FAULT Music

The Best Upcoming Rock Festivals of 2018

Source: Download Festival via Facebook 

The festival season is almost upon us, and the UK is one of the best places to enjoy music from all genres. There are more than twenty music celebrations taking place across the country this year, and among them are some awesome offerings for fans of rock music. Here we take a look at three rock festivals that are not to be missed in 2018.

Download Festival

Did you know that listening to rock music is actually good for your health? In this article by Lottoland, it notes how research discovered that heavy metal fans were happier and less regretful. So, if you want to avoid depression this summer, it might be wise to take a trip to Download Festival, the ultimate heavy metal event in England. It takes place at Donington Park in Leicester, and has been in existence since 2003. It quickly established itself as the most popular British rock festival and has featured world-renowned artists such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy.

This year the Main Stage headliners are Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and Ozzy Osbourne. Popular acts such as Marilyn Manson, Black Stone Cherry, and Bullet for my Valentine are supporting as well. Famous for its use of facial recognition technology to ensure that criminals from a European database are banned from entry, Download is also one of the safest festivals to go to.   

Isle of Wight Festival

The Isle of Wight festival began as a counterculture event which ran for three years between 1968 and 1970. Acts like Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix played in those days, helping the festival to go down in history. It returned in 2002 and has occurred every year since then. The major musical event has been a magnet for some of the world’s biggest artists over the years including the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, and Kings of Leon.

This year, the event will run for four days, and there are some seriously impressive names on the bill. These include the Killers, Van Morrison, the Wombats, Kasabian, Liam Gallagher, and Depeche Mode. This award-winning festival is an event that all rock fans should attend at some point in their lives.

TRNSMT Festival

TRNSMT Festival is the youngest event in this list and took place for the first time in 2017. Last year there were appearances from Radiohead, Kasabian, Biffy Clyro, and The View, helping the young festival to get off to a barnstorming start and achieve instant fame. It was named Best New Festival at the UK Festival Awards in London.

The event in Glasgow this year doesn’t include overnight camping, but it does run for five days. Once again, there are some hugely popular artists playing. These include Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher, Arctic Monkeys, and the Killers.

Rock fans in the UK are going to be treated to some exceptional music this summer from a number of world-renowned musicians. Being spoilt for choice, why not choose one you’ve never been to before?

FAULT In Conversation With RuthAnne

 

With more and more fans falling in love with RuthAnne, it might be surprising to hear that the award-winning Dublin-born singer-songwriter is behind some of the largest hits from acclaimed artists such as Niall Horan, Britney Spears and even FAULT 26 cover star Martin Garrix. Today with the release of  ‘Take My Place’ we caught up with the young songstress to find out more about her inspirations, process and of course, FAULTS!

 

Hi RuthAnne, who has been your biggest inspiration?

Hi! My biggest inspirations have been people like Alicia Keys, Lauryn Hill, Carole King, Jeff Buckley, Coldpay, Kings of Leon, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Justine Timberlake.

 

You’re about to head out on tour, favourite thing about performing live?

I think my favourite thing about performing live is just having the interaction with the crowd, something you don’t get if you’re in a studio. And getting to see how different songs connect with people, like you can see it in their face and their eyes. And I actually love making people cry – I kind of want tears. Just being able to talk to the crowd and then just sing, that’s what I love.

 

Is there a different process when you go from writing for other people to focussing on your own music?

I used to think it was different but it is actually pretty much the same. The only think that’s different is when you’re writing for someone else, when they’re in the room with you, you’re trying to tell their story – so I’m not gonna tell my story with the artist in the room, I want to tell their story so I have to kind of be the therapist for them but for my process I have to be my own therapist and pull out my own stories, but it is the same process.

 

What’s the biggest challenge that you encounter when writing for yourself than writing for other artists?

The biggest challenge used to be that I wasn’t really sure what direction to go. I always knew I wanted to do soul, but when you’re writing for other people you’re just used to doing so many different genres, so the problem comes when you’re writing for yourself – how do you just stick to one genre? Cos you’re so used to switching. Writing this album sort of happened by accident – it was through heartbreak and a lot of things fell into place and it kinda just came out and then this sound just formed naturally, which was just all my biggest influences fused together. So the only challenge now is just having my own identity and not always being compared to my songwriting identity, y’know.

 

How did you come to working with Niall Horan?

I had written some songs on the ‘Four’ album for One Direction, but I’d never met him. Actually wait – I met him drunk one time at The Brit Awards and I spilt a drink on him, so I met him then and then my co-writer Matt Rad, who he’d previously written a lot with, was having a session with him for the new One Direction album, and so he asked if I wanted to go and write with him and Niall. I was like yeah. Went in and wrote with him, the stuff didn’t really work for One Direction but we became friends and then when he was doing his own stuff he just sent me a text saying he was doing an album and did I want to come and write with him for it. On the first day together we wrote “You and Me”, which is on the album. On the second day, we wrote “Seeing Blind” which is the duet that’s on the album. So it just worked and we’ve been really good friends ever since!

 


Releasing my album because it’s been a long time coming! Getting to perform more, sing more. Getting to just tour more – see different places and travel. I love travelling. And just taking some time to be the artist, as well as spending some more time back in Ireland which will be nice.

