7th October | Thekla
Words: Elle England & Oliver Evans
Brighton five-piece Fickle Friends first burst into my consciousness three years ago when they supported Birmingham alt-poppers JAWS at the Exchange. Their short set blew everyone away – full of melodic choruses, summery synths and catchy hooks. It struck a chord with the dream pop-loving Jaws crowd no doubt.
From their humble beginnings, Fickle Friends have been going from strength to strength. Stopping in at Thekla on their extensive UK tour, the band’s return to the city will no doubt go down a storm. The band are back with something to shout about – sassy EP Glue was released last month, adding another set of top-notch songs to their repertoire.
Ahead of their sold-out show on Saturday our writer Oliver Evans caught up with lead singer Natassja about the band’s progress and spending time in LA working on their debut album.
What would you say feels different now as opposed to two years ago when you released your debut single ‘Swim’?
The main thing that feels different is back then there was a lot of buzz and we were like a deer caught in the headlights. But now we are more in control, we kind of know what we’re doing now, and we have the luxury of having a major label supporting us through it. I’m a lot busier than I was two years ago.
How did you come to record the debut album in LA?
We are still recording it, but we did a lot of it in LA because we were working with Mike Crossey, who did two albums with The 1975 and various other incredible things. But we were signed by the same person who signed The 1975 to Polydor, and they had a good relationship so it made sense. I went to university with Mike’s assistant so thought “this would be fun!”.
What’s it been like working with Mike on the album?
He’s proper old school, he’s very careful with everything. Before tracking vocals we did like a play off between microphones and pre amps, and he’s really kind of geeky. He pushes you really hard, I know from experience a lot of producers say three takes and we’re done. But Mike is all about getting the raw sound as good as it can be.
What inspired the latest single ‘Hello Hello’?
We literally wrote it in 28 minutes, we bashed this out really quickly. The actual song is about sticking with someone even though they’ve lost a sense of who they are.
What’s your favourite track on the record?
A song called ‘Wake Me Up’. A lot of our songs are super happy and poppy. This is the first song that is gut-wrenching and makes you feel something.
What would you say the best thing was about recording in LA?
The weather for one, it just makes you happier? You wake up in the morning and it’s 20 degrees, you feel like going for a run and your mindset is a lot healthier. The nightlife is crazy, but the difference is the state of mind you are in. Like I’m sat next to my window now in London and it’s pissing with rain outside.
When can we expect the album?
I have a date, but I won’t say it as I know how these things go so it should be out in the first quarter of next year.
You have a secret gig coming up in someone’s room in Peckham, have you done anything like this before?
It’s Sofa Sounds, I love it. I go to them as often as I can. Basically they are doing 1000 gigs today around the world in collaboration with Amnesty International for this project called Help A Home. There’s loads of big and small artist, and gigs going on everywhere this evening. There’s loads in London, it’s terrifying though. Sometimes it can be in an old warehouse, the one we did last time was in someone’s old loft flat in Hackney. Everyone was sat on the floor drinking red wine from their bottles, you could have heard a pin drop.
Are you humbled to have your very own Twitter page devoted to ‘Fickle Friends GIFS’?
The GIFs page is my favourite thing, I absolutely love that girl, whoever she is, she’s brilliant! I really want to meet her, I think she’s from New York but I’m not sure.
I loved your recent cover of Calvin Harris ‘Feels’, what songs have been on repeat for you recently?
The new Tove Lo song ‘Disco Tits’. I absolutely love it. And also that Sofie Tukker tune with The Knock which is all over the iPhone X advert. I went for a run yesterday and I played it about 5 times.
Your top festivals you’ve ever played?
Best Kept Secret in Holland, Reading Festival, Boardmasters… when judging the best, it’s mainly about the fans.
Do you create your artwork? I loved the ad campaign for Glue!
So we’ve got this glue stick which looked cool, I thought why not paste these around London? So someone else did it which was great. All the album and single artwork is done by a guy called Matt Makeland, I can’t claim those ones they are too good.
Watch the video for latest single ‘Glue’ below.