In Conversation with… Fickle Friends

Matt Hitchinson sat down with Natti and Jack from Fickle Friends before their sold out show at Gorilla, Manchester a few weeks ago to chat about their eventful 2017...

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Image courtesy of Chuff Media

Your UK tour is winding to a close now, how has it been so far?
Natti (vocals): It’s been good!
Jack (keys): We’ve had a sick time

Tonight’s sold out as well, what do you think of that?
N: It’s always good when you know it’s going to be a full crowd, I think it was only last week that it happened as well. I was looking in the comments on the event page and people were really shocked that it had sold out, like they weren’t expecting it and I was like ‘Well neither was I but thanks for the vote of confidence, mate’ [laughs]
J: So much faith in Fickle Friends!

 

You’ve released a lot of singles and a couple of EPs, but when is there going to be a Fickle Friends album?
N: The beginning of next year. We’re not allowed to say a specific date because it might change but it will definitely be the start of next year. [The release date was revealed in the gig to be March 2018]

Have you got a favourite out of all of your releases so far?
N: I just love ‘Glue’!
J: Yeah, it’s a personal favourite of mine. I really like Brooklyn too!

 

 

Speaking of ‘Glue’: it got a massive amount of love in the media, was that the first time you’ve had such a reaction to one of your tracks?
N: It’s been the biggest reaction, for sure, we got on the playlist at Radio 1 for a few weeks which was really, really cool.
J: It was the B list as well so it’s nice to get that recognition.

You had a lot of hype around ‘Agluestick’ (the acoustic version of ‘Glue’), is that something we might see more of in live shows? Especially after the piano session on Radio 1.
N: ‘Agluestick’ always makes me laugh!
J: That is the name of the track!
N: We won’t be doing an acoustic song in a proper set, though.
J: There are some more mellow songs on the album that we’ll play which will be different because it’s slower, but for now it will just be all the singles to keep the energy up.

 

 

Like you just said about the energy, is it a conscious decision by the band to make all your songs so happy and upbeat?
N: We just love writing songs for people to dance to, like that’s the main aim of what we do. We get a bit bored of slowies as well, I like a good ballad but it’s not something I could ever sing or enjoy playing live. It would be a bit dull.

After doing so many festivals this summer, have you thought about your dream festival line up?
N: That’s a hard one!
J: Friendly Fires – they’re a great festival band!
N: Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Prince – sorry for all the dead ones – Phoenix. I’d love to see Adele too!
J: Everyone loves Adele. I’d put Daft Punk on as well.

 

You played at Brighton Pride as well as the Amnesty International initiative #GiveAHome, do you feel like theres an obligation to promote these positive things in your position or do you just see it as an opportunity to spread good vibes?
N: I think if you have the opportunity to help send a message out like we have then I think you always should. We’re from Brighton so that celebration of pride is close to our hearts, so we were proud to be asked to perform there. Amnesty International’s message with Give A Home was just a really important one to get across to people, again they asked us and it’s just something we can’t refuse. I actually spoke to our manager and said that I wanted to do anything we could that was remotely altruistic.

 

 

There’s a lot of female-fronted bands about at the moment: yourselves, The Big Moon, Clean Cut Kid, FOURS. What do you think it is that is making that happen now?
N: I just think that since HAIM have started, the sort of novelty of ‘OMG the drummer is a girl!’ has worn off, and gender is less of a big thing now. I just think girls are becoming a lot more ballsy, like they can just be like ‘F*ck this, I’m going to be in a band now’ and then doing it. I think before we worried too much about the balance and now people are doing what they want and not worrying about being outnumbered.

 

You tweeted to get ideas for support bands before this tour, did you listen to any of the music by suggested artists?
N: Yeah, we did actually! We tried to listen to loads of the bands and acts that people suggested, weirdly a lot of people that were suggested came up to us twice; we did this thing with BBC Introducing where they suggested three acts to support us for each area then we’d listen and choose who we wanted. I just really liked listening to what people suggested because it’s what people are listening to and want to be watching, so a lot of the time stuff like that is just for interaction as well.

 

 

How did BBC Introducing help get you to where you are?
N: Well we just started there, uploaded our music to them and then we just sort of grew and they’ve been there ever since: we got played on Radio 1, played at Big Weekend and done a few sessions on the BBC Introducing Stage at festivals – like at Reading this year. I just think BBC Introducing is rad!
J: They approached us and our management for this tour and suggested this thing with the regional support acts through Introducing.
N: Yeah, it’s really good, it just meant that we got to meet loads of new acts and listen to loads of good music!

 

Your tour-bus broke down on the M6 yesterday, is everything OK for tonight after that?
J: It was a long day! It took us 9 hours to get here from Bournemouth.
N: What p*ssed me off the most was that we got dragged to a layby to wait for an hour then to a service station for another two, then after that we didn’t even get another van. We had to load as much of all our gear as we could into an Enterprise van. We had to leave a load of things that we’d bought or gotten made especially for the tour and it was so bad, but we got here in the end and went to see Declan McKenna and everything’s great.
J: Our drummer had his bike on tour so that was the first thing to go, because we all were wondering ‘Why did he even bring that?!’ [laughs]
N: We got a ‘Replace the Face’ of the band made and it was hilarious and we were having that up around the merch stand but we had to leave that behind, that’s probably the saddest one.

 

Finally, what is getting played on the Fickle Friends tour bus at the moment?
J: We’ve got loads of mixtapes!
N: We only have a CD player in the tour bus so we just tweeted ‘If anyone wants to make us a mixtape for our tour that would be sick’. Then one guy called Martin from Cambridge sent us back a massive mixtape and it’s got like Great Good Fine OK on it and loads of really pop stuff.
J: We had a lot of Lower Than Atlantis on today, that’s a band favourite.