FAULT meets rising star Malachi Kirby

‘Black Mirror’ is back on our screens. We sat down with south London native, Malachi Kirby, to talk about his role in a future episode and also his stellar performance in ‘Roots’.


‘Black Mirror’ is back! Some of the titles were teased online by Charlie Brooker, which episodes are you featuring in?

It’s called ‘Man Against Fire’. I think it might be episode 4 or 5.


The new episodes has a Marmite scene and of course there was the pig storyline, which both strangely mirror recent events. Just in case Charlie Brooker is actually predicting the future with this series, in regards to your episode and without giving the storyline away, is there anything we can do to prepare?

Ooh… without giving the plot away? Erm… I’m not really sure to be honest [laughs]. It’s something that I’m looking at and thinking, ‘OK, this is something that could possibly happen.’ I’m not quite sure how you would deal with it… apart from… just to… no, no, no… sorry. I can’t really think of anything.

Jumper - Markus Lupfer / Jacket - Quasami / Jeans - BLK DNM / Shoes - ETQ.

Jumper – Markus Lupfer / Jacket – Quasami

For those who have never seen it, why should they watch?

Well, Charlie Brooker is amazing… the cast that he’s got for this particular series is incredible and the directors. They’ve really gone all out with this series and basically, his stories are very kind of technical. The whole series is about technology and how technology is effecting us as humans and the worst case scenarios that can effect us. I don’t know how to say this without giving it away, but it’s just really, really good writing. its one of those projects that is a passion project, so like, any actors or creatives that get involved with this, do it because they enjoy it. They are stories that are important, but they are also very well dramatised. Its one of those things that will definitely make the audience think and question. I feel like its one of those things you have to take in, in bites. Don’t binge on it. I think one episode is enough for 24hrs.


Charlie Brooker has been quite adamant that this isn’t a ‘message show’ and that it’s purely entertainment, but with things like this, you kind of cant help taking from it.

Charlie Brooker says it’s not a message show, but there is a lot to take from it. I think with him [Charlie Brooker] he’s not trying to tie it all up and make and kind of give us a solution to the problem, but he has definitely highlighted the problems. I think by highlighting the problem, it makes us think, but he doesn’t provide an ‘answer’ which I think is great, because it leaves it open to interpretation.

With it being Black History Month, I must talk to you about the remake of the 1977 classic ‘Roots’ and your absolutely stellar performance as Kunta Kinte. With ‘Roots’ being such a big film, for all races, were you hesitant, sceptical, or nervous about this project at all?

Before I found out that there were any auditions happening or that it was even being re-made, I watched the original two or three years prior. I had herd about it when I was younger. I’d seen it on TV, but I didn’t really appreciate or pay much attention to it and then my Mum formally gave it to me on DVD when I was about 22 and she said ‘Watch this’. About a year later I actually got round to watching it. I think i watched the whole thing back to back. I don’t think I actually stopped, I was just hooked. I had never seen anything like that in my life. It just blew my mind. so when the auditions came about, I was still processing what I had seen. I know the original was made in 1977, but I was thinking, ‘why are they doing this again?’ I’m still going around telling everyone to watch the first one. So when I heard they were making another one, I, like a lot of people, was very sceptical about it, because I felt quite protective over the subject matter. I think that definitely effected my first audition, because I spent more time worrying about if I got the part, than actually preparing for it. It was literally the worst audition of my life and I have no idea why they called me back, but they did and eventually after the screen test, I got to sit down with the producer, Mark Wolper, whose father produced the first one. He told me why this remake was important and why he wanted to do the series again and his reasons just kind of gave me peace. So I jumped on board, but it was the most challenging role I’ve ever played.


Jumper by Markus Lupfer, Jacket by Quasami, Jeans by BLK DNM, Shoes by ETQ.



It is a very difficult series to watch. In terms of acting, which scenes were the most challenging, was there any particular scene that broke you?

[Long pause] Yeah, in the whipping scene… There were a lot of scenes that were hard, but the one that actually broke me, was the whipping scene. There were a couple of moments of the boat that were really hard too.


I read that you used that boat set for two whole weeks, so you were in that cramped, dark, dirty environment for two weeks straight?

 The boat was a real boat, but we weren’t out at sea. They built it to the actual dimensions of what it would have been at the time and they put 200 African people into this tiny hold and they chained them up – all of us together – and you’re just in this hole… and it’s dark and it’s wet and you’ve just got people crying and screaming and you’re there from sun up to sundown and it’s.. it’s… it’s just horrible. Not only for the actors, because you don’t even feel like you’re an actor at this point. I don’t even think you need to be an actor to respond to that, it’s just disgusting. For me, I didn’t want to come out of there whist we were filming. I wanted to stay in there for the whole day, because I just thought, the people that who would have actually been in here, would have been in here for three weeks before they saw daylight, so I thought the least I could do was stay in there for 24hrs or a day. I just wanted to get as close as I could [as safely as possible] to the experience Kunta Kinte would have had. So on lunch breaks I didn’t leave or eat, as my character was refusing food anyway. When the crew left and the cast left was when I really connected with that experience.That was the biggest thing I took from that. My character had been taken from home and even though he’s surrounded by people, he doesn’t know any of them, they don’t speak his language for the most part. So it was just that feeling of isolation.


Leather Trousers and Shirt – BLK DNM / Coat – Kooples / Shoes – CMMN

You mentioned the whipping scene – what was your experience with that like?

Before we started that scene, like a lot of the filming, I had no idea to prepare for it. I don’t know how you would begin to prepare mentally for something like that. Before we did that scene, I was praying. I asked God to help me, give me some kind of inspiration as to what he [Kunta Kinte] went through, what it would feel like. They were never actually going to whip me, but I needed to know what it would have felt like. It needed to be more than me just screaming and crying on camera, because it’s not just him being beaten, it’s his identity being stripped away. LeVar Burton who played the original Kunta Kinte, came up to me after the first take, we spent the whole day on this scene, but he came up to me and said, ‘He was a mighty child, I am a mighty man’, he hugged me and walked away and I have no idea why he old me that, but then I went back into it and those words just resonated with me, ‘I am a mighty man’ and it caused me to resist more than felt natural. We ended up making the scene with more than three times the amount of lashes that was in the original. I think there are 33 and the original had 9. He [Kunta Kinte] was going to hold on to his name for as long as he could and when he finally gave in, what I felt was that it wasn’t him giving up, but it was a form of survival, it was him thinking, ‘ok, I can resist and resist and resist and then die or I can tell them what they want to hear so that I can live to fight again.’ When I heard the whip cracking… there was a point where I lost my mind a bit. I just heard these screams, all these cries of all these people who had lost their identities. It was horrible. I just couldn’t get their cries out of my head and it broke me down. I don’t know how long we stopped for, but it was a mess. Basically, I was on the floor, I was in tears, I literally couldn’t get up for maybe 20mins, I just felt their pain and it was horrible. The first person that came over to me was the medic, which gives you an idea of the kid of state I was in… but I kept going, because I didn’t want to have to do this again the next day [laughs].

Jumper and jacket - Hugo Boss / Jeans - BLK DNM / Shoes - Harrys of London

Jumper and jacket – Hugo Boss / Jeans – BLK DNM / Shoes – Harrys of London

There are people who think ‘Roots’ should be shown in schools to children of a certain age, and there are those who have ‘had enough of slavery films’ at one point I think Snoop Dogg called for a boycott…?

