Fault speaks to Sharleen Spiteri of legendary Glaswegian band Texas

FAULT: Hey Sharleen, how are you?

SS: I’m very good, thank you.

 

FAULT: How is the campaign going for the new album?

SS: It’s going very well, we’ve been doing loads of promo; been here, there and everywhere. Doing some European and UK TV so it’s good, but it’s quite funny because when you release internationally you suddenly notice people want to cut you into little pieces and poke you.

 

FAULT: Your ninth studio album ‘Jump On Board’ came out a few months ago, have you had chance to showcase any of the songs to your fans yet?

SS: Yeah just as the album was released we played some pub gigs around the UK that were recorded for radio. Listeners could win tickets and that was really great and we literally played in manky, old pubs which were fantastic. Really sticky carpets and old beer aroma, you couldn’t step back on stage and it was all about the music and the audience. It was good to try out the new songs especially up against the old ones and the big hits, you can suddenly think “oh yeah, this is as good as we thought it was”.

 

FAULT: So from this strong combination of hits and new songs from’ Jump On Board’, what can fans expect from the setlist on the Winter tour?

SS: It will be the ‘Jump on Board Live Tour’ but it will be journey because when you’ve got a band that has had such a long career, there is a lot there to chose from. Some nights we change different songs in different places, but definitely mixing the big hits in with the new stuff.

 

FAULT: Is there a venue you’re looking forward to playing most? You’re playing your hometown for a few shows that must be special?

SS: Yeah we’ll be playing in Kelvingrove Park, which is funny because it’s the park that I grew up in. I used to go up on the bandstand and my Mum used to drag me off. It’s going to be strange being up there without getting shouted at to get down.

 

FAULT: You’ve had a long career; it must be special to experience that retrospective on stage?

SS: Yeah the nice thing is that doing interviews it reminds you that you’re not looking at that part of it, as you’re too busy moving forward and onto the next thing. It is nice to think that it has been long and it has been great, we feel really lucky to still be doing this at the level we are doing it.

 

FAULT: When did you begin writing the new material?

SS: In bits and pieces really, when we put out the last album we hadn’t produced an album in a long time, so you never know what to expect when you release a new record. The love that was shown to the band after we put out ‘The Conversation’ was great and it makes you think, “wow, we’re still relevant”. You’re doing it because you love it, and the truth is you don’t know how to do anything else. We love performing and making records, we’ve had the height of our careers and we’re doing it for the passion and the love of it. We really didn’t expect the reaction of, “it’s great to have you back” so it was so inspiring. It really does give you that boost to continue doing what you’re doing. Rather than by just re-packaging the greatest hits and adding some new songs, we thought that we’d give the fans something with all new songs written and packaged all together. Funnily enough, ‘Lets Work It Out’ was a song that was written probably about 8 to10 years ago but it was never finished, it was one of those songs where we’d try out ideas but we never quite got the melody sitting in it.

FAULT: How has the reaction been to your latest single ‘Tell That Girl’?

SS: That is one of those new era Texas songs; lyrics mean something different to everybody and when I see the people that I’m singing it to; it sort of becomes everybody else’s song in that moment.

 

FAULT: The video itself for ‘Tell That Girl’ focuses on you guys up close and personal, how was it filming that?

SS: Yes, up close and personal; just plain. Sometimes you’ve got switch it up a lot and you know, when you get on stage it changes completely. There is normally so many elements to consider and you get a bit fed up of the lenses you know?

 

FAULT: After years of making music videos, the camera lenses drive you mad?

SS: Yeah on certain videos, the 2 videos from this album have been really fun I’ve got to say, the ‘Lets Work It Out’ one especially. We’re just having a laugh and hanging out, its not just you and there is someone else to shoot it with, it’s completely different with a band. It’s not like “oh here we go again” you know?

 

FAULT: You’ve had your solo campaign and little projects in-between, do you think that fans want to pick up on this success during the Texas shows?

SS: We played a couple of tracks from my solo stuff on the last tour actually, so we kind of mix it up. The thing about why I went solo was that I needed to say something and get it out there as it’s not Texas. The band were heavily involved in it and as a band we kind of like each other you know? We see each other outside of Texas as we’ve known each other since we were 17. We’ve grown up together, had kids, marriages, divorces and all we have been through a lot of stuff together. These people are my life and my friends; it’s weird because Texas was never a job for us, it’s never become a job, but when each one of us is doing something separate from Texas, we all go along and support them. We all support each other.