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Relax and enjoy it! I got a lot of success as a writer really young and I didn’t really know how to enjoy it. I was stressed all the time because I was like “oh when you get it you have to keep getting it”, but I think I would tell myself to just relax and enjoy and trust the process. When I was younger I used to think I had to rush and do everything in the now, but now I realise everyone’s journey is different and everyone has different times where things are gonna happen for them. So just trust the process and grow into yourself and find and be your true authentic self.

 

What is your FAULT?

I get impatient. That’s my fault I think. I’m the type of person who will distract kids to skip queues at Disneyland, because I hate queuing and want everything now!

North London crooner Latir channels fuzzed out R&B sounds with “I’ll Be There”

Ready to take Summer 2018 by storm, North London singer/songwriter Latir returns to the scene with his refreshing new single “I’ll Be There”. Inspired by a past love, for whom he desires to show his utmost love and care. “I’ll Be There” is a light-hearted, feel good reminder, that just as much as she is there for him, he is also there for her, especially in her specific periods of personal dismay.

Produced by Danny George, “I’ll Be There” showcases Latir’s vocal range over a slacker pop beat, fuzzed out synths, and jazz-influenced piano. Listen in below.”

Latir Socials:
Soundcloud
Instagram

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Issue 28

Isaac Gracie X FAULT Magazine

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Photography: Joseph Sinclair
Styling: Gary Salter
Grooming: Charlotte Kraftman
Words: Jack Lloyd

For Isaac Gracie, the last two years have been nothing more than a journey of self-discovery and introspection. It just so happens that along the way, Isaac has caught of the ears of millions of listeners and radio stations worldwide. After selling out many of the UK’s most prestigious venues, Isaac is about to embark on an even bigger journey after the release of his eponymous debut album on 13th April.

Whilst formulating a series of songs with poetic precision and articulated with such devastating beauty, Isaac has pieced together a record that he claims is a physical representation of a heavy and formative time in his life and as a result unveiled to the public the unravelling of a bold new voice.

We sit down with one of Britain’s most sought-after artists.

FAULT: First of all, how are you and how has your year been so far?

Isaac Gracie: It’s been good – I’ve been good. I just came back from Europe where I finished off the record which is coming out next month. It’s all kind of coming together nicely.

Talk to me about that moment you submitted your demo track ‘Last Words’ and how it got picked up by BBC. Where were you when it all started?

Isaac Gracie: I was on my summer holiday between first and second year of university and I was spending most of my time at home or working in a coffee shop. It was there that I started getting a strange amount of interest whilst I was washing dishes and cleaning tables. I was getting emails from record labels which I had never even thought about and all the while trying to fumble together a decent wage at a coffee shop, it was definitely surreal.

I was also in like a strange headspace then as well. It was summer and I was in the middle of university so I was in a lot of places at one time, so the music felt definitely like an abnormal thing to blow up.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28 srcset=

Was music not a priority at that time?

Isaac Gracie: I was just getting on with making a little bit of money so I could have some spending cash at uni, focusing on studying as well and finding a place to live. I had all of these things going on that were completely not related to music – the music was just a personal hobby and a passion – I really had no intention beyond that. It was definitely part of my life – but large notions of success were completely out of the picture.

Is your family musical at all?

Isaac Gracie: No one played necessarily, it wasn’t a run in the family type thing. I was raised on music only in the way that my mum loved music. Bob Dylan was always number one with my mum and when I was growing up, my dad used to play The Bends in the car when we were driving. I can remember going along listening to The Bends when I was like four years old and really digging it.

Where did you record the album?

Isaac Gracie: It was recorded in a few places, we did a big bulk of it at RAK Studios and then we did some at Westpoint Studios in Shepereds Bush and Crouch End. It was recorded over a long period of time in a lot of different set ups so it really does represent the journey of that time. It isn’t just one singular block of experience or creativity but more of an evolution and a reflexion of the changes that happened over that period of time.

Do you find it easier to write a particular song more than others or did you ever struggle at all when writing the album?

Isaac Gracie: I struggle with it all the time. The nature of the songs is kind of like you’re wandering along a beach trying to find a treasure trove and you can walk for hours and not find anything. Obviously, sometimes things are buried closely to the surface and very easy to uncover and other times you really have to dig for them. That’s just kind of how I relate to it, there is no one way or one experience that I have in relation to songwriting.

Are there any songs on the album or on your previous EP’s that have really pushed you out of your comfort zone?

Isaac Gracie: My relationship to songwriting is pretty much on its own terms. I have a diverse and wide appreciation for music and by no means want to restrict myself but it’s purely for the time being based on the situation that I find myself in and in the songs that I still feel I have yet to write. I think right now it’s all based within that frame.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Talk to me about being on tour. Do you have any highlights?

Isaac Gracie: I just love being on the road, it’s pretty awesome to turn up in a different city every day and have like a new crowd of generally speaking, really lovely interesting people there to hear you play your songs. I love the opportunity to travel and see new places but also just driving and looking out the window and being with other people.

It’s also in many respects a bit of a vacuum because you don’t necessarily feel responsible for anything other than the tour so you can kind of switch off a little bit.

What would be your dream if you weren’t a musician?

Isaac Gracie: I’d love to be in film. I’m fascinated by movies and how they’re acted, how they’re directed, how they’re written, everything about them. Obviously, right now music is without doubt the focus but If I get to a place where there was any relative level of comfort or sustainability, then anything in that world would be a dream.

Who would you most like to go and have a beer with?

Isaac Gracie: I saw Bon Iver the other day, I actually saw him twice in one week and he’s always been such a mastery of melody. Also, someone like Jonny Greenwood and be able to discuss the stuff that he’s doing at the moment with his film scores.

What’s 2018 looking like for you?

Isaac Gracie: Well I’m going on tour next month and touring the UK and Europe then I’ve got the album coming out next month as well, April 13th. Following that I’ll be playing festivals throughout the summer and then going on another tour in the winter. Being on the road and making the most of every opportunity to introduce my music to people and play to crowds who enjoy it. It’s a cool experience and the build-up to this record has been a long time coming so I just want to make the most of it when it comes out.

Isaac Gracie for FAULT Magazine Issue 28

The eponymous ‘Isaac Gracie’ album was released on the 13th April.

 

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FAULT Exclusive: Exitmusic interview & photoshoot

Interview: Kee Chang
Photography: Alix Spence  (Aleksa in L.A.) & Toran Spence (Devon in NYC)

The February announcement of EXITMUSIC’s (potentially) final album The Recognitions and its subsequent release this week has been overwhelmed by critics’ inordinate fixation on the dreamscape duo’s break-up narrative. The ins-and-outs of their relationship lifecycle so much in the foreground in fact, the extraneous details threaten to overshadow the music itself.

The latest addition to Aleksa Palladino and Devon Church’s at once haunting and ethereal sonic catalogue is a thing of rare beauty. As with their self-released The Decline of the West debut, The Silence EP and Passage LP, The Recognitions is something to be discovered and tightly embraced. So is this really their exit music? Will they tour the record and give it a proper send-off? Whatever becomes of the remnants of Palladino and Church’s creative partnership remains to be seen. There are two sides to every story—and there’s also the music.

 

Q&A WITH ALEKSA PALLADINO

So is The Recognitions EXITMUSIC’s final album?

I mean, there are a bunch of other songs. Few of my favourites didn’t even make it onto this record just because of theme, really, and there’s one that I’m crazy for. I keep doubting the decision to not put it on the record. So it’s possible that we’ll release The Recognitions 2 or something like that. I would love for those songs to come out in one way or another, maybe as another record or an EP. It’s this weird thing: when you really love a song, you want it out there.

A lot that has been written about EXITMUSIC and this new record has focused on the lifecycle of your relationship—the marriage and divorce. How do you feel about that being so much in the foreground?

It feels unavoidable because our relationship was so focused on EXITMUSIC. I think for a long time it was the thing that really held us together because, it sounds silly to say, but we really believed in what we were making. It feels natural to talk about it, especially because so much of the record is lyrically based on that need to become individuals again. It doesn’t feel intrusive or anything like that. Also, we’ve had time since it all happened so it doesn’t feel like it’s too personal anymore. It’s already a couple of years ago now that we got divorced so it feels like another life.

You’ve been asked before whether there was ever a question that The Recognitions would get made.

I think I always wanted it to come out. The world is a stage—you need the final act. We go through something privately, but because so much of the band and the relationship was public, it felt like it needed closure on that level, too. It was also important just for the integrity of the project. It wasn’t like two people came out with a record and then never tried again or cared enough to do it again. It’s something that we’re both so passionate about. The band itself is a separate entity from the two people in it. The band itself deserved to have it’s own closure, too. You kind of feel like it’s a child of yours in a way. The band deserves its own life. We still get emails and there are comments on social media—there’s a niche audience that really gets something from it. That’s an incredibly powerful thing for me because you make this stuff that means a lot to you, but I’m always ready for people to tear it apart. That’s what I brace myself for—that people will think it’s shit. So I’m always ready for that. When you hear that people are actually moved by it, you want to give it to them. You make music, but that’s half of it. The other half is it being heard. That people hear and respond to it is the most beautiful gift I’ve ever been given. I’ve never been the kind of person who felt comfortable in the world necessarily. I was always comfortable in my own body and in my own little groups, but I feel like I spent a lot of my youth and adolescence on guard, ready to be sort of rejected by the world. So when people feel and like my music, it’s incredible. It just makes me happy in a really stupid way. [Laughs]

There was a big lull between Passage and The Recognitions where we didn’t hear from you guys. No updates. No singles. Obviously, no shows. Is performing live something that you were itching to do?

I didn’t miss that because it gives me a lot of anxiety. But I do miss it. It’s this weird thing I have with stuff that scares me: I’m so compelled to do them, but I’m also terrified. So I do miss that to some degree. I don’t miss being on tour for months because I need to make a living. [Laughs] When I’m on tour, I can’t act and we never made money from touring. The life of a touring indie band is hard. There was a lot of reality that set in after touring Passage and after divorcing, and then also just getting older in general, too. It’s a reality where you have to make smarter decisions. So I don’t miss touring necessarily, but I do miss just playing special shows. We may try and do a couple of shows, maybe in the fall or when I’m done with my TV show. It’s always an intense experience for me. It’s not a place I’m comfortable in. But I also think that’s part of the performance. It shouldn’t be comfortable.

How do you feel about moving on from EXITMUSIC?

I feel like I moved away from it already. It’s something that I’ll always really love, but if you’re asking if we’ll ever write together again, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I really don’t know because you never know, but we both have our own projects now and I think that’s important for both of us. EXITMUSIC was a very specific dynamic and that was great for a really long time and now I think it’s time for both people to just do their own thing. That was also part of the divorce. In every way, people need to stand on their own.

I know music has always been a part of your life.

I never stopped writing music. I’ve written and recorded since I was 12. It’s just a part of me. Every real phase or new chapter of my life has to kind of come out in song for me so I have a lot of music that I’ve made in the past few years. I mean, I was recording this morning.

Is it a solo project?

Yeah. It’s how I started and it makes sense that that’s what I’ve come back to. It’s nice when you work alone because then you’re not bossy. I have a very definite style and opinion and it’s just nice to be able to execute it without stepping on anyone else’s toes. I like working alone. I will probably end up releasing the songs. Every time I think I’m not going to do something anymore, few years later, I’m doing it. [Laughs] You can’t stop. It’s such a part of you. It’s such a part of your own identity that you always wind up going back to it. Sometimes I take a break from writing for months, even a year. I’m even like, “I don’t wanna do it anymore,” and then one day you’re like, “I have to sit down and write. I have to.” It’s not even from my brain—my brain doesn’t care. It’s that something in my body that wants to hear my own voice and my own stuff. I want to see myself or experience myself again.

Here’s a hypothetical question: if you chanced on someone who’s never heard music before—they have no concept of it even—what song would you give them that’s most emblematic of EXITMUSIC?

Oh my god, I have no idea! [Laughs] What would you pick?

“The Modern Age.” But that’s so subjective and I’m not the maker, obviously.

I feel like there are so many different emotional pockets to EXITMUSIC. “The Modern Age” is definitely one of them. For me, it might just be “Passage.” There’s something about that song that I’m really happy with. When you’re the one writing it, recording it, mixing it—you always just hear the, “Oh shit, I didn’t turn that guitar loud enough.” You just wish you could go back into that session one more time to fix things. “Then it would be a perfect song…” [Laughs] I hear all the things that I didn’t do that I wish I did. “The Cold” is another very iconic, “This is Exitmusic” song. It’s just very raw and from the gut and not necessarily pretty, but somehow beautiful, you know? There’s a bunch of them.

What about from The Recognitions?

I have a couple. I really love “Crawl.” It’s just always my favourite, but it doesn’t really feel like quite a full song. It’s a little world. “Trumpets Fade” for me is a really beautiful song. But maybe my favourite, for some reason, is “Gold Coast.” Every now and then, there’s a song where the words—everything just comes to you right away and that was “Gold Coast” on this record. It just all came out and I didn’t have to work it, which is such a nice feeling because I usually have to really work on songs. “Gold Coast” is just so filled with loss, but then it’s also the hope of going someplace else and having a new life for yourself. I wrote it when I was moving back to Los Angeles so there’s something in the moment that gets captured. It wasn’t a song that I had to redo vocals on. It’s all in that moment and captured. It’s just really pure.

What is your FAULT?

Feeling too guilty to hurt anybody’s feelings even when it’s completely necessary. Yeah, it sucks sometimes. [Laughs] I always want to protect people from hard truths, but I’m realizing that that can also just stand in the way of their own growth. All of us evolve so profoundly from the things that break us open.

 

Q&A WITH DEVON CHURCH

So is this it? Is this really the end of EXITMUSIC?

Yeah, most likely, unless something changes. We do have a bunch of unreleased material and I hope that stuff will come out at some point. But I personally don’t really feel ready to write a new album from scratch. I have my own record to be coming out later this year so we’ll see where that goes. I mean, anything’s possible, but as it stands right now, I don’t see that in the near future. Although we generally take six years to make a record… [Laughs]

There seems to be a lot of uncertainties right now.

I definitely hope there’s an album of unreleased stuff because I think there are some really good songs that we haven’t released yet. Some of my favourites are from The Recognitions sessions. There’s one from the Passage sessions that I really love that never came out and could be redone to sort of fit into this. So I’d be really interested in something like that. I would be open to working on new stuff, but it’s definitely not something we’ve really discussed. This conversation I’m having with you now is about as far as we’ve gotten with it, you know what I mean? It’s not something that Aleksa and I’ve talked about, beyond thoughts about releasing unreleased material.

Is it comforting to be able to put a definitive end to it with this new album? Does it also feel uneasy?

It was bothering me for years just having these songs sitting there because I think they’re really valuable pieces in our body of work or whatever you want to call it. It definitely makes me happy to be able to share them with people. As far as it making me uneasy—I guess that’s a fair question. My friend and I was joking about this the other night: it’s weird to have a record come out where every single article is about how we broke up. There are painful memories that are associated with every piece of press that comes out. But it’s been long enough now that I feel at peace with everything that happened, more or less. So that’s been interesting and it hasn’t been that bad. It is what it is and I guess people respond to breakup and heartbreak.

I read somewhere that “The Distance” and “Sparks of Light,” for example, were written many years ago and manifested from a different chapter of EXITMUSIC. How did you curate The Recognitions?

“The Distance” is from the same period as “Sparks of Light.” I remember those two songs were really close together. Yeah, it’s just been sitting around and I always liked “The Distance.” Aleksa was hesitant to release it for some reason and we never recorded it properly. We recorded a version of it that was way more guitar-based. There’s really no guitar in the new version of it and we changed some of the piano phrasings around to make it a little more suspended and dreamy. In terms of how we curated, we actually wrote about 16 or 17 songs for this record and then culled them down to the 9 that are on there. “The Distance” becoming a final song really came out of Jeff Owens’s [owner of felte] suggestion. He was like, “That needs to be the last song.” We weren’t sure at first, but then it made sense. I like that the record ends on a quiet and subtle note rather than a big climax. I like the feeling of suspension at the end of that song and the moment of backwards piano with the backwards vocals.

The Recognitions really demands a live experience. Are you going to play shows at any point?

It’s up in the air. It’s something we talked about and, schedule-wise, it didn’t work out to do it around the release of the record. But it’s definitely something that is a potential future for us. I just don’t know to what extent or if that’s going to happen, either. It’s possible. It’s been so long since we wrote those songs—I don’t know how to play them anymore. [Laughs] I guess we’ll figure it out.

How difficult was it to record The Recognitions compared to the previous ones? I know now that you guys didn’t really talk outside of those sessions. That must inevitably affect the process.

I would say it was half-written while we were still a couple and then we finished it after we’d broken up, so that would be six more months, which is kind of ridiculous. It’s an insane thing to do and I don’t recommend it to anybody. That said, in a number of ways, it kind of felt like the recording process was almost more peaceful and professional than it had been before where we’re all up in each other’s shit, all the time. [Laughs] I feel like we fought more when we were making Passage than we did on The Recognitions. Technically, it was recorded the same way in the apartment. We’ve always done everything at home. For this one, we had built a better studio at home and I’d developed better skills for recording, which I think was good since we didn’t have the budget that we had on Passage to hire a mixer and stuff. I think it came out sounding pretty good, given that we didn’t have any outside help.

Can I throw a hypothetical question at you? If you could save only one track from EXITMUSIC’s catalogue that you believe to be the most emblematic of the band, which one would you choose?

That’s tough because I feel like we have three versions of ourselves with three albums. Probably something from Passage. Actually, there’s one song that I really love that no one really listens to, which is “The Silence” from our EP. I listened to it again for the first time in probably a couple years the other day and I really like the mood of that song.

That’s an amazing track. It’s funny you single out “The Silence” because that’s the first thing I’d ever heard from you guys back in 2011 when it landed in my inbox. I didn’t even know who you guys were.

Maybe I’ll say that one just to get people to potentially revisit that song.

How did that song come about?

Oh man, I honestly don’t remember. [Laughs] None of our songs were particularly easy to make. They all took a long time. But I feel like a couple of songs reached an interesting somatic, dreamlike level. “The Sea” is also sort of like that I feel. That happened at the same time and it has this undertow to it.

Going beyond EXITMUSIC, what can we expect from your upcoming solo record?

It’s been an interesting process for me, figuring out how to make music on my own. It took me a couple years of experimenting with different styles. Initially, I just veered left and tried to write songs on acoustic guitar and played some shows that way to test the waters. I made a couple of EPs with that kind of music and just threw up my hands in disgust after the last thing I recorded. Not that it was terrible or anything—it was more that it wasn’t what I wanted. Then over the last spring and summer mostly and into the fall, I sort of surrendered and let whatever wanted to come out, come out, without trying to place a program on top of it. It turned out having more similarities to what I’ve done in the past with EXITMUSIC. There’s a lot more synth and there’s a lot more texture. Learning how to sing and finding what I feel comfortable singing has been interesting, too, and having to write the lyrics on top of writing the music. It’s cool. I’m excited about this record. I think it’s gonna be unexpected. I’m hoping it will make it out into the world in the fall, probably on the same label as EXITMUSIC at felte Records.

Was it daunting going back to vocals and now having to write your own lyrics?

It just took me a really long time to come back to it. When I first met Aleksa, I had been writing my own songs. Then we sort of joined forces. I don’t know if you’re as familiar with The Decline of the West, but I do sing on that record. I kind of withdrew and focused more on the production side of it and the instrumental side of it. At the time, it just seemed to be more coherent for the band to just have one singer. But there was a part of me that always kind of regretted that I hadn’t continued with it—a Blonde Redhead or Sonic Youth approach where there’s both a male and a female vocalist. But I definitely needed to be on my own to find the voice that I have found. I was very shy about singing before so the vocals that I do contribute on that first EXITMUSIC record was pretty understated compared to what I’m doing now, which is definitely more ambitious.

What is your FAULT?

Oh man, there’s too many. One thing that definitely pulls me back is struggling with depression, which is something I always had to struggle with. It’s a huge impediment creatively, as in anything, like relationships. I’ve been trying to learn how to make that an ally almost lately. Most of my creative work comes out of that. Depression is almost like a form of energy that’s kept undifferentiated and feels like this big weight, but if you start moving it around, it can turn into something really powerful if you harness it somehow. I feel like that’s the function of music in my life. But if you don’t do that, I think it can totally fuck you up and almost make you very selfish. I’m not saying that people who are depressed are selfish. It just encloses your world—you thinking that your problems are the most important thing. At least for me, I know objectively that I probably have less to complain about than a lot of people do so I’m trying to remember that.

 

The Recognitions is out now via felte and available to purchase here.

Tory Lanez Menswear Cover for FAULT Magazine 28

Tory Lanez X FAULT Magazine

 

Photography: Miles Holder

Stylist: Rachel Gold

Grooming: Shamirah Sairally

 

Words: Trina John-Charles

We bundle out of the photo shoot and into a waiting car. Tory Lanez is clearly rattled by a previous incident and I believe everything he is threatening to do if the car doesn’t move promptly. Although quite intimidating when the switch has been flipped, he remains polite and quite chatty with me – revealing some amazing tidbits off mic, but sadly, we are not that type of publication. As we weave in and out of the busy central London traffic, Tory rolls the biggest blunt I have ever seen and our 20-minute conversation about the new album ‘Memories Don’t Die’, the cultural appropriation police and derogatory terms in music, begins…

 

FAULT: On the song ‘Happiness’ you talk about losing your mother. How difficult was it making a song like that?

Tory Lanez : I had to record that song like, four different times. I just kept crying every time I tried to record it. I knew it would resonate with people, because of the way it resonated with me.

 

FAULT: People always talk about stark similarities between the street culture in London and the street culture in Toronto. Having been here many times, have you noticed this yourself?

Tory Lanez : Definitely. Like, they way we talk… the way we say, ’mandem’, or when we talk about somebody we’ll say, ‘a man did this’. I think it’s the way we are all brought up. It has a bit of a Caribbean edge to it. I think that’s where the similarities come in.

FAULT: Are you planning on working with any other London, or British based artists?

Tory Lanez : Of course, I want to work with a lot of people from here. I want to do a whole project thats just with people from here. I definitely want to work with Nines, Stefflondon, J Hus, Dave, Stormzy… of course Skepta.

 

FAULT: Keeping the British theme, there is a Zayn Malik sample on the new album. It is done in a great way and it isn’t the most obvious choice. Why did you choose that particular sample?

Tory Lanez : I didn’t. I didn’t even know it was a Zayn sample until after I was trying to clear it. That’s when I found out it was a One Direction sample. The producer, Christian Lou, brought that beat to me.

 

FAULT: …And Sting’s influence on the album?

Tory Lanez : Sting specifically asked us to use his song instead of ours. We had like an interpretation that sounded like his song and Sting said, ‘no, I want them to use the real one, the real song’… so that’s what happened with that. Sting loves it… It’s dope that he allowed us to use his song and was like, ‘use the real song, I don’t want you to use something like it, I want you to use the real thing’. 

 

FAULT: When you talk about being younger and people trying to bully you, it’s almost like you developed a very defensive ‘fuck all of you’ kind of attitude. Is it fair to say you still have that now towards negative people?

Tory Lanez : Yeah. I’m always like that. I grew up like, you fend for yours and if somebody tries to take yours, you show them why they should have never tried it. So for me, I’m the type of person… I just don’t take no bullshit – with anything.

 

FAULT: You have already addressed the issue you had with an upmarket clothing store assistant being rude and dismissive towards you, because of your appearance and in retaliation you spent $35k (of record label money) with a different assistant to prove a point. There was a lot of chatter online about this not being the best way to handle the situation. It is great this conversation is being had because this is something that has been happening for years. In retrospect and if it was your own money and not the record label’s, would you have dealt with the situation in the same way?

Tory Lanez : Some of it was my own money… and yeah, I would have still dealt with it the same way. I didn’t do anything wrong. All I was doing was shopping for clothes. That store being the only store that sells high end designer fabrics, I still had to buy what I was going there to buy, I just didn’t give the commission to the person who was looking down on me.

Do you know what’s crazy… what the actual fucked up part is? The black mentality… and this is so harshly and blatantly true… the black mentality, because we have been oppressed for years, when we do feel like we are no longer second class and we have made something of ourselves, we have gotten our money and we have acquired whatever it is that we have acquired, when we go into stores, there are certain things we don’t want to happen. You don’t want to go into a store and ask for something and they bring you something less expensive. You don’t ever want them to act like you cant afford it… and because, as black people we feel so under privileged our whole lives, the fact that we are in a situation of more privilege, we tend to take more of an advantage of it, to prove to whoever the authority is, that we can do it to. It’s really stupid, but the pride and the underprivilege leads you to it.

 

FAULT: Very loosely leading on from that, Skepta recently in an interview that the term ‘white bitch’ is racist and should not be used. Some people agreed, some disagreed. I just wanted to know your thoughts on that, as you use the term on the album. 

Tory Lanez : Is black bitch the same, or no?

FAULT: Well, Skepta argued that nobody would ever say ‘black bitch’, because there would be such uproar…

Tory Lanez : I’d say black bitch, or white bitch …and feel absolutely no way about it, what do you mean? When I say ‘black bitch’ I don’t mean, black bitch. I am not calling a woman a bitch. I’m not saying, ‘Yo, you black bitch’. When I am with women, or when I am with girls, they will say, ‘I’m with my bitches’… A bitch is a female dog. My friend is my dog. If I say, ‘this is my dog’ I mean this is my dog, he’s my friend, he’s my companion. If I say, ‘I’m with my bitches’, they are my dogs too, just the female type. It doesn’t matter if they are white or black. What people should really be mad at, is the fact that I’m saying bitches. If you are mad at me calling you a bitch, then be mad at me calling you a bitch, but don’t say white bitch is more racist than black bitch, or that I would never say black bitch so why is it ok to say white bitch. If you are going to have a problem with that, just have a problem with the word bitch, don’t have a problem with the colour. If a girl is a whore and she is white, she is a white whore. If a girl is black and she’s a whore, she’s a black whore. I hate for it to sound so blatant and so rude, but you have to get mad at the word, not the colour it’s associated with. You cant get mad at someone calling you a black bitch, be mad at the word bitch… you’re black, that can’t change, be mad at the word that is derogatory.

 

FAULT: Finally, what is your FAULT?

Tory Lanez : My only FAULT is that I was cursed with like these devilish, devilish good looks. It is not the worse curse to have, but that’s my fault, Sorry. Sorry to all those I may have offended with them [laughs].

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 28 – THE STRUCTURAL ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

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Ady Suleiman: Exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 28

Ady Suleiman was shot by Miles Holder and styled by Edith Walker Millwood exclusively for FAULT Magazine Issue 28 – the Structural Issue. Interview by Will Soer.

Ady Suleiman knows who he is. Since he started singing his own songs aged 18 he’s been through a lot; collaborations with superstars (Chance the Rapper, Joey Bada$$, Erykah Badu), major label deals, and intense promotion schedules. His blend of honesty and groove formed irresistible rolling RnB, that explored the issues of his life in real time. Last year he wrote an article for the Independent opening up about recent mental health issues, a heavy stall on his mind and career that had taken a lot of work and lifestyle changes to release. Today I’m talking to him a couple of weeks before his debut album Memories will drop, and one day before he thinks he’ll be over a flu, but things are calm where he is. He’s enjoyed the excuse to binge-watch TV in his London flat and feels excited to be back on the road. Before getting into the interview we talk about another recent experience he enjoyed; his photoshoot with FAULT chief-editor Miles Holder; ‘it’s a skill for the photographer to get a natural look, as standing in front of loads of bright lights is always a bit tense.’

FAULT: Do you find photoshoots that different from performing in gigs, in terms of aesthetically presenting yourself?

Ady Suleiman: With music you always have the song. Any time I get lost and start thinking ‘oh shit there’s a lot of people in here’ and that’s in my mind, I say to myself ‘listen to the music’ and I can get back into character.

One thing I noticed in your music is that there’s a lot of direct addresses, to friends and lovers, when performing these tracks do you go into that headspace?

I think it’s really good to, as it’s like a scripted performance; you can perform the lines in a million ways, some are right. You can just go onstage and perform, and people would think it’s alright, but I want that extra level; the songs are personal and emotional and quite direct, so I want people to feel that story. I don’t necessarily visualise the person I’m addressing, but I always think about me as a character, what am I showing here to the audience, the emotion I was feeling when I wrote that song.

Do some of your tracks have an element of you talking directly to yourself?

100%, it works in both ways. For example, with Why You Runnin Away, it came about from me being frustrating with someone close to me, I was like why the fuck are you doing this shit. As I wrote it I related it to myself; maybe me running away doesn’t have as much consequence as yours does because you’re in a more severe matter, but I can still apply this to myself.

I recently read an article that connected the rise of quiet-storm style RnB in the US with political tension, as it’s a time when people need help with pessimism and anxiety. Do you think about your music as something that could help people like this?

Definitely. It always depends on the concept, sometimes it is just a story, but sometimes I think what am I trying to say with the story? Why am I telling it? Music is stuff that you say, you know everyone goes through, I can get away with saying it by singing it. Like with Running Away maybe I didn’t actually say that stuff to my friend. Some other people are comfortable just saying that stuff normally, but me not so much.

Do you feel like, this ability to express yourself more through song than through spoken word is aided by your musical lineage? Do you think that, in comparison to other genres, your style empowers you more?

I don’t think so, because I don’t really think of genres as doing a specific thing. I think I’d still be direct if I was into metal. If someone gave me a hip hop beat, a reggae beat, a soul beat, a jazz beat, what I’d do on top of this would be similar in terms of my delivery. Genre for me is more the instrumentation and what you put around it, rather than delivery. I think I got that from Amy Winehouse, because she was doing Jazz on that first record, but her lyrics were like ‘I need to get the right angle so he can fuck me right’. That’s why I really liked it, it was contemporary; she spoke the same way that we speak. I wanna talk the way I talk and speak freely.

So is she the GOAT for you?

Vocally, yeah 100%. She made me believe in myself, because she did that jazz/hip hop cross when I was wondering if I’d be able to the music I wanted to make.

She gave British music more hunger for that kind of direct honesty and strident character, that broke away from the semi-American ambiguous Simon Cowell delivery.

Yeah absolutely, I feel like I knew her, like she was my mate. When I went to see that documentary about her everyone in the cinema left feeling the same way, and I felt annoyed, like ‘you don’t know her better than me!’ I don’t think we’ll see anyone like that for some time.

Listening to the 6 minute version of Need Somebody To Love makes it clear how central rhythm is to your voice, even the acapella section keeps a headnod going, and I could tell when the track’s end came without checking my phone screen because your voice broke time and curtails off. Where do you think that flow in your voice comes from? I’m assuming it’s not Amy Winehouse.

I don’t know, maybe hip hop, I listen to a lot of stuff like Damian Marley and Lauryn Hill. This is just me making sense of the question, it might not be true, but I think it’s because of my dyslexia. My reading comprehension is actually quite bad, so when I write something I freestyle. The freestyle has a specific flow, and I write to that flow. Some people can write something and then change the melody afterwards but that’s not how my brain works, it’s too fucking slow. I wish I could, because it takes ages to write this way, but once I’ve written something it’s already got an accent. Because I write in this instinctive manner I feel stuck to this flow. The music’s put around that; I don’t write to beats, it always starts with me and the guitar. It’s always so natural, which can be a fault sometimes because I want to just write a sentence, but at the same time it helps bring that uniqueness. Like I don’t focus on that flow in my music, it’s not a conscious thing, it’s just me. If you really want to be unique, even if you can’t sing, just crack your voice on a record, because no one else has your voice.

You sing about your social anxiety in Pass The Alcohol; is it difficult to re-access songs that are about being in that dark place?

Absolutely not. Those songs written about my mental fragility, I find it really easy to slip back into them, probably because I still have those thoughts but I respond differently to them. That song was about a time when I was using alcohol to deal with social anxiety, and I can still imagine doing that, but I’m choosing not to. Serious and State of Mind can be harder because they’re more about me having a theory, and I’ve developed on those theories now; I see naivety in them.

Do you wanna keep it that way, or would you consider rewriting songs to fit where you are now?

The only thing I sometimes do is in the outros, I’ll add little bits on, it’s a reflective period. And that’s actually how Need Somebody To Love was, the rappy part after the big chorus when it’s like *sings ‘bam bam bam bam’ beautifully*, in the story it’s like ‘cool, now I’ve met that person.’ But because it’s all me it’s not hard to go back to those places.

Do you think that your ability to slip into the mindset of something that’s been hard for you is easier once that you’ve solidified it into a song?

There’s a sense of that, because there’s a distance from it. When I come offstage I’m not still in that song, it’s over, though that depends where you are in your life. When I wrote Drink Too Much and performed it in those months, I’d come offstage and think about it, and I’m having a fucking drink. This is why I called the album Memories, because these songs are like little segments, little thoughts. Have you seen that Harry Potter thing, where he pulls memories out and puts them in a bowl? I can go into the songs and then come back out, without it sticking.

Photographer: Miles Holder
Fashion: Edith Walker Millwood
Grooming: Shamirah Sairally
Words: Will Soer

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 28 – THE STRUCTURAL ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Daphne Guinness Launches Second Album at London’s BFI IMAX

Album cover on BFI IMAX screen

Last night saw the launch of British fashion muse and musician Daphne Guinness ’ second album as Daphne and The Golden Chords, It’s a Riotat the BFI IMAX. As what can only be described as an extravagant homage, the heiress to Guinness – yes, the Irish stout – was the main focus of the night from the start to finish, complete with glass sculptures of the singer at the entrance and projections of her mirage covering the walls as drinks were served. As an air of nepotism swept the room, the event was bustling with friends and confidants of Daphne. From old rockers in leather jackets to big names in the fashion industry, the crowd was an eclectic mix of all ages, some of which wouldn’t have looked out of place 50 years ago.

Once ushered into the cinema for the screening with bags of popcorn, glasses of prosecco and merchandise, FAULT was treated to a sensory eye bath. With the help of Tony Visconti, the American record producer who helped the likes of Bowie and T. Rex, Daphne’s music – set to visuals created by artist Nick Knight – made an instant impact, leaving the audience mesmerised.

Over a collection of arty clips and kaleidoscopic visuals of the singer herself, the music poured out poppy, Lauper-esque hooks with ethereal lyrics taking influence from Marc Bolan and Bowie – Visconti definitely left his mark on the album. The self-proclaimed autobiographical record visits her recent near-death experience and her life as it has progressed in last few years. Using her classical training, penchant for poetry and love of Wagner (thanks to hours chatting with Bowie in the studio), Daphne has created her own unique style of glam rock – think a lot of spoken word and catchy repetition.

The unashamedly self-assured Daphne was soon interviewed on stage by music journalist Will Hodgkinson, who’s written for the likes of The Guardian and Vogue. However, as the Q&A progressed, her coquettish facade transformed into a timid, more vulnerable persona, speaking about her fears and anxieties both in her personal life and musical career, before mentioning her new relationship with her bandmates who are, of course, also big names in the music industry, including keyboard player Terry Miles.

The singer’s 80s-inspired sound and alias is a perfect partnership and, in Daphne’s own words, completes her world. Tour? She doesn’t know. But, if she does, make sure you bring your glitter platforms and leave the Guinness Toucan Tees at home.

Words: Flora Neighbour

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

 

Flora Neighbour with KC and Jordon Wi-Fi from Last Night in Paris

Flora Neighbour with KC and Jordon Wi-Fi from Last Night in Paris

 

Flora Neighbour with Daphne and The Golden Chord keyboard player Terry Miles

Flora Neighbour with Daphne and The Golden Chord keyboard player Terry Miles

 

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson