Hey FONN, thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. Could you tell us something about yourself that nobody knows?
Something that nobody knows? Urm… I have a huge weakness for Star Wars. At one point during the lockdown, I bid on ebay for a lifesize Baby Yoda which my girlfriend described as ‘the ugliest thing [she’d] ever seen’ and won. It now sits surveying my bedroom from pride of place on my bookshelf… but it isn’t allowed on the bed.
What influences have gone into your sound recently?
I’d say the big ones are The Japanese House and Bon Iver. I know they’ve both worked with BJ Burton, and collaborated recently on ‘Dionne’, so there’s definitely a link there. The way they write songs is so different though, and the way they approach production is different too – so I listen to Amber Bain for her songwriting and to Justin Vernon for his experimentalism, I guess. The record I return to most is Bon Iver’s 22, A Million – I genuinely think it’s a masterpiece. Listening to it always encourages me to push myself in the way that I produce, and the lyrics (when decipherable) always hit home. I actually have the lyric book to 29 #Strafford APTS as my desktop screensaver so I can read along when I give it a listen. (I’m a bit of a music nerd).
I grew up listening to Pink Floyd, Dire Straits and Queen – so there’s a bit of rock in my sound too. I was a textbook teenage indie sad boy, really, listening to anything from James Blake to My Chemical Romance – and I return to all of that too. It depends on my mood, really – there’s a lot of Lizzo on my playlists, and I have a soft spot for Chet Baker & Ella Fitzgerald. Recently, though, it’s been indie pop & rock that’s been really influencing me. I’m listening to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers / Better Oblivion Community Centre, as well as some beabadoobee, the 1975, and a bit of Kacy Hill. But yeah – it’s mainly The Japanese House and Bon Iver.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve got a couple of projects on the go. I’m working on an EP of songs that I wrote a couple of years ago, plus there’s this big multi-media collaboration planned for the summer (covid-willing) down in Devon, which will have a release around it. I don’t want to give too much away, but there is definitely more music coming in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled!
What are your plans the year ahead?
I’ve been writing a lot of songs recently. It’s almost like there’s something stopping me from doing anything else…? So I’m really excited to get back to recording and creating content. I’ve got several releases pencilled into the diary, but they’re currently at the planning stage, so nothing is set in stone. I’m also very keen to get back to gigging as soon as it’s safe – which will hopefully be sometime this year. I really miss rehearsing with people and performing in front of crowds and seeing other bands… but it’s okay. I’ll just go read my book. Or watch Netflix. Again.
Any top tips for getting through this difficult time?
As much as it’s possible to do so, I think trying to remain positive is a huge help. Finding a few things to be excited about, no matter how small they are, has been helping me get through – celebrating the small wins and working towards something are really helpful too. For me, trying to be creative always makes me feel better – and the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a song or a new mix can make my day. Also, running. Occasionally. One of my new year’s resolutions was to run every day for a month, which was a terrible idea. But not doing it was okay, and now I go out for a run when I want to. I think that’s my big tip – trust yourself and look after yourself. The world is in a bad enough place that just surviving at the moment is an achievement – so go easy on yourself and stay safe.
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