 

FAULT: Is it the lyrics or the music that comes first when writing a new song?

SS: It comes when it comes; there are no rules when we write. Sometimes it can be a melody, sometimes a lyric or an old melody or a set of bridges, or sometimes completely new. Sometimes you’re lying in bed and link the two instantly; I don’t really know how it works even though that’s what I do. [Laughs] Everybody wants to analyse things nowadays, that’s how you do it etc. I think anyone who has created things in the moment find it hard to describe how they did it. I think if you look to closely at it then it becomes a path, and that path can soon become boring.

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

SS: You’ve got your strengths and you’ve got your faults, I think the strength is to be able to show your faults and identify that they’re there. Your fault is what sometimes makes magical things happen. Everybody has faults and do things that are seen as annoying, mine is probably that I never shut up. [Laughs]

Texas are on tour later this year from August until December and includes 3 huge homecoming shows in Glasgow, a large UK and European tour with some special shows in South Africa just added. You can view all their tour dates on their site here. Texas’ ninth studio album ‘Jump On Board’ is out now on Sony BMG. You can purchase the album here, and check out their latest single ‘Tell That Girl’ here.

 

Words Stuart Williams

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Fault speaks to Dominic Craik of Nothing but Thieves as they prepare to conquer with new album Broken Machine

FAULT: Hey Dom, so here we are in Camden, how’s it going?

DOM: Yeah good, it’s quite funny being back here because across the road which is now the Assembly Hall, the old Barfly. That was our first London gig that we ever sold out; we’ve played the best part of every venue in Camden now. We played the Roundhouse with Twin Atlantic as our first support tour ever, and obviously Dingwalls tonight.

FAULT: How was playing Amsterdam for the first time live? Was it well received by your fans?

DOM: Well last night was the first time we had played it and I honestly could not stop smiling at their reaction; they sang every word like it had been out for years and its only been out for two weeks or something.

FAULT: With the new songs on their way, how many are you thinking of showcasing during these smaller shows such as tonight?

DOM: We’re going to be playing 3 new ones; Amsterdam and two others are new tracks that we debuted at Brixton. The first song we ever wrote for the second album was called ‘I’m not made by Design’ but we felt that was too long so now it’s called ‘Design’. There is another song called ‘Get Better’ and both are more riff-based songs from the album. In a setting like a sweaty pub gig you want riffs, for it to be loud and you want people to be nodding their heads.

FAULT: The concept for the Amsterdam video, how did that come about?

DOM: We worked with our director Thomas really closely for a long time in advance because we wanted to get a treatment that was slightly unusual for a rock video; we wanted to involve contemporary dance and juxtapose what is essentially a rock song. He came back to us and said, “I’ve got this great idea of almost hypnotic dancers who are in a trance and created confusion amongst the band, and in the end they would come together into organised chaos.” We shot it in a factory in Ukraine ran by the military where they used to build amphibious tanks, mad isn’t it? The ground was covered in dust; lead and iron filings so every time a dancer was performing they would kick the dust up and we were coughing and spluttering, going out for air every take. Suffering for our art! [Laughs]

FAULT: Did you feel any second album pressures?

DOM: We heard so many horror stories about bands disappearing. There were some bands we know came into them unprepared as they then had to write a load of songs in a short space of time and record them. That is a big pressure to put on yourself especially if you want them to be good quality. I think you can argue you want quality over quantity but you don’t get quality without quantity; you write quite a lot of songs so you can filter them out and hone in on the ones that present themselves to be the better songs.

FAULT: When did the writing process begin?

DOM: We started writing the second album before the first album had even been released, so about two years before this. I produced a lot of our demos and I asked our guitar tech to build us a portable studio which we could set up in hotels, on the tour bus, in dressing rooms and basically anywhere; so we could constantly churn out a tune or ideas. A lot of the songs we had written were created on the tour bus, especially when you’re on the road driving for 12 hours in America, there’s only so much FIFA you can play! When it comes to my work ethic I’m very driven, I can’t stop and sit down; I get itchy feet. We wrote about 30 or 40 songs, went into the studio with 13 and here we are.

FAULT: What’s your phobia?

