FAULT Favourites Band of Skulls release third album, ‘Himalayan’

 

band of skulls himalayan

FAULT first spoke to lead singer and bassist Emma Richardson  back in 2011 to discuss the release of their breakthrough second album, Sweet Sour for FAULT Issue 10: the Legacy Issue. From their early days touring as Fleeing New York in the late noughties, we knew that this was a band to watch, one that would stand the test of time. Here’s what we wrote about them back then:

From their relatively recent incipience in 2008, the female fronted, blues heavy, old fashioned raw and ready rock outfit are perhaps rivalled only by the Black Keys, both in terms of their ‘old school’ guitar-heavy style and their similarly meteoric rise to fame. In one dazzling swoop, these groups have utterly dismissed that old (circa 2006) adage that ‘guitar music is dead’ – with Emma Richardson, Russell Marsden and Matt Hayward doing so in particularly impressive style. The Brits have been ‘cracking the US’ in such an accomplished fashion that they have drawn comparisons from some quarters to rock legends Led Zeppelin. With their pulverizing basslines and soaring – yet oddly searing – vocals, Band of Skulls are a firm FAULT Favourite.

Now, three years later, we were pleased to get a chance to catch up with drummer Matt Hayward about the highly anticipated release of their third album, the brilliantly constructed Himalayan.

 

Welcome back to FAULT! How are you feeling about the new album?

Matt: We’re really proud of the record that we’ve come up with and we’re feeling really good about it. It’s been quite frustrating because we finished it at the end of last summer so we’ve had it in our hands for quite a while now but it’s finally upon us now so we’re very excited!

How does the new album differ from your last two?

We’ve said is that it kind of takes elements from the last two albums and makes a record out of that. Whilst we were writing and recording the last two albums we isolated ourselves out in the countryside in an old farmhouse and this time we decided to go in to central London and I think that definitely rubs off on the record. There’s an energy about being in London which is great, we were going in every day and then being able to leave the studio too which gives you a lot more objectivity about things, you can listen to your demos on the train home and all these little things which we never had before so I think that played a big part in the sound of it.

Do you have any favourites or standout tracks on the new album?

It chops and changes, it always changes by night really. It’s interesting that a lot of it is down to crowd responses, it’s funny the ones that you get different reactions from and not always reactions you were expecting. At the moment, we’re just really excited to play any of it really, it’s been such a long time we’re just itching to get going.

band of skulls issue 10 (2)jpg

Band of Skulls shot by Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

When we spoke about your last album you cited The Beatles, Neil Young and Bob Dylan as influencers, are these still relevant to the new album or have you found inspiration elsewhere?

We have a pretty strong rule in the studio that we don’t play a lot of current music whilst we’re recording because we’re keen not to have anything influence us too heavily.

We listen to a bunch of different stuff, there’s definitely a glam element to this record. When we got in to the studio we hung out for a few days with our producer Nick Launay and played our favourite records, there was definitely a theme of T-Rex swagger, and everyone bringing in Prince albums.

When you’re piecing songs together, creating new music do you envisage an ideal setting in which it will be played back? Where would you like your music to be heard?

For me, my favourite time is listening to music is on aeroplanes. I get a real kick out of it, that excitement and nervousness of travelling. You’re on your way to somewhere and to have a soundtrack to that sort of emotion is quite similar to playing shows in a way, it’s exciting it’s nerve-wracking, and full of adrenaline all of those wonderful things. If I could pick a place for anyone to listen to this record it would be getting a flight somewhere.

Are you thinking about playing the album out live whilst recording and writing?

Yeah definitely but we try and keep the two things very separate. We like to thing that making a record is like taking a photograph. It’s taking a photo of where you are at and what you’ve been coming up with of. At the moment we’re at the rehearsal studios piecing together how we want to do things live and it inevitably changes quite a lot which we really like. For us, going to see a band and they just sound like the records is not so exciting, it hasn’t got that element of danger to it.

band of skulls issue 10

Photography: Annick Wolfers for FAULT Issue 10

Can you see another live album in the future?

Yes, hopefully a little bit further down the road of touring so we’re a bit more warmed up. Also we recently did an acoustic show last week which we hadn’t really done before. We do quite a bit of acoustic stuff for radio but we’d never done a show before. It was just something completely new, we had a string quartet and with us having never played with any other musicians but ourselves it was really strange but there’s definitely talk of doing something like that again on a bigger scale.

