The Fratellis – Interview
We spoke with Barry Fratelli from The Fratellis to talk about the 90s Glasgow music scene, sporadic tour dates and their plans for 2014.
What was it like growing up in Glasgow? How was the music scene then compared to now?
Well I don’t actually live in Glasgow now so I’m not too sure about how the scene has changed, but it was great when I was growing up there. It was one of those cities where there was always a “cool” scene, with lots of cliquey pubs and gigs to go to. I used to see acts like AC Acoustic, Placebo (who were based in Glasgow for a while) and The Pastels. Franz Ferdinand came out a couple of years before us too. They were a part of the reknowned club night Optimo at The Sub Club where the venue put on a band before their club nights. They were always great nights.
In 2008, you did a show Teenage cancer trust show at The Royal Albert Hall. You also donated money from the “Look Out Sunshine!” single to this charity. How did you get involved with this particular charity in the first place?
Well we were actually contacted one day by Roger Daltrey from The Who, the main patron of the Teenage Cancer Trust, who asked us if we wanted to get involved in the gig. He’s one of our musical heroes and that’s not the sort of thing you can say no to! We were really happy to be on board and playing a sold out show at the legendary Royal Albert Hall has to be one of our career highlights. We also released that single around the same time and donated the proceeds to Teenage Cancer Trust. It’s a wee bit sad now that singles don’t really exist anymore, in the physical sense anyway. I still always prefer to have CDs to mp3 downloads.
How did you end up playing with The Twang in 2011?
We’d met before and The Fratellis were on hiatus so I was exploring other musical avenues. I hadn’t been playing live as much as I wanted to and then I met with Phil (lead singer of The Twang) one night when I was Djing. We’d had a couple of drinks and he said that his bassist was looking at having some time off to be with his family after having a baby, so I just slotted it. It was really useful to get some live experience before The Fratellis got back together, as our first gigs back together were Academy shows across the UK and I think otherwise I’d have been quite nervous.
Any chance of you repeating your headline slot at The Great Escape back in 2008 in the near future?
We really enjoyed playing Brighton. There’s always a good crowd at the shows and there’s a real mix of people. We’d love to play in the Festival again, it’s just seeing when it fits in with everything else. We played at the Dome last time which was a great venue so it would be good to play there again.
Over the next couple of months you have dates in the US, Canada, Manchester and Japan. Do you have any plans to tour in the UK later this year?
The next couple of months’ gigs are quite haphazard. The US dates are because we had to cancel a gig in December on our US tour because Jon had strained his voice. We then got booked up for a couple of dates in Canada. And the Japan dates were sorted a while ago. It’s all sort of a big loop which kind of makes sense. I’m sure that we will have a UK tour later in the year, probably after festival season. It’s always really busy over the summer with festivals all over Europe. We will be playing at a couple of festivals this summer but I can’t confirm which ones just yet.
Do you get much time to listen to other bands at festivals and is there anybody in particular you would like to see play over the next year?
It depends on the schedule. It’s nice if we get to the festival the day before to have a look around but often if we have a gig at one festival on the Friday, we may have another one in a different country the next day and then another on the Sunday. I’d love to see The XX. And The National. Hopefully somewhere hot and sunny!
And finally, if you were to write the music for a film what sort of film would it be?
Ooh, good question. Well apart from music I’m actually quite a film buff. I would really like to write the music for a film someday. I think it would be something dark, moody and Norwegian.
The Fratellis fantastic return album We Need Medicine is out now.