FAULT Magazine Reviews: Roast, Borough Market

 

London’s Borough Market has always home to foodies and street food lovers and for over a decade, Roast has been at the centre of the hype surrounding the area.With Summer just around the corner, FAULT is on the quest to bring you the very best of dining experiences in London for our 2018 “Where To Dine This Summer Guide” and with that in mind, we headed down to see if it would live up to all the hype!

On entering the restaurant, you’re instantly transported from the hustle and bustle of the street below and welcomed to the cosmopolitan and modernly furnished restaurant; not what one would expect from an establishment priding itself on being “deliciously British” but that’s not to say the restaurant is stale and lifeless, quite the opposite. Located over two floors of Floral Hall, the restaurant is spacious and from our table, we could see marvel at views of St Pauls and The Shard – all rather elegant.

The aperitif menu is expansive and that’s without mentioning the welcoming bar at the front of the restaurant. We started with a Sweet Black Manhattan- not too sweet and not too bitter either, a perfect start.

 

Starter Menu:

Rock oysters with Scrubby Oak apple vinegar and shallots 6 Carlingford 18.50 / 12 Carlingford 36.00 6 Jersey 17.50 / 12 Jersey 34.00

Scallops with spiced apple tea raisins, cauliflower and cashew nuts 14.00

Baked charcoal cheddar soufflé with oyster mushrooms and chives 8.50

Baby kale with sprouting beans, avocado, miso aubergine, feta and salted almonds 10.25

 

 

From the starter menu above, you’d be forgiven for thinking the flavours (on paper at least) wouldn’t be anything to write home about but alas you’d be wrong. I went with the cheddar soufflé with my dining guest choosing the less adventurous scallops. The soufflé you’ll be happy to know tastes exceptionally better than it looks – well bodied and well complimented by oyster mushrooms and chives, at first I didn’t have the highest of hopes but Roast was able to put their own twist on the dish and serve up a real treat. My guest’s scallops were fried expertly and the adorning cashews were given the same fine treatment – if you do visit Roast, be sure not to jump straight to the mains.

With both of us deciding on red wine – we left it up to our waiter to choose a wine for us. We went with a modest Italian Bacchus Rosso Piceno Ciu Ciu and while it was nowhere near the most extravagant wine in their cellar – it certainly went down a treat.

For my main, I went for the beef wellington,  and it was truly cooked to perfection. Throughout the whole dining experience, Roast continued to take what is usually a standard flavoured dish and heightened it to gourmet standard. The exterior was light, crispy and just the right amount of butter glazed, which is a lot to say about the pastry alone but it really was perfect. The meat was flavoursome, tender and just how I wanted it. The course was accompanied with crispy roast potatoes which were but I’d highly recommend the ‘Creamed spinach with nutmeg’ as a side.

My dining guest went with the Hereford sirloin steak on the bone (400g) with chimichurri and chips and from what I hear, it was “banging” – which I can confirm is a positive trait. I did have a try and while the steak was indeed impressive – it also confirmed that our waiter who I asked to select the wine for us is an expert at wine pairing. The flavours of the meat and chimichurri were complimented extremely well with the juicy summer berry hints from the Bacchus Rosso Piceno Ciu Ciu.

Somehow I found room for the Eton Mess which was equally as exceptional but I’m running out of positive adjectives and word count so let’s move on.

So does the Roast make the list? It sure does! If you’re looking for the homely country pub style roast then setting wise, Roast is not going to provide the experience you crave but what if lacks in homeliness it more than makes up for in other areas. We’d highly recommend Roast for our readers looking to visit the quintessential foodie capital but still want a more refined meal than that served on the markets below. Roast is where you go when quality and taste are at the forefront of the experience. Not just for the leisurely diners, it also doubles as the perfect venue to host business lunches with non-locals who are looking to sample the very best of British food.

It must also be said that the service provided by all the staff, from the maître d to the waiters inside was exemplary and a great model for every high-end venue staff in the capital – great customer service needn’t be robotic and the Roast staff have mastered this.

