Until The Ribbon Breaks: Exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 28

Photography ALIX SPENCE

Styling BRITTON LITOW

Grooming ALEX FRENCH

Photo Assistant ASHTON RAE

Fashion Assistant LEONARD MURRY

 

Words: Kee Chang

Hailing from Wales and now residing in Los Angeles, Until the Ribbon Breaks is childhood friends Pete
Lawrie-Winfield and Elliot Wall. Straight out of a golden era when the mixtape reigned supreme, the
duo’s style embraces a love of old school hip-hop, pop and electronic beats, all cleverly interwoven to
create lush soundscapes, accompanied by introspective songwriting, that defy easy categorization.
It’s been three years since the tastemakers’ critically acclaimed debut LP, A Lesson Unlearnt, hit the
airwaves. With their self-titled sophomore album, Until the Ribbon Breaks takes their inimitable audio-
visuals into realms previously unexplored, including sobriety, which Winfield found halfway through the
recording of their latest effort. FAULT sat down with the frontman for a very revealing conversation.

 

As a concept, Until the Ribbon Breaks is genius: alluding to the literal ribbons of VHS and cassette
tapes that break with too much love and play. So that you could, as you say, “lodge a pencil into the
reel hole and wind the ribbon back,” takes on new meaning upon hearing about your recent journey
towards sobriety. When did you decide you would need to go public with this very personal detail?

It was never a conscious decision. For me, and perhaps unfortunately, there is no separation between
myself and the work. Now thankfully on the other side of an incredibly tumultuous time, I am surprised,
excited, and grateful that there is even a record to speak of. Much like our first album, I had no idea
what the songs were about until the whole thing was finished. I don’t write and write and cherry-pick
the best. I wish I could. Instead, I have to wait for the songs to come, all in direct reference to something
that has happened or is happening in my life. It really is music as therapy. I’m a British man so this is the
only way I know how to talk about my feelings!

 

Was there any significance to self-titling the new album, maybe as a renewal for the music?

Great question. As you said at the beginning, our name originally alluded to the idea of the cassette and
VHS tapes of our youth and how we would wear it out, listening and watching over and over again the
magic we had discovered. This new record was born out of huge highs and lows, and huge personal
shifts. Suddenly, it felt like the name meant something new. It’s about courage and strength—humanity.
We keep going, keep trying, until the ribbon breaks, until we have no more left to give.

You recently gave your first live performance sober as a recovering alcoholic of fifteen years. Heading
into that show you said, “You start being honest, you get honesty back.” Just how different was that
experience?

If there is a therapy to relieve anxiety and its resulting depression, I have tried it, from more traditional
Western forms like CBT (cognitive-behavioural therapy) and counseling to more holistic and spiritual
Eastern practises such as meditation and even Ayahuasca. As better as things have become, one thing I
have never learnt is that the idea of something, the build up and the anticipation, is what creates the
fear. It is just your imagination running free and unfortunately choosing the worst, rather than the best
case scenarios. That is an incredibly long way of saying that the show was an amazing, beautiful
experience. I was terrified, but crucially, so what? I was at least present and experiencing all of the
feelings that come with standing in front of a room full of people and telling them things you wouldn’t
tell your mother or therapist. For the first time, I felt truly connected to the music in the moment.

You got sober halfway through the recording of this new album. Did that change the songwriting?

Drastically! It is unintentionally a record of two halves. I suppose “One Match” and “Use Me Up” are the
most indicative of a dark time and written in the centre of the storm, whereas songs such as “Meru” and
“Petrichor” were written during the pink cloud, the eventual and very real relief of early recovery.
Sonically and lyrically, there was a hopeful uplift and an audible shift in mood.

Could you use the track “One Match” to give us more insight into how all of the ingredients came together? You sing, “Just one match to burn it all down.” It’s powerful. What does that mean to you?

