After dropping their debut track “Swim” two years ago, Brighton-based quintet Fickle Friends have quickly become one of the bands we are forever desperate to hear more from.
Now signed to Polydor and regulars on the festival scene, the band have been working on their debut album with Mike Crossey (The 1975, Wolf Alice) in California, so there should be a whole lot of new listening for us (hopefully) very soon.
Ahead of their gig at the Mash House on 19 November, we chatted to Fickle Friends about their musical influences, working with Mike Crossey and asked them their “most bizarre question” to date ..
For someone who hasn’t heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?
Indie pop sexy vibes.
We love the name Fickle Friends – though ‘fickle’ isn’t a word I would like to use to describe friendship – how did the name come about?
I stole it from a friend. We wanted to start a DJ duo and it seemed like an appropriate name considering the nature of our friendship.
You mentioned previously that you all met in university – was it difficult finding each other and developing the band, or did it all just happen naturally?
It all happened pretty naturally. Most of us met because we were in the same class or went to the same open mic night.
You recently started working with Polydor – how has that been for you? How much of a change has this had on your musical careers so far?
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since signing in January. They keep us very very busy, which is amazing but it also adds pressure of having to please a whole bunch of other people besides yourself and your fans. It’s definitely something we’re still having to get used to!
“Cry Baby” has been receiving rave reviews and is unbelievably infectious! Did you enjoy recording it?
You know what it was so long ago that I can’t quite remember. We’ve been recording our record all summer and it’s been loads of back and forth.
“Cry Baby” came together very quickly as we’d done a lot of work on it ourselves. We’re very excited about the next single, it was the fifth song we got to record with Mike Crossey.
The video for ‘Cry Baby’ looks so fun (in a very painful kind of way) – was it just as fun to film? Hopefully there were no painful accidents?
Yes it was very fun. We worked with Adam Willis, an amazing director over in LA, on an idea we had and we wanted everything to look purposefully staged which is how the idea for all the vignettes came about.
It has that 80’s horror film feel about it that is also seen in the John Waters movies. No accidents occurred on set (I don’t think) but there was a lot of crying involved which was very very weird!
You mentioned that the influences of the song came from the Waters film – can we expect any more 80/90’s movie inspired tracks in the mix?
Ha, movies definitely inspire me lyrically and certainly the visuals. Our next video is very 90’s west coast and american teen movie.
Cry Baby is the only song that is directly influenced by one film though. Our artwork is all in a similar vein, I love the look of 80’s movie stills – anything that looks remotely cinematic.
You have been described as having an 80’s synth pop sound – where would you say your musical influences come from?
Oh all over the place. When we first started joining bands we were listening to Two Door Cinema Club, Pheonix, Friendly Fires, and I think you can hear that in our music. We also LOVE Michael Jackson and dance music like Justice and yeah everything. The flavour of the month is definitely a bit of a guilty pleasure – DNCE.
You’ve been working with Mike Crossey on your debut album. He’s worked with some amazing bands – like Arctic Monkey and The 1975 – how has it been working with him? How much influence did he have on your album?
Working with Mike is great. He’s done so much great stuff and his whole schtick is applying new ideas to the specific music he’s working on. We land somewhere in the middle of indie and pop so it’s been a bit of a new venture I think.
I guess The 1975 would come close production wise but our record is definitely more in the realms of pop. Mike has had a lot of influence, mainly just finessing our demos and making our sound more consistent and bold. It’s exciting seeing everything come together.
You are coming to Edinburgh on the 19th November to play at Mash House – have you ever played in Edinburgh before? If so, how was it and do you have any stand out memories?
We played back in February during our tour at Electric Circus I think. It was 100% a stand out show, we had an insane amount of fun and the crowd were so responsive and a lot of them also turned up to the Glasgow date the night after. We can’t wait to come back!
Catch Fickle Friends at Edinburgh Mash House on 19 November.
FICKLE FRIENDS QUICK FIRE ROUND
If you could go back in time to meet anybody, who would it be?
Jesus. I’m not religious but I’d have a bunch of questions for him!
Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter?
Harry Potter, obviously.
Crocs or sandals with socks?
Sandals with socks – because I can totally pull that shit off : /
Would you rather have legs as long as your fingers or fingers as long as your legs?
Well that’s the most bizarre question I’ve ever had to answer. Fingers as long as your legs – you could run super fast.
What would be your zombie invasion hiding place?
Inside a washing machine in the laundrette up the road. Or the pub opposite, I’d like to be drunk if the apocalypse is upon us.