If you’re looking for the best British food that London has to offer, look no further than Roast.

 

http://www.roast-restaurant.com/

 

Monday-Friday:

7am-11am, 12pm-3.45pm, 5.30pm-10.45pm

Saturday:

8.30am-11am, 12pm-3.45pm, 6pm-10.45pm

Sunday:

11.30am-6.30pm

 

 

FAULT Weekly Playlist: TOTEM

It’s always great to see more diversity in the music industry and TOTEM one of the artists cropping up that’s challenging perceptions. TOTEM is an Indian-American man who weaves smart political and social commentary into slick pop production. Proving that pop music doesn’t have to be thoughtless 4-on-the-floor beats, his skill of turning astute cultural criticism into catchy earworms is bringing him surprising success.

TOTEM is currently working on his EP, which will be out this summer, but before that we asked him to put together some of his current favorite songs. Take a listen below.

Calvin Harris – Heatstroke

“I love this new new disco feel that Calvin Harris is doing. This and Slide have been on repeat. Pharrell’s pre-chorus is so unexpected but feels so good. I loved Jamie XX’s last album and this is as close as we have come in pop music.”

Kodak Black – Tunnel Vision

“The hook is an earworm and that detuned sample in the background reminds me of a song from Lauryn Hill’s “Unplugged” album. You gotta listen to this under the influence in a dark room.”

Future – Mask Off

“I read something in the New York Times magazine about this song a couple weeks ago and it made me appreciate this song a lot more. I had no idea about Future’s personal transformation. Also, the recorder sample.”

Julia Michaels – Issues

“It’s great to see songwriters win as artists, and Julia Michaels deserves to win. She and Justin Tranter have been writing exclusively hits for over a year, and this one is no different.”

Vice feat. Jon Bellion – Obsession

“Jon Bellion is one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists. This is such a feel good tune.”

mansionz – Wicked

“I hate the shtick, but this song is really good.”

Drake – Blem

“My favorite song off the new Drake playlist. I really envy his melodic simplicity.”

KAYTRANADA – Got it Good

“I was really late on KAYTRANADA, but this is the song that got me. Nice to hear Craig David’s voice too. His kind of pop R&B is what the world is missing right now.”

Frank Ocean – Chanel

“I’m always amazed how many really dynamic melodies Frank Ocean can fit into one song. This one sounds so fresh but classic.”

Zedd and Alessia Cara – Stay

“Zedd is a musical genius. The drop in this song has so many elements I love— space, harmonies, vocoders. Simplicity at it’s most impactful.”

Love Saves The Day Festival Steps It Up For 2017

 

Eagle-eyed FAULT readers will remember the great fun the music team had at Love Saves The Day 2016 and as amazing that was, dare we say, 2017 is set to top it. Now in its sixth year, LSTD is not only a much-loved festival for Bristolians as people flock from all over to join in on the fun – as we will be this bank holiday weekend. Held in Bristol, one of the UK’s most diverse cities, the food and music and atmosphere on the day offers something for all people to love.

This year’s Saturday lineup features NAO, Little Dragon, Jamie Jones, Bicep and may more.

Sunday will see Kano, Kate Tempest, Shy FX, Aj.Tracey, BadBadNotGood, Raye, Mykki Blanco, Stefflon Don and many other FAULT Favourites take to the stage.

For more information and to grab your tickets to the festivities – head to http://lovesavestheday.org/

See you there!

 

 

 

 

Life On A Tightrope: A Story of Positivity from The Voice Israel’s First Palestinian Winner, Lina Makhul.

Photography: Jack Alexander
Hair & Makeup: Guy Tako

Words: Miles Holder

After receiving 62% of the overall vote, Lina Makhul first stormed to notoriety by becoming the first Palestinian winner of Israel’s, The Voice. Lina’s road to victory was not an easy one, however; during her acceptance speech Lina alluded to the cyber bullying that attempted to halt her ascension through the competition but emblematic of her always positive attitude, she mainly used the time to thank the Israeli public for voting in spite of their cultural differences.

That was 2013 and while Lina has made a name for herself in Israel, she is still relatively unknown on the global music scene – before today…With the release of Lina’s music video for track ‘Can’t Keep Falling’, FAULT travelled to Israel to photograph and interview Lina during her two-day music video shoot and to discuss just what it takes to become Israel’s most exciting new artist.

Meeting Lina, she is outgoing, fun, bubbly and talkative but despite her “devil may care” attitude, it’s clear that beneath her outward demeanour, she is an extremely focussed, business minded and determined musician who is no stranger to a hard work. Day one was a nineteen-hour video shoot in the middle of the Judean desert and not a minute went by when Lina wasn’t hard at work.

 

 

 

FAULT: How do you stay so positive?

Lina: I love doing what I do and I’m always positive because I’m living my one true dream.

Becoming the first Palestinian to win a major singing contest in Israel’s history while, a great feat, it also came at a price. Lina’s win saw her became the shared success story of two famously opposing houses – a large weight to bear for any nineteen-year-old.

 

FAULT: The Voice wasn’t the first time in your life that you faced persecution. How did you overcome the challenge of connecting with the Israeli public?

Lina: If you want to get to people’s heart, you must first allow them into your heart. I couldn’t force them to like me, it was about opening my heart to the audience and allowing them to make a decision on me through what they saw. We’re all people at the end of the day and I think that’s how I made people forget about the typecasting and political undertones of my being on The Voice.

 

FAULT: Do you ever fall into the trap of trying to please everyone at your own demise?

Lina: Yes, but it’s part of the everyday struggle of being a Palestinian in Isreal. I’ve always made it my mission to prove that Palestinians are really no different from Israelis. Our culture and language might be different but at the end of the day, we’re all citizens of the world and should see past it.

When I won The Voice I was only nineteen and I barely knew who I was but despite that, I was trying to please everyone and that made it was very difficult for me to find myself. I was always so scared to upset a group of people that I would lose all personality. It’s different now and I’m tired of it – my opinion is mine and mine alone and if I can go to sleep happy with what I’ve said that day, then I will continue to live my life this way.

I’ve realised that I don’t have to be the ambassador of anyone but myself and because I am such a supporter of my Palestinian roots and Israeli/ USA upbringing, they will all be proud of me for striving for success in all of their names.

 

 

Listening to tracks taken from Lina’s upcoming album, it’s no doubt that Lina can sing. While there are often negative connotations with television competitions winners, Lina’s vocal range and rich tones, place her on a par (and in many cases above) that of contemporary western musicians. This is as true with her up-tempo tracks as it is with her more sombre ballads, but don’t take my words on it alone – FAULT’s previous cover stars Adam Lambert and Alicia Keys have both also taken a liking to Lina.

 

Lina: I downloaded Alicia Keys’ latest album and I loved it for how real it was. She totally exposed herself and revealed so much. Her song Holy War just touched me so much as an American born Palestinian living in Israel, I just needed to record it. I wrote out the words in Arabic and just put everything out there and sang about a number of modern day issues which were weighing on my mind. About a month later, my phone freezes and I’m so confused but it turns out that I was just being inundated with messages from fans that Alicia Keys had shared my version with.

I just love her, I’ve loved all her music and even when I auditioned for The Voice I sang one of her songs.

In 2016, Queen and Adam Lambert brought their tour to Israel and hand picked a local talent that would embody their own personal flare of individualism – that person was Lina.

I got the call three months before the show from my manager but I honestly didn’t believe it would ever happen. I thought “no way, they’ll cancel on me”. It didn’t hit me until the concert that it was actually happening. Queen, Adam Lambert, fifty thousand people and I was so scared but the minute I went on stage I just snapped into action. I closed my eyes when I started singing and when I opened them I had the whole audience singing back to me.

 

FAULT: You’ve also gone on to cover ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ mixing Arabic and English lyrics on your album.