There is a lyric in the verse: “A sugar cube in water, your life in your fingertips, is that all you think this
is?” It was a song written when I really knew that something had to change, but I just didn’t know how.
It’s a cry for help to myself, I realise that now. That verse lyric and the chorus lyric you mention allude to
the idea that, in addiction, you are quite simply self-harming. And to what end? Lives can be and are
ruined by the disease of addiction and it is easier than you would think to tear your entire life down.
When you’re in the process of writing and recording, how much of that is about reflecting on what

you’re going through and how much of it is your way of maybe trying to dig yourself out of them?

Another great question. I have never even considered that. I think I have always been a bit of a
contradiction in terms of privacy and sharing. In my private life, I keep myself to myself and reticent to
talk about personal matters with friends and family. The contradiction being that, in writing and in songs
and even in things such as this, I seem to be able to be unfiltered and honest, even to a fault. This
interview is like some kind of strange therapy, so thank you, I think. Usually, I’m not aware that I’m
writing a lyric until it’s done. They are very stream of consciousness. I often wonder where a line comes
from, where it starts. The music is work. We work to mould and shape it, change it, and question it. The
words flow more. It almost feels as if I just get out of their way.

 

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

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Janelle Monae Covers FAULT Magazine Issue 28

Janelle Monae X FAULT Magazine

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer

Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland | Photographer: David Yeo | Make Up Artist: Jessica Smalls | Hair Stylist: Nikki Elms | Nail Artist: Diana Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Anna Forbes | Stylist’s Assistant: Anna Cirnu | Photographed at Handel & Hendrix in London handelhendrix.org

 

Words: Miles Holder

Special Thanks: Handel & Hendrix

In 2007, Janelle Monae released her EP entitled ‘Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), the first in a seven-part conceptual series set in the year 2719’s civilisation of Metropolis and told through the eyes of a sentient android, Cindi Mayweather.

The story continued through her 2010 album ‘The ArchAndroid’ and 2013’s ‘The Electric Lady’ and fans followed Cindi Mayweather as she fell in love with a human and travelled back in time to warn of the imminent threat posed by the secret organisation, ‘The Great Divide’.

For her 2018 Album entitled ‘Dirty Computer’, Janelle will be leaving Cindi behind and telling a new story, the story of Janelle Monae. The first two releases from the record ‘Django Jane’ and ‘Make Me Feel’ are still filled with Janelle’s signature style, Afrofuturism and punk soul swag. While a departure from the narrative fans are accustomed, it nevertheless provides what so many have a craved – a glimpse into Janelle’s personal life.

Could it be that as our reality begins to mimic that of the fictitious dystopian future of Metropolis, as too has Janelle been forced to follow in the footsteps of Cindi Mayweather and save the present day from its own “great divide”? Only time will tell. For Janelle at least, it’s all about being present, and at long last, finding the confidence to tell her own story.

 

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer

 

FAULT Magazine: You’ve always included social commentary within your music but it was vailed within the narrative of Metropolis. On Dirty Computer, the message is a lot more in your face – why?

Janelle Monae: I knew I was supposed to make Dirty Computer before my first album came out and I always wanted to speak out, but I put it off because I needed to understand where my anger was coming from and how best to channel it.

I am such an honest person and speak very candidly when I’m with friends and family, and that’s what you’ll hear on this album. I sing about politics, race, sexuality, gender on the record but to release the album, I needed to make sure I had the confidence to not self-edit. I needed to be vulnerable, honest and open.

This project is about my freedom and challenging myself to live in the present and not in 2719 through Cindi. I feel like I can contribute to the present day and that I should contribute. I’m choosing to live in the now and to celebrate the people that are not celebrated in the present day. I want to honour those living on the outskirts of society due to their sexuality or gender identity. These are people who I love, and that love me but waking up as an American who cares deeply about the American dream and the rights of all people to it, I feel there is too much at stake to be quiet and to mince my words on specific issues.

 

Despite the social commentary, it doesn’t feel like a sad or hope lost album. There are many songs about self-love and sexual discovery that it ends up as quite an empowering record, was this the intention?

I’m happy you said that because it’s not meant as a sad album, it’s intended as a celebration for the “dirty computers” of the world who get told that they’re dirty and that they have viruses making them different which they need to have taken away. Dirty Computers should see their uniqueness and their so-called viruses as positive attributes which make them valuable to society.

 

What’s given you the confidence to say “Right, it’s time to tell the world who Janelle is and tell my story”?

Janelle Monae: There is power in vulnerability, and I think that it needed to start with me. I was inspired by many movies, some of which I’ve been a part of and the stories I read and people I’ve met; when people shared their stories with me so honestly, it resonated.

I’ve been talking about it, but I feel I wasn’t entirely embracing the things that made me unique. I was telling others to as part of my music, but I wasn’t living it, and I think that I was afraid I would lose supporters for doing so.

I had a lot of conversation with myself about who was going to be the subject of the album myself or Cindi, but I’m here now, and I think it’s right that I stay in the present and share my story and walk in my truth as fearlessly as possible.

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer
And how does one live fearlessly?

Janelle Monae: It’s not that I don’t experience fear, but in those moments, I choose freedom and freedom is not free. Freedom always comes with great sacrifice, and there will be people who say hurtful things and not support me because I’m living my truth.

 

Does it scare you to put yourself out there for scrutiny when people won’t just discuss your music, they’ll twist your music and message and start discussions on you as a person and your personal life?

Janelle Monae: No, I have soul searched, and this time around, I think being honest is most important. It’s about being able to say “hey I’m ok if people don’t like that I’m embracing this side of me”, it’s the side that my friends and family get to see and they still love me the same. I think that my evolution is more important than pleasing people and I may not say it right, I might get some things wrong, and I may stumble along the way but was I honest, was I sincere, was my heart in the right place? Yes, yes and yes.

What scares Janelle Monae?

Janelle Monae: That I won’t have a family within the time frame that I want to have a family. I want to have children, but I don’t want to miss that time because I was so focused on my career and because I didn’t plan accordingly. That scares me most now more than anything. I do want to usher in a new generation of babies that will be better than me and able to dream bigger than me and go out into this world and turn it upside down in a very positive way.

janelle Monae FAULT Magazine dirty computer (1 of 1)
What is your FAULT?

Janelle Monae: One of my FAULTs is that I’m a self-editor and perfectionist and I don’t enjoy my experiences when I’m so focused on being consistently perfect in every situation. It’s something that I’ve had to work on my entire life actively. It used to consume my experience, and I couldn’t enjoy things because I was so focused on how they were going to be presented. I was so concerned with what people thought, but now I’m just at this point in my life where I’m finding strength in my imperfections, and I realise that I connect more with myself and with other people when my FAULTs are being shared for all to see.

 

 

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

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Daphne Guinness Launches Second Album at London’s BFI IMAX

Album cover on BFI IMAX screen

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

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

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

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

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

Words: Flora Neighbour

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

Flora Neighbour with Daphne Guinness

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson

Flora Neighbour with music journalist Will Hodgkinson

LANY Exclusive FAULT Magazine interview

Interview: Kee Chang

Photography: Catie Laffoon

LANY just played their first arena concert in the Philippines earlier this month—a show that sold out within a matter of 24 hours. Sitting down with the Los Angeles outfit backstage mere moments before they’re to take the spotlight in South Korea—FAULT the only approved interview and backstage access on their third trip to the peninsula—Paul Jason Klein, Charles “Les” Priest, and Jake Clifford Goss are as calm, cool, and collected as they’ve always been. It’s hard to believe that these guy are still infant, having only formed in 2014. That year, the trio uploaded their first track “ILYSB” to SoundCloud. Six days later, Polydor was calling. There’s been no slowing down LANY’s good fortune. If there ever was a dream scenario for any band, you’re looking at it. So after four EPs (including the re-release Make Out), a self-titled debut album, two headlining tours, and having gone truly global with fans in virtually every market, what do they have their sights set on? A sophomore album, of course, but so much more. FAULT goes in for a closer inspection.