DOM: I’m a clean freak; my worst nightmare is someone taking a sip from my drink. So if I’ve got a drink and someone asks me if they could try it, I say no. They immediately think that I’m a selfish prick, which I am, but that’s not the reason I don’t want to share it. I’m just a bit of a germophobe. When it comes to my bathroom my favourite hobby is bleaching it; I would say that I spend a few days a week on it. Germs are the devil’s work. Don’t fucking touch my drink.

FAULT: The new tour, what’s the lowdown?

DOM: The run we’re on at the moment is basically an underplay tour; we’re trying to get ourselves into a position where we feel comfortable playing the new stuff and we can also play some of the deep cuts EP songs from our early days and a couple of songs from the first album that we’ve never played before, and do it for some of the die hard fans that have been there from the start. We’re now mixing it up so it keeps it fresh! But after this tour we go straight onto the festival tour.

FAULT: Crazy tour schedule coming into winter?

DOM: Yeah, I don’t think I have longer than 2 days back home until December I think. We got a lot of European radio play, some Asian radio play, South American radio play and even some TV in America for James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel. We then got phoned up by South Korea’s headline festivals and the biggest festivals in Australia and we thought; “how is this happening?” It’s just starting to simmer away everywhere, and if you look on Spotify and YouTube, you can see these big numbers. It’s all because of the international fanbase; we put a lot of groundwork in at the start and to see it come to fruition is ridiculous.

FAULT: How were the South Korea shows?

DOM:  I’ve never ever had an overwhelming feeling of shock, confusion and surprise in one hit. We thought we were in the wrong place when we saw our name headlining. We walked out to 20,000 South Korean kids with banners and all wearing our merch. We’d never been before and they were singing every single word whilst going completely nuts. The whole time we were looking at each other thinking if we’re in an alternative reality, how is this happening?

FAULT: Would you return to play there?

DOM: Asia is one of our priorities, we’re going back to Japan later this year; we spent a lot of time there in the past playing Summer Sonic Festival in Tokyo and Osaka, we were on the main stage last year just before Radiohead, which is ridiculous – our favourite band! We stayed to watch them with 60,000 other people and you could hear a pin drop. It was the best place to watch Radiohead ever.

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

DOM: We spent so long being unsuccessful and grinding away at things, that after four years of doing nothing and then announcing success, I was keen for friends to hear about it but I didn’t want people to feel like I was bigging myself up in a way that would make them feel shit about themselves. We don’t really like talking about work but most of my friends are supportive of what I do and I love that about them.

You can catch Nothing but Thieves on their extensive UK tour this Winter, with stops at Newcastle, Manchester and London to name a few. You can listen to the latest single Amsterdam off their upcoming new album Broken Machine below, and pre-orders for their new album are live here.

 

Words Stuart Williams

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FAULT Weekly Playlist: Kamaliza

Sydney’s Kamaliza and former member of the duo Olympic Ayres is looking to take over the world with his solo project. Recently Kamaliza quit his office job in order to dive into making music full-time, and we have to say we’re impressed with the results so far.

His latest single “Zanzibar” showcases Kamaliza’s distinctive and clear vocals on top of a whimsical flow of R&B electronica leading into a swell of multi-layered percussive rhythms and synths.

We asked Kamaliza to put together a playlist of what he’s been listening to, including a track from his bae SZA. Take a listen below and be sure to check out the music video for “Zanzibar.”

Darius, Wayne Snow – Helios

“Very sexy track, I love the sentiment – ‘Lend me your power, merge into me.'”

SZA, Travi$ Scott – Love Galore

“SZA’s my bae; she just doesn’t know it yet. What a beautiful voice and great songwriter.”

Outkast – SpottiOttieDopaliscious

“Those trumpets get me every time! In this song they capture their surroundings perfectly.”

X-COAST – Mango Bay

“If you like 90’s house, this one is for you.”

Frank Ocean – Pink + White

“When I hear this song I appreciate the fun I had in my youth so much more.”

Maleek Berry – Kontrol

“This song is pure African joy, chuck it on at a house party, watch the people dance.”

Tora – Another Case

“Was so proud to be Australian when I heard this track for the first time. Great call and response between the bass lines, I feel it in my gut.”

