Martin Garrix covers FAULT Issue 26 – available to order now

Martin Garrix was shot in Ibiza by photographer Eva Kruiper and styled by Rachel Holland exclusively for the front cover of FAULT Issue 26. Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

FAULT Issue 26 cover star Martin Garrix was shot by Eva Kruiper and styled by Rachel Holland. Click here to pre-order your copy of this issue!

Ten minutes into an hour-long conversation with Martin Garrix, it’s blindingly obvious that there’s something more simmering underneath the surface of what people now call ‘The World’s Number One DJ’.

If you dispel the chaos and sparks that surround him on a regular basis, you’re faced with a 21 year old who is wise beyond his years – maybe even too smart for his own good. Martin is the brain behind the songs that we’ve had stuck in our heads for the past years. He knows what we want to listen to before we do. Labeled as the top EDM DJ and a self-confessed computer nerd, Martin’s got it all figured out. What makes him tick though? We try to find out. Here’s Martin Garrix – FAULTs and all.

On the pressure that followed after ‘Animals’:

“I made ‘Animals’ as a club song. I couldn’t wait to play it live to like… 300 people at that time?! Next thing I knew everybody started playing it. And then the pressure followed. The label people were like – so when’s the follow up coming? I had no fucking clue. I had nothing.”

On maintaining his integrity as an EDM artist:

A lot of EDM artists go like – ah you’re a sell out. [After the radio success of ‘Animals’] It took me a really long time to get my credibility back in the club scene. I had to do a crazy amount of club songs. And radio people kept asking about new radio singles. I had to shoot them down every time until this year – when I started doing radio songs again.”

Martin wears looks by McQ by Alexander McQueen, Homme Plissé by Issey Miyake and more in the lavish ‘I Am On Top of the World’ penthouse suite at the stunning Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel in Ibiza

On his personality:

“Oh me? I’m just a nerd, a pure 100% computer nerd. And I’m always very happy. If you ask anybody – they’d just say that I’m a crazy person who always runs around with a big smile.”

How he handles the pressure of being in the public eye:

“At the end of the day, I have a responsibility to put songs out there for my fans – so you won’t really catch me drunk before a show. I do drink and go out with my friends, but I have some common sense not to Snapchat the whole thing, do you know what I mean?”

On his decision to launch STMPD RCRDS:

“I started my own label last year called STMPD RCDRS – just so I could do whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted it. Now nobody can tell me what I can and can’t release. Plus I really wanted to support new talent in the industry – but it’s nice that I’m able to do whatever I feel like.”

On “the naughtiest thing he’s ever done”:

“We were in Paraguay … We came back after doing a show and I really wanted to go for a swim. The swimming pool was shut and I had nowhere to go – apart from the small pool in the hotel lobby. It was more like a mini-fountain, totally part of the hotel décor, by the way.

“And I just went swimming in there. Which was more like lying on the floor playing with water ’cause it was about 10 cm deep!”

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FAULT speaks with Steven McRae, Principal Dancer at the Royal Ballet

After receiving a scholarship to study at the Royal Ballet School in 2003, Steven McRae left his native Sydney behind to tread the boards at London’s Royal Opera House, becoming a Principal Dancer with the Royal Ballet in 2009. Recently back from a tour of his homeland with the company, we spoke to Steven about living life en pointe, the drag racing career that could have been, and (apologies in advance) tortured toenails…

So, can you talk us through a typical day in the life of a principal dancer?

My day starts early! My wife and I have 2 beautiful children – Audrey is 2 years old and Frederick is 9 months old. Once the children are set up for the day, I head into the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. I do a vigorous warm up and workout before our official daily ballet class begins at 10.30am. This class is the time to work on a dancer’s technique and prepare for the day ahead.

Rehearsals then begin at midday and go until 6.30pm, which covers the repertoire that we are performing at that time. If there is a performance that night, then the company end rehearsals at 5.30pm to prepare for the 7.30pm show, which will usually run until 10.30pm. Once home, I try to have a moment to rest and recover before the next day.

 

What is the worst thing about having such a gruelling routine? I’ve heard horror stories about toenails being drilled to relieve the pressure from dancing en pointe!

The drilling of toenails does happen, I’ve had it done myself – however, after witnessing my wife give birth twice, I don’t think I’ll be complaining anytime soon! The hours are something that I struggle with now as my children are everything to me, so I would love to have more time with them.

What first drew you to ballet?

I took my first dance lesson at age 7, and I was hooked straight away. The sense of freedom I felt jumping around and spinning like a top was a sensation I had never felt before.

 

And your two children, are they showing an early interest in dance too?

It is very early to be thinking about our children dancing, but if they ask us to start lessons we’ll take them just like any other child. Audrey has already shown signs of being very theatrical though!

 

You recently toured Australia with the Royal Ballet – what was it like to perform back on home ground?

Performing with The Royal Ballet back home in Australia was incredible. I left Australia at the age of 17, still a child really. The Royal Ballet has helped me forge a career and a life that I had never thought possible, so to be back home all these years later combining my two worlds was a very special moment.

Now that the tour is over, what are some of the challenges you’ll have coming up in the new season?

Every season at The Royal Ballet is full of great challenges. The classical ballets, such as Giselle and Swan Lake, are always demanding as they are the ballets that keep the tradition alive. The new ballets take a lot out of you physically, as they require much more rehearsal time and repetition.

 

Do you have a particular favourite show that you could perform night after night?

I love performing Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Romeo & Juliet. Romeo was the first full length ballet I performed at a very young age, so it’s a role I adore working on. I performed the role of Prince Rudolf in Mayerling last season, and that was a role I fell in love with – the ballet is intense, and the role is physically and emotionally demanding. I can’t wait to get my teeth into it again!

