2006 but your first album wasn’t released until 2010, how come?
I know crazy, we’ve always been pretty DIY as a band, we’ve always been very self dependent and every song we’ve ever made has always been made by us, written and recorded, produced, mixed, everything and so I think there was a long period at the start where we just weren’t good enough to release an album! There was a long period of sitting there bashing our heads against the wall, figuring out who we were. We were just fumbling our way through, trying to work out how to record sounds and music and it was a hobby although we always treated it as a serious thing. We were working, playing gigs and writing music when we could and it only started to come together when Ross and I co-wrote a track for Groove Armada then they took us on tour and we did some other stuff and through that time, releasing a few singles and Radio 1 picking up on us that’s how it all started.
What are you guys up to at the moment?
We’ve got a week now where we’re back home, we’re doing stuff back in our studio, bits and pieces. We’re in between touring which is quite nice, it’s been cool we’ve been catching up with some friends. We finished touring a few weeks ago. We’ve got to make a few music videos, 2 of them which is going to be a bit of a headache between now and our next tour and we have to rehearse so it all kicks off on Saturday morning basically (26th Oct).
Who would you say are the bands major influences?
We’re into lots of stuff, we listen to a lot of stuff but there’s always been two parallels because we’re an electronic band so we naturally listen to alot of electronic music. People like Maribou State who are new producers, me and Ross are really into them and then even going back to the Presets and Soulwax from 2007 who were definitely influences on the first album. Parallel to that we’ve always been into pop music, lots of decent stuff from the 70s/80’s like Whispers and lots of vocal harmony soul groups, really clean cut great pop writing as well as Michael Jackson and stuff like that. I think if you drew a line somewhere between these two worlds you’d find where our heads are at. At the same time we’re always aware of what’s going on, we listen to the radio we don’t close ourselves off to much and there’s lots of bands around at the moment that we like Disclosure and Aluna George.
Obviously you do alot of touring to festivals around the world, which has been your favorite and why and are there any your particularly looking forward to in 2014?
I think Reading and Leeds was something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and that turned out to be one of our best festival performances, especially Reading, it was Friday night and we were closing the dance tent, Sub Focus were on as well and there was a real atmosphere. We were also lucky enough to play a festival in a really remote part of Russia on the eastern side called Khabarovsk, it’s on the border of China. That was just completely mad and an incredible festival and probably the most people we’ve played to, a lot of them didn’t know who the hell we were! It was a weird place, they served vodka between each course and they served us horse which was pretty interesting!
And with your new tour coming up are there any places or venues your particularly looking forward to visiting?
Without feeling like I need to say this I am very much looking forward to playing Concorde 2 because we had such a good show when we did the first album and the venue is awesome! It has a great atmosphere, Ross was at BIMM for a little bit actually so we come down to Brighton quite a bit, it’s like a home away from home.
We’re really loving your new video for ‘Last Forever’ what was the inspiration behind it and do you have any plans for future videos?
The inspiration came from a director called Luke Monahan, he liked the song and he sent us and idea, he’d done the Disclosure videos and a lot of other videos we liked. Right from when we wrote the song it felt like a Summer song, and so the video is like a Summer overload, Jamaica and surfing. Luke went and filmed that, unfortunately we were doing quite a few gigs so we didn’t get to go to Jamaica which would’ve been lovely! We were really pleased with it, the father and son are quite famous surfers in the surfing community but especially in Jamaica the idea was to document their life so we just need to do a gig in Jamaica now!
I notice that you have dome alot of remixes, what would you like to cover next?
With remixes we only ever really take the vocal and other very small things and then we just build up and write a new song around it. I think you kind of have to do the opposite of what the original is. I think London Grammar are great, the vocal is incredibly strong so that would be cool.
Who is your favorite artist at the moment?
Maribou State are up there, I think they are making really forward thinking electronic music. It’s not like the house thing which is really cool but is like every kind a sub-genre within electronic music, it comes and it goes and that how music is, it’s very fluid it changes so I think this time next year that won’t be around, there will be something new.
So in terms of playing live we’re doing the UK tour then as soon as that’s done we’re playing some shows with Simple Minds in Europe, then we’re doing our own European tour and that takes us up to Christmas. In terms of what else we’re doing, the idea is to put a track out called ‘Somebody’ from our album out as a single and to also make a video for a track called ‘In Our Blood’ which will be up next week and to get them out this side of Christmas, then we’d like to put ‘Fading’ out, i’ve given you our single plan there, I haven’t told anybody that, so there’s an exclusive!