Speaking of working with other musicians, how do you feel about collaborations, is there anybody you could see yourselves working with?

We’ve never really talked about collaborating with other musicians, it’s never been put in front of us so we’ve never really thought about it but I’m sure it would be really interesting. It’s not particularly on our list of things to do. But if an offer came up then yeah sure, if Prince gives us a call then by all means…

What does the rest of 2014 hold for you?

It’s just relentless touring in front of us now. Next week we’re off to America then coming back to do some UK shows and then Europe, after that it’s back to the States and then Australia… we’ll be heading back in time to hit festival season which will be really exciting. So yeah there will be a whole lot of living out of suitcases.

Final question, what is your FAULT?

There’s no way to win this one! If I don’t say anything then it sounds like we’re just perfect… I guess we’re bad sons and daughters to our parents because we don’t see them enough as we should. Yeah we’re bad kids, we’re always gallivanting…

Himalayan is out now

Interview by Louis Sheridan

Secret Garden Party 2014: Lineup Announced

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 00.08.12

The Secret Garden Party have revealed that this year’s headline act will be hip-hop icons Public Enemy. This year the SGP team are celebrating ‘all that rejects the hyper-capitalist dream’, so the revolutionary hip-hop group armed with their politically charged songbook are a perfect match for the festival.

Joining them will be Hercules & Love Affair who will be releasing their album entitled ‘The Feast of the Broken Heart’ this May. Loyal FAULT readers will by now know that we are regular ‘Gardeners’ and already prepared for this year’s theme ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. Outdoing Flavor Flav’s patented clock-necklace won’t be easy, but dammit we’re gonna try!

4.-paint-fight-800x501

SGP kicks off from July 24th-27th 2014 so ready your fancy dress, stock check your Chai Tea, freshen up on our SGP SOME NOT-SO SECRET GUIDELINES and get involved!

Get your tickets for Secret Garden Party 2014 HERE
Once again SGP are also operating a deposit scheme that allows you to pay for half of your ticket now and the other half any time before 31st May 2014. (Please remember that if you do not pay the balance by 31st May 2014 you will not get a refund).

‘Two Heads are Better than One’ – Oscar Alexander’s FAULT

A6558116_2

A6558265_2

A6558288_2

Photography: Woland
Hair: OscarAlexander @ ERA Management using Fudge
Makeup: Natasha Lakic using MAC
Models: Kit @ & Ieva @ Elite London
Photographers assistant: Dan Korkelia

Little Mix: Exclusive Behind the Scenes video with our FAULT Issue 17 Music cover stars

 

 

Video by Julian Ruiz/Killer Pixel Films

 

Music: ‘Kids Grow Better Under the Sun’ by Anymals

 

Perry, Jesy, Jade and Leigh-Anne, who have a huge 12 page spread in the issue, were shot exclusively for FAULT by Benjamin Johnson and styled by Marika Page. The in-your-face style of the images reflect the band’s constant evolution in terms of musical style: not content to rest on their laurels after the success of their debut, DNA, the girl’s second album, Salute, has called a much wider audience to attention. Love them or hate them: Little Mix refuse to be ignored.

 

Little Mix - FAULT Magazine Issue 17 - Full Band (web)

Little Mix – as featured inside FAULT Issue 17. The girls were shot by Benjamin Johnson and styled by Marika Page.
Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

Angel Haze – exclusive shoot for FAULT Online

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Bomber Jacket: D’Albert
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza
Boots: Dr Marten
T-Shirt: This Is A Lovesong

Last week, Angel Haze took to the stage at Heaven for her headline gig and told the assembled masses that “fans of Angel Haze are fans of themselves.” Amidst the crowd of people crying, screaming and hanging on every lyric, there is no denying that Haze has forged a rare bond with her fanbase. Sitting in the make-up chair before her FAULT shoot, she explains that “people who get me, get me because they are me in some sense….they take my music and they make it what they need.” Haze has overcome unusual adversity; she grew up in a religious cult and suffered abuse throughout her childhood, before taking on the music industry with her unique brand of raw, lyrical rap. The aggression in her music is high-impact and searing, with lyrics that possess a brutal honesty and a surprising spirituality. On stage, she has a religious quality; equal parts saint, sinner, preacher and, on the harshest tracks, appearing almost exorcised mid-set.