 

If you hadn’t gone into ballet, what do you think you would you be doing today?

I most certainly would have pursued my love of motorsport! I grew up at a racetrack in Sydney as my father was a Drag Racer. I think I would have gone to the USA to pursue a career with the NHRA. I also have an obsession with space, so perhaps NASA would have been a goal too…

 

I hear you’re a pretty good tap dancer too – do you have any other hidden talents?

I love tap dancing! I think everybody has hidden talents. I love building things – as a kid I loved LEGO, then I moved on from Lego to flat pack IKEA furniture, but now my children are getting into Lego so I’ll be having fun with those blocks again soon!

And lastly, what is your FAULT?

I have always had an obsession with looking towards the future, which is a great quality to have, but it can prevent you from living in the present. I’ve worked hard to tackle it though so, thankfully, nowadays I feel more like I can just enjoy every moment!

Steven McRae is a Principal Dancer with The Royal Ballet, and can be seen in the upcoming production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. To find out more visit www.roh.org.uk

Words: Jennifer Parkes

Exclusive backstage portrait photo gallery at Reading Festival 2017

We headed down to Reading festival to document the backstage goings on. As one of the most prolific festivals in the UK, this year saw the likes of Kasabian, Eminem and Muse headline.

We were backstage to catch all the action, and asked 48 of this year’s lineup: “What is your festival FAULT?”

Charli XCX

“I was playing a festival in Finland but I had food poisoning and had to keep a bucket behind the drummer because I was just going to throw up at any moment, but managed to keep it in. After I finished I just went for it!”

Sigrid

“My worst festival habit is that I get a bit too over-excited and I overestimate how much I can do on stage and always almost fall. I have a lead on my mic and always get tangled up in it… but almost falling is better than actually falling!”

PVRIS

[Brad] “I was in a mosh pit at a festival and I had my nose broken. I went to the emergency response people who set my nose back in place and went back out and started moshing. I’m a mosh boy.”

While She Sleeps

“The first time I came to a festival, I paid. The second time, I worked it. Third time, I broke in. The fourth, I’m playing it.”

Pale Waves

“We were at Leeds Festival and woke up to find my tent cover had been pulled off. My mate was like, ‘do you want me to pull it back over for you?’, so he did and someone had shit on it and wiped their arse on the tent.”

Zeal and Ardor

“I was at a festival doing a gig and I was really thirsty. I saw some water bottles so I grabbed one and took about ten sips. It was a little bitter and I went on to have what must have been the most emotional festival of my life… that ‘water’ was laced with I don’t know what but I had a wonderful time and guess that’s what you get for stealing someone’s water.”

Vukovi

“We were filming a live music video and one of us slipped and dislocated a knee so we had to cancel and re-film a couple months later…”

The Americas

“We are just a big calamity really. My guitar breaks, without fail, every show. Vomit is always involved at some point… we have so many faults!”

X Ambassadors

“We were standing on stage, about to play and our monitor board had gotten damaged on the flight – but we didn’t know this yet. We’re waiting, couldn’t hear anything, 5 mins go by… 10 mins… 15-20 minutes go by… 10,000 people are waiting to see us. I just went out there and played with an acoustic guitar on my own.”

The LaFontaines

[Jamie] “We were headlining a festival and I had never been at a festival before; I got so drunk I got caught smoking a spliff and the police kicked me out and we were not even able to play.”

Pins

“Just now I managed to put a hole in the drum. Oh, and maybe sometimes being accidentally too sexy.”

Architects

“We were at a festival once and we all got really drunk and poured beer over each other, but thats what happens when you drink. We don’t wanna say ‘don’t drink too much’ because that’s boring at a festival!”

Saint PHNX

[Stevie] “Alan’s biggest festival fault is farting on the tour bus. He is absolutely disgusting, he is rotten.”

[Alan] “Stevie’s biggest fault is that he stinks and he picks his nose and eats it.”

Breaking Benjamin

“We were in Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio and we had a small trailer/dressing room… when time came to do the show we got locked inside the trailer and had to climb out the window – but instead of helping the crew just stood about laughing and filming us struggle”

Anna Straker

“At Glastonbury my mic stopped working. No one knew why; I got halfway through the song and we finally got the mic started and had to start again but in the meantime, I was left standing there!”

The Sherlocks

“On Friday night we were asleep on the bus and our sound engineer started screaming, ‘help, help, emergency, stop, stop!’. He was having a night terror and thought he was driving the tour bus, so he was stood up in his bed trying to apply the imaginary breaks for like 5 minutes. He woke up and was like I’m sorry everyone, I was dreaming.”

Against The Current

[Chrissy] “So I was at Leeds a couple of days ago trying to get into the backstage area, and they were holding up the guests. I got waved at by security and this female bouncer got really mad and thought I was jumping the queue so she punched me in the arm. It really hurt but I was so shocked I didn’t know what to do! So bizarre…”

The Hunna

[Ryan] “Hands down it’s gotta be me losing my passport in Hamburg. The police let me in the country for the night, then the next morning we went to the embassy to get a one-day passport. It was a nightmare, apparently my passport ended up in Cyprus.”

Ray BLK

“I had a performance on Friday and the times were mixed up and no one was told about it. So I was doing my set and I literally watched everyone walk away. It was so embarrassing!”

Haus

“3 years ago we played a gig. I’d had no sleep, was wrecked, and my voice just blew out on stage. I didn’t know what to do. Off stage my sister had a bottle of rum… I claimed that I didn’t make it back to the tent; I passed out, pissed myself, woke up in my own vomit and heard a lot of stories… I literally could not talk!”