Klyne – Water Flow

“This track is tight, it came on randomly via SoundCloud and I’ve been bumping it on my travels.”

Jeremy Olander – Caravelle

“Sit tight with this one and wait for the release of tension at 3:40, you wont be disappointed.”

Rudimental – Spoons

“This song has been out for about 4 years now and I keep going back to it. If I ever need to realign my focus – this is my song of choice.”

Kamaliza Socials:
Facebook
Twitter
Soundcloud

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Premiere: Ryan McMullan talks us through new track ‘Oh Susannah’ and touring with Ed Sheeran

Hailing from Portaferry, a small seaside town in Northern Ireland, 26 year old Ryan McMullan is a fresh talent on the singer/songwriter scene and in the short space of 3 years has made his way from the small clubs in Ireland to playing in Arenas to thousands of people. He has had multiple successful tours; opening a 31 date tour with Ed Sheeran in 2017, playing a handful of shows in NYC one being a headline sold out show in the Rockwood Music Hall, touring with the likes of Foy Vance in America, the UK and Europe, American alt-country rockers NEEDTOBREATHE, Snow Patrol, Ciaran Lavery and Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi).
Today he debuts new track ‘Oh Susannah’ exclusively on Fault. The video also features clips from the tour with Ed. Here we had a chat with him about the experience, and what’s next.
Can you tell us more on what “Oh Susannah” is about? 

I guess the obvious answer is being in love with Susannah but I think it relates because it also talks about life after love and wanting to be there regardless of circumstance. 

How did Ed Sheeran find out about you? 

I was supporting Foy Vance in London. Ed came to the show, watched my set and afterwards came up to me to offer the tour support. 

What did you learn from touring with him? 

That I love what I do and intend on doing it for as long as the world lets me

What’s in store for the rest of 2017 for Ryan McMullan? 

My first headline tour begins in September through until November, so prepare for that, maybe release a couple more songs between now and the end of the year too. 

What is your FAULT? 

My fault is my complete lack of ability to touch my toes.

Get stuck into ‘Oh Susannah’ below.

 

Words Cody Fitzpatrick

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Anna Straker debuts new track ‘Ignite Me’

Today we’re proud to premiere the latest track from Anna Straker: Ignite Me.

Photo: Clare Conway

Inspired by artists including James Blake, Blood Orange, The Streets and N.E.R.D., Anna blends soulful 90s inflected chords in the chorus with a compelling story in the verses.

Photo: Alex Knight

 

Speaking on the track, Anna says:

“Ignite Me is a little bit different to my other songs, so it’s been really cool to experiment with a more hip-hop influenced sound. The lyrics are about going out to a club and feeling like you don’t belong, everything’s a bit gross and you’re really aware of what’s happening around you. I really enjoyed writing the poetry for the verses, turning the dismal and melancholy aspects of night clubbing into something beautiful.”

Listen below:

 

You can purchase Ignite Me here. Catch Anna Straker playing Burst at KOKO on Friday July 28th – Tickets here.

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SPINN live at The Magnet, Liverpool

‘Look, my t-shirt says “Swollen but golden” on it.’ Jonny has the mumps. But he’s not letting it put a damper on his band’s gig tonight: ‘I’m getting better now so I can sing fine but I’ve just got fucking big cheeks.’

It’s a pretty drizzly day and the long, uphill walk from Liverpool Lime Street Train Station to The Magnet, where SPINN are set to perform later that evening, was enough to challenge my #FridayFeeling. But Jonny, lead singer and guitarist of SPINN, could probably improve any mood, either with one of his upbeat ‘dreampop’ tunes or with his chirpy attitude, not to mention that soft kind of Scouse accent that brings any story to life. And he has quite a lot of stories. For example: ‘I know that lad once who made it to Glastonbury a couple of years ago and he stood at the front for the 1975 and just threw sausages at Matty Healy. That’s what he said anyway.’

I ask him how he managed to come down with the mumps. ‘It’s my mate right, he always steals everyones pints. He had the mumps and then took a sip of my pint when I wasn’t looking so I got the mumps from taking a sip of my own fucking pint.’ He throws his arms up, faux exasperated. His t-shirt does indeed say ‘Swollen but golden,’ scrawled in a mixture of red and yellow felt tip pen. In a way this sartorial choice sums up SPINN’s whole vibe: they’re up for a laugh but ready for you to listen. Their social media presence cements this further with their last tweet at the time of writing: ‘Just saw the 1975’s trnsmt slot; to the girl crying her eyes out during robbers, honestly mate, same.’ Their bio describes them as #ApproachableLads.