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Napsugar Von Bittera
Shirt: Joy Rich
Trousers: Carlotta Actis Barone

Perhaps this isn’t far-off; “I wanted to use music as catharsis…to rid myself of all my demons and all the shit I couldn’t deal with alone.” Having put her life so much in the public domain, it would be easy for her ‘story’ to become a burden, and she admits that “once people relate to you, they will run to you.” Haze seems to fear being pigeon-holed, although she is resigned to the fact that “people take your demons and run with them….they become who you are.” Taking a breath, she looks around the room before asserting that “my story isn’t the only story I have to tell.” The story Haze refers to is one of “prosperity, of becoming a better person” and it’s a story ongoing. Her latest single Battle Cry features a vocal from Sia and has already broken into the Top 20, jumping 62 places in a week.

Haze is accustomed to this rapid, viral success. “I got famous from Tumblr”, she laughs between texts on her phone, “and I’m not even as famous as I’m gonna be.” By her count, it’s taken two years to transform her life and she appears incredibly introspective (and honest) for such a rising star. When I compare her to other rappers and their declarations of status, swag and self-deification, she almost timidly confides that “the braggadocio shit doesn’t come easy to me.” Instead, her lyrics are about “being honest with myself and obsessed with love”, filtered through her honest voice and confessional verses; “there’s an immense loneliness to my life.”

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Joy Rich
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza

Haze seems both born for the life she is living now, but also so clearly  conscious of where she has come from and, more importantly, what she has overcome. Over the course of our time together, boxes arrive from Chanel, messages get sent over from Karl Lagerfeld (in London for a store opening,) and at one point John Newman texts her to be his date for an event that evening. Haze is that rare thing- the humble rap superstar, with something to say that is truly her own, and a sense of self grounded in her lyrics and not in her designer labels. Amidst the chaos of the set- of publicists and hair people and rails of designer clothes- she pauses and reflects on what she refers to as her ‘process of becoming’ who she is now. “You change, you evolve, and you never want to go back.”

Words by: Will Ballantyne-Reid
Photographer: Miles Holder
Stylist: Denise Brown

‘Night-time, Bright-time’ – Alberto Tandoi’s FAULT

TI5B2580 (Medium)

Dress by Tube Gallery

 

Sunglasses by Chanel
Dress by Zara

 

TI5B3443 (Medium)

Sunglasses by Miu Miu
Jacket by Marry Me Jimmy Paul
Underwear: model’s own

TI5B3830 (Medium)

TI5B2850 (Medium)

Top by Natasha Zinko

 

TI5B3532 (Medium)

Dress by Jena Theo

 

TI5B9842.def (Medium)

Lingerie by Mimi Holliday
Stole by Marry Me Jimmy Paul
Stockings by Agent Provocateur
Shoes by Whistles

Photographer : Alberto Tandoi www.albertotandoi.co.uk
Stylist : Minna Attala www.minnaattala.co.uk
Make Up : Annam Butt using M.A.C www.annambutt.com
Hair Stylist : Ami Fujita www.amifujita.co.uk
Model: Lydia Graham at Models 1

FAULT FUTURE: YOUNG KATO

Young Kato are a band who first came to our attention when they were selected for a cameo gig in TV series Made in Chelsea. Since then, they’ve been busy putting together their debut album and have just announced their first headline tour of 2014, which kicks off in Oxford on April 22nd and ends in Bath on May 2nd. This follows their own London Highbury Garage show on March 27th and a nationwide tour supporting You Me At Six. We caught up with them to discuss tour preparations, bands of brothers, failed marriages and the return of rock & roll.

Young Kato

You guys are about to embark on your biggest headline tour- how important is the live experience to you as a band?

To us, the live experience is ridiculously important. It’s something we take seriously, but at the same time it’s balanced with all 6 of us having a laugh.

In today’s music industry, how important is the live show for music acts in general?

Live shows are still important in today’s industry. Anyone who attends a live show will feel a greater connection to the musician. Fans appreciate live shows more than shit quality YouTube videos, that’s for sure.

What do you hope to achieve with this tour, having already had your music broadcast to households all across Britain?