Judas

[Todd] “I went on stage and put my guitar behind my amp but it had been moved in the time that I had been away from stage. I went on stage to play and pick up my guitar and couldn’t find it.. I must have been faster than Usain Bolt; I had to sprint to side of stage and grab it carry on with the set.”

“Letting Todd in the band.”

Yonaka

[George] “I got real drunk once and I couldn’t get into the tent. I was so wrecked they found me the next day passed out on top of the tent with a stolen bottle of rum…”

Barns Courtney

“I did a gig in Milwaukee. The crowd was really far back from the stage so I thought, ‘I have to get closer.’ I thought it would be a really great thing to get down there, so I jumped off thinking it was grass down there. Turns out it was concrete and I broke my foot in 5 different places. Managed to finish the set though… and I didn’t want people see me cry!”

Counterfeit.

[Roland] “I’m always falling over – like literally always, but at a festival that’s OK it’s expected”

[Jamie] “Always know where to pitch your tent – never do it in the walkway because it’ll get trashed.”

Picture This

“We are not very rock and roll – we don’t really drink and we are very disciplined and proper into the creative side of things!”

Jimmy Eat World

“You’re gonna be so bummed out, we’re all good boys, but I have one story.. we were at this festival in Belgium once and I ate five waffles. I felt so sick…”

Deap Vally

[Lindsey] “Today right before we went on stage I had to pee really desperately, so I went in the shower because it was the closest thing I could find, and then I accidentally turned on the shower and soaked myself before the set. But you know what it was really refreshing and I felt so great during our set!”

Louis Berry

“Security who don’t know what they’re doing, telling me to go here and there and calling me a prick for no reason really pissed me off.”

The Orwells

“Having to wait here in the sun roasting, it’s the worst shit ever! Other than that, our festivals have been amazing, we have killed it every year”

TOKiMONSTA

“I had my music stop during a set and I had to just stand there and talk to the audience while it was fixed… and I once fell while leaving the stage – but I was wearing 6inch heels!”

Huw Stephens

“My festival fault is I once went on stage to introduce a band and I forgot the name, so had to walk off stage and pretend it was a fault with the microphone whilst finding out the band’s name before coming back. I styled it out!”

Puppy

“Projectile vomiting at most festivals – it seems we haven’t done it at Reading yet, but the night is still young.”

Olly Chamberlain

“I was playing at a bar once and I just fell off the stage right on my face. I got back up, played the last bar on my guitar and shamefully hobbled off stage…”

Oh Wonder

[Anthony] “You know the mosquito mesh at the top of your tent? Well, someone was sick through mine once while I was sleeping and I was covered in vomit. It was delicious.”

[Josephine] “I turned up to my first festival and forgot to bring a tent, but i thought, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll just borrow one, it’ll be fine’. I was young!”

The Amity Affliction

“One of us nearly died cos we were drinking so much.”

Circa Waves

[Kieran] “Sam usually throws his bass in the tents but always misses and it crashes to the floor. As for me, I’m faultless!”

Anteros

[Laura] “Last year, we didn’t realise it was gonna be so muddy and the van got stuck in the mud… we had an hour before our set and I had to walk to the backstage area in my night dress. It was freezing but what no one told me is that it was see through – so these guys’ biggest fault is not telling me my night dress was see through!”

You Me At Six

[Dan] “I was at a festival as a punter. I was about 16 and I was watching Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I really needed a piss so I had my mates huddle round me while I peed in a cup, but they decided mid-pee to move away, so there I was standing there with it in a cup – and yes, just like Chris from Love Island, it does touch the bottom!”

You Me At Six

[Josh] “Realistically every time I open my mouth on the mic in front of how many thousand people that is somewhat hazardous! When I’m not singing, it has to be when I try and channel my inner Ricky Gervais in between songs – it usually ends quite badly, not as funny as I think I am, maybe!”

Bastille

“We were at a festival, at a Muse gig, and I had a few gins so my balance wasn’t great, and I fell and twisted my ankle, so while the rest of the guys were at the after party I was sitting in a Polish hospital.”

Dillon Francis

“Maybe walking off stage in Australia… but it was called for!”

LANY

“We just played Summer Sonic in Japan, and I nearly ate it on stage. It was so embarrassing but I managed to style it out. Had to pretend I was break dancing.”

Sundara Karma

[Oscar] “We played Latitude in 2015 and we still getting used to the whole rider situation. We were getting free alcohol, we got really drunk beforehand on a litre of vodka and then went on stage. I went in for a crowd surf, underestimated the strength of the crowd and just got dropped on my face. I really hurt my ribs but didn’t realise until the next morning.”

Glass Animals

“We got so wasted for a festival in Switzerland for so many days in a row that we had to cancel the show. We drank so much, got on stage and nothing came out of my mouth so we had to cancel. So yeah, not great.”

Stefflon Don

“I was told before one of my shows that we had to cut short the set time, so when I saw my manager signalling from side of stage in the middle of my song Real Ting, I cut it short. When I got off stage my manager said to me ‘No, Stef, I said go into the crowd.’ I felt so bad ’cause Real Ting was the song they were waiting for and I saw all my fans faces were disappointed, so yeah I felt really bad…”

Delta Heavy

“We took a wheeled suitcase to Glastonbury last year and literally had to drag it through the mud. Not fun…”

Jacob Plant

“We were about to go on stage at Glastonbury and we didn’t know our sound monitor had broken, so we’re standing on stage in front of 20,000 fans and there was no sound.. our set was only 20 minutes, so after 15 we just went out there acoustic and did a couple songs. We felt so bad but it turned out really good.”

