FAULT meets Dead!

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

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

Chappell: Not much.

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

Where was it recorded?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you read your own press?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your most rock ‘n’ roll story?

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

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

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

What is your FAULT?

Louis: How long have you got? [laughs]

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

 

Words Shannon Cotton

Photography Stephanie YT

Grooming Lynda Darragh

Photo Assistant Erica Fletcher

JP Cooper discusses new single ‘Passport Home’ in exclusive shoot and interview

Having amassed a cult following over a lengthy career on the festival circuit, JP Cooper has now officially launched himself to stardom after a string of hits such as “September Song” and “Birthday”, with the latter being on the soundtrack of the latest 50 Shades movie. With the release of his new single “Passport Home” and him having just finished a lengthy European tour I caught up with the man himself to chat about life as a musician on the cusp of stardom.

So what are you up to? You’ve just finished you Europe Tour, managed to lose your passport in the middle of nowhere?

It’s amazing; right now I’m kinda in the middle of a lot of radio promo, a lot of European stuff so basically I’m just flying a lot. We’re kinda going to 4 or 5 radio stations a day… Last week we were in Germany, out there for 3 days so a lot of performances and interviews. So, a lot of travelling, finishing off the record at the minute getting all sorts of mixes done on that. What else, in May we’ve got our first proper headline European tour going on which is exciting, so we’re just getting ready for that. And also we’ve got the Shepherd’s Bush show in May… Mainly it feels like I’m doing mostly promo, but I’m enjoying it, y’know just going to different places and getting a feel for how things are starting. It’s exciting. I’m just grateful that things are actually kicking off in other places, because it’s been lot of years putting this in, and finally seeing it, other territories getting on board with it and seeing the support come from them is amazing.

Yeah, because before this you’ve had 5 EPs and you’ve been putting out music and performing solidly for seven years. You had quite a cult following at festivals like Barn on the Farm and smaller festivals, but now you’ve had the success of Perfect Strangers, September Song and Birthday, how have things changed since then?

So obviously the Perfect Strangers thing was like, a random, one off, “Let’s see what happens” sort of thing, and that kinda opened up a lot more things internationally, I started getting a lot more interest from Europeans, and obviously the radio stations gave me more of a name. September Song was almost like we had to bridge the gap between “Classic Me” and the more poppy stuff. September Song did that perfectly y’know, so it’s put me on the map in a much more commercial way, so for now we’re kind of in a place where it’s getting those people to just follow me down the rabbit hole with where we’re going with the music. Yeah, things like seeing my monthly listens on Spotify go up has been crazy, and that changes everyone’s view of you in terms of radio stations and industry people so the last nine months have changed so much in regards to my status. Sadly that’s the way things are, you need to have that before people start really working you, but that’s happening, and it’s all good.

So I actually interviewed Jonas Blue a few months ago and he was very nice about you, it was quite cute actually – what was it like working together?

He’s a great guy; it’s weird because when we first met it was after we actually finished the song. Because we wrote it on Facetime together, and it’s the start of his career as well, obviously he’d had the big success of Fast Car but people were like “Well it’s a cover, so can he write?” y’know, is there anything that can continue this. But he’s amazingly talented when it comes to pop music; he’s really on point with it. It’s really nice to share the experience with someone where it’s new for him as well, so yeah, great guy, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of success in the future really.
So you’re working on a new album, are we allowed to talk about it?
Yeah! Full album, the title is probably going to be “Rays from the Grey Skies”, 98% sure that’ll be it. At the minute we’ve narrowed it down to like 20 potential songs, we’ve just recorded so much work. So now we’re going to finish them, and that’ll go over to whether we release like a Deluxe or… the main album will be about 12 songs. We’re just figuring out which single is best to go with, it’s almost like having a look at what cards you have really and figuring out the best way to play them. The album will be with you before the summer, and yeah I’m feeling pretty relaxed about it really. There’s so many songs and so much material that I’m quite comfortable about it.

So this new album, would you say it’ll bridge the gap between the classic you and the more commercial side of things?
Yeah… I dunno whether I could say that about the album, that was more September Song really. The record is different, because what I’ve done with the album is, obviously when I started doing this I’d play the guitar, because most of the gigs I’d do I’d have to do them on my own. But certain tracks I’ve gone “Y’know what, this would work better on piano”, so there’s a few tracks on there that are mainly piano based… guitar kind of limits where you go with a song, sonically, so there’s moments of absolutely beautiful stripped back piano and vocal moments. I don’t know if everyone’s heard “Birthday” from the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack but we’ve got songs in that same pocket, a classic soul song with modern production. We’ve been trying to blend those two worlds really, of traditional and modern, but yeah overall there’s so many beautiful, heart-breaking moments on there. I think that’s what people loved about my earlier stuff was that it was just very honest and very heartfelt. That’s still the same, but it’s just a bit more piano instead of just me and the guitar. There’s only one or two acoustic songs on there really, most of the time I’ve been playing electric a lot more, in fact most of the time I don’t play the acoustic anymore, I just play the electric. Yeah it’s definitely been an evolution, and getting to a point where we’re putting out the first record and saying all of the EPs have been experimentation and figuring out where you are. The first album is a statement, kind of like “This is who I am” and it’s funny because a lot of people have made up their minds about who I am. I’m just trying to challenge that a little bit because I want to be free. I think we’re doing good… I’ve been amazed at the reaction; I was terrified when we put Perfect Strangers out. I just thought everyone would be like “What are you doing!?” – But people have been very understanding about collaboration and I think people listen to music differently these days compared to when I was a teenager.

Are there anymore collaborations on the album, or is it just you and the band?

There might be… We’re toying with the idea. Mainly the album was always going to be selfishly me. But we’re toying with the idea of a… if it was gonna be on a CD and people were still buying physical stuff, then it would be a secret track. We want it to be a part of the album but a bonus kind of thing. I don’t want to say what it is, but there’s potential. As far as the future goes, like, obviously after doing the Jonas Blue thing I got every tropical house DJ in the world asking me for stuff. I can’t turn into a feature artist, it’s not what I do, but the focus has definitely been on getting people back to what I’m doing. But in the future I’m always gonna be doing collaborations, it’s something that I love. You learn a lot from it and meet some great people and have a lot of great experiences. That’s something I’ll do in the future, but for now it’s just focusing on the record.
So what are you doing when you’re not pootling about on your son’s scooter, when you’re not recording or touring?