Lina: After the concert, I fell in love with the moment and I wanted to cherish it forever. I went back to the studio and the minute we were done I said “excuse me for a second I want to do something” and I started writing lyrics in Arabic to add to the song and everyone loved it and it felt so good that the lyrics just came out without me even putting pen to paper.

 

 

However, the time for covers is over and Lina is ready to release her original material. Above you’ll find Lina’s first music video for ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ which was co-written by Lina herself.

 

FAULT: Now that it’s out, how do you feel about the track?

Lina: I just love the song and not because it’s my song, it’s just me and I’d love it even if a different artist was singing it.

While ‘Can’t Keep Falling’ is a perfect choice and released at the right time as we enter the summer season, Lina’s album is also laden with personal musical numbers, none more personal than the albums title track ‘Walking On A Tightrope’. The track conveys Lina’s musical journey and her diverse cultural upbringing as she sings in both English and Arabic. The beautiful song penned by the legendary Karen Poole.

 

FAULT: Tell us the story behind ‘Walking On A Tightrope’

Lina: It all started when I was recording in London with Karen and she turns and says, “I feel like your whole life story has been you walking on this tightrope. You’re from Palestine but you won The Voice Israel and now you’re here in London being very careful with the words you say and trying to please so many people” and it just got to me on a deeper level. My life is a tightrope, one filled with ups and downs and shaky moments but that is also true for many different people out there.
As personal as the song is to me, it also rings true for many other people from different walks of life and it’s that shared experience that reinforces the notion that we are all bound by our similarities and not divided by them.

 

 

FAULT: You have a lot of personal songs on the album, is it hard to put so much of your story out there for public scrutiny?

Lina: After The Voice I was so scared to put out music that I wrote; I didn’t want people to know how I really felt, I just wanted people to know what I wanted them to know and let that be it. Now, I need to share my life with the audience. I want them to know who I am. It’s a privilege to have people care about my opinion so I owe it to my audience to be truthful.

FAULT: And Lastly, what is your FAULT?

Lina: I’m impatient and want everything to happen straight away! When I record a new song, I just want to release it there and then and for my fans to hear my whole album straight away but I’m learning the importance of taking it slow and releasing when my music is perfectly me.

 

Returning back to the UK, there is no doubt in our mind that Lina has a bright future in music ahead of her. With a strong first single and many equally as strong follow-ups to come in the near future, Lina has all the potential take the European and American music scene by storm. Be it her empathic songwriting,
her continued messages of unity, her powerhouse vocal or her fierce yet endearing personality – while no longer forcing it, Lina will continue to be a musician to mean so much to many different people.

Find more of Lina on

Facebook 
Instagram

Start the weekend with R.LUM.R’s exclusive playlist

Reggie Williams, better known as R.LUM.R, compiles an exclusive Fault playlist.

Bill Evans – Peace Piece

‘Peace Piece’ is calm and spacious. Perfect for quieting the mind.

 

Brad Mehldau – Don’t Be Sad

This one has that beautiful transforming sax melody that makes me slow down and feel nostalgic

 

Feist – Anti-Pioneers

The guitar part sounds so forlorn and sad. If I need to be sad, I pull that up.

 

Lana Del Rey – Love

Lana’s Love is the ultimate nostalgia trip. “Cause we’re young and in love” makes me feel so strongly like a teen again, waiting for that certain woman’s call.

 

Radiohead – Give Up The Ghost

‘Give Up The Ghost’ is a song I sometimes play while I’m sleeping. Super peaceful environment, even though the lyric is sad.

 

The National – Graceless

This track gives me energy. The swelling arrangement (especially near the end) gets me focused/energized.

 

James Blake – Choose Me

This is music that makes me feel analytical. It’s great music for when you need to figure out a problem and you feel sort of neutral

 

Finding Hope – Wonder

‘Wonder’ is a great track for imagining. It sounds like a great fantasy video game, so it takes me to those places. Helps me put myself in new shoes.

 

Low – Whitetail

This is really emo and pouty. It starts out very small but dynamically grows to the point of almost having to turn it down, but then wanes right at the right moment. It’s this anxious, unsettling thing that I put on when I’m unsettled.

 

And of course, check out one of R.LUM.R’s very own, ‘Frustrated’.

 

You can stream R.LUM.R’s playlist in full on Spotify right here.

 

Find R.LUM.R on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sheppard compile exclusive ‘Songs From Down Under’ playlist

Songs from Down Under

I figured there’d be so much great Australian music that doesn’t get heard overseas, so I’ve chosen some of my favourites, some old, some new, some better known than others, but all fantastic examples of how rich and diverse our music culture is here in Australian.

 

“Disciples” by Tame Impala

Disciples is a short, but standout track on Tame Impala’s critically acclaimed album “Currents”. Super quirky, vintage pop at its finest. The way the sound of the production changes from old-school to modern 44 seconds in is amazing.

 

“Learnalilgivinanlovin” by Gotye

Although you may only know him from his super hit “Somebody that I Used To Know”, Gotye has been releasing incredibly diverse and uniquely stylized music in Australia since 2001  – and no two songs sound alike. “Learnalilgivinanlovin” is the first track I ever heard from Gotye, and it’s funky motown vibe instantly pulled me in. His other tracks “Hearts A Mess”, “Easy Way Out” and “State of the Art” deserve honourable mentions here too. 

 

“My Happiness” by Powderfinger

You can’t have a list of Australian music without featuring the great Powderfinger. A rock band which wasn’t super well known overseas, but was an unstoppable force in Australia during their years performing together. Their song “My Happiness” is a true Australian classic. 

 

“Surrender” by Ball Park Music

Hailing from our home town of Brisbane, Ball Park Music are one of the most interesting bands to emerge on the Australian music scene in recent memory. Quirky, intelligent songwriting, coupled with an energetic powerhouse of a live show easily earns Ball Park Music a place on this playlist. “Surrender” is one of their more direct efforts at writing a ‘hit’ pop song, and it’s a true gem of the genre. Their songs “Coming Down” and “All I Want Is You” deserve a mention here too. 

 

“Waves” by Dean Lewis

Dean Lewis is a new Australian singer/songwriter who’s currently impacting the airwaves with his epic single “Waves”. The song’s uniquely progressive structure and beautifully crafted melodies tug at the heartstrings and earn it a place on this list. 

 

“Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet

Another true Australian classic, and one of the greatest rocks songs of the century, if not of all time. If you haven’t heard this song by now, then get on it. The song is just way too much fun, and rightly earned Jet a place as one of the most loved rock bands in Australian music history. 

 

“Never Be Like You (Wave Racer Remix)” by Flume

I’m sure this brilliant Aussie tune is no stranger to your ear holes by now, but this remix by fellow Aussie producer Wave Racer is something to behold. It adds a funky new dimension to Flume’s international hit song, and is one of those rare remixes that is able to stand alone as a great production in its own right, whilst staying true to the original.

“Gold” by Chet Faker

Chet Faker dominated the international music scene in 2014/15 with his debut album “Built on Glass”. My favourite track from the release was “Gold”. A smooth, soulful electronic production with Nick Murphy’s trademark husky vocals on point.

 

“Fences” by Isabel

Another example of smooth, soul-infused electronic music. Isabel is a relatively unknown artist from Brisbane, who I feel deserves to be heard far and wide. Incredibly chilled, slick production techniques coupled with a voice that makes melt you right into your chair.

 

“You Were Right” by Rufus

Originally from Sydney, Rufus are one of those bands who seem to consistently improve on their last release, and their latest studio album “Bloom” is no exception. Their state of the art electronic production is perfect for summer chilling. The album’s biggest single “You Were Right” deserves your attention for 3:59seconds. If you like that, check out another song of theirs “Sundream”. 

 

“Breathe Me” by Sia

Even though she’s now a superstar songwriter, penning party anthems for the likes of Rihanna and Katy Perry, Sia has long been a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter hailing from Adelaide. This song, “Breathe Me” from 2004 is one of the most beautiful efforts from her third album “Colour the Small One”.

 

And of course, you can catch Sheppard’s new track ‘Keep Me Crazy’ below:

Sheppard will support Little Mix on their UK tour this summer.

Follow Sheppard:

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

‘LP – Finally me’ discussing pushing self with LP

 

Despite her career spanning over a decade, you’d be forgiven for believing LP is a hot new artist on the scene as magazines rave that “she’s the new big thing to take the world by storm”. In truth, LP for the last seven years has been a mainstay in the music industry behind the scenes writing hit songs for some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. Her own solo music is a different story, however, after years of pushing and crafting her artistry – she has been stifled or continually pushed to be the vision of an outside entity.

Now in 2017, LP is out with a new album that is unapologetically her – her style, her journey, her vision. We caught up with LP to find out more about breaking through as 100% herself.

 

What’s changed for you since the release of Into the Wild back in 2012?

Back then, it was difficult to predict what was going to happen in my musical career; it was my third major record deal but it was the first time music was actually getting released as crazy as that sounds. It was hard because I had no idea what was going to happen next and as an artist, you just assume you’re just going to release a record and then be on tour and everything will just fall into place. Now, I have a more realistic vision of what’s happening with my career and my artistry.

At the time did it feel like the music you were releasing wasn’t LP or is it only in hindsight?

Back in 2012, I felt for the first time my personal styling had made it through but sadly my music didn’t and the end result was a little over produced which didn’t do anything for my current fanbase nor did it help gain a larger fan base. While I was able to get who I was out there, my music was suffering.

If you see my record now it has a landscape and story throughout, whereas in the past it’s just been a decision from the higher ups to release a record of anthems without much storytelling in between.

Your songwriting this album comes from a very personal place, are you happy to put so much out there?

I’m was going through stuff then and even until this day I’m going through my highs and lows. Throughout my writing process, I was really in a difficult space but in order to get to the positive songs I still need to play about those low moments – it’s all part of my journey to this completed record.

When you’re playing tracks about the lows, does it bring it all flooding back making it harder to perform?

Not really, when I play those songs to my fans, they aren’t only hearing my story but they can associate it with their own individual history and in many ways, we’re bonding over our shared pasts. Both the crowd and I are vibing over different experiences but they come from very much the same emotional background?

What’s it like to have someone dictate to you, what sort of artist you should be?

It can be very subtle, it’s not so much “hey, let’s put a dress on now!” which happened once and no one has said that to me in years – well I dare them to say it now! It’s more the subtle comments when people are having meetings about me as an artist but it’s strange to think of someone having a meeting about me without me there.

Does the previous record deal play on your mind?

I played them my single ‘Lost On You’ so it wasn’t like I was hoping to be dropped but they just didn’t want LP. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of that meeting but I do understand it, you’re a product sometimes and I do understand it and I feel for people in those decision making positions. It’s profit and loss and that’s the industry sometimes. As an artist, I can’t be bitter about it, if I was I’d crawl in a hole and never release music again but I appreciate what they did for me and understand the business side of music enough to look passed it. My career with them went on the chopping block for profit and loss and that’s how it goes sometimes.

It sounds like you find a healthy place in your music when times have gotten rough around you.

Of course and it mirrors my history with my own father who I had major disagreements with how he handled my family but in the end, I forgave him before he died and just had to accept that some people are one way and we just have to keep rolling
When you write for other artists who you’re detached from, does the art of songwriting convert to more into a science?

I once wrote a really sad breakup song for Leona Lewis and once I met her months later and it turns out from speaking to her that my perception of what she had gone through and was feeling differed from what she actually went through.

I think earlier on when I was writing for other people I tried to make it more into “I’m writing for this person who I only know from TV and I will write for them based only on that persona”, but I don’t do that anymore. I try to think more along the lines of what their instrument offers and where their voice tries to go.

Does negative feedback on such a personal project get to you?

