What we’re really looking forward to in 2021 are new records from some of the best bands around right now. Here, Laura Stewart talks to Chris from the unique post-punk/stand-up duo, Frauds; a live phenomenon that any UK live-circuit regular will know. Frauds have built a reputation for their comedic and brotherly stage-personas, often pausing between (or mid) tracks to banter with the crowd and each other. Frauds new album, Long Spoons, is one you need to listen out for when it is released later this year.
Being an independent musician was hard even before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. With venues being shut down, tours cancelled, and releases postponed, the ongoing pandemic has shaken up the music industry as a whole, and independent artists are among those whose livelihoods are most threatened by the global crisis. Despite all this, 2020 has been a prosperous year for new music and artists have been finding increasingly inventive ways of getting themselves seen and heard. For once, I think we can all be grateful for social media for keeping us entertained through the dark times. There is hope for the new year, though it may take some time to return to normal, we do have new music to look forward to.
Laura: Chris, thank you so much for talking with me, it’s an absolute pleasure. So, 2020 is almost over, thankfully. What have you missed most this past year, and what are you looking forward to?
Chris: Well, live music and connection with other human beings have been the biggest hole in our lives! Despite this, we have used this time to write and also practice individually. Without the usual stresses of life and balancing work with gigs, it’s meant we can focus on our instruments, our singing and our writing. So in many ways, despite the lack of live music, it has been quite rewarding for both of us individually and collectively.
Laura: You have a new album on the way, can you tell us when it will likely be released? What can we expect from your new sound?
Chris: The new album is called Long Spoons which will be released via Alcopop! sometime in spring 2021. It’s a step forward from where we were a few years ago with much grander ideas mixed with some gentler moments.
Laura: I really can’t wait to hear it. What is your songwriting process?
Chris: We have many ways of writing songs and respect each way of doing it. This can come in the form of a simple jam at rehearsal, a fully formed song written by one of us individually or being inspired by a “feel” of a song we like. The biggest difference between the new album and our previous work is how much time we put into experimenting with different tempos and rhythms to find the perfect bounce, whether that be a slow jam or something a bit more up-tempo. When it comes down to lyrical content, we both sit down together to refine what the song is about and break it down to its simplest emotion. This is something we never used to do. We would just trust each other that we both knew what one of us was singing about, but now we both unite behind each other and then we can help each other tinker with one-liners or hooks.
Laura: Who are you inspired by musically?
Chris: Initially this project was a literal f*ck about and for me, it was my first go at singing and as I was just discovering bands like Mclusky and Jesus Lizard. I connected with this immediately and wanted to try recreating that vibe. But years have passed, and both mine and Mikes tastes have moved significantly into other directions, while still adoring those bands mentioned. So now we are kind of in this position where we can really appreciate a great song wherever that comes from. We are both musically on a quest to write a genre-bending pop song that will be a legit mainstream success.
Laura: If anyone could achieve that it would be you two. Where would be your ideal gig and who would you be on the bill with?
Chris: It’s a beautiful hot day in London and we are headed to Hyde Park for this killer line up: Kendrick Lemar, Pixies, Altin Gun, Frauds, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Tinariwen & Warpaint.
Laura: What a vision! It all seems so long ago now. What a line-up too; that could happen in a COVID-free reality, so hopefully not too far away. Now for the most important question: If we were to take a look in your fridge right now, what would we find?
Chris: Well after Christmas A LOT of vegetables and healthy things. In the run-up to Christmas, it was difficult to move between the potatoes, sprouts and beers. Always cheese though, I’m a massive cheese guy and in a way to balance out the dairy, there will be a couple of cartons of oat milk and fresh coffee.
Laura: It’s impossible not to like cheese, probably a crime too. In addition to the album release, what are your plans for 2021 when we are all allowed out to play again?
Chris: We cannot wait to play live again and have had quite a few gigs understandably cancelled over the past few months, with one being rescheduled as we speak. We are trying to put together a tour, but we’ll do everything tentatively and as cautiously as possible. We will also be making 3-4 more music videos and fingers crossed we’ll be at Futurama festival in Liverpool. We are also pretty close to finishing album 3, so we are going to try and record that in the summer. We love doing this, and we love making music, and that will never stop.
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