The Big Moon

[Jules] “I broke a tooth having sex with my boyfriend in my tent…”

Anne-Marie

“Whenever I have a show in another country, I try to learn their language. We had a show in Germany and I was sweating out ’cause I was proper hot, and I asked my pianist who said he’d learned German in school. I said ‘what is “I am hot” in German?’ and he said its ‘ich bin heist’. So the next show, I was shouting ‘ich bin heist’ and everyone was laughing. I just thought it was because 0f my accent. I came off stage and I had loads of tweets quoting me as saying I was sexy. Yeah, so that was embarrassing”

Photography Jack Alexander

Words Jade Cunningham

Celebrating 10 years of ‘Made of Bricks’ with Kate Nash

As soon as Kate Nash announced a tour to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of ‘Made of Bricks’, we knew we had to be there. On 9th August, Kate performed the first of two shows at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, so we caught her backstage for an exclusive chat and shoot.

You’ve smashed your Kickstarter Campaign, were you expecting the support you’ve received?
I was nervous the whole way through, so nerve-wracking! I’m so excited to put out my fourth record, it’ll defo be out by February 2018!

Tell us about Glow, the new Netflix series you’re in…
Glow is sick, it’s so cool! I’m surrounded by amazing female energy, it’s so powerful, it’s really magical.

And what about your new video for ‘Call Me’?
Yeaaahhh, it was filmed where my mum works, Michael Sabel House Hospice. The song is about using what you’ve been through to help other people. My mum’s a nurse and has used her experience to help other people her whole life, and the patients support each other too. It’s a really special place to me. One of my friends died there. Also, people at the hospice wanted to change the perception of what people see a hospice as – it’s not a dark, horrible place but really bright, light and positive, and the patients get massages, meditation therapy, they socialise, there’s music and really good care and treatment. I met this amazing 94 year old woman and she whispered “come back” then winked at me when she walked away. She’s my idol.

Ten years – especially in the music industry – is such a long period, and yet Made of Bricks has stood the test of time. Are you surprised by the reaction of your fans?
I wanted to do something special. It’s crazy taking in that much love from the crowd. We’ve got through so many highs and lows together. I’ve done toilet tours to arenas, no one is solidly in one place ever, you have to be okay with that and work through the difficult time. It’s so nice to do a big joyous tour, it’s so overwhelming, the whole team’s just crying all the time cause its evoking so many memories. ‘Skeleton Song’ has been so emotional to play. My fans are the weirdos/outsiders/cool people that stand out, they all come together and are there for each other, it shows the true meaning of music.

You’re passionate about womens rights – do you think gender equality is becoming more prominent in the music industry?
There was a period of time where things got better, but now I feel like we’re in this low zone again behind the scenes, like yes there’s so many women in music, but it seems no one knows who they are, they’re not getting the exposure. Record labels are scared shitless of putting something out there that’s unique; they’re not willing to put themselves on the line to break the mould. Solo female artists can’t break through and they’re told to feature on dance tracks. I feel really passionate about it and encourage female artists to stay independent for as long as possible. The internet is so powerful now, it’s right at your fingertips and you can get that connection with people – fuck labels. I haven’t had any radio or label support for the past five years, and here I am doing two nights at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It doesn’t matter because I’ve built such a strong connection with my fans.

What advice would you give to young female solo artists trying to break into the industry?
It’s brutal but I think artists need to see their power. Don’t work with people unless you feel their being innovative. I just don’t trust labels at the moment. I’m not saying I would never go back, it’s just it’d have to be with someone who was being really innovative.

You quote tonight’s venue – Shepherd’s Bush Empire – as your favourite. But is there anywhere you’d love to play in the world on this tour?
Australia & Japan so bad. I really want to go back.

If you could collaborate with anyone ever, who would it be?

Stevie Nicks, MIA, Dolly Parton & Cher obviously.

What’s the most important message you want to share with the world?
I’ve learnt loving yourself is the most important thing in the world. To try and sit comfortably with who you are is the most difficult and important thing to do in your lifetime. It’s the only thing worth striving for. We put out so much energy pining for things or people, getting abused, taking in shit and negative energy from people, we feed ourselves with the love we’re trying desperately to get from someone else and we obsess over other people. When I sing “Nicest Thing,” at the end I feel like you should be your own nicest thing, if you love yourself as much as you stalk/pine/obsess over someone else, you’ll be in such a good place.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
My fave food is avocado, I feel like I would meditate and eat avocados. I love eating healthily, it gives me life.

What is your FAULT?

I’m always late. I’m always 2 hours late for everything. Time doesn’t exist in my brain, I was the last kid in the class to learn the time. Time just doesn’t make sense to me.

Watch the video for ‘Call Me’ below, and find Kate on Instagram.

Words Lucy Holmes

Photography Charlotte Patmore

Fault catch up with PVRIS ahead of their sophomore album

PVRIS are back with their new album ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ (AWKOHAWNOH), featuring some massive tracks that are sure to fill venues on their upcoming US and European tours. FAULT had the opportunity to catch up with Lynn Gunn ahead of the album’s release.

Hey! How’s it going? Has it been quite manic with the release date for the new album approaching?

Yeah, it’s been a lot of chaos, but it’s fun chaos. I think it’s a lot of the universe testing us but making things somehow fall into place.

 

All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is an interesting album title. What was the motivation behind this?

It was a super serendipitous kind of thing. I was staying in Sacramento finishing editing our video ‘Heaven’ with our director, Raul [Gonzo], and it was around the same time we were getting the album art and track listing together and really just finalising all the details, and we still didn’t have an album title. Raul and I wanted some kind of dialogue or poem or quote to put at the beginning of the video that we released before ‘Heaven’, just to mark the transition and capture the theme of the next record.

I was online all day looking at quotes and just trying to find some really cool things mostly just pertaining to the word heaven, not necessarily hell either. I was up all day trying to find stuff and I just couldn’t find anything, so I gave up. Then later than night I was watching a TED Talk and the lady giving the talk had quoted the last line of an Emily Dickinson poem, so I wrote it down and looked up the poem the next day and found a few different personal interpretations for it and I just thought it was really beautiful.

I think it captured especially what ‘Heaven’ was about, but I think afterwards – once it was finalised and announced it was the record title – I noticed a lot of things tying together and just naturally playing off each other.

 

So it was like everything was nicely falling in to place then?

Yeah. The album art is kind of duality in itself. There’s a lot of really subtle references in the lyrics to duality, which was not a conscious effort whatsoever, it just happened pretty naturally. There’s a lot of pushing and pulling and rising and falling. Even the first verse in a lot of the songs on the record and the second verse were written a year apart, which I think offers a natural duality in itself.

That was such an important thing all us learned in the past year, the importance of balance, whether it comes to your emotions, music, or your health, or hard work.

How would you describe the pressure that you, Alex and Brian had to live up to ‘White Noise’?

It was quite intense and it wasn’t at the same time. Our approach with this record and our mentality was very much the same as ‘White Noise’. It was all just about following our tastes and not boxing ourselves in… not being afraid to experiment, just follow our inner compass and create what feels real and genuine.

I think with this record it was natural from being on tour and then suddenly stopping – it was a total emotional whiplash and all of us processed it completely differently. For me, personally, I just kind of shut off emotionally and mentally. That was something we had to shake off at first when we started the recording process, but we found a lot of really beautiful moments in that mindset and that experience.

 

There’s quite a feeling of intensity and a very full sound to AWKOHAWNOH – it feels like a more mature sound compared to ‘White Noise’. Do you think that reflects the maturing you’ve gone through since releasing your debut album?

Yeah, absolutely. I think everybody can hear it. It’s different and it’s fresh and it’s definitely just naturally more mature and progressed from the last record, but I definitely think it still has that heart and that guts and same integrity behind it.

I think we’ve really been able to hone it a lot more on this record with our writing and everything. We’ve all matured so much. And even coming down to our team in general, from videos to producers to management, we’ve all gotten so tight with each other and there’s a lot more trust and better communication. Everything in every aspect is really honed in.

 

When ‘White Noise’ was written you were around 19…?

I think 18 or 19, I don’t even remember! I was a baby! We’d just been on one tour and then recorded the record and everything else was history.

 

So does it feel quite different doing things the second time around? Do you still feel that kind of sense of ‘newness’ that you felt with ‘White Noise’?

I think there’s definitely a ‘newness’ and it feels like a sophomore update for us. We’re working properly and everything works. It definitely has a really nice freshness to it, but I think we’ve learned so much as well… so it’s a freshness but with a little more of a backbone and a little bit more preparation I guess.

 

When you were writing the album did you set out to create an almost anthemic sound?

I think it just really naturally happened. A lot of the demos before this record, before we went through and started picking and choosing, were really kind of, not stripped down, but quite driving and quiet. I think the studio we were in and the environment we were in at the time was so massive with so many tools. We had three drum sets set up, two grand pianos, organs, harps… there were so many instruments and tools around that we were like little kids in a candy shop.

Do you think having all those instruments at your disposal encouraged you to play around more?

Definitely, yeah! We had a bigger arsenal of instruments but also a bigger environment and space to be in and think that really helped create the big atmosphere. But also I think there was a lot of energy to get out and a lot of catharsisism in the process of making the record, and I think that just came across in the bigness of it. Working with Blake [Harnage] as well, he always takes things to the next level and really just makes it huge and that was another key factor for sure.

 

That must’ve been exciting with all those instruments there to play with!

Yeah! There was a drum set set up at all times and I would probably hop on it three times a day, just getting anger and frustration out. We tracked a good chunk of it and it blended in on some of the songs, which was really cool. There was so much explosion of sound, which was really fun.

 

You deal with quite heavy themes in your music, with the likes of depression and anxiety, and you’re quite open about that. Do you find music’s been really good at helping you express all those emotions in an artistic form?

Absolutely. It’s so cliché saying that music is our release but it really absolutely is. Just the creative process in general – whether it’s some visuals, to videos, to just tracking and recording and writing – it really is the most cathartic part and the biggest release, and really is the reason we do it.

 

You mentioned the visuals there; from the visuals you’ve released so far for AWKOHAWNOH there seems to be real focus on marrying them in tightly with the music. Is that something you were all really keen to focus on?

We’re on our 15th or 16th video collaborating with Raul, our director now, and this time around with this record he and I are basically kind of co-directing now, so it’s been much more hands-on and a lot more of an honest and intimate process. We’ve become best friends through everything we created on ‘White Noise’, and even that was a super collaborative process, but this time around on this record it’s been even more hands-on and I think that really comes across.

 

From watching the ‘Half’ visualette you recently released that definitely shows.

That video was super last minute and was something that really makes me think there’s some kind of crazy inner workings and a weird energy looking over us at all times.

Happen’ leaked a week before we had anticipated releasing it and the boys and I had just got back from Australia, we were in LA doing some press there and I had to stay an extra day and the boys had gone home already, and we got a call from the label and management saying they wanted to put ‘Half’ out next. We had another song we’d planned to put out next and a video that was already booked to shoot and that was in the works, but the management and label wanted to put ‘Half’ out and wanted to provide some visuals for it, so asked if we had any ideas we could get rolling on. Coincidentally Raul was in LA at the same time shooting another video for someone else. I forget how it came about, but we linked up and drove from LA up to Sacramento, came up with the visual idea on the car ride up, and filmed it in like an hour the next day.

 

So, backtracking slightly… in a recent piece in Billboard you discussed coming out and how you identify, and it’s great seeing how open you are. How important do you think it is that artists are open about how they feel and who they are?

I think this is something I really was battling with a lot over the past few years, especially in press, with how open should I be. I never want it to be something that takes away from our music which overshadows everything else we do, I never want it to be a main focal point of our band. But I think in the past few years, because I was so unsure as to how much to share and discuss, I was really not being fully vulnerable and not sharing everything. I think that really builds up over time, especially with anxiety, and definitely made it worse, and I think that just being vulnerable and straight up about it really helps with it. It was such a big thing and such an important thing I’ve learned, especially in this record cycle – just being vulnerable and being open and honest. That in itself can be really healing.

And I guess when you’re using songwriting as an emotional output as well that must’ve helped you flourish creatively?

Yeah! Cause there’s no blockages and no energy being shut off, it’s just all flowing and feels so much better creatively. Even on stage there’s much more openness, it’s not like anything’s being hidden, it’s all out there on the table.

 

When you’re out on stage do you love getting in the moment and just going for it?

Haha, I try! I have a really weird relationship with playing live because I get so anxious to play and I’m just on edge all day waiting to play for some reason. I still haven’t figured it out as to how to properly navigate it yet, but I’m really trying to work on that and just being in the moment and enjoying it, not worrying about sounding perfect… that’s definitely been a concern the past two years, just sounding great live and focusing on that. I think every singer and everyone on stage deals with that to a degree.

I’m definitely overly critical of myself so I just really am trying, especially with this record cycle and on the next upcoming tours. I want to be in the moment and learn to just roll with it.

 

Are there any particular songs from AWKOHAWNOH that you’re really looking forward to playing live?

Yeah absolutely! Honestly, almost every single song… I think a lot of them are gonna translate very well into a live setting, just from the size of the songs and the size of the venues we’ll be playing, but also because there’s a lot of new instruments and a lot of jumping around. I think all of us are really going to get to showcase how diverse our talents are and our musicianship.

 

‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell’ is out August 25th.
Pvris are playing across the UK at the end of November, and tickets are available now.

Words Sammie Caine

Photos Brandon Taelor Aviram

FAULT speaks to Ella Eyre about her new single ‘Ego’ and upcoming album

BRIT School-educated Ella Eyre first stepped into the spotlight back in 2012 with a feature on drum and bass hit ‘Waiting All Night’ by London band Rudimental. Since then, the award-winning singer-songwriter has featured on feel-good tracks with Wiz Khalifa, Naughty Boy, DJ Fresh and more recently, Sigala. Now, Eyre is back with pop single ‘Ego’ and a sophomore album in the works.

We spoke to the songstress about taking a new direction with her new music, guilty pleasures, supporting her rivals, and learning not to swear on social media.

Hoodie – Gucci at MyTheresa.com / Sunglasses – For Arts Sake

Your new song ‘Ego’ ft. Ty Dolla $ign is out now! What were the inspirations behind the track?

Finally! I wrote it last year so it’s been a long drawn out process trying to make sure it’s perfect. I think it’s fair to say that most of the men I’ve ended up dating have been quite sure of themselves and confident. When you first have a crush on someone you wind each other up. It’s that sort of playfulness in the early days of dating that I wanted to capture for this song.

Dress – Vetements at MyTheresa.com / Earrings throughout – O Thongthai / Trainers – Vans / Socks – Topshop

You’re currently in the process of writing your new album. Will you be changing direction from your debut album ‘Feline’ [2015] at all?

Completely, yeah! I’d say there was quite a bit of pop on the first album so I’m definitely honing that more and moving away from drum and bass. I love drum and bass and I’ve had so much fun touring it but I want to show diversity in my voice and explore a different genre. At 23, I’m still very much in my youth so I want to maximise that. I feel like my first album was rather sad and depressed because as a teenager you think the world is against you. Off the back of that, though, I’ve taken some time to reflect, travel the world, see my friends and realise life’s not all that bad!

Dress – JW Anderson at MyTheresa.com / Trainers – Converse

Who are you working with on the album? Any exciting collaborations with other artists?  

There will be a few more [besides Ty Dolla $ign on ‘Ego’]; I don’t know how many yet as it depends on what songs are on the album. I came up on collaborations and I feel like it’s a really great way of introducing new artists who’ve come up with something new, different and exciting, so there will definitely be more!

You recently teamed up with Sigala for feel-good dance track ‘Came Here For Love’ as well!

The fact that it was the official soundtrack for London Pride was amazing! I’m so glad I was a part of that.

Hoodie – Gucci at MyTheresa.com / Trousers – Topshop / Sunglasses – For Arts Sake

You have been a well-known face in the music industry for several years now. How have you developed as an artist in that time?

I’ve definitely learnt to be more patient. I’m quite an impatient person, especially when it comes to things like my career. Even if you don’t want to be, you become a role model and people aspire to be like you. One of the hard things for me has been learning not to swear on Twitter. I still do sometimes but when you have young people following you, you gotta stay PG [laughs]!

Have you noticed a change in the way people treat you [in the industry]?

I came from the Rudimental team and they’re all about family, so whenever I meet somebody who might be seen as a competitor, like Jess Glynne or Raye, I’ll always be friendly. I think being happy for other successful people is something people really struggle with in this industry but it’s something you have to do because the industry is so unpredictable.

Dress – Topshop Boutique

What is your biggest bugbear?

A lot of things piss me off. For a start, I hate automated phone calls. Having to call up a company and speak to a robot for half an hour before I can speak to an actual person. I hate balloons – I hate the rubber ones because when they pop they’re so loud! It makes me anxious when people hold them [laughs]! I also really hate slow drivers.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests?

Joanna Lumley, Stormzy, Barack Obama and Lauryn Hill!

Bra – Love Stories / Jacket – Le Seine & Moi / Trousers – Rick Owens at MyTheresa.com / Trainers – Adidas / Choker – O Thongthai

What is your guilty pleasure?

When I was younger, I would mix butter and sugar in a bowl and eat it! I still do it sometimes when I’m sad.

What is your FAULT?

Never being satisfied with what I have and not appreciating how lucky I am. I would like to think I could retire happy.

Ella’s new song ‘Ego’ ft. Ty Dolla $ign is now available on Apple Music, Spotify and iTunes. Find Ella on Instagram.

Words Aimee Phillips

Photos Jack Alexander

Styling Daisy Deane @ Frank Agency

Hair and Make Up Yasmina Bentaieb using Kerastase hair and MAC Cosmetics

Stylist’s Assistant Lois Jenner

Special thanks Jon Greenland

Tom Taylor: An exclusive chat with The Dark Tower’s leading lad

Tom Taylor first came to our attention in award-winning BBC drama series Doctor Foster. Next, he popped up as the lead in the film adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower’, which shot to the #1 spot in the US box office. Here we chat to the rising young actor about the numerous projects he has releasing this year.

What was the biggest difference between shooting a TV series and a film? Which did you prefer?

Firstly, with a film there is a lot more time to get the perfect scene which can be great as you get to explore the character in different ways.  Whereas with TV there is less time to do this and you just speed through scenes.  For example, I spent about 4 months of filming for a 1.5 hour film and in the same time for Doctor Foster we made 5 hours worth of film.  I think I like the extravagance of film but I love the realness of TV.

The Dark Tower was predominantly filmed in South Africa – was it a bit of a culture shock? How did you find filming there?

Filming in South Africa was mad!  It was a huge culture shock, which is made obvious the moment I landed in the Country.  I’d only ever seen towships on television but seeing them in real life was surreal, to know that there is so much going on in the world that sat at home in England, people have little idea about.  But, yeah, in few words, I feel grateful.  The views and scenery are phenomenal and if not for movies I don’t think I would have ever had seen the rare cave paintings and animals that I did.  South Africa was a truly eye-opening experience and people should try to go there if they can.

Being an adaptation of a book by an author as iconic as Stephen King, did you feel pressure to satisfy fans of the book and their image of the character of Jake?

I tried to portray the character, Jake, in a way that pleases the fans of the books, because I know how much it betrays you when someone you’ve imagined is ruined by movies.  But I also added elements that made the character feel really and hopefully all audiences will notice this.  I have not met Stephen King but I hope he approves – ha!

You’ve been a lot more active on Twitter lately – have you received much feedback from the fans of the book about their thoughts thus far?

On Twitter, I see reactions of the film and book and most people say “Oh the film only got 18% on rotten tomatoes.  I was hoping I’d like the film…..” and I believe that the audiences should make their own minds up and not be influenced by the “superior critics” – ha!  But to be honest, I think the film is awesome and I can’t believe I’m in it in the first place!

Doctor Foster returns later this year. Your character finds himself torn between his parents as they go through a divorce. What can you tell us about how he handles it?

Tom goes through a lot in the next series! 😉

You’re still so young but already have numerous notable accomplishments under your belt – what can we expect next?

I have some things in the pipeline…….

Finally, what is your FAULT? 

My bedroom’s really untidy (I have a floordrobe) and my handwriting could be better which my Mum will vouch for when she’s trying to type these answers up!

 

Tom stars in The Dark Tower, in UK cinemas from 18th August.

 

Photos and words Jack Alexander

The 10 year-old DJ: Toddla T talks to FAULT about his career, the changing music industry & his fresh new album

With practically 20 years in the game under his belt, it’s fair to say Sheffield-born music-head Tom Bell (Toddla T) is far from average. Having produced for the likes of Tinchy Stryder, Roots Manuva and Ms Dynamite and collaborated with huge names including Hot Chip, Gorillaz and Major Lazer, he’s no stranger to top talent and this is reflected in the style and diversity of his incredible work roster.

Probably one of the only DJs who can work the floor as well in Ibiza’s Defected as Kingston, Jamaica, Stone Love’s Weddy Weddy street party, it comes as no surprise that his new album Foreign Light, for the first time based purely on his own artistic licence, could perhaps be his biggest and best yet…

 

FAULT: You’ve been in the game for quite a while…since you were in your teens, right?

 

T: Yeah, I started getting records and putting them together from as young as about 10 I think…basically I just got really into hip-hop as a young teenager, to Tim Westwood on Radio 1 and a local community station called STR and MTV Raps which I used to tape and watch at home. I always used to see and hear the DJ in the video and really wanted to do what he was doing.

 

FAULT: Wow, that is young!

T: At that age no one’s going to be spending much money on their kit and stuff because for one you can’t afford it, and two you go through so many fads as a young boy; so I basically had hi-fi turntables and managed to blag a mixer and that was kind of the start. It was impossible to mix but it was still like putting records together.

It wasn’t until I was 14/15 that I was actually able to gain access to equipment that I could properly DJ with to mix records and start scratching.

 

FAULT: So you’ve always just felt compelled to play?

T: Yeah, I just loved the music so much I had to be a part of it and that was all I could do to get close to it to begin with – and yeah still doing it now so it’s been a long, long time. It’s all I know really – and all I’ve ever wanted to know. I’m super blessed.

 

FAULT: You must have seen some big changes in the music industry then over the years?

T: Totally. From when I started getting bookings in bars when I was 16/17 to now, I’ve seen a massive change in the industry, particularly in club land. I’ve really noticed the clubs changing due to social media and the wider options that are available now for entertainment in general. It seems there’s less of a desire for people to go out now they can access experiences elsewhere, and to be honest the greed of the promoters giving artists loads of money to play exclusively at festivals has really been a drain on the club scene.

 

FAULT: The number of day festivals does seem to have sky-rocketed over the last few years…

T: It’s really quite hard because if I was a young person and I had enough money to go out then I’d definitely use to it pack in seeing all my favourite artists over two days rather than having to spend little bits here and there all over the year to visit different events and club nights…but with that you do get a totally different experience, certainly not the intimacy of the club scene.

I hardly DJ now in clubs like I used to – I do loads of festivals to big crowds, but the little club nights I used to do all the time just simply don’t exist anymore, and I think that’s because they can’t because the bigger festivals and promoters have basically taken them out.

I think it’s sad really because growing up, the way I could just go and lose my mind in a little rave, you can’t do in a festival as it’s too big and there’s far too many eyes on you. That moment when the music hits you in the back of a sweaty little club and you totally lose yourself to it? I loved it. I do think it’s hard to access that nowadays because everything’s so grand. Someone’s bound to stream you acting like a fool(!)

 

 FAULT: How about the industry in terms of music production?

T: Thanks to developments online there are so many platforms that are open now and I think that’s really healthy because there’s so fewer barriers for artists and producers. In theory it’s an equal playing field on somewhere like Soundcloud – it doesn’t quite work like that because labels do still have access to certain things – but in general it means if you make a tune then you have a platform for someone else to hear it, and I think that’s great.

They say the cream rises to the top so it at least gives people an opportunity to share the music. There was a time when you needed a label for all that but you just don’t anymore.

 

FAULT: Tell us about your own label, sTeeze…

T: I set that up really to gain complete control over everything I release and what I put out there. Like I say I’ve been in music for a while and I feel I’ve finally gained the confidence in myself to be able to believe in what I’m doing to the extent of taking it 100% into my own control. It’s just my little thing that I felt I could finally do so I did just that.

 

FAULT: It’s great that you just threw yourself in there

T: It’s much easier because you don’t have to physically make a product these days like you once did –  when I first started putting records out on vinyl you had to find a load of money to have them produced and it was far riskier if they didn’t do well, but now if you’re clever and creative about it, you can basically put stuff out for free.

A lot of the time your friend who’s a photographer might be better than someone you pay a load of money for because s/he knows you and he knows your vibe. It’s just brilliant that it’s power back to the people and not relying on a label or someone with money. Power to the artist.

FAULT: Chuck some T-shirts in there as well, why not!

T: Yeah of course! We’ve got a batch you can buy with my latest record as well – items that are unique to the songs.

 

FAULT: You streamed a live remix of your track, ‘Beasts’ the other week – do you think this kind of interactive style of mixing might be something you’d consider for your live sets?

T: Potentially yeah! The thing is when you’re in the studio and working on a tune, you don’t know until the end of the day if what you’ve done is even worth sharing to the world…so to do that on a big platform in front of people might not be great if you’re having an off-day!

 

So in a live DJ situation maybe not because you want people to enjoy themselves and you have a job to serve, but if someone’s sat at home and they have the option of switching off, why not!

 

FAULT: Tell me about the album Foreign Light…the ethos behind it is pretty different to your previous work, no?

 

T: Basically I’ve been mixing and playing records for so many years and a few decisions I’ve made in the past were based on what other people wanted or what I thought they wanted, and I’ve not made a full batch of music for a long time. With my age and experience, I decided that I wanted to make a record that isn’t necessarily what people want from me, but that I really want to do myself.

I didn’t work with anyone on it apart from the musicians and my colleague Benji B, who helped me form it in terms of some of the decisions I made. I’m so proud of the finished work because it feels like purely me and not what other people wanted or expected.

The music I make is different but it’s all rooted in the baseline of the reggae roots & sound system, but that’s the ethos of the record and I didn’t know how it would be received. It’s just been incredible that people have gotten behind it. I felt like I needed to do it artistically for myself and the fact that people have latched onto it is a massive bonus!

 

FAULT: Tell me about Andrea Martin, who features heavily on the album, how did you meet her?

 

T: I met her two years ago… I was in New York for work and had some spare time and thought well, I might as well use it to make music. I spoke my mate, a producer called Switch, who put me onto her and as soon as we were in the studio it just felt like magic. I completely fell in love with her song writing and delivery – it’s the realest of the real deal. After that session I knew this was the lady to glue my album together. She totally made me up my game in terms of production to match her spirit!

I think a lot of the time when things are hooked up through more contrived ways through management or the like it doesn’t work so well but those natural connections you end up working with the most. It was just a right time, right moment thing.

 

FAULT: Finally, what’s your FAULT?

T: I’ve got many! I guess mainly because I’m so focused on my music and my kids, things always get abandoned. Even simple things like washing or tidying up, or being on time – basic stuff in life is definitely my failing because I’m always totally preoccupied by other things. It’s got worse since having a family – nappies and bottles need some real work I’d say!

 

Catch latest single Magnet below. New album Foreign Light is out today.

Words Josie Carder