No, they have no authority to scrutinise what I’ve been through or what I was feeling. If you don’t like the music, you don’t like the music and it’s really that simple. I remember a time when I’d suffer all day over Youtube comments posted from a random person who needs to spew vile shit from behind the mask of the internet; there’s no point dwelling on those thoughts because they’re viewing from one point of view.
What is your FAULT?

I’m a people pleaser and as much as I’m an individual, I’ve people pleased for years of my career up to now. It’s the thing I wish I didn’t do and now I’m working to stop doing. I’m working to change that but I also don’t want to go to the complete opposite where I’m “no, fuck you, I’m only going to do it all my way” because that puts me more off course and it could turn into a vicious cycle.

And finally, after all the people pleasing and misrepresentations is the ‘Lost On You’ album finally 100% LP?

Yes, totally. What’s beautiful about it is it’s made me feel better about where I’ve been. When I play shows now and people request even older songs, I now feel better about actually playing them. It’s been nice to experience my new listeners appreciate the old music which I really did put my all into back then for better or for worse. It’s nice to see them finally appreciated.

 

LP’s album ‘Lost On You’ is out now

FAULT meets Dead!

London-based quartet Dead! are proof that hard work and determination pays off. Made up of vocalist Alex, guitarists Sam and Louis and bassist Chappell, the band released their first EP in 2014 and are now gearing up for the release of their debut album. Produced by the acclaimed Charlie Russell, who has also worked with Madonna and Jamiroquai, the band have crafted a record that they hope will become a part of the rich tapestry of rock ‘n’ roll that has preceded them. FAULT is Dead!

Your album is ready to drop really soon, what can you tease us about it?

Chappell: Not much.

Louis: It’s done, it recorded, we spent the whole of December recording it.

Where was it recorded?

Louis: We recorded it at Dean Street Studios in Soho with a guy called Charlie Russell who has worked with Jamiroquai, and he’s engineered for Madonna as well, so a really mixed bag. There were quite a few people that we tried and some of them were safer routes. It might have made more sense to go with a more rock orientated producer but because it was our first ever album we thought we could experience things that were new and he could experience them as well and it felt very natural because of that.

Alex: He’s done a variety of pop stuff and some slightly rock stuff, he definitely has an ear for things unlike somebody who has just done rock bands in the past. He sat back a lot more than other producers we’ve worked with but you notice two sessions later that he’s said something earlier in the day that has snowballed on subconsciously and mind-tricks you into writing something differently.

Louis: You start off and thin, ‘Does he know what he’s doing?’ But at the end you’re like, ‘He know exactly what he’s doing.’ It was really important to us that it was recorded in Soho, it had to be done there, we wanted to record down Dean Street. There’s not much point trying to do the best British rock album in a long time in the middle of nowhere in Lincoln or something, it’s such a vibe in Soho.

You’ve been a band for a lengthy time now, has your song creation process evolved? Do you think you have a formula?

Alex: Me and Sam used to solely write all of the songs, then in the last few years we’ve got our system down and rather than it being about the songs, it’s about each other and understanding what the person is like and how they work as opposed to just writing a song. That’s the thing that comes naturally and that’s the really fun part, we can just go in a room and write a pop punk song or a pop song just for fun and we enjoy doing that together, but when it comes to something like Dead! and what we’re trying to do, it’s having four guys’ opinions and four guys’ passions and trying to melt that all into one output. Sometimes that’s really hard and you can hit walls but, especially with writing this album, these guys have put in a lot more ideas and it’s becoming more and more in the rehearsal room with everyone chipping in and it feels more like a band writing a song together.

Louis: It’s quite impressive how lyrically he [Alex] can write something that, because the themes on this album are a lot more mature than anything we have done before, it’s mad how some of the things sum up what we’re all feeling. Obviously we gone through a lot of the same things together, touring in the van and we live together, stuff like that, but some of it is uncanny.

Do you think it’s become more of a movement as an extension of the band?

Louis: Yeah we very much live it, it is a 24/7 thing. It’s not a job, it’s not a hobby, it’s something else. I guess that’s a good word to use.

Alex: That’s the really good part and also the really bad part, especially at the stage we’re at now. We’re having to hang everything we want on something so fickle as the music industry, that’s the really terrifying part, but it’s also the most fun thing we’ve ever done our lives.

Louis: I don’t think you could be more invested in anything than we are in what we do at this point, this is it for us, in a great way.

Do you think it’s been quite a steady growth for you as a band? And is that more of a benefit instead of it happening straight away?

Alex: Yeah, I don’t like the words ‘hype band’ because when a band is instantly labelled as a hype band then there’s a certain amount of pressure for them to live up to it in a certain amount of time. Obviously you have the ones that come out of nowhere and do stay there, but that’s once in a blue moon. You see bands that grow steady over a period of time and they get their core fanbase, like Biffy Clyro, and we did it at the start with two years of DIY touring in venues you’ve never heard of with bands you’ve never heard of, with a handful of people every night. Having the album coming out later this year really excites me because we’ve got these festivals to build, and last year we did see from the tours we had done dotted throughout the year, places like Reading Festival, 2000 Trees and Download you saw an accumulation of all the fans we picked up on the previous tour and it’s really nice to see. As long as progress is there, whether it’s slow or fast, I’m happy.

Do you read your own press?

Alex: After tour I read reviews, and it’s like smoking, I want to stop but I can’t. Maybe that’s the younger side of me that’s still in there that needs to be validated but I don’t read the interviews because I cringe myself out.

Louis: It’s hard not to look, if you get ten good reviews then that’s great but you get one bad review and you’re like, ‘The world is ending!’

Are you influenced by other forms of art as well as music?

Louis: Yeah, movies are a big one, we like Quentin Tarantino films. For every song we recorded in the studio we had a big projector playing films and we had a different film for every song which was vibe building.

Alex: The fight scenes are the best when you’re ripping a guitar.

Louis: Until you’ve got to do a slow song [laughs]

Chappell: But on the last day we were a bit hungover so we just put Spongebob on.

Louis: Having the visual cues definitely helped a lot. If you find books and films that you love and let them influence you, you might find yourself a bit more sidestepped from what other people are making.

You’ve got a single out called ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’, what have you had enough of?

Alex: The song is a very self-critical song and I think I’ve had enough of, when you’re going through the stage of growing up – we were teenagers when we started this, and now we’re 22 – you have to learn to adapt and change, and sometimes that is so difficult because it’s been ingrained in you to be a certain way. To make certain things work you have to compromise and you have to make an effort and I’ve had enough of not doing that.

Louis: I’ve had enough of blandness and beige, mostly to do with music, just because that’s what we do so we’re quite wrapped up in that. Not anyone in particular but I think there are a lot of bands that follow trends and it’s watered down nothingness, which might be fun for a few years but ultimately it’s nothing.

Chappell: Mine is the same, that’s fair.

Do you listen to anything that’s a bit more mellow than your own sound?

Louis: Yeah, we don’t listen to the same stuff at all

Alex: I’ve just discovered a guy called Mark Jenkins, it’s a bit like SBTRKT but a bit more hip hop and that’s really cool. We all have a really vast taste. Whilst recording the album I didn’t listen to any rock stuff at all.

What’s your most rock ‘n’ roll story?

Chappell: When we first started we bought a van, which is a stupid idea when you’re a young band just starting to tour, and we had our mate drive the van because none of us could drive – we were the only people to own a van that couldn’t drive – and we were going to Leeds and a 22 tonne lorry crashed into the side of the van and completely wrote it off, I don’t know how rock ‘n’ roll that is.

Louis: That’s pretty rock ‘n’ roll, almost dying.

Chappell: We still played the show that night, our mate had to sit in the van to stop people trying to steal stuff because there were no windows.

What is your FAULT?

Louis: How long have you got? [laughs]

Chappell: We gave our band the one band name you can never Google, that’s a pretty big fault.

 

Words Shannon Cotton

Photography Stephanie YT

Grooming Lynda Darragh

Photo Assistant Erica Fletcher