How’s your day been so far – have you been up to much?
I’ve just been signing off the mix for our next single, I’ve been doing some yoga!
We’re loving your new track Glue, what’s the inspiration behind the track?
I think it’s because we were really obsessed with Rihanna’s track, Needed Me. It’s such a good song, we felt we didn’t really have a song with that run-down melody, so we wrote the music quite quickly. I remember one night, when I was twenty, I was in the Blues Kitchen. I was quite drunk, ordering a drink and I saw a guy across the bar and was talking to him for five minutes. I was like oh my god, you are the one. It’s insane, but that’s kind of what the song’s about – that you could be connected to someone so quickly.
Your songs are so catchy, do you tend to come up with the lyrics or the melody first?
Usually, it’s about getting the melody right and then the lyrics come at the same time. So if I’m like doo doo doo doo doo, I’m like ‘what lyrics fit into that melody?’ which starts inspiring the rest of the lyrics at the same time.
Have you got a release date for your upcoming single/album?
The single is next, which I have just signed off now which will be coming out about five dates into the tour, and the album is not until the beginning of next year.
What artists are you loving right now?
We love Will Joseph Cook’s album, it’s so brilliant. The Nothing But Thieves album is great… umm the new Tove Lo track, Disco Tits is like my favourite thing in the whole world. What else have we been listening to? That Sofi Tucker and the Knocks tune that is all over the Apple iPhone X advert – I don’t know if you’ve heard it, but it’s so rad.
I’m loving Dua Lipa at the moment, are you feeling it?
Yeah, I love Dua Lipa! I feel like she’s been around for so long and I never get bored of it. Like, New Rules video is so good.
I started listening to you guys back in 2014, when your first versions of Swim, For You and Play came out. That was when I was in college, so when I listen to those songs, it throws me way back. How would you describe your journey from then ‘till now?
*Laughs* Well we can write better songs, our ability to produce songs is significantly better. When I listen to those songs, lyrically, they’re just so muddled that it annoys me I was writing things for the sake of writing it. Like, what is Play even about? I couldn’t tell you, really.
It’s a good song!
Yeah it’s catchy little tune, but it doesn’t really have any meaning. I think the fact that our songwriting has come a long way. I would never write anything that doesn’t mean anything or make sense now. People ask ‘why don’t you do Play on tour?’ and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I think about Glue and I know exactly what it’s about and when it happened. It’s like a musical diary that we can keep.
Do you think your music has changed since then, melody-wise?
We always write meaningfully – we write stuff we want to be listening to. We take a lot more time over it now. If you put Play next to Glue and listen to it one after another, the genre isn’t too far away from each other, but the sonics and sounds are just super different. I mean, we have tweaked Swim again because I want the drums to be more pop-genre-sounding. Obviously I’m all about pleasing the fans, but I also want to put something out that I’m proud of.
Moving onto your album artwork covers, where do you get the inspiration for them? They’re so playful and original, do you get full control over those?
So we work really tightly with an artist named Matt Maitland. He’s a collage artist, he did one of the recent Michael Jackson albums, Basement Jaxx and the Gelantis artworks with the bird man. He’s absolutely incredible, I was like I want that guy! So we just sat down with him [and talked about] the album and asked how can we bleed it into the artwork. Our album reflects growing up and not really recognising who you are, metaphorically looking into the mirror and being confused with what you see in your reflection. So then we came up with this faceless girl idea, which now runs through all of our artwork in more of a playful way.
How would you describe your relationship between the Fickle Friends band members?
We’re like a family. We don’t live together – I think that would be a bad idea considering how much time we spend together on tour; we need a break!
So you’re about to go on tour! Unfortunately, you’re not coming to Cardiff, but you’re going to my hometown, Bristol. Where is your favourite place to perform?
You know what, Bristol is up there! Bristol is such a weird one, it was the first one to sell out of the tour, it was the first one to sell out on the last tour. Bristol has its own thing going on, I think it’s just because it’s such a party city. Weirdly, there’s so many young people there, which is our target audience, so the shows are always so sick… I can’t wait for Thekla. It’s a boat, init. London is always great too.
And finally, what is your favourite song to perform?
Swim. Always. I can just switch off, let it happen. We’ve played it maybe a million times. It’s been out for so long so everyone knows it, and I can always hear people singing it crazy-loud. It’s the best feeling.
Fickle Friends are touring from 6th October 2017 until 27th November 2017. http://www.ficklefriends.co.uk/live/
Check out their latest EP “Glue” here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/glue-ep/id1259904160
Thanks to Fickle Friends’ Natassja for speaking to Quench.
By Rachel Jefferies