You know what? Usually if I have time off I’m just with the little one. At the minute it’s like, I need that time. For want of a better word, I’m owned by this work. If there’s a space in my diary it’ll get filled within a day. At the minute there’s like three people, I’ve got the live guy who works for me, the British part of the label, the main part of Island records that are saying “Well you need to finish the record and be continuing to write moving forward as well” and then you’ve got the international team at Universal who are trying to get me out to do promo. So I’ve got all three of those people going “We need you!” The international team want me to be in Europe, the live team want me to be booking more gigs, and the label want me to be working more on the record. If there’s ever a space then someone’s gonna jump in it, like for example, today was supposed to be a free day up until 3 or 4 days ago and now there’s things in it. My diary is theirs apart from when it comes to time with my boy, and even then there are times when big things come up and I’ve got to go and do that. But yeah, usually when there’s time off I’m at the park, or the swimming pool, or at the cinema, just chilling with him. That’s about it, other than that my evenings are mainly car crash TV and if I get anything free I just want to sit on the sofa and completely zone out.

So, Passport Home. I’m getting some real Macy Gray and Lighthouse Family vibes from this track; you’ve got the gospel choir going on… What’s the story behind it?

So the story behind the idea of the song came about because I actually lost my passport when I was in the states at the beginning of the year, and the day that I realised I’d lost it I had the studio session and I was kinda chatting away about losing my passport. I was like “We should write a song about it”, about the idea of not being able to get back home… Kind of because we got a little deeper into it and it’s not so easy for a lot of people to get around these days, without getting too political about things there’s a hell of a lot of people who are struggling to find their way back home. So I wanted to draw on that emotion and dig into that a little deeper, the idea of somebody being the person that allows you to get to your destination… Whether it’s a literal destination or a problem that you’re struggling with and there’s someone there who helps you get to the point you’re trying to reach. So that’s the idea behind it, that someone could be your passport to allow you to move forward. If that makes sense? It’s really nice to go back to the organic stuff, y’know the last few things that I’ve released; obviously the Jonas Blue thing was completely left of centre for me. September Song was a lot of production, even though there’s a classically written song under there there’s still a lot of modern production there. So we thought it’d be cool to do something that’s just a shout out to my beginnings, which is singing in gospel choirs, very straightforward strings, singers, piano… Production wise we thought it’d be cool to do that. Hopefully the world will embrace it like they did September Song and it’s an interesting little experiment really just to see how that kinda music exists in the commercial world at the minute. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.

So I want to ask about live performances, are you going to have to drag a gospel choir out with you everywhere you play now?

As with everything, most of the songs I write I try to make sure that they work with just one instrument and one vocal. I’ve already done a couple of shows in the states where it’s just me and a piano… We’ve just done a live version actually that should be out at the end of the week, y’know a video with strings and a choir and that’s amazing. Whichever gigs we can get the backing singers into we will do, but obviously some thumbs will see whether that’s available or not. But yeah there’ll definitely be some shows where we’ll bring them along and have some fun with it.

What is your FAULT?

I’d say my biggest thing that I’m trying to work on is being a perfectionist. Just as far as a human point of view, I’m so lucky in what I’m doing and the gifts that I have and the opportunities that I’ve had to make that better. Sometimes I just focus so much on my failings or my own personal idea of my imperfections that it kinda takes away from what incredible stuff is happening in my life in a way that almost kind of ungrateful. I’ve been really working on it though, like it used to be that if I’d do a show and drop one note I’d just beat myself up for the whole night about it and forget that there were three people crying in the first row. Now when I do like radio station things then I’ve got a rule that I’ll do one take if I’m in a live thing, unless something terrible happens which luckily hasn’t happened yet. Every single person we go out with like from the international team are like “I can’t believe how fast you are!” because we’ll do one take of each song and then leave the studio, I don’t listen back to it. You just get too involved in little things that no one will ever notice. So that would be it, being a perfectionist, I wish I was freer. It’s not worth the heartache.

Get Passport Home right here.

Words Morton Piercewright

Photography Gerald Boye

Styling Edith Walker Millwood

Grooming Shamirah Sairally

Special thanks Zigfrid von Underbelly

Michelle Branch returns in this exclusive Fault shoot and interview

Michelle Branch is back with Hopeless Romantic, her first solo studio album since 2003. While Branch’s early-2000s bangers were recorded on big budgets in fancy studios, Hopeless Romantic was more of a DIY production that she created in the home of former Black Keys touring bassist Gus Seyffert. It was produced by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, with whom Branch fell in love while making the album.

 

FAULT: What inspired you to make another LP after not doing a big project for so long?

Michelle: It wasn’t really a decision. I’ve been actively trying to release music for [counts silently] seven years. I turned in two albums to my old label, Warner Bros., that both got shelved. In 2014, I finally got out of my contract and immediately started writing this record. So it just happened to be this is the one that made it across the finish line.

Shirt – Teija / Jeans – H&M / Shoes – Chie Mihara

FAULT: What’s been your label situation since then?

Michelle: I ended up signing with Verve in July of 2015. I went into the studio about two weeks later to start this album. We got the budget to do, like, three or four songs, because I had never worked with Patrick before and we just wanted to see how it would go.

It’s been amazing. There was a minor bump in the beginning of starting this record that I think ended up being really important to the project:

The old label president—emphasis on old, because he’s no longer there—came to see our first three or four songs, and he hated them. He was like: This doesn’t sound like you. I think you’re making a big mistake. The guitars are too aggressive. I’m not gonna release the rest of the budget.

At that point, having come out of my situation at Warner Bros., I was in a moment of sheer panic, like: Great, I’m right back where I was.

Patrick—once we got all of our frustration and immediate anger out—was like: You know what, Michelle? This record is too important for you to not make. You have to finish the project and see it through. I believe in it. Do you believe in it?

And I was like: Yeah, I wanna make this record.

So he offered to finance the album, and I turned off my phone, didn’t answer any of the label’s calls, and fired my manager. Gus, Patrick, and I continued to make the record. By the time we finished, [the old president] had been fired, and the whole company had been changed over. Danny Bennett was hired as the president, and one of the first things he did was call me like: Oh my God, I love this album. I couldn’t be more happy to have you on the label.

So it’s been green light since Danny has been on board. The crazy thing to think of is: Had I listened to the old president and stopped writing with Patrick and gotten together with whatever pop writing team he wanted me with, I don’t think I would’ve been able to make this record.

Through the process of making this album, Patrick and I started dating and fell in love. So it’s wild to look back on where I was making this record to where I am now.

Shirt – Teija

FAULT: Did working with Patrick influence your sound at all?

Michelle: I knew sonically that I wanted to work with someone like Patrick because I knew I wanted to make a rock record, or I guess more of a rock record. I wanted to be able to go on the road and play these songs with a band; I didn’t wanna rely on computers. Knowing that the lyrics were, across the board, extraordinarily sensitive and about love and romance, I wanted the drums and bass to kind of have a heavier backbone and really have a toughness to balance that out.

Patrick—probably the biggest influence he had with making this record was in doing my vocals. I remember going in and initially putting the scratch vocals on stuff and singing them how I normally would sing, which is kind of more like belting shit out. At some point, he was like: You know what? It sounds really good, and you’re hitting all the right notes, but something’s not right. I think you’re singing too hard.

I had come from this background where I worked with John Shanks, and he always pushed things as high as my range could go. He never liked me going falsetto. He was always like: Sing it, full voice.

So I came from basically being drilled to sing that way, and Patrick was like: I think you need to be softer and more conversational and sing it, like, almost talking.

Once we figured that out, that was an epiphany for me on the record—being able to just sing it the way I would sing it, if that makes any sense.

So I feel like that was the biggest change on the album. People who have heard it say: Wow, your voice sounds completely different than it used to.

Shirt – Teija / Jacket – Weekday / Jeans – H&M / Boots – Michelle’s Own

FAULT: What are your plans for after the album’s released?

Michelle: Yeah uhm, [sips coffee] I’m planning to go on the road starting in June in Japan, which is gonna be really fun. And then I’m touring in the States in July and August. Then my first proper U.K. tour will be in September, which is crazy because when I went to the U.K. before, I played these bizarre festivals where everyone was dancing and, like, playing to track. I showed up with my band and wasn’t dancing. It was really bizarre. So I’m excited to not only play in London, but actually do a proper tour.

FAULT: What has been like to watch the music business evolve from CDs to downloads to streaming all in the span of your career?

Michelle: It’s crazy. The other day, a box showed up at the house, and it was a bunch of CDs of my new album. I was like: This is amazing, but I don’t even have a CD player except for my car [cracks up laughing].

The biggest change has been radio. I’m historically a radio artist. Before an album, I used to be out six months before the release doing radio promotion. Now that streaming has happened, the radio part of my world has changed dramatically. I’m sitting here a few weeks out from my record release, and I’ve barely done any radio promotion. The song will go to radio like 12 days before the album’s out. So that’s totally different. I think the way people consume music—as far as, like, hearing stuff on the radio—has been the biggest change.

Shirt – 2ndDay

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Michelle: I’m one of those people who apologizes for everything. I can say “sorry” all the time, and it’s so annoying. I’m trying to be unapologetic.

Hopeless Romantic is available now.

Words Cody Fitzpatrick

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Edith Walker Millwood

Hair & Make-Up Lauren Griffin

Special thanks Princess of Wales

Fault Magazine Meet Linkin Park

With six studio albums under their belt, multi-award winning LA group Linkin Park are on the verge of releasing their seventh. Lead vocalist Chester Bennington and vocalist/producer Mike Shinoda sit down with Fault Magazine to discuss their surprising new album ‘One More Light’.

 

 

I would like to talk about your new album ‘One More Light’ in a sense that you’ve always wrote a lot of songs for your previous albums, how many did you write for this one?

M: It was interesting because in terms of demos; when you think of an un-finished song it can range from something that’s like basically got all the parts to it, music and vocals, but literally its one little loop of continuous anything.

C: I think at one point I counted in the file on my phone; the LP file, this is not including anything that wasn’t put in there, between the A and B lists there were at one time 36 max in the A list, and then 40 in the B list. So that was easily around 70 give or take a few if I remember the numbers correctly. And every one of those had some form of [pause] I think with the exception of maybe 3 or 4 songs, they all had lyrics and melodies.

 

How do you whittle the songs down?

C: Well yeah, there’s like all these songs we felt like they could potentially be singles, so we said lets use that and let’s make an album, we have a lot of great songs and we’re very fortunate. We had a lot of fun making it; it’s been a really interesting journey. Let’s put our best foot forward and let’s put out what we feel are the best songs; not hold anything back and not think about any other time than right now, and put out what we felt were the best tracks that we’ve made, out of this batch of incredible music that we’ve made.


Is it about what you feel confident with at the time, what you feel is right, even with the audience in mind?

C: The second part not really [Laughs].

M: People approach it with different things in mind and sometimes I forget all the context, I forget as a listener all the different contexts that people have. As foreign as it is to me, people go into it thinking “OK, here’s my marketing plan”, and they start writing things that fit their marketing plan. Thankfully lets never been part of our process, that would drive me crazy, but also we’ve never worked with anyone who is that way. The closest thing was Don Gilmore on our first couple of records where he would make jokes about that because he was aware of that stuff. But at the end of the day it really came down to we as a band, six guys and six artists; what are we expressing? What is the kind of thing we want to make? And if it didn’t fit somebody else’s marketing plan I’m like “sorry”. That’s like the fortunate position that we’re in right. We actually on our last album, I wanted to make sure that I checked in with the label before we made it, because I was like “OK, just how bad is it going to be if we make a super hardcore record?”