 

Other than the homemade slogan tee, Jonny describes his style as ‘“Quirky boy chic.” But I’ve started spelling chic like c-h-i-q-u-e.That’s cool isn’t it?’ That effortless teenage boy grin, equal parts cute and goofy, would probably go with any outfit. ‘I always wear white socks – that’s essential – and usually like a t-shirt I always like baggy pants as well. I usually shop online or Pop Boutique then see what Gucci are up to as well.’

Jonny explains his musical beginnings: ‘I just kind of picked up a guitar one day, because we had one in my house, and I just started picking on it and my dad said to me “Son- (he laughs and puts on his best fatherly voice) Son, if ya learn a song I’ll get some new strings for ya.” So I learnt a song. I learned Blackbird by The Beatles. And my dad was like fair enough, and he got me some new strings.’ His link to Liverpool’s most famous musical export is strong: Jonny grew up around the corner from where The Beatles met, close to John Lennon’s house, on actual Strawberry Fields. ‘I might get a tattoo of a strawberry,’ he smirks. ‘I embraced the Beatles stuff a lot for a while but then people started to make fun of me like “Oh there’s that kid that loves the Beatles!” so I was like for fucks sake.’

‘My first musical memory from when I was a kid was when I was sat there with my cousin and he put Kylie Minogue on and I just thought “this is shite.” And I wanted to find something better. I bought my first ever two CDs on the same day. For some reason I got Ed Sheeran – Plus. I mean that’s a good album but I’m not into it as much anymore. I got it on the same day as a David Bowie quadruple CD.’ I told him he should just tell the Bowie story. ‘I do most of the time,’ he laughs. So what’s on his playlist at the moment? ‘At the minute I’ve been listening to a band called Half Man Half Biscuit. It’s kind of like satirical stuff and they’ve got this song called Just Give Us Bubble Wrap where they sing about how everything could be solved if we had a big roll of bubble wrap.’

Jonny’s self-deprecating tone comes through in his pleasant drawl over SPINN’s latest single ‘Notice Me,’ which is literally a shout out to radios stations to give them more plays. Jonny explains that writing the songs is a team effort, but he writes the lyrics. ‘It’s usually like shite love songs. My uncle said if you get in a band and you’ll get loads of girls it will be great. I’ve got a girlfriend already so its sound. But none of us have had any attention from girls. A lot of my songs are about my girlfriend. I know that sounds really sloppy and horrible but I don’t usually tell her. Nah, sometimes I do write about politics. That’s as edgy as it goes. I’ve got this one where I moan about England for a bit. I feel like Morrissey, it’s great. I try to work harder and I’ve expanded my vocabulary a lot – is that the word? I’ve had to many beers. I know my mums gonna read this so I’ve said I can’t drink because of my antibiotics but I have had too many beers.’

While being in band might not have resulted in a lot of female attention, Jonny says he has mostly enjoys the social aspect of playing shows and meeting people. ‘It’s like a big massive family and then when you meet other bands and it feels dead nice. Thats my favourite part about being in a band. I like being able to just follow around people that I like at festivals like Cabbage and In Heaven.’ The future will definitely hold a lot more fun for SPINN, as their name shows up on more radio playlists and their Spotify and Soundcloud plays increase. ‘If we get signed with a nice juicy record label – I’m looking at your recorder now – if we get a lovely deal, then we might get a flat. I like Liverpool for now but if we have to move to London I’d be quite happy to move to London. I like London a lot. It’s just cool isn’t it? And everything’s bigger.’

The show is filling up by the time we finish our chat and Jonny offers me a can of cider from the table. The band don’t come on until late and put on an incredible party. Jonny gives his mum and nan a shout out while boys clamber on to each others shoulders and the crowd get dancing. Lots of fans sing a long with ‘Notice Me’ and SPINN’s other singles ‘Home’ and ‘Bliss’ stir things up as well. In an era seriously lacking in indie pop, this band could fill the hole that early Maxïmo Park and dreamy debut album The Kooks singles left in your life.

Words Alex Bee

Photos Lauren Keir

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