Kev from London prog-rockers, The Fierce & The Dead, crunched some words with us as we look forward to StrangeForms festival...
*StrangeForms Festival takes place over the Easter Bank Holiday (19th & 20th April) at Wharf Chambers and features sixteen post-rock, post-metal and math rock acts.*
BAD OWL PRESENTS: Your latest album 'Spooky Action' was released at the end of last year - can you tell us a bit about the recording process and in what way would you say it differs from previous releases?
KEV: When Steve, our second guitarist, joined that was the moment we became a band proper and that has had a massive influence on how we write material. It helped us to get back to how we started as musicians, getting in a room and making a lot of noise until we all start laughing. The recording process for 'Spooky Action', hopefully, reflects that. We wanted to present something that was sonically interesting, lots of room microphones, non stock sounds, textures that may or may not be guitars, to make something that had a lot of energy.
BOP: Most of your named musical influences (Husker Du, Talking Heads, Television, Sonic Youth) were formed in the 70s and 80s - how do you think The Fierce And The Dead would have fitted in in these eras and are there any of today's modern contemporaries that you could also cite influence from?
K: I'd like to think that we'd fit in quite well. All of the bands you mentioned have a common factor, that they kept moving forward, constantly experimenting and trying new things. I hope we have an element of that too. No Pussyfooting! People seem to forget that by the end of their time as a band Black Flag's musical ideology was closer to Ornette Coleman than the Sex Pistols. As for contemporaries, that's an interesting question as the answer isn't necessarily what you may think. We tend to lean towards anything that has a sense of joy to it, stuff that just hits the nail on the head and gets you moving. Recently bands like St.Vincent, Tune-Yards, Melt Yourself Down, Fuzz and Golden Void have been referred to in the rehearsal room. Also, we can't help but absorb some of the stuff the bands we play with live are doing, the new Trojan Horse single is excellent. And there's always the Melvins.
BOP: As well as The Fierce And The Dead, you guys are involved in various other bands, solo careers and recording projects. How do you fit it all in?
K: I have no idea. We just do! We're pretty good at keeping the diary updated, we have to otherwise chaos will reign. A lot of what we do overlaps, and I think that's a healthy thing. We've never become claustrophobic as a band and our 'extra curricular' activities have often helped to bring in new ideas, different perspectives.
BOP: The Fierce And The Dead will be playing on the Saturday at StrangeForms - are you planning on sticking around for the day or weekend and, if so, who are you looking forward to seeing?
K: We're hoping to stick around, definitely. It's a great line up and there are a lot of bands we want to see. Cleft are a band we've wanted to play with for a while. The new stuff is really good. We got to play with Polymath a few months ago, so looking forward to seeing them again. Codes In The Clouds, Alpha Male Tea Party - hell, pretty much everyone!
BOP: The Fierce And The Dead are asked to curate their own gig - what four bands, past or present, would you have on the bill?
K: That's a really hard question. Only four! Ok, we'll go for Husker DŁ. The energy that band had was just incredible. I'm not sure a recording has ever really done them justice. Bobby Conn as he is just an amazing performer. He should be a massive star, really pushes what can be done with popular music. Fugazi as I never got to see them. And maybe King Crimson circa Red. The opening of that album can still make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. That's quite a full on line up!
BOP: And finally, other than StrangeForms, what The Fierce And The Dead's plans for the rest of 2014?
K: Lots of shows, taking 'Spooky Action' to the people. We also have several projects in the planning stages. Some possible collaborations, live videos and a few more ideas up our sleeve. And we've started writing for album number three. Won't be for a while yet, but it's started!
The Fierce & The Dead are due to play StrangeForms at 9pm on Saturday 19th April.
Weekend tickets cost £15 from Jumbo, Crash, Wharf Chambers & BadOwl.BigCartel.com
Day tickets cost £9 from WeGotTickets.com