We’ve seen over the last few tours that we have a great little fan base. Our aim is to give everyone who comes an amazing experience, so that they come back again and again and hopefully we can just carry on building from that.

6 members is a lot for one band – how does that dynamic work/ what challenges does it pose, if any?

It is great having quite a lot of people in the band really, though we don’t really know any different – we are all just a group of mates having a laugh though!

What is the balance of writing/playing/composing?

We have a main songwriter in the band in Joe Green. He builds the foundations to the songs and we all bring forward our respective parts. After the music is there, Green and I will write all lyrics, top lines, melodies etc.

You’ve half-joked about the band having started as a result of failed marriages (with Jack and Sam being stepbrothers.) To what extent do you feel hardship can encourage you to be more creative and does your music/songwriting tend to come from that place?

Haha yeah we have joked about that before! I guess stuff that happens definitely informs what you write about and can encourage creativity.

Young Kato

You are billed as “youthful, colourful, vibrant”,  with the ‘dark side’ having been dismissed, at least until ‘a few albums down the road.’ Is this a conscious effort to make feel-good music?

Our sound certainly fits in the brackets of ‘youthful, colourful, vibrant’ and we have songs that celebrate this. However we do have some mature ‘darker’ songs in us already too. Our debut album shows light and dark, and a balance that may surprise you.

You’ve been working with producer Dan Grech-Marguerat – who has previously worked his magic on the likes of Beck, The Vaccines, Howling Bells, Radiohead and Lana Del Rey – how much is this shaping the sound of your album?

Dan has a great ear for pop music, and we’ve completely embraced this in our album. We put a lot of thought into our album, we’ve taken every song apart and rebuilt it to be better. Dan for me is one of the best producers in the world at the moment and it was a pleasure working with him.

How has your process changed/evolved since signing a record deal?

We’ve certainly taken this a lot more seriously that’s for sure. Our label are very supportive and just allow us to just carry on as we were, 6 mates in a band playing songs.

You got your first big break when you were featured on Made in Chelsea – how important is pop culture to your process? Do you feel a pressure to please a certain fanbase having had a taste of this success with the more mainstream crowd?

All we really want to do with this band is to showcase it to as many people as possible. If they love it and get it then perfect and if they don’t, that’s fine, there’s something out there for everyone. We feel that we can appeal to a wide audience, so there’s no pressure to us accepting any sort of opportunity to do that.

Jack has said “we’re not always going to be the band that were on Made In Chelsea.” Have there been any downsides to the MIC experience (feeling fenced it, labelled etc.) or has it been a totally positive career move?

There’s no denying that the MIC experience has helped us greatly in our careers. It was a completely positive experience, we’ve got a great foundation of a fan base and it put us on people’s radars… what more could an up and coming band want?

At the BRITs the other week, Alex Turner gave a speech about the grand return of rock & roll and this is a change that British Indie bands seem to be at the centre of bringing about. Is this a movement you guys feel you are a part of?

I definitely agree that there are some great bands around at the moment doing great things and hopefully we can become a part of that!

Young Kato

Young Kato release their debut single ‘Help Yourself’ on March 24th, headlining Highbury Garage on March 27th.

For gig and tour dates, see: http://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/young-kato/

www.youngkato.com

Iggy Azalea announces release date for debut album, ‘The New Classic’

iggy-copy2

On the 21st April, Australian sensation Iggy Azalea will be releasing her long-awaited debut album ‘The New Classic’, following a fairly extraordinary year that has seen her garner two Top 20 singles, over 1Million followers on Instagram and YouTube views totaling 50Million.

For a pre-album artist, these statistics are pretty staggering, but then so is Azalea’s music (and, it has to be said, her visuals). She first burst onto the scene with the track Work, accompanied by a high-octane video that sent social media into a frenzy. Her track Pu$$y was yet another viral sensation, and Change Your Life (featuring rapper T.I.) made it into the Top 10 in the UK.

With production credits including Timbaland, writing by the likes of pop phenomenon Katy Perry, and guest vocals from Rita Ora and dancehall legend Mavado, this album looks set for success. Azalea has given herself a lot of hype to live up to, but given her unstoppable climb thus far, she has reason to be sure of herself. We have a good feeling about this one…

Check her latest video for Fancy, featuring FAULT Issue 16 Music cover star Charlie XCX, here: