In Conversation With..Fatherson

Sometimes, being a writer for a blog can be tough. Writing up interviews, writing reviews you don’t particularly want to, all in spare time. But at times you get to meet people you admire so much, and on the 10th March one of them moments happened. For the last couple of years, few bands have stood out more for me than Fatherson and they gave up time to speak to me prior to their incredible show in York. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity, they were so nice to speak to and recommend everyone go see them at the next available opportunity

So, you’re here off the back of a European tour – how was that?

Ross: It was amazing, it was our first proper time doing a good length run in a few countries.
Greg: We were taken to Sweden to play there which was our first Scandinavian show and getting to go so far away from home and get seen in a new country was really beautiful and it was a real honour to go there
Ross: It was nice to revisit places we’ve never done our own show. We’ve done a few German shows before but we’d never done a dutch show, we’ve never done our own show in Amsterdam or our own show in Vienna so it was nice to go and see that people are hearing the stuff and all the support tours have been working.

Do the crowds differ at all in Europe to the UK?

Greg: Yeah I think every country has their own nuance and vibe, even Scotland and England it’s different so the same goes with Germany and Holland and everywhere really.
Ross: It’s a strange one really because there’s a sort of “comfortability” in people not knowing everything you’re saying. There’s a disconnect almost, a crutch, it’s fine everyone’s in the same boat – you don’t know their language as well as you should, they know your language, but maybe not everything your saying..
Greg: You connect more through the music than actually talking so that’s really really cool
Ross: Then when you come back to the UK you’ve got to learn your P’s and Q’s again and make sure you’re not saying anything stupid so I think that’s been a nice thing to learn.

And now you’re back in the UK, you’ve got a nice run of dates, is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to?

Greg: Yeah we played Leamington Spa last night, that was really really cool actually. Tonight’s gonna be good, we’re going to St Albans for the first time so that’ll be cool too.
Ross: It’ll be nice to go to places where we haven’t been for so long. This is our first headline show in York which sold out a few weeks ago. Tomorrow is Middlesborough,The Westgarth was our first, apart from London, time we’d come down South and we had an audience who wanted to listen to us rather than just be in the venue. I like that part of the world too, it’s very similar to where we grew up.

You’re ending the run on tour with Mallory Knox, you must be excited for that?

Greg: Yeah that’s gonna be a big thing, it’s quite an interesting shift in dynamic because we;ve gone from Europe then back to the UK for more headline dates but still your own shows then to finish up on a big support tour in big venues is keeping it really fresh for us which is really really exciting
Ross: It’s kinda moving in two week blocks, the whole thing is six weeks long so it lets us bash about with different songs every night. If you’ve only got half an hour it’s great you can just play what you fancy that day.

What can people expect from the tour and upcoming shows this year?

Greg: Yeah it’s the first time really we’ve toured Open Book properly, so we’re playing a good amount from that but at the same time we’re playing a lot of new places for the first time so it’s gonna be a good mix of everything.

It feels so long since Open Book was released, how was the last year been for you guys?

Greg: Yeah our 2016 really kind of took us places we didn’t think we’d get to with really big headline shows, Reading and Leeds, the album was released, there were just so many rely cool things it was like a whirlwind for us.
Ross: Because of when the album came out, it led into festivals and a support tour around Europe so this is the first time we’ve really got it out on it’s own two feet, loads of shows are selling out people know the songs now. So it’s been delayed touring of the album.
Greg: Yeah that ust kind of happened, we had opportunities that you’ve just got to go with them. We knew we definitely had to come out now and play it to the people who really want to see a full show.

Now there aren’t as many bands, in my opinion, that blend soft and heavy so well. How do you go into writing your songs?

Ross: We’ve always had songs like that, it was never really a conscious effort. Maybe the amount of each was a conscious effort, we maybe had 10 hard and 12 slow then five and five make it on the record. That goes with the show as well, it tailors to a more broad fan base, its got more width so you can do a rock show or a slower one and you can chop and change. It also gives diversity in the set, because you;re knackered if you do rock songs all the time.
Greg: I don’t know how rock bands do it, I don’t have the legs for that kind of stuff

Away from you, the Scottish music scene is incredible right now, how do you feel about it?

Ross: Actually there’s a massive sway towards disco type stuff at the moment in Scotland. You’ve got White and Vegan Leather and loads, it’s a throwback to Franz Ferdinand Scotland really.
Greg: There’s a lot of really really cool stuff and once you get out of Scotland for a bit you re-realise how different it is
Ross: What I love about Scotland is, similar to the North East, it’s a bit overlooked by the UK music scene. There’ll be plenty of bands like us because generationally we came out of bands like us, the landscape is always changing which is cool. There isn’t really a Scottish sound, probably more three genres that you work out of.

So there isn’t a Scottish sound?

Ross: No you don’t get that in Scotland, you talk about a country, but it’s cool to be from there.

If you could tour with anyone dead or alive who would it be or would it have been?

Ross: I would tour with, have you ever seen that Eagles documentary? I would love to tour with The Eagles, it’d be right fun.
Greg: I’d love to go on a Jeff Buckley tour. I just think that would be a musical dream.
Ross: I’d love to tour with Snow Patrol and I’d love to tour with Radiohead
Greg: The National as well I’d love to do a tour with The National
Ross: Bon Iver
Greg: Yeah, well, I don’t think I’d want to play he can just do an extra half hour.

Do you have anything on a musical bucket list?

Ross: I want to do a show with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Greg: I’d want to share a stage with Coldplay, I think to just be a part of somehting like that would be amazing

So what’s next for 2017?

Greg: Well we never really stop writing, so that’ll continue on. We’ll be here and there over the summer doing bits and bobs..
Ross: Haha that was nice, “here and there, bits and bobs, over this period of time”
Greg: Yeah we’ll be back at the end of the year doing stuff, there’s more we want to do with Open Book. We’ll see though
Ross: This tour has been great so far, we;ve had really good feedback from the shows so I think as long as we keep the good relationships we;ve started making we can multiply that for the rest of the year

To finish off, if you could change one thing about the industry right now what would it be?

Greg: I would like live music to become more ofa  norm for everyone. Everyone should go to gigs, that’s the way music should be. Recording is obviously massively important but if everyone went to just one gig a week I think it would be incredible.
Ross: it would cultivate a scene, it would then cultivate a need for venues of multiple sizes. You can do about 40 gigs in the UK but you can do 150 gigs in Germany. There’s the same amount of people who live in these places you know. would change the way that people do massive shows so like your arenas and all that kind of stuff, when people are paying £80 to be inside then see fuck all then you’re actually ripping them off. I think if you can sell 10,000 tickets but only 7,500 can see the show, then sell that amount. I think it’s bullshit; we went to see Drake in Amsterdam, and we can’t complain the promoter sorted us but we were the top row of the back and there were people on dates and you know they’ve payed 100 euro to not watch it and watch a screen. It really fucking annoys me; I’d rather pay £200 for an amazing gig, on the floor and be part of it than pay £70 and not see. I’d rather feel a part of something once than not be part of something ten times if you know what I mean. If I could see one that I was there for and remember it rather than be like “I can’t afford that tour, I’ll just buy the CD or watch it on Youtube” that’s what annoys me.

Catch the guys at Hit the North Festival on April 29th in Newcastle

Father and Son with Fatherson (Cheesy I know)
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