I think it very much depends on the individual. I think this is something that should definitely be watched as a family, especially with younger children, I feel like there should be an adult there to answer the questions they would have after it. I think this could be very damaging to someone who isn’t prepared, but especially a chid. When you are watching a direct inslavement by white people to Africans, it’s very easy for a child to become traumatised by that, so there needs to be a conversation afterwards explaining that this was a long time ago, put it in context and give them perspective. In terms of telling more positive stories… I don’t know if I’m really strange, but I feel like this is one. I think that there is a lot of positives to take from this, I don’t feel like this is a story just about slavery, but about a people who didn’t give into it. The importance of family, who you are and where you come from. Slavery isn’t anything to be ashamed of. We survived it. There are many of races or ethncites who went though slavery and didn’t survive it. I think there are more stories should be told and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There really aren’t ‘too many slavery films’ and we think we know the story, but we don’t! There is so much more to it than just being a slave. Black history doesn’t begin with slavery …or end with it.


Jacket - CMMN

Jacket – CMMN


Series three of Black Mirror is available on Netflix now. You can follow Malachi on Twitter.


Words Trina John-Charles

Photography Stephanie YT

Styling Indigo Goss @ ERA Management

Grooming Lillie Russo

Bear Hands take a break from their US tour to chat about their forthcoming album

Here FAULT catch up with the lovely Ted Feldman from Bear Hands, who took a break from driving across America to have a chat. Bear Hands have been rocking the electro-indie scene for a while now, garnering some serious praise for their debut single “2am” and the follow up, “Boss”. They are currently a few weeks into a US tour with FOALS, and are releasing their new album, “You’ll Pay for This” on the 18th of November.



So, how’s the tour going, where are you right this second?

Yeah it’s been good so far, we’re in Tulsa, Oklahoma right now, about to drive up to Arkansa. But it’s a dreary day, we had a good show but we’re about to hit up some Midwestern cities, see what happens, but things are good.

I heard you had some issues with stolen gear, is everything back on track with you guys now?

Oh man, it was painful, it is painful. We were in Houston, we did fairly well in most American cities, we’ve been touring for a long time and things are good, getting better, but we’ve never really had a good show in Houston, but we did the other days opening for Foals, we had a great show, we hung out and it was a top Houston night. But somewhere between 5 in the morning, when one of us came back from a “top night”, discovered that our van trailer had been broken into and whatever assholes decided to do that took 6 guitars. Y’know, it coulda been worse, they could have taken everything or the whole trailer I guess, who knows. But it was all locked and “safe”, we thought it was safe. But I lost a guitar that means a lot to me.

But we’re okay, we’re cool to carry on. Y’know it’s one of those things, you always read about bands getting their stuff stolen and I feel like it’s almost a cliché to complain about it, we’re just another band that got their shit taken. But it does hurt, it sucks.

I guess you have that now though, at least it’s part of the story…

Yeah, I mean the other side of the coin is that everyone we’re with like the Foals guys, their whole crew have been really generous and offering to use their gear and stuff. A lot of friends reaching out, it’s been really kind. The positive is that people are generally y’know, kinda nice.

2am is such a cool track, really slick and it reminds me of the Sopranos intro. Boss is more raw, with that guitar hook that sounds like Gimme Stitches by the Foo Fighters – Is the rest of the album so diverse?

Yeah we tend to go all over the place and try to give every song its own flavour and the opening track of the album mixes those things pretty well and I hope that it sorta acts as an announcement or a warning for the rest of the album. We touch on a lot of different sounds and styles, I think.



So what was it like working with producer James Brown (Foo Fighters) and mixer Alan Moulder (Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Foals) was it intimidating working with people who have worked with some truly massive acts?

Oh it didn’t bother me at all, it was exciting. James, we’ve worked with him before for a few years. He mixed our first two records, so he’s been a friend and involved so it wasn’t intimidating at all to work with him as a producer. And he’s also ust the friendliest, best dude to be around. That I spent 18 hours a day, every day for like 2 months was a pleasure, I love that guy. He also brought a lot of expertise and smarts and worked his ass off for that and I can’t be more appreciative of that. And yeah Alan Moulder mixed and that was… we’re all huge fans of his work, I was able to sit in on the mixes. He’s also incredibly kind and a gentleman. I feel like I was able to learn a lot just by sitting there and watching his process. Yeah, totally positive, and I think the record was better for his work.

How did you write this album, was it all whilst touring or did you set aside time to just jam?

This was the first time we were off-tour, we knew we were writing an album. Before, it’s always been between tours and jobs but this time we actually set out to write a record, and so I started by trying to treat it like a job, like 9-5 kinda thing. That failed, hah, not the vibe.

So, Dylan and I do the bulk of the writing, we both sorta do things on our own and then come together. The best sessions were when we sorta went to the woods and isolate for 3 days at a time and kinda knock it out a lot in one sitting. I feel like that immersion is what brings the most successful stuff, and lets ideas flourish.

Speaking of which, do you guys get stir crazy at all from touring? Do you still hang out as friends when you’re not “working”?

Um… no? Hah, barely. We spend so much time together on the road, 24 hours a day. We do hang out a little bit but when we’re home we try to hang out with our significant others and try to keep friends that we’ve not seen for months. We get together from time to time, we’re all friends, some of our girlfriends are friends.

So 2am has nearly a million views now, and Boss, which came out yesterday just hit 3000, which is awesome. Where do these videos come from, who came up with the ideas?

Generally I have a lot to say about the videos, but the 2am video I left to the directors. I mean, we were at the party, but other than that I left to them. The “Boss” video, the director is a friend Ethan…. We talked about it a lot beforehand, and I was on set for the shoot, I helped him edit, I was involved as a “consultant” of sorts… He and I talk about music videos, whether they’re ours or stuff he’s working on, we talk about movies all the time so it felt very natural to do that. But yeah I’m pretty excited about it, I think he did an awesome job.


What’s the plan once this tour is over, are you looking to get back into the studio or just keep on touring?

Um, no nothing lined up at the moment, I think I’m itching to write some new stuff, and that’s difficult to do on the road so I’m looking forward to doing that when I get home. But no er… no concrete plans for any new recordings, I think we’ll be doing some more touring in the spring. Soak in some home life, spend time with my girl and my friends and uh absorb the real world for a second. Try and write some new shit.

I ask everyone this, but it’s interesting to hear what comes out – who would you like to collaborate with?

There are definitely people we admire… There’s a lot of people I’d love to work with but I’m trying to think of someone the band are all excited about, we all have different opinions. I’d like to do something off-brand, out of our world and work with a producer like more like Flying Lotus, or someone totally out of the rock realm.


Words Morton Piercewright

Tove Lo bares her soul on revealing cover shoot for FAULT Magazine Issue 24


“You have your whole life to write your first record,” explains Tove Lo. “I had two years to write this one.” The 28-year-old Swede’s breakthrough came in 2014 with the arrival of her debut studio album Queen of the Clouds, which spawned numerous hit singles like  “Habits (Stay High),” a drug-and-sex-fueled post-breakup bender anthem echoed around the world. Fame, when it came, seemed overnight. The freshly minted pop sensation won a legion of fans, and the excitement bubbling up around her imminent follow-up album started taking on new levels of ferocity. So how do you repeat a career high of that of magnitude? How do you give fans more of the same without reinventing the wheel? Tove Lo’s answer is Lady Wood, and the new album finds her at her best. It’s infectious pop, a battle cry for self-empowerment, and endless truth telling about relationships imbued with the twisted wit—decidedly Scandinavian—that we’ve come to expect from her.


When it comes to your songwriting, you’re quite revealing. What does it feel like to reveal so much of yourself to the entire world?

It’s amazing, and also kind of scary. When you’re in a creative bubble, you know exactly how you feel about everything, but the world can receive it differently. You know what I mean—It’s like, “I hope they understand what I’m saying here,” because it is so personal. But mostly, I’m so proud of this record. I’m excited to share more stuff from Lady Wood.


Is the creative process very different when you’re writing songs for other artists?

When I write with someone else in mind, I have to be with that person to figure out what they want to say and think about their voice. You see what kinds of melodies suit them. When I’m writing a song that’s for someone else, it’s the same way movies can inspire me. I love creating a scenario in my head and describe what’s going on, while pulling at those emotions that I can relate to. When it’s a song for myself, it’s very easy and introspective. It just comes and I blurt it out, you know? I’m putting my heart to paper.


What was the overall concept for Lady Wood? 

Lady Wood is a double album and there’s a second part coming up with two more chapters later on. “Fairy Dust” and “Fire Fade” are the first two chapters, and the whole album is about the past two years of my life. It’s been a fucking emotional rollercoaster—in the best and worst ways possible. [Laughs] Lady Wood is all about chasing that rush. How do I feel the most alive? Sometimes it’s stress, sometimes it’s love, and other times, it’s being high getting off the stage. The album takes you through the different stages: The chase, the rush, the peak, and the downfall. The beginning is when I hear the fans shouting my name and I’m about to hit the stage. “Fire Fade” is when it all sort of starts to wear off and I’m losing connection with the fans a bit, and I’m trying to get back to that first chase. You feel vulnerable there. It’s where you start to reveal your true self.



The track “Cool Girl” was inspired by Rosamund Pike’s memorable monologue in David Fincher’s Gone Girl? That’s so specific!

It was sort of a coincidence! I had just seen the movie. I’d also remembered being in a similar situation where it was a back-and-forth with this person. I felt uneasy about it, you know? It was like, “Do I really know this person? Do they really know me?” She changes herself so much for someone else. Why do we—and not just girls—do that? Why do we change ourselves for someone else and then expect that person to love us for who we are? Why do we play mind games? Why do we try to make someone we like feel insecure so they will like us more? It’s strange the things we do to others to make them love us. [Laughs] It’s like the less emotion you show, the more in control you are. It’s like you can’t let your emotions get ahold of you. Why is it so bad to be emotional?


They sometimes call you “The saddest girl in Sweden.” Is that a source of irritation?

That doesn’t bother me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m Swedish. [Laughs] It doesn’t bother me to say that I’ve been depressed and I’ve struggled with dark thoughts. It’s not something that I find shameful. Everyone’s sad sometimes. Even though I’m living my dream, which is fucking awesome and amazing, I still have days when I don’t want to get out of bed. If you experience all these highs, you’re going to get the lows—that’s just how it’s always been. I definitely appreciate the small things in life as much as I do the huge things. There are people who are surprised when they meet me like, “You’re nice!”


Do you still sometimes stop and think, “This is all fucking crazy right now”?

Yes! In Miami, we went to this amazing, beautiful house and had so much fun jamming on stage with Maroon 5, and then we went back to our hotel and jumped into the ocean. It’s like, “What the fuck is happening?” [Laughs] We just performed for 15 thousand people! As often as I can, I try to think about that. It can get stressful and things can get intense, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m here to live my life to the fullest.


What is your FAULT?

Where do I even begin with this? [Laughs] Well, my FAULT is that for every TV show type thing we do now, we have to include in the contract that I won’t flash the camera.




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Rebecca Ferguson opens up about the inspiration behind new album ‘Superwoman’

She undoubtedly has one of the most distinctive voices in music, a timelessly soulful tone rich is jazz and along the similar bloodlines of Nina Simone. Now Rebecca Ferguson is back with her fourth studio album ‘Superwoman’. Following her break on the X Factor six years ago and the incredible success of her three pervious albums, ‘Heaven’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Lady Sings The Blues, Rebecca returns fuelled by the bitter sweetness of heartbreak and giving birth to a new baby. ‘Superwoman’ is a diary of contradicting emotions; Rebecca’s new music liberatingly exposes her vulnerability, and yet is filled with songs infused with strength and empowerment. We caught up with Rebecca to speak about her super album, that is dedicated to fearless mothers and fighters.

Brown's Hotel Towel / Jewellery - Swarovski

Brown’s Hotel Towel /
Jewellery – Swarovski


FAULT: So you’re back and with the new album ‘Superwoman’, what has it been like getting back to writing and recording new material?

Rebecca: It was good, I was really happy, as my last album was not one that I had written so when I finally got to come back and write this album I had so much to say. It was really easy and it was an emotional process but one that I really enjoyed doing.


Why the name ‘Superwoman’, and who would you dedicate this album to?

[It’s called] Superwoman because I wanted to highlight that, you know, sometimes you go through stuff and you do super woman things and actually we are all human beings and we get through it. I had quite a tough year, it must have been two years ago now and when I look back at how bad it was I think actually, you know, I’ve done all right, I’ve conquered. So it comes from that place really and as well as that I’ve dedicated it to my step mum who passed fighting cancer. So it’s just about strong women really and that sometimes you don’t always overcome things, but you fight. So it’s an album for fighters.


How would you say this album differs from Heaven and Freedom?

I think it’s a lot more personal; the other two were personal as well but this album is about a subject that I wouldn’t normally speak of, as there is a child involved. So there was a break up but it’s talking about something that is very personal and I’ve sort of opened myself up to the public and my listeners about a very private chapter in my life. I’ve done it deliberately because I wanted to tackle the taboo subject of women being left with children and being left to carry children. I wanted to really tackle it and make the taboo subject something people have to think about.

Did you do anything in particular to prepare and get into the headspace for creating this album, as it is obviously quite emotional?

I just literally went in, we would normally record from twelve to seven, or six. So every song on the album is exactly how I felt each day. For ‘Hold Me’ I was really venerable and just slouched in the corner and I just wrote it really quickly. It’s just really expressive and it’s kind of like a diary, this album. I just wrote what I felt and I wasn’t really overly thinking about my audience and wasn’t thinking ‘oh right, I’ve got to write a hit’, it was just like this is what I feel and I just poured it all out.

Shirt - Edeline Lee / Skirt - Holly Fulton / Jewellery - Swarovski

Shirt – Edeline Lee / Skirt – Holly Fulton / Jewellery – Swarovski


What would you say are the three most prevalent emotions that people will feel and relate to when listening to Superwoman?

You will feel… oh how can I put it. There will be moments when you feel strength, there will be moments when you reminisce and there will be moments of sadness. But strength I want to be the main one.


Can you choose a favourite song from the new album?

‘Hold Me’, ‘Mistress’ and ‘Pay For It’ are the ones I would go to listen to for pleasure, if you know what I mean. If it wasn’t me singing it and it was another artist I would go to them to listen to.


What is the message behind your new single ‘Bones’?

Well it was the vulnerability; if I’m being honest it’s again the journey. I’m not now in that place I was with Bones; I’m not in a relationship wanting a man to love me but I had to tell that story so the whole album is about how I was feeling. You know, why wasn’t he paying attention to me, it’s all about wanting them to love you and to treat you right but they don’t and it’s kind of me expressing how a lot of frustrated women and men feel like. You’re not taking no notice of me, you just have the telly on constantly or out with your mates and that’s the song that I think everyone can relate to in some way.


I thought the music video for ‘Bones’ was beautifully shot – was it fun to shoot?

It was so relaxing and nice, some shoots can be really stressful but it was actually quite a nice video to shoot. I think having the actors in it helped as well as they do a lot of the shots too.


What was it like working with Producer Troy Miller on Superwoman?

He is amazing. He is unbelievable and he is a real perfectionist as well. I believe really good things will happen for Troy, I really think he is going to go on, as he is so ambitious. He will do great things, as he is someone who is special in his style of production.

Slip Dress - Ghost / Jewellery - Swarovski

Slip Dress – Ghost / Jewellery – Swarovski


How have your three gorgeous children influenced you and the new album?

Well it was hard because I’m having to be quite honest about everything with the kids, so I think they have influenced me in lots of ways. Arabella is the main influence because it was all about her and it was the situation I found myself in with her and how having her changed my life and my confidence. I had a depressive break down when I was left with the baby, but when I finally got back on my feet I was a changed person and thought ‘No one is ever going to put me in that place again’. I’m never going to be that depressed again. You just go though things for a reason to make you stronger.


In the past you might have been shy with conveying your emotions, but how are you now able to embrace them within your music?

I mean we all have our moments, I had a big TV deal the other day and I was like ‘oh my god’, you know I’m still a human being but I think working with people in the Jazz world helped. They are so free on stage and helped me to just chill out. If you make a mistake on stage just wing it, that’s what they say because in jazz there are no mistakes. If someone sings a wrong word they all just laugh about it and carry on playing, which I love, and that’s what I think music is all about, just freedom to express. So working with jazz people really helped me to express those emotions.


How have you enjoyed turning 30 and moving to Paris? Have these milestones taught you anything?

Turning thirty… I milked it for three weeks! I just celebrated and celebrated, and celebrated again. My stepmum before she passed said to me, ‘Becky, go party, go holiday, just enjoy it’. So I listened to that and I just milked it. First I went to Paris and me and my best mate hired a nice suite right in front of the Eiffel Tower and we had drinks on the terrace, which was really lovely, and that was our Carrie Bradshaw moment. Then I threw myself a big party in Liverpool and invited all my old school mates, you know people I hadn’t seen since I was 15, so it was like a big school reunion and then we did more nights out and went to see another show in Paris. I think with age, I’m learning that people only celebrate the big birthdays but actually without sounding morbid it’s a good achievement and you should enjoy celebrating every one.


Superwoman as a body of work is super empowering, do you have any tips for women who want to feel empowered themselves?

My personal opinion from what I’ve found is don’t chase a man, a man that cares for you, you don’t have to chase. No matter how many times you chase them, you’re not going to capture them. If you’re having to chase them you will never hold them and that’s one thing that I learnt turning 30 is that you need to find love within yourself, because if you’re just looking for it outside you will never find peace.


I love the album art for Superwoman – how have you enjoyed evolving your look?

You know, I spoke about it and thought, ‘I’m a few albums in now and I really need to start doing me’. We fought for that shot as well, and I fought for the bunny ears as not everyone wanted them. I think it’s modern and it’s youthful and so I’m glad we went for it.

Dress - Peter Jensen / Slip - Ghost / Jewellery - Swarovski

Dress – Peter Jensen / Slip – Ghost / Jewellery – Swarovski


You obviously started out on the X Factor and since then have had fantastic success musically, but do you find yourself moving away from the X Factor stigma or do you think it is something that will always be threaded through you?

I’m very appreciative of X Factor and I’m really grateful. I don’t understand how people do it and then are like ‘don’t mention it,’ because I think you have got to accept where you’ve come from and it was the public’s vote that got you there as well. People actually paid money to put you where you are, so I’m very appreciative. At the same time I don’t like that there is such a stigma, you know I write all my own music and I help produce all my music too so I am a musician. I would like for people now to not stigmatize me I guess.


You’re starting your UK tour on the 23rd of October; do you have any tour traditions?

Only pre show; so, I have to have 15 minutes alone compulsively or I freak out. I know it’s a really odd thing but I have to have that time. In those minutes I will say a prayer and I will do a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and a lot of yodeling goes on. I just get myself in a good positive mindset really but if I don’t have it, it does throw me.


Do you get nervous preforming on stage and meeting fans?

I do on TV sometimes but it depends, I’m a bit more chilled now. But saying that, I did a gig at home in Liverpool and because all the experiences that I’m speaking about on the album happened there, I kind of had to go back and face my demons and face the place where a lot of the pain had happened. So that was a difficult one, as when I was singing I was getting really emotional and that made me a bit nervous, but once I settled in I was fine. It just brought it all back.


Who are your continuous musical inspirations?

Lauryn Hill, I think she is amazing, her ‘Miseducation’ album was unbelievable, I don’t know what’s happening with her but that album was amazing. Who else… Tracy Chapman, and I’m actually into Kanye West, I mean musically as a producer. I know he can be a bit controversial, but production-wise I think he is unbelievable.



Dress – Peter Jensen / Slip – Ghost / Jewellery – Swarovski


What has been your most ‘pinch me’ moment ever, either something you have achieved or someone you have sung with?

Well singing to Prince William, [or perhaps] Lionel Richie, singing with him was a bit nerve-racking but the most recent one was when Goldie Horn stage-bombed me and ran on stage and gave me a hug when I was singing the other day. I grew up watching all her old classics films, and she is just so lovely and she is so down-to-earth. I mean we hugged and then were singing and dancing together which was lovely, I wish someone filmed it though.


What are your future goals, both musically and personally?

Musically, I just hope to carry on making records and doing tours, speaking to fans and helping people. I’d like to do more charity work but at the minute because I’ve got a young baby who gets me up three times a night, I recognise that if I do a charity I’ve got to be 100% dedicated. So I’m waiting until she is a bit older as I don’t want to half-do it, I want to fully focus. So that’s a future goal and as well as that I’d love to maybe get married in the future. I wouldn’t say never to more kids I’d just have to be really settled and happy first.

Rebecca’s new album ‘Superwoman’ is out now.

Words Sarah Barnes

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Edith Walker Millwood

Beauty Lisa Laudat using MAC and Beauty Works

Special Thanks Brown’s Hotel


White Lies spill on new album ‘Friends’ in exclusive Fault shoot and interview


After three consecutive Top 5 albums, White Lies released their fourth album ‘Friends’ on October 7th. With lead singles ‘Take It Out On Me’ and ‘Come On’ in-keeping with their trademark synth-rock sound, Fault sits down with Harry McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Lawrence-Brown and asks them what they have in store for rest of the new album.


Hi guys, how’s it going?

Jack: It’s going very well yeah! Start of a busy week.

Harry: Start of actual proper work. Feels like we haven’t done any proper work for…years! Slowly getting dragged back into it, but it’s nice.



With all the new promo around the new release, you’ve got a show coming up in London?

Jack: Yeah show coming up on Wednesday in Kamio. Its not a secret show but its just a real underplay as we’ve put 200 tickets out to fans, which is obviously not many. I can’t work out if it’s high pressure or low pressure to have less people there but maybe alleviates some of the worry about not playing a show in 2 years. Least there’s not that many people there if it’s a trainwreck.


Does it feel like a long time since you’ve been on stage?

Charles: Yeah!

Harry: Yeah, it did when we started rehearsals, I felt very rusty.


So it feels good to be back into the swing of things again?

Charles: Yes, there is only so much rehearsing you can do really; you’ve got to just play shows. Unfortunately for the early ones!

Harry: I quite like the element of danger; it could all fall apart and go really wrong. It’s quite a nice way to play a show!

Charles: I think I’ll definitely be very nervous before certain songs on Wednesday.

Jack: I don’t think I will be!

Harry: Apart from lyrics, which are a risk [all laugh].

Jack: Famously risky singer.


For the new ones you mean?

Harry: No all of them! [laughs] We’ve been playing a long time but I’ve always been hopeless remembering lyrics. I don’t know, maybe we need to think of a system.

Charles: System which is always like remembering?

Harry: I don’t think that’s an option sometimes. [laughs]. Maybe some sort of autocue or something.

Jack: You need to get onto autocue, everyone’s got autocue these days.


Harry McVeigh

How long ago did you start recording?

Harry: We recorded during last winter so we started in November time, finished just before Christmas, around the time of your birthday actually (looks at Charles), and we did a bit more in January. Almost a year ago now. It’s a long process to get everything together and to pick a good time for release and everything.


Did you start writing on road during the Big TV tour, or did you take a break?

Harry: No we never do that. We enjoy writing so much it seems a shame to do it when you’re doing something else. After we toured Big TV we took 6 months off and we did nothing! Which was another great catalyst for writing again because I think you need to approach writing from a position of really wanting to do it, and being a little bit bored as well. So you look forward to spending your days doing something creative and fun.


Was there a song on the new album that you found most hard to write, or to think about?

 Charles: Well actually not hard to write, but the song Come On that we released a few weeks ago, that was the one we recorded in January because we’d done a load of different versions of it, not very different versions, but trying to get the arrangement right basically. It’s one of the ones that wasn’t together enough to record in Bryan Ferry’s place in November/December. But even though we recorded 13 songs or something in that session, I know that for Jack and I that song was still kind of bugging us. We thought it should be on the record and I think we need to find a way of recording it.

Our old producer Ed Buller who is notoriously honest with his opinions came in to do some recording of synths and a few of Harry’s vocals and stuff like that, I remember playing him that demo, we were playing a bunch of the other ones that didn’t make the cut and he in his typical Ed way just kind of went “why the fuck are you not recording that? You idiots, what are you doing?” You know, you’ve got to record that, and when Ed says something like that it does give you the encouragement usually because he is almost always right.

So we went in with friend Rich Wilkinson to a studio in January just to record that. We did another song too, for a B-side but thank goodness we did to be honest! It’s gone down really, really well and I think that it’s a real bridge between fans of our first album and fans that have been with us for the whole time. We’ve seen a lot of comments like people saying it reminds them a lot of the first record but it sounds really new and kind of dated as well. But it was a pain! It goes to show you that sometimes its worth struggling away over something even though it can be very frustrating.


Do you think because of that struggle, you’re going to find it hard to translate it live?

Charles: It’s actually alright.

Harry: It was difficult.

Charles: A little bit difficult, I mean I still can’t quite remember it when it comes how to play it.

Harry: It’s got about 8 million chords in it, which is always a challenge isn’t it?

Charles: I know, they keep changing.

Harry: That’s the problem isn’t it with songs, remembering the chords.

Jack: [laughs] Not remembering chords, not remembering the lyrics, classic singer

Harry: It was a complicated piece of music though.

Charles: In some ways, my least favourite part of being in a band or the most disappointing time of being in a band is that sometimes when you’re rehearsing after you’ve written an album or when you start to play live shows, there are certain songs that you absolutely love the recordings of, and love playing them, but just kind of fall a bit flat live, and you can’t really explain it other than them being mid-tempo songs like slow ones, or very fast ones are pretty shortfire. Occasionally some of the mid-tempo ones don’t quite work. There have definitely been songs from our records in the past that people loved and had to kind of sacrifice in the live show. You sort of just go “yeah, we love them but do they actually go down really, really well in this way?” and they don’t, so sometimes when you’re rehearsing and you’ve been really looking forward to playing a certain song from the record, you start rehearsing it and you just think “ooh, no! How is this one going to go down on stage?” So we’ll have to wait and see, but Come On is one that feels pretty sturdy, we’ve made fairly a bold move and put it quite late on in the setlist.


Jack Lawrence-Brown

Expanding on that, what can fans expect from the new setlist?

Charles: We actually just posted a picture of it the other day. We’ve learnt more songs than we’ve ever had prepared before, like 25 songs.

Harry: If we played them all from beginning to end, it will probably take over 2 hours. So we’re not playing them all because that’s too much.

Charles: It’s nice being able to chop and change a little bit. In Europe we often have a lot of fans that come to multiple gigs; they actually travel between countries. So I do like the idea of someone forking out cash for two separate tickets, train tickets, hotel or whatever it is, but they get something a bit different.


Keeps you guys on your toes as well I guess?  

Charles: Yeah!

Jack: It keeps us on our toes for sure! I think it’s a really good idea for us to try and work out honestly which songs are working and which songs aren’t, but feel pretty confident about everything we’ve learnt, it’s quite an impressive and good array; a really good mix of a lot of first album, quite a lot of third album and obviously a lot of this album.


Not a lot from Ritual, your second album then?

Jack: Only a tiny bit of Ritual. Just for the really hardcore fans.


You’ve got a massive tour coming up, a bit in the UK and then you travel all the way across Europe, are you all looking forward to it?

Harry: Yeah definitely, I’m excited. We’re playing some amazing venues.

Jack: It’s going to be a real mix, we start off in Paradiso in Amsterdam, which is a big venue and Netherlands have always been really good for us, they sold that show out really quickly. Then we’ll be doing venues like one in Prague called Lucerna, which is amazing but its maybe 500/600 people. It’s a very small club and the audience surrounds the whole stage. Harry is on a little plinth a little bit further forward than usual, it’s a really cool venue. There’s a real mix of venues.


For the fans, that intimate experience will be quite valuable.

Jack: Yeah I always recommend that one as one that people should come out to and to try a new venue out in Europe, it’s amazing.

Harry: It’s going to be fun saying hello to everyone again, definitely.

Charles: All the nutters down the front.

Harry: Yeah, the nutters down the front.


Any meet and greets planned on tour?

Harry: They’re sort of unavoidable to be honest, people sort of hang around until you come out so you meet them then

Charles: We’re always happy to sign stuff.

Harry: Always happy to say hello.

Charles: We’re pretty affable, yeah. Sometimes it gets a bit like, you have to blame social media. Sometimes you literally walk off stage, sweating, get into a dressing room and you just start checking Twitter and you see messages saying ‘we’re waiting for you outside, it’s freezing, it’s raining. And we’re like “go home!” Don’t complain or try and make us feel bad, we’re going to have a shower, have a beer, sit down and just chill for an hour. So please don’t get hypothermia.


Charles Cave

Do you think part of the problem is that you do all your tours in the winter?

Harry: I know yeah, every band does.

Charles: I know! You’ve got to tour October to Christmas or January to April. After that its just festivals and you’ll tread on toes and such on.

Harry: We’re actually playing a show in Liverpool this time around. We haven’t played in Liverpool for ages! Actually its just been upgraded. It’s one of the first shows to sell out.

Jack: It was in the Arts Club which is a lot smaller, but yeah it’s going to be great.

Harry: Yeah it’s going to be really fun I think.

Charles: Last time we played in Liverpool there was one of the most famous heckles that we’ve ever had from anyone, which we’ve enjoyed ever since. In-between a song it went very quiet, bit of mumbling and from out of nowhere a very small voice, from a very small Liverpudlian girl who just said: “Harry! Get your cock out!” [all laugh]. Everyone heard and laughed.

Harry: It was a very quiet moment, it was really wonderful.

Charles: Really brilliant heckle.


I like how you remembered that one.

Charles: Oh you wouldn’t forget that. I’ll remember it, forever.

Harry: I think about it often actually.

Jack: I wonder what would have actually happened, if you got your cock out: “Oh sorry, yeah of course, we’re in Liverpool, sorry chaps.” [all laugh].

Charles: It’s flaccid at the moment.

Harry: Don’t know what is more disappointing.

Charles: Brilliant heckle. I wonder if she’ll be at the gig again, and does it again.


Just want to quickly talk about the concept of the album Friends, you’ve got this labyrinth or maze idea you’ve used for your artwork, is there a juxtaposition around struggling to find your way out of a situation?

Charles: Yes! [laughs] no, I don’t know. To be honest with you, I think we always approach our artwork with a pinch of salt, or at least we try and separate ourselves. You have to start by separately it off because it has to be fucking good looking, really. That’s the number one objective of the artwork and on the previous record, we did so well with finding that image of the spaceman for Big TV and going “yes we really like that” and then when you start to sort of live with it and you look at it and see it on records, it was only then you notice his expression; it’s kind of interesting, I guess he’s thinking about being an astronaut up there, alone, with that kind of loneliness. It really does kind of reflect what the story of the record is about, so luckily it links.

Harry: You can bullshit basically [laughs].

Charles: The same with this record really, we went through a lot of different ideas and options. I think the only thing is that we knew we wanted to stay with something very colourful, we felt that the album was as colourful or more so than Big TV.


In terms of the lyrics or in terms of the vibe?

Charles: The sounds, the sonics and the arrangement of the songs.

Harry: The colour was quite important actually, that was something we went into the design company with. That has been reflected within the final artwork.


So you’re very happy with the final outcome?

 Harry: Oh yeah, I can’t stop picking it up [holds vinyl copy of ‘Friends’ up], as you can probably tell.

Charles: Yeah! I think it’s incredible.

Jack: This is the first day we’ve seen any of this stuff [points at mountains of vinyl stacked for signing].

Harry: It’s awesome, just awesome. I can’t wait to chuck it up onto the wall when I get home.


Are there any B-sides coming out?

Charles: Loads!

Harry: They’re all on here [picks up limited edition cassette tape boxset of ‘Friends’].


What are the songs called?

Charles: Yeah how many are there in total?

Harry: Well there’s probably 16 tracks in total, there are 10 tracks on the album and 6 extra tracks on here.

Charles: Maybe even more!

Jack: It’s got demo versions as well.

Harry: I’ll tell you what they are, the track list on here is in this booklet, lovely booklet I think it’s great. [Holds up landscape ‘Friends’ booklet that accompanies tape version]. Wonderful pictures. Usual album plus we have bonus tracks such as ‘Friends’ – the title track of the album is on there.

Jack: Which is a B-side!

Harry: ‘Give a Sign’, lovely track. ‘What I Need’. [Charles counts them out]

Jack: That’s the fastest track on there. [Referring to bonus track ‘What I Need’]

Harry: ‘Where Do I Go’

Jack: Pretty decent!

Harry: Another version of ‘Take It Out On Me’

Charles: We won’t count that.

Harry: Yeah we can count that; it’s a pretty good song! Also ‘Son of a Gun’.

Charles: That’s five! There are more demos I think.

Harry: Nope, none [reaches the end of the booklet].

Charles: I’m sure I put more demos on there.

Jack: It’s the first time we’ve recorded more songs than required for an album.

Harry: It’s nice that people get to hear them as well.

Charles: I can’t wait for people to start tweeting us going ‘I can’t believe you didn’t put that song on the album! It’s the best song you’ve ever done. You’re such idiots! When are you going to play it live?’

Jack: They’re probably right everytime, but that’s fine if people love the ones that didn’t make the record.

Harry: I think we should probably learn a couple of those songs to play them live.

Charles: I think that is someone expressing their desire to show you that they’re a real fan. If someone picks a B-side as their favourite song what they’re doing is they’re saying I know all of your songs, not just the singles.

Jack: Like the song Taxidermy, which was a good song but people love to mention it.


The first album B-side?

Harry: Yeah, the B-side.

Jack: Yeah, they want to show their point of difference to the other fans. It is quite competitive.

Harry: We’ll probably have to end up playing one live.

Jack: Yeah I think so.

Charles: We should learn ‘What I Need’ I think.

Jack: That song is so fast Charles!

Charles: Would be good fun though, bit of a mosh pit eh? [all laugh]

Harry: A 40 year old mosh pit.



What is your FAULT?

 Harry: I think we were talking about this, I think we’re very self-deprecating. I don’t think we realize what we have; we’re very quick to complain about things. I think most bands are probably like that, a little bit. Self-doubt can creep in very easily into your life.

Jack: It’s a bit neurotic; we’re a bit neurotic.

Charles: We’re a bit neurotic as a band, some would argue that it’s a fault, but we have collectively no desire to be in any way famous, or nothing like that. I mean we want to be a good band, we always have, but I think right back to day one when started getting attention before ‘To Lose My Life…’ came out, if we’d done all the kind of shit we’d have to do if you want to be really, really successful, like making friends with loads of wankers and getting photographed all the time, going to silly parties, all of that nonsense. Sleeping with some pop star or something like that.

Jack: We would have done that if that was an opportunity to be honest.

Charles: Yeah we would have done that if it was an opportunity. [laughs] We always really shied away from that and other bands that do that all tell themselves ‘yeah, Radiohead aren’t famous but look at them!’ but yeah you’re not Radiohead. [all laugh] I’m always impressed, deeply impressed when certain artists or bands seem to have the hours in the day to both do what we do, i.e. write music, record it, tour it, promote it and…

Jack: Play the game.

Charles: Play the game! Like The 1975, they’ve become absolutely massive, they do all the hard work, do all the stuff and they properly play the game. They get their tits out, basically, and they play up to that whole ‘we know that 15 year old girls, super impressionable, slightly depressed, angsty girls fucking love it’. Let’s just play to it. I totally respect that but unfortunately we don’t have the physiques to do that.

Harry: Or big enough penises.

Charles: Or big enough penises. But no I really admire it, that’s probably a fault we can’t undo now, but we’ve never had an interest in it. But maybe it’s a weird British thing, but as soon as people come up to me occasionally and say “I just can’t tell you how much lyrics from the first album meant to me”, and I don’t like that stuff, I immediately feel pretty awkward about it. I can never buy into my own shit basically. We’re all too self-deprecating. When someone says to us “that piece of music moved me”, we’re just like “yeah it’s alright isn’t it”.


‘Friends’ is out now on CD, vinyl and limited edition boxsets. White Lies will be touring the UK and Europe in October and November. You can find all tour dates on their site: http://whitelies.com/


Words Stuart Williams

Photography Laura Coughlan

Grooming Cat Parnell using Elemis and Bumble and Bumble



Digital Farm Animals gives us an insight into the life of a producer

In an age when much of the new music is sad and serious, DJ and producer Digital Farm Animals just wants his audience to feel good. More specifically, he wants to make them to feel like millionaires.

With euphoria-inducing hooks, early 2000’s-style lyrics, and a fiery beat, his latest single, “Millionaire,” a collaboration with Nelly and Cash Cash, does just that.

Digital Farm Animals spoke with FAULT about the process that goes into creating that sky-high feeling.


FAULT: Why the name? Why Digital Farm Animals?

Digital Farm Animals: The name came from when I was at university. I very strangely had a room that overlooked a farm, and there were all kinds of different animals I’d stare at very early in the morning while I was making music. I think one day I named a track something like “Digital Farm.” And then I was like, “Oh that could be a cool name, actually,” and just used it for myself.


FAULT: I feel like most of us have only a vague understanding of what a producer does. What was your role in the creation “Millionaire”?

Digital Farm Animals: “Millionaire” was a kind of collaborative production, in terms of the actual beat and the making of the backing track. I suppose when people these days think of producers, that’s what “producer” really means—basically everything else beyond the backing track. I think back in the day, the traditional meaning of producer was more someone who oversees the track. They may not even make any sounds, but they would kind of direct the song overall. There are people like Rick Rubin who, as far as I understand, are not that hands on all the time, but are still amazing producers; they get things done.

As far as my role in “Millionaire,” I was involved in a lot of the sounds you hear … But the other thing that I did, which, I suppose is more songwriting, is that I actually wrote the song itself. So I wrote the top line in the chorus—the “I feel like a millionaire.” And it’s actually me singing that as well, pitched up and everything, so I did all that stuff.

I suppose a lot of the time now, I get involved in songwriting as well as the making of the music. It’s a part that I really enjoy and love. I don’t think there is one definition of producer, but for me, it’s kind of a bit of everything. Some tracks I’ll write all the lyrics, some tracks just do the beat, etc. But it tends to be more now that I’m involved in the songwriting as well.



FAULT: Who made the collaboration with Nelly and Cash Cash happen?

Digital Farm Animals: Cash Cash actually reached out to us. We’d kind of been introduced by our labels, and they were really liking the sound of my stuff prior to that. We said we’d do a collaboration at some point, and I was sending over ideas, and their team just really loved [“Millionaire”]. They put the drop in—the weird “duh-duh-duh-duh dut, dut” kind of sound—which I loved. And at the same time, there was talk of getting a rapper on it, and they reached out to Nelly. He must have heard some of my other stuff as well. It just kind of came together and worked, very luckily I suppose. It was a right time, right place kind of thing. He was really cool, such a nice, down-to-earth guy.


FAULT: How did you get started producing? How did you learn?

Digital Farm Animals: My best mate, Nick Myers [who’s a part of Digital Farm Animals Live], gave me a CD with a program called FruityLoops on it when I was like 13 years old, and I just became obsessed with it. I was spending hours every night just making beats. I think back then, I was doing all kinds of weird house music. And then I went into doing dubstep production and stuff. I’ve just been doing it for years and years and years.


FAULT: If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?

Digital Farm Animals: The ultimate has got to be Calvin Harris. He’s not just a great DJ, but also an amazing songwriter. He’s someone who pushes boundaries and can do everything.

And Coldplay, my all-time favourite band, actually. That’s quite cliche, but there’s a reason for that. They’re just amazing.



FAULT: Do you think the #HotInHerreStreamingParty—where people were streaming Nelly’s songs over and over again to try and help him pay off his debt—has helped your numbers at all?

Digital Farm Animals: Do you know what? I only heard about that the other day. I don’t know, but hopefully it’s helped him out. And hopefully “Millionaire” will help him out. I have no comment, but if it has, thank you to anyone who streamed it. (Laughs)


FAULT: What are you making next?

Digital Farm Animals: I’m putting together my next single, which is finished in terms of the production and everything. We’re just putting some final touches on the mix. I can’t say much about it because I want to keep it a bit of a surprise, we’re really excited about it. It’s in the same lane as “Millionaire”—that kind of vibe. It’s feel-good, and quite a big-sounding, anthemic track. I think that’s going to be a theme now for quite a lot of the Digital Farm Animals music. I really enjoyed making “Millionaire,” and I don’t feel like there’s that much fun music out at the moment. There’s a lot of deep music, I think, and it’s quite nice making happy, fun music.

I’ve also got a ton of other stuff coming out that I’ve written for other people. I’ve done a track for Louisa Johnson, which will be coming out at some point soon. I’ve done something for Anne-Marie, who’s awesome. I’ve been working with Rita Ora on her album. And there’s quite a few other bits as well.


FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Digital Farm Animals: I think I overanalyze everything. I can spend hours going over a mix when it’s probably right, and then make it wrong, and then go back to the original state. I think quite a lot of producers do that. I certainly can waste a lot of time looking a minute details and losing the bigger picture a little bit. It’s sometimes beneficial, but it can be a FAULT.


Words Cody Fitzpatrick

Photos Stephanie YT

The Vamps appear on FAULT Magazine’s Online Cover

After spending the year touring the world, The Vamps are ready to go back into the studio and start working on their third studio album. Currently just back from India, the band sat down to chat upcoming single All Night, relationships and what makes them tick. It’s been a full year for the boys and they keep going on strong. They’re releasing a book next week, working on a third album and also managing their own record label. Busy times ahead, but nothing short of exciting. FAULT chatted to Brad, the band’s singer, ahead of The Vamps upcoming release All Night featuring Matoma, and here’s his take on it all.



You’ve just finished a world tour and have travelled all around the globe over the past year. What were your highlights?

We recently did a show in Poland and we never ever played a show there. We initially put the show on an 800 capacity venue which we thought was enough and then it went up to a 3000 capacity venue. And we actually sold that out. I think going to a new place and having no idea how you’re going to be perceived by an audience to then go and sell out a crowd that big – that was just an incredible moment for us. That was one of the highlights of the whole year and it was such a good gig.



Word on the street is that you’ve got quite some interesting pre-show rituals. Care to talk me through them?

We do. We have ‘the chin’. So basically, before every show, we do like a little speech and in the speech, everyone has an object in their hand and nobody can have the same object – so maybe like a cereal box, an orange – and then we rub our chins together. The amount of seconds that we rub our chins together is equivalent to the date that we’re playing the show.


That’s not something you hear every day. How did it come about?

I don’t really know! It started with the chin definitely. That was the first part of the ritual. It started at our first gig; we wanted to do something before every gig. So we started to rub our chins together.


Chins aside, you’ve just announced a new single – All Night featuring Matoma. This is the first new material that we get from you guys in a while. How does it relate to what’s going to come next?

It’s the first song off of our third album. The album is going to be released in a format that it hasn’t been before, so that’s something that’s exciting for us. But All Night is the first piece of new music off of our next body of work. It’s quite representative of everything else that’s about to come. It’s an atmospheric song. In terms of development of music as a band, it’s very different in the sense that it’s unlike anything we’ve ever done. But lyrically – it’s probably the most mature and self-representative song we’ve written.


In terms of new material, you’re currently working on your third studio album – Do you have any other collaborations in mind for the new one?

Not as of yet, we haven’t got anything confirmed. We’ll usually go into the studio, write the songs and then have a look back and think what songs would be fit for collaboration. You don’t want to go in and just do collabs for the sake of doing them, if it didn’t benefit the song. So there are a few songs I’d imagine to have features on, but we haven’t got anything else confirmed.



Have you shifted gears in terms of sound in any way?

I think we have done that, we definitely have. I think it’s just the nature of musicians really. You get quite stuck in a rut if you keep doing the same thing. So pushing yourself and challenging yourself to do different things is part of not getting bored. So yeah, we’ve definitely changed sonically. Not exactly changed, but we have developed. The album sounds a bit more current. Obviously the whole music industry has shifted a bit. So it’s a bit more current in the sense that it’s a bit more dancy, a bit more Justin Bieber –Skrillex kind of sound. So we’ve taken influence from that but kind of put our print on it.


You set up your own record label as well. What drove you towards it?

I think we’ve always been interested as a band in working in the music industry. You’ve got these people there who are heavily involved with your project and your band and they get to experience the whole journey with you as well. They’re just as invested as you are. If you’ve got the right team around that is. They want to see the final project as much as you do. If you find a group or a musician and help develop them and see them grow – and basically the whole process – it’s a very nice and rewarding process.


You’ve also got a book coming out next week – can you share with us like your favourite bits and bobs?

You get to see a side of The Vamps that nobody has ever seen before, which is a good thing. People have their own perception of you because of the things that they read and I think it’s nice that they will get to see our take on things, in our own words. There are a few stories, a few drunken night stories in there, we chat about stuff that goes on behind the scenes, relationships and all that.


After spending so much time touring, you must have quite a few stories under your belt. What’s one the most ridiculous things that’s ever happened to you lot while traveling?

Somehow – I don’t even know how – we ended up in a leopard printed limousine. I don’t even know how it really happened to be honest. We just went for dinner and next thing we knew, there was a leopard print limousine outside. That’s probably the most rock star thing we’ve ever done.


What’s your FAULT?

I’ve got a few to be honest. I’m late to a thing quite often, that’s a big fault. And I’m terrible at texting back.



James Arthur reflects on his time away in exclusive Fault Magazine comeback shoot

X Factor champ James Arthur has spent a bit of time off our radar. He’s only just made his comeback into the music industry with his chart topping single Say You Won’t Let Go. After a tumultuous couple of years, the singer finally brought himself to step back into the spotlight. James Arthur is here to stay and his upcoming album is the body of work that proves it. Here’s his side of the story.


Jacket – Reiss / Top – River Island


After spending so much time out of the spotlight, did you ever expect to go to number 1? What was your initial reaction?

I was really happy. I found out on the Friday; I was actually in bed when my manager called. Radio 1 wanted to come in on the day. And after the couple of years that I’ve had, it was an amazing sense of achievement. I didn’t think it was possible.


Were you surprised that people reacted the way they did?

Yeah, I didn’t see that coming. Not one little bit. I honestly thought I might make a little splash, but nothing like this. This is huge. It’s number 1 in the charts [for the second consecutive week], it’s been number 1 on iTunes for 3 weeks and that’s just blown my mind really.


People have a tendency to dismiss X Factor winners. Does it feel good to prove everyone wrong?

 Yeah, it feels amazing. There’s a feeling of redemption. Obviously my music is pretty good because it would have to be in order to cut through and reach the top. That’s no coincidence, it’s obviously something that people are enjoying and that’s a really great feeling.


People will easily come to the conclusion that your upcoming record comes from a very honest place. Was that what you were aiming for?

That’s exactly what I was aiming for. The writing process was like a parallel to my life. For the past 3 years, I’ve felt like I’ve been on a bit of a prison sentence. Suffering from all kinds of mental health issues, wondering whether or not I’d come back and make any kind of a splash. I just wanted to make something honest. As long as I made something honest, hopefully it was going to connect and apparently it has.


Jacket – Levi’s / Shirt – Topman / Tshirt – French Connection / Jeans – River Island


What made you go back into writing music? Was there ever a feeling of ‘unfinished business’ that drove you back into the studio?

Yeah 100%. I felt I had so much unfinished business. That actually made me go back into it. Cause I felt like I couldn’t wallow in self-pity forever. I can’t beat myself up forever. It got to a point where I was like ‘I can’t do this anymore; I need to create something in order to make myself feel better. And that’s how it started; it was like ‘I have to prove to myself first and foremost that I’m able to create something honest.’ Once I did that, once I started to do it, it came easy to me and everything just felt so real.


This album seems like you’re trying to turn the page and leave the past where it’s supposed to be. Tell us a bit about how you slowly got back into writing and what your initial aims were.

I never really stopped making music. I was always picking up the guitar and just spewing up my feelings and singing and expressing myself. But nothing really formulated until about 18 months ago when I wrote a track called Train Wreck. It was also a very vulnerable moment, cause Train Wreck exposed moments like “Here I am at the very very bottom”. And that’s when I went like – I need to write this album. It was almost like a self-help album.


Do you reckon you’ve managed to actually turn it into a self-help album?

I think yeah, I think people are going to relate to it. It could be therapeutic. And it’s general enough for people to relate it to their lives. There are some personal lyrics in there, but that just gives you an insight into my life. But also, there are songs like – Remember Who I Was – songs like that could hopefully help people remember who they are.



Jacket – Zara / Tshirt – Topman / Jeans – Topman / Shoes – Dr Martens


You’re releasing the album on October 28th – are you nervous about what’s going to come afterwards?

Obviously I’m very nervous about putting myself out there again, with people judging my music and things like that. What’s really great about this album is that it’s so real to me and I’m so proud of it. Just for making it, just for actually finishing this project. Because I didn’t think I’d be able to. I didn’t think I was capable of it. I thought I was done, I thought I was finished, so to actually have it there, as a body of work, is incredible to me. Even if people slagged it off, I’d still be proud of it. But I think it’s very good.


Long-term speaking – how do you plan on building up your career from this point onwards?

Just one step at a time really. I hope to have some success with the album; I hope it reaches as far as it can go. It looks like I’m going to sign a deal in America soon, so I would love to explore that market. I’d love to have another couple of singles come out here in the UK and around the world. And do lots of shows, lots of gigs. That would be great.


What have you learned from rising, falling, and then rising to the top again?

To stay present. To stay in the moment. There have been many moments where I’d just let go and let life pass me by, by being in my head and thinking about the past and the future. It’s a very tough thing to learn – to be able to stay in this moment no matter where you are and to enjoy it. It’s so hard because there’s so much going on, there’s so much crazy shit that’s going on. You have to figure out a way to be fucking normal. It’s really easy to get caught up and lost.



Beanie – American Apparel / Shirt – Topman / Tshirt – River Island / Jeans – Reiss / Boots – Dune


Everybody loves a comeback story. How do you want people to perceive you from this point onwards?

Everyone loves a comeback story and everyone loves the underdog as well. I kind of feel like I’ve been the underdog. Hopefully that inspires people to not give up on themselves and their lives and not give up on their dreams. When the odds are completely stuck against you and you feel like at the bottom of this big old mountain, just take one step and start climbing. You’ll get somewhere and at least you can say that you tried. But also, I’m an ambassador for a mental health organization and I want to encourage people to start talking more about their mental health issues, because I feel it remains a taboo subject. I have terrible anxiety – I still have it now, but I can manage it completely differently than I used to. I used to smoke a lot of cannabis and take lots of pills and now I just deal with it myself. I just manage it day to day, but it’s okay to have that, you know? People are so frantically trying to get rid of this thing, but it’s fine. You can have these things and talk about it. We’re so scared to talk. Most relationships are built on fear. And I want to encourage more people to speak out, especially young men. Cause the suicide rate in young men is terrifying. And that could’ve been me. Or it could’ve been one of my friends and I don’t want that to be the case anymore. If I can use my voice to help a few people, then I would love to be able to do that.



Shirt – Topman / Tshirt – River Island


What’s your FAULT?

I should be a bit more confident. I’m always beating myself up.


Say You Won’t Let Go is currently the UK number 1 for the second week running. The new album, ‘Back From The Edge’, will be released on the 28th October: https://smg.lnk.to/jamesarthurEC


Words Adina Ilie

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Daisy Deane @ Frank Agency

Grooming Shamirah Sairally using Kevyn Aucoin, Fudge hair and Dr PawPaw

Photography Assistant Kelly Gellard

Special Thanks The Bootlegger