C:…that doesn’t get played anywhere. [Both laugh]

M: Yeah! Like where are we going to be able to be, where will it played because I don’t even know! You know, in terms of your popular mainstream presence, it’s pretty bad but here’s the positives of it you know, we kind of said “OK, that’s OK”. We had to talk it out, it wasn’t a snap decision I don’t think. The people who thought about it were like “this is the album we want to make” and then on the other side on this record, we didn’t ask anybody anything. We just kind of made the stuff and as we got into it, it was like the thing that everyone was worried about was like well are you alienating your rock fans, and we’re like well we’ve been here so many times at the point where we’re going to put out something that’s going to make people shocked in some way. We’re used to it and I think people that have been with the band for a long time, now they should be used to it. People who are new to the band; actually that’s my favourite, I’m curious to see how that plays out over time. I think theres a lot of people that are coming to us for the first time on this album and hearing the new album and be like “oh! So what’s this band about?”

They’ve got a real fresh outlook on you guys.

M: Yeah, my favourite thing that we just realised today; I looked up our album online on one of the services then I went to related artists, oh it was so refreshing. Sometimes I go on the thing and look at related artists and think “oh, of course, it’s that old thing, it’s whatever”

C: I would say most of the time when I see a related artist thing I’m just like [raspberry noise]

[Both laugh]

M: How is it related?!

C: I don’t know! What? I don’t listen to any of those bands and I never have.

M: Yeah, theres a lot of stuff in there where I’m like “Oh! That’s cool”

 

With every album you guys seem to push yourselves further so it becomes harder to sort of label or pigeon-hole you. On this new album you’ve seemed to have gone completely another direction, it’s about personal growth right?

C: Yeah, on this album I was playing some new stuff for a friend of mine who is also an awesome musician and the stuff that he was working on; I’ve met this guy personally recently so he’s like a new friend. We just so happened to be hanging out and he was like “so, what do you do?”, and I was like “I’m actually a musician as well”. He was like “I did not know that!”, you know. He was like “no offence but I’ve never really been into the band, I respect from you guys do but it’s just not my thing” and I was like “cool, so what do you do?”, he said that “I actually play jazz music for hip-hop records, hip-hop stuff”. I was like “wow, no way” if you looked at this dude you’d be like “no way, this guy is in Kings of Leon”, you know? He doesn’t look like the jazz cat on a hip-hop scene. “So you’re doing some new stuff” and I was like “yeah yeah” and I could tell he was already bracing himself to be like..

M: I’m going to humor this guy. [Laughs]

C: You know what, yeah it’s not my thing but good, you know? He already said that Linkin Park isn’t like his thing, and so he listened to the first song and he’s like “That’s a really good song, I really liked that song”, he was like “do you have more?” and I was like “yeah, do you want to hear as much as we can on the way here?” he was like “yeah!”. So we listened to like five songs and he goes “OK, I just have to say this”, so I’m sitting there like all kind of excited about what he’s going to say and he goes “I respect Linkin Park, you’re a really successful band”, then he pretends to be pointing in the ballpark, let say here is where you’re at, he’s what I was expecting, he goes “what I just heard is all the way over…” and we’re sitting in my car so imagine we’re talking about being in this room and that’s where Linkin Park and his mind is. And you guys are in Nigeria, that’s how far off “my expectation was here and this is so far over there that I’m kind of blown away by it and he goes “but, that being said I love it.” He’s like “I love this music, I love what you’re doing, it fucking kicks balls, holy shit you are a punk rock motherfucker, and the fact that you’re doing this is pretty hardcore”. He goes “but, I love it, I can’t wait to hear the record”, and so that was like someone who’s not a big fan, understood who the band was, accepted it and to come out and say “wow, I see what you’re doing and it takes a lot of guts and I love it” was exactly what I wanted, that’s like the best response. “Wow that was not what I was expecting I actually I’ve got to wrap my head around it, and I love what you’ve done, and kudos to you guys for taking the chance.”

Yeah you’ve collaborated with artists such as Stormzy, Pusha T and Kiiara, I think that’s something that’s almost worked better for you guys.

M: I mean, I would love for someone to do a piece asking young artists in that generation what they think of Linkin Park because I’d just be curious. These folks, like the way we met Kiiara was through Zane Lowe, he texted me and said that he had interviewed her and he’s like do you know who she is and I’m like kind of yeah, and he was saying that she was on his show and he asked who her favourite artist was and she said Linkin Park right away. And I was like that’s really weird, I wouldn’t have expected that; when that happens, I’m so effusive about the artists that I like. I mean if you get me going on what artists that I love, I’ll name like a hundred artists that I love, I won’t stop. Yeah so when I hear other artists or anything positive from other artists; I think that’s one of the beauties of social media, you know? We hear these things and then people tell you, it’s really nice. I was saying in a different point today that something happened in the last like few years in the maturity of the band. Maybe five or six years actually that the guys have gotten more comfortable with who we are as a band, and who we are as individuals inside that band. I can say we were a little bit wound a little tight in the earlier years, you know? [Laughs] It’s a little self serious you know what I mean? We’ve always had a sense of humour…

C: Honestly like I truly think that given the kind of response that we got from the beginning, within the music world, our fans have always been great. We felt like we had to defend ourselves or justify what we were doing for a while, like from the beginning; from the beginning portion our career.

M: That’s true.

C: I think that set us up to not trust interviews or to like be almost like “you know what? we’re going to control this” so we would literally only give or share very specific things, we would never get into things squishy, right? It was always like very rigid. It controlled the communication and it kept this kind of distance between us and everyone else and for us, the fewer people who wanted to talk to us the better and that eventually became well like, people think we’re cold, but it’s not we’re kind of funny! We kind of made it that way and so we were like OK, we’ve been around a while and people know what we’re about, we don’t have to justify shit. We can actually just be ourselves, and if people don’t get it they’re kind of dumb, do you know what I mean? If they don’t get it, whatever! Definitely not our problem. So we’ve been afforded the luxury for being around a long time, and having a big catalogue and having a lot of fans, and I think that now we’re in this place we can just be ourselves. Also in that we’ve matured and become comfortable with who we are as people, now we’re just like “let’s have fun!”, and talk you know?

So the UK tour coming up, this is the first chance you will see a reaction from the new stuff from your fans, what are you expecting from the shows?

M: We always play cross sections from all eras of the band and like we play stuff from every record and this tour will be no different, and I think that people coming on this tour will see that we’ll play a tiny bit longer set than usual and usually when we start a tour we only play a couple of new songs, but I think on this one we’re going to be playing a lot more than a couple and I think we’ll still play all the fan favourites. I feel like the show is the place where you get the whole picture of the band, you get the real context of the whole career. You know because you get all the music and you get it in a order that is designed to give you a nice show. Obviously we want people to leave the show going “wow that was an amazing concert, that was an amazing experience”. What can we do to give that to somebody?

A retrospective into Linkin Park?

M: Yeah I think like what the show is supposed to be like, I guess you could do a show that where it’s just an artistic statement but I would hate for somebody to come to the shows saying like “I really wanted them to play Breaking the Habit” [Laughs]

There’s always going to be that isn’t there?

M: Yeah I mean where we have had shows when we had periods of not playing a song here or there, like we didn’t play Crawling or Breaking the Habit on a couple of things but that’s because the band need a break from it for whatever reason, but on this one I feel like we’re playing all the stuff?

C: Its funny because when bands tour off a legacy, and its like “OK, we’ve been around for a quite a long time, we’re just going to go out and tour and play all the standard Linkin Park tracks everybody wants”, part of me finds that very appealing but the lazy part of me loves that idea, and then the creative part of me is like “ew!” and then at the same time there’s a part of me that jokes and thinks that “I just want to go and play the new stuff” but how disappointing would that be even if you love the new stuff as a fan, it would just be like well that’s great I can play the new stuff but I really love this thing. I’ve been at shows where; like I’ve been to see Prince play and he did this thing where it was just him and his guitar, he did a medley; he sat down and started playing Little Red Corvette, and he starts playing it and I was like “dude, this is the dopest version I’ve ever heard”, just him and the acoustic guitar; it was fucking awesome. It changed the actual vibe of the song because you hear the words in a different way when it’s played stripped back and intimately, and he gets right up to the part and he sings “Little red corvette”, he doesn’t even sing it, he just gets there and stops, goes into another song. Its like, “I’m about to have an orgasm!” and he’s like, “OK, then stop!”, and he did that the whole night and I just walked out there with musical blue-balls. I feel so shitty right now! There’s nothing that is going to help me, fucking finish the song, play the best part. At the same time I know as a fan that I know there are songs that fans want to hear, so you know theres a good balance between playing new stuff and old stuff, all that kind of stuff. So from a fan’s perspective, I hope that they enjoy all the stuff they want to see, and from our perspective its fun to play new stuff because it keeps the energy of the show fresh and fun.

What is your FAULT?

C: Everything! Everything is my fault.

M: My fault is…[Pauses] trying to force a round peg into a square hole, and that’s my problem.

 

Linkin Park are going on a short UK run in July which includes London on the 3rd, Birmingham on the 6th and Manchester on the 7th July. Pre-order their upcoming new album ‘One More Light’ for first access to tickets here, and you can watch video of latest singles Heavy featuring Kiiara, and Battle Symphony.

Words: Stuart Williams 

 

 

Preview: Oliver Stark talks ‘Into The Badlands’ and finding success inside FAULT Issue 25

 

Words by Miles Holder | Photography by Irvin Rivera at Graphicsmetropolis| Styling by Monica Cargile |  Grooming by Preston Wada at Opus Beauty using Kevin Murphy | Photography assistance by Phill Limprasertwong at phillldotcom

 

Fans of British tv and cinema will likely recognise Oliver Stark from various independent movies and UK television dramas. While the roles were small, they gave Oliver the confidence he needed to join a long list of British actors to head to the states with hopes of landing a big time role in Hollywood. It’s a move that many make but one that very few manage to succeed at and while Oliver knows all too well what defeat can feel – he conversely has seen what persistence, courage and the drive born from those setbacks can produce. On his second attempt to crack the US television market, Oliver landed the role of Ryder on  AMC’s ‘Into The Badlands’ and the rest, as they say, is history.

As his career climbs to new heights, we sat down with Oliver inside FAULT Issue 25 to discuss his journey into Hollywood and to find out what’s next for the London-born actor with so much more to give.

 

When the first season came out, no one had an expectation of you but now you have fans and Ryder has fans who want to see him played a certain way. Is that more pressure on you as the actor?

In a way, yes but at the same time I’m more excited that nervous. The first season was my first ever time being a recurring character on a show and I felt like I was finding my feet. Now with the second season I feel a lot more assured with what I want to do so I’m excited to see how Ryder grows alongside my personal growth.

So we’ll be seeing more character progression from Ryder in Season two?

Ryder is in a very different position from where he was in season one which is exciting because I got to step into a different world of Ryder.

Are there any similarities that you share with Ryder?

He’s struggling with finding who he is and where he fits in which I think is something that at some stage in our lives we’ve all dealt with. He’s just in a world where he has to work it out very quickly or end up on a sword but I think the idea of working out where one fits in is where I most resonate with Ryder.

What is it about a script or a role that draws you in?

I think that’s changed over the past year. Now, I really want to be involved in projects focussed on what’s happening around us on a social level and tell a story that has a relevance to society. The way the world is now and where it’s going as a population, I think there are stories that need to be told and I’d love to be a part of that.

How daunting was your move to LA?

I first came our here in January 2014 and I originally came for two months with a head full of dreams and didn’t actually have the best time if I’m honest with you. I wasn’t very busy and I didn’t do very well in auditions so I came home very dejected after that. The second time I went out was a much bigger deal for me because I had to rebuild all the confidence I’d lost and it was on that trip that I booked Into The Badlands.

It’s a big commitment to British actors to do it because it’s a lot of money and you have to readjust your entire life so there is a certain level of commitment to the craft actors show when they make the jump.

What’s it like to meet fans of the show?

I think the greatest compliment I can receive is “I didn’t know you were British” because that is always a phew moment because it means I’ve got the accent nailed at the very least.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2017?

There’s a movie out in March called ‘Mind Games’ which is a really interesting sci-fi action movie which looks at if the church can coexist with science. It’s a mind-bending movie!

What is your FAULT?

The inability to escape my own head at times because there is always that voice back there that in a room full of great actors will ask “do I deserve to be here?” I think it’s something that everyone struggles.

Read Oliver’s  full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

Fault catches up with Louis Berry

‘Born in Liverpool to a heroin addict father and a mother desperate to keep him on the right side of the law.’ Dangerous. This extract from Louis Berry’s website seems to have been reproduced in every interview he has given.  Louis’ website goes on to describe him as ‘a confident little fucker.’

You can’t deny his winning smile. Giant white teeth take over Louis’ face when he grins and, in fact, every time he speaks. He is a gleaming, glowing, charming contrast to his black and white Hitchcock-esque press shots. I can’t imagine him knocking about on a Kirkby ‘sink’ estate, more like the pitch of premiership football club. Okay, maybe League One. He’s the kind of guy that would offer to make you a brew even though it is way below his pay-grade. He leads me down backstage corridors to small room: ‘It’s not the best but at least it’s quiet,’ he beams, pulling me a chair up. There’s that smile again.

‘I was supposed to do a radio show today and play live but my voice is going. I’m worried I’ll have to miss the next show,’ Louis frets. Apparently the cure is to drink a lot of ginger tea. And it must have worked because he made the next show and the many nights he played after that. Does he enjoy touring? ‘Home’s the back of the tour bus, y’know what I mean?’ He says. But, Louis admits on his recent visit to Nashville to record some songs, he didn’t see much of the city: ‘I was on my own without my regular band so I didn’t get to see it as much as I’d like to. I was just staying in the hotel, going to the studio, finishing up, going for like a pint on my own or something and then I’d do the same the next day.’

Credit: Tom Oxley

Although he has less time to get back to Liverpool these days, Louis tells me it is always a warm welcome: ‘There are little kids from the estate running up to the car and all that. I don’t even know the kids, but I get to know them.’ Why am I reminded of VTs from the X Factor when contestants go home and the local bakers has a giant poster of them over the window? Maybe it’s because Louis wouldn’t look at all out of place in front of the blinding LEDs of the giant X. Dressed in all black, his outfit is Yeezy inspired with a River Island finish. His short dark blonde hair is brushed to one side and is perfectly in place. After a string of shows, most bands by now would look tired, dishevelled and would probably have a beer in hand. Louis’ clothes look freshly pressed and he tells me he needs to eat something soon so he has time to properly digest it before he goes on stage. 

But Louis makes a point of being different from other musicians. His Twitter bio boldly claims that he is ‘Rock & Roll’s finest.’ His YouTube profile states that he is ‘A very lonely rebel with a very revolutionary mind.’ I ask him what it all means. ‘I’m not a lonely person but I’m lonely as a rebel in this music game. I don’t see any other rebels who make music. I see the same old people doing the same old things they’ve just got different names. They’ve got the same haircuts the same beards, same pointy shoes, same skinny type of jeans – do you know what I mean? And they just sing the same songs. Most of the songs they didn’t even write them so I feel like I’ve got to rebel against that and bring some truth back to music. If people like it they like it, if they don’t they don’t. I’m not forcing them to like it I’m just doing my thing for me.’

Defensive of his own place in the music game and quick to condemn artists like Jake Bugg not writing their own songs, I wonder is Louis has faced resentment from other bands for his quick rise to success. ‘I signed my publishing deal after my first gig and then signed a recording deal after my second gig so I kind of did everything backwards. I suppose some people might be disheartened that they’ve had to try it for longer but that’s their path in life and I’m creating my own. I don’t concern myself with other people’s opinions. I just do what I do. I believe it and I saw it in my mind when I was writing those songs in my bedroom. I saw myself standing on those big stages with people in front of me. I see it in my mind and I make that come true. So I think, you know, just having complete confidence in what you do I the key to success.’

Speaking of other people’s opinions, I want to know what Louis thinks about social media, as his channels have a corporate feel that are at odds with his personality. Does he interact with fans online? ‘I prefer not to use social media at all, I just have to use it for the music. I understand the game. The game’s got to be played to be successful but personally, you know, I’d rather have one of them Nokia 3310s to see what’s going on do you know what I mean? Just phone me.’

Credit: John Johnson

‘I believe in interaction and there’s so many people aspiring to be something that they see online that isn’t true. It’s a five second clip of what’s going on in someone’s day and then you know the rest of the time they could be living a completely different lifestyle to what’s being put out there and I don’t feel like that projects itself. Especially when people need that direction in life.’

So where does Louis find his direction? With days in different towns and different countries, I wonder what he tries to keep the same each day. ‘I always pray for a start. I’m a big believer in prayer and I pray every day and say thank you for the situation I’m in. I always exercise. I do mixed martial arts when I’m at home and when I’m on tour I just do like loads of press ups and things before I go on stage. I try to speak to my grandparents too because they were like parents for me.’

Louis doesn’t watch TV and isn’t into other bands. There aren’t any films or podcasts he would recommend. So where do the slices of free time he has take him? ‘In my free time I learn things. I learn everything: I love history, I love languages, I just like to read, things like that. Not maybe books and things like that but I’m on the internet and I’ll be reading stuff online. I won’t be on YouTube watching clips I’ll be on Wikipedia scrolling for hours and when a little bit of blue writing comes up I’ll click on that and get on to something else. I just like to always educate and better myself knowledge is power do you know what I mean.’ Also unsurprisingly, Louis could never see himself going back to formal education: ‘I think its too regimented and theres not enough room for creativity and free thinking you know. I like to be a free thinker and explore all things.’

In the crowd every accent I hear is broadly Scouse. At the bar a man sticks a ‘Total Eclipse of the Sun’ sticker to a tap, with the ’96’ Hillsborough flame burning on it. A few Indie regulars clutch their tote bags and look mildly terrified as the crowd, who range from late 40s middle aged women with pixie crops and leopard print vest tops, to young girls in tight dresses, to polo shirted men with hardened faces, fill the room with vape smoke and carry plastic cups brimming with booze past them, spilling a good 30%. The atmosphere is electric as the audience not only appreciate great musician, but one of their own making it. Pride oozes from every angle and bodies are hoisted on to shoulders from the first song. Louis struts around stage, eyes twinkling, winking at audience members and sticking his tongue over those giant teeth and throwing his head back when guitar solos hit. He seems completely mismatched to the music he is playing and the voice that comes out of his mouth through that permanent smile. Louis Berry: Unpredictable and not even close to the Rock ’n’ Roll mould. 2017 is perfect for him. 

Words: Alex Bee

JoJo is back and doing things her way in UK-Exclusive Fault Shoot and Interview

Endlessly talented and wickedly catchy, JoJo is no stranger to the spotlight, having had her first number-one single at the age of 13. Now, after a 10-year studio album hiatus caused by label issues, she’s back on the scene with “Mad Love,” a critical and commercial success that showcases her voice and songwriting – both of which are stronger than ever. FAULT had a chance to speak with her while in the midst of her four-month worldwide tour, and we uncovered just what makes that brilliant mind and talent tick.

 You have the tour coming up. What are you most looking forward to?

 I’m personally really excited to perform songs from my new album and connect with fans in places that I haven’t been to in a long time or some places that I’m going to for the first time. It’s just my favorite place to get shit out: on stage. It’s my happy place.

 

Any particular place or song you’re looking forward to performing?

 I feel like every night is different, so I don’t have any expectations; I’m just open to whatever experience is supposed to happen.

 

So it’s kind of more of an in the moment type of thing?

 Totally. That’s how I try to live.

 

I saw you brought Albert Stanaj on board. What made you think he’d be the right complement to your tour?

 I’m just a sucker for an amazing voice, and he has one of the most exciting voices that I’ve heard in a while. I’ve known him for a couple of years, and when he decided to put out music officially after he signed to Republic, I had my eye on him and thought that he might be a good fit for this tour, so I’m so excited that he’s joining in North America.

Outfit – Jovonna London

 

I totally agree; I listened to a few of his songs and was just blown away. He has an amazing voice.

 Yeah, he’s a star.

 

I saw on Instagram you took your second solo trip of the year to Arizona. What inspires you to take those independent trips?

 As a woman, I realized that I had a lot of fear about traveling by myself, not necessarily being alone with my own thoughts, but traveling by myself, and I wanted to feel empowered and self-sufficient. I also just wanted to have time to journal and think and reflect, and I think it’s been a good thing for me to do at the end of the year. I started last year after my dad passed away and I just needed some time to touch base with how I was feeling, and it’s best to do that, I think, when you’re alone. So, it’s just something that I want to do at least once a year. I’ll probably find a different place in the world or in America every year and do my solo journey.

 

I’m always interested in the feminist side of performance culture and how that’s continually evolving. Can you speak more to that?

I think we live in a really amazing time where rules don’t apply, and I feel really comfortable and empowered to do what I want to do. I think that embracing both the feminine and masculine sides of me makes me feel like myself. I think there’s no one way to be a woman, to be a young woman, to be successful. I think it’s a wonderful time to be a woman in music because there are so many different representations of what’s beautiful, what’s excellent. There’re a lot of different things going on, and I think it’s healthy.

 

What made you decide to go vegan?

 I first was interested in a plant-based diet because of my voice. I struggled with my allergies for a long time, and I wanted to try something different to combat that. I’m singing every night, and I wanted that to be easier for me. So, I cut out dairy first, and then I started talking to my vegan friend and I started to feel what they told me about how when you eat animal products, you’re ingesting fear, death, and disease. I didn’t feel good about doing that anymore. So, I just slowly made a transition. I’m by no means a perfect vegan, but I do eat plant-based. That’s how I try to eat. After reading Russell Simmons’ “Happy Vegan” and watching documentaries, I feel like it’s the choice for me.

Hoodie – Vintage / Corset Belt – Richard Wilbraham

 

How rough is the tour on your voice? What’s your daily routine?

 My daily routine when I’m on tour is typically to wake up, get my caffeination going, work out, warm up a bit while I’m on the treadmill, do some singing and breathing exercises, then I’ll soundcheck and do interviews and the show. I warm up vocally before the show and I warm down after the show. I started taking care of my voice that way because I really want to sing forever. I want to be in my 70s, singing, so I feel like if I want do that, I have to take care of my instrument, what I was given.

 

Your voice sounds fabulous; your new record has been on a lot my playlists.

 Thank you!

 

Speaking of the new record, you had a bit of a gap between the last release. What did you find was different this time around?

 My confidence. I recorded so many incarnations of the third album, and I had so many people telling me who I should be and what direction I should take, putting a lot of information out there that I attached onto. So, I feel like I was able to get my footing a bit more. Of course, there’s a big difference between when you’re recording an album at 14 versus 24. I had a lot of life experience, and I think my perspective changed. I just had more fun too! It was more pleasant.

Outfit – Thomas George Wulbern

 

I think that really comes across. I listened to it through a couple times; there’s this beautiful overall sense of, like you say, confidence and empowerment and just like you’re having fun. You had Wiz Khalifa, Alessia Cara, and Remy Ma. What made you decide to collaborate with them?

 So, when it came to “Fuck Apologies,” I wanted to keep it within the Atlantic family, which is my new label, and Wiz was one of the first people that came to mind. So, we reached out, he loved the record, and he really just embodies that sense of “this is who I am. You can take it or leave it.”

With Alessia, she’s become a friend of mine through the industry, and I love what she’s doing and the road that she’s taken for herself. Remy’s been one of my favorite rappers since she came up with Terror Squad around the time that I came up. So, when she came back on the scene, I was so hyped, so I was like: “Oh my god, it would be a dream to get Remy Ma on a record.” We sent her “FAB” after I wrote it, she got on it immediately, and I was like: “Oh my god! I can’t believe it!” So, I was hyped!

 

Speaking of writing, the lyrics have really stuck out to me on this album. Is there any sort of philosophy you have when you’re writing them?

My philosophy is: “Live your life and keep your eyes open for songs. Keep your ears open for songs.” I have found that when I was a little bit younger and dumber, I would put myself in situations or stay longer than I should have just to get as many songs as I could out of it. But now, I just try to write things down constantly and work with collaborators who bring the best out of me and who we work well together.

 

One I thing I thought was really interesting was the “Tringle.” That’s a really unique way to hype a record. What gave you that idea?

 It really came about because I couldn’t decide what songs to lead with. Well, it wasn’t that I couldn’t decide; I’m not the only person who decides, so there were conflicting opinions. So, I was like: “let’s just put out a few records. You know, it’s been so long since I’ve put out music officially and I’m with this new partnership with Atlantic, so let’s do something different.”

Outfit – Thomas George Wulbern

 

Do you have any future plans in mind after the tour musically or are you just taking it step-by-step?

 Absolutely! While I’m on the road, I want to start writing. I’m just really interested in putting out a steady stream of content. I’m feeling so creative and I’m itching to make a new body of work, so I just want to keep going and growing and keep on moving.

 

My friends who do a lot of tour work talk about how there’s this weird gap, because you record an album, and then by the time you release it and get out on tour, you can be a year or two separated from the writing of the material. Is it a little weird to be performing in one creative space while you’re trying to write in another creative space at the same time?

 This will be my first time trying to do that. So, I’ll be able to answer that better after this tour! But yeah, this will be my first time working on an album while I’m doing a tour. So, I’ll be doing material from my three albums, but I’m not sure!

 

What’s your writing process like? Are you with an instrument or a notebook?

 I’m not proficient on the keys yet, so what I do are lyrics and melody. Then, I’ll collaborate with a producer or sometimes a small group of people — three or four people — and we all bounce around ideas together. Comfort is key, to have that comfort with your collaborators so that you can throw out ideas and not feel silly and feel instead empowered. I don’t have a set process, but I do have so many journals laying around that sometimes, I’ll circle things and I’ll bring them to the studio. I have hundreds of notes on my phone, and sometimes, things will spark and I’ll start a voice note. There’s really no rhyme of reason to it. It’s just all of the vibes.

Top – Calvin Klein

 

With your new writing, do you have any sort of style in mind or collaborators? Any inspiration? Anything you’re looking to do?

I’m looking to just get better every day: be more honest, be more myself, and continue on that journey and surround myself with people who are excellent and inspiring. I do have a lot of different things that I want to achieve and a lot of inspirations, but I want to keep them to myself until I flesh them out.

 

If there was anybody in the world you could collaborate with — past, present, future — is there a special person you’d be interested in?

Bruno Mars. There’s so much amazing music and talent out there. I think Bruno is kind of the ultimate right now.

 

What is your Fault?

It’s my fault that I ruined my new tattoo! I shot a music video last night, and I ruined my tattoo when I got into a bath filled with milk and food coloring and bath bombs! That’s totally my bad!

 

MAD LOVE is out now.

Words Alex Cooke

Photography Jack Alexander

Styling Zack & Jamie (Zack Tate & Jamie McFarland)

Make-Up Kristina Theodoris using High Definition Beauty and Trish McAvoy

Hair Niki Black using @revlonprofessionaluk and @pop_pr_uk

Nails Naima Coleman using High Definition Nails

Photographer’s Assistant – Nathan Gascon-Saiz

Stylists’ Assistant – Thomas George Wulbern

Special thanks – The Kensington

FAULT MEETS ETTA BOND

Jacket – H&M / Crop Top – BooHoo / Skirt – Topshop

She’s been called the ‘Skinhead Soul Princess’, and the Guardian has mentioned her as one of the Future 50 rising stars to watch of 2017. Miss Etta Bond – hailing from London – is known and loved for her soulful vocals, self empowerment and visual creativity. Set to release her new solo EP since Emergency Room with Raf Riley, we chat to Etta to find out what she’s been working on.

Etta! Have you had a good day?

Yeah Yeah, (laughs) I’ve had a good day, I’ve not done much, been abit lazy so its been a chilled one for me.

Oh that’s good.

But to be honest I was getting ready to go to the gym before you called, so once I get off the phone, I’m gonna get a little work out in I think.

You’re too good haha. I keep putting it off to the next day, and then it gets to the end of the day and I can’t even be bothered (laughs)

Ah! it’s so easy to do that isnt it? I’ve been meaning to go to the gym all day but i keep making excuses like “oh, i’ll get ready soon” (Laughs) and then finally getting ready now and I thought, “Fuck it i’ll just wait” (laughs) I’ll go eventually!

Dress – Samsoe & Samsoe

 

(Laughs) So! We’ve not heard anything solo wise from you in a while, can you tell us anything about your new EP?

I don’t want to say too much about the EP. It’s about to start revealing itself with the release of ‘Kiss My

Girlfriend’. Chris Loco and I have been working very closely on this project for some time now. I’m so

excited to share it!

You mentioned the EP was with Chris Loco, the last was with Raf Riley – what are the similarities and differences of working with them both?

That’s like asking me to compare two lovers… The similarity is that making music in the presence of either

of them feels very natural to me, there’s a spark. I love them both.

So you’ve got some live gigs coming up, what can we expect from your set?

I’m planning a headline show which is going to be really special. I also have my set at The Secret Garden

Party coming up. I’ve never been before so that’s exciting.

Top – Fila / Trouser – Etta’s own / Boots – Dr Martens

Your new single Kiss My Girlfriend is out today! Who was it inspired by and what was the message

behind the song?

My friend, Jenay, who’s actually standing next to me in the video – she inspired the song. It’s about the

special and unique relationship that exists between women. It’s a reminder for women (myself included)

that men will do and say just about anything to get a piece. We’ve gotta look out for each other, it’s a

beautiful thing when we do.

How involved were you in the direction of the video?

The video was directed by Sophie Jones. We worked very closely together on the concept and

casting. We’ve already started discussing our next creative collaboration!

What was it like working with her?

Second nature! We’ve been friends for years now so it was a really organic process. With support from her,

Zateesha Barbour on hair, Daisy Deane on styling, Grace Vee on makeup, all of their wonderful assistants

and each and every one of the girls that took part – it was a wonderful experience that I’ll never forget. A

day that brought the song and its meaning to life.

Where do you see yourself in one year’s time?

I never tend to think like that, I just end up where I end up. It’s where I’m supposed to be, you know?

Wherever I am, I just hope the music that’s coming has reached the people it’s meant for.

Lastly, what is your fault?

Addiction.

Cape – Felder Felder

 

Words and Photography: Ashleigh Nayomi

Styling: Edith Walker Millwood