 

Tell us about your sold-out arena show in the Philippines. What was that experience like?

PAUL: Surreal.

JAKE: It was unbelievable.

PAUL: It sounds kind of silly to say, but it was actually the easiest show I think I’ve ever played.

LES: Same.

PAUL: It just felt so natural. We play a lot of shows. We’ve played to like zero people before. We’ve played to four people. We’ve done some arenas with Ellie Goulding and John Mayer. We felt so prepared for that night. It was just really comfortable and it felt like that was what we were made for: that kind of venue and size.

Going from playing to a few people like you’re saying, then to huge arena crowds, how has your perception of LANY’s demographic changed?

PAUL: Especially with the debut album, I think our demographic broadened quite a bit. In the beginning, it was just mainly young people and a lot of young girls. It still is, which is amazing. The second there aren’t ten rows of young people in the front, I’d get a little bit worried. So I love that and I love seeing so many young people come. But when you’re in an arena, there’s a lot of people represented in there from all different walks of life. So yeah, it is broadening. That’s good because we want to be the biggest band in the world and you can’t be if you hit a niche market.

JAKE: We reach all ages.

You guys have really passionate fans. With that comes a desire to hold onto LANY as their own special thing before the entire world finds out about you.

PAUL: Sure.

I came across this cool comment under one of your YouTube videos, obviously from a LANY fan: “Bands aren’t little secrets. Be proud of them. This is what they dream about.”

JAKE: That’s super cool. That’s awesome.

PAUL: Also, sometimes I think when they say, “They’re not my little secret anymore,” it’s coming from a place of positivity and adoration—not actually being kind of bummed. I think they’re really, really proud and that’s really nice to hear. We obviously don’t see those because YouTube comments are a little crazy. [Laughs]

You played 117 shows in 2016 and 135 shows in 2017. What’s your sage advice for always keeping your head on straight and having a successful life on the road when it’s this relentless?

PAUL: Pacing yourself, and taking care of your body and your mind and your soul. You do that in a bunch of different ways. Surround yourself with good people. I think we’re really in it for one reason and that’s just to make cool stuff and make cool songs. There’s no real ulterior motive or anything like that. It’s pretty pure so we don’t find ourselves in too much trouble. We’re not causing too much of a raucous.

JAKE: You gotta believe in it with your heart and soul. That’s been true for every show.

From an outsider’s perspective, you guys had a meteoric rise. Has it felt like that to you?

PAUL: Not to us because that’s like looking in the mirror every day and not really seeing the gradual change, but everyone else sees it, you know? If you gain ten pounds, you don’t really see it, but everyone else’s like, “Wow, really? You alright?” [Laughs] When you walked in and told us that we’re experiencing a lot of milestones, I did think in my head it’s kind of like when a kid gets to be one and a half or two years old and they start walking. Then they say their first words, you know? It’s the really fun years when these big milestones happen. I think that’s kind of where we’re at right now. We’re still a baby band, but we’re kind of starting to walk a little bit and say our first words, you know? There are these big moments that we’re experiencing right now.

After South Korea, you’re off to Japan, and then Coachella. You have summer festivals and a bunch of US dates that will keep you occupied throughout the year. When will you record the second album?

PAUL: It’s already written. We took some time off in January and February. We just kind of put our heads down and wrote a lot and then looked up around the middle of February and realized we had an album two written. We haven’t been able to “make it,” if that makes sense. We’re gonna need more time in the studio to really perfect it, but we’ve set aside time for that this year. It’ll come out in September or October of this year.

How different do you think album two will be from what you’ve been putting out?

PAUL: It’s different and the same, if that makes sense. I mean, we always wanna be true to who LANY is and who we are, but we also never want to make the same album twice. We want there to be a progression and an evolution. We look at bands like U2 and Coldplay who’ve just done it for so long and found a way to reinvent themselves with every album. That’s really what we’re striving for.

Speaking of where you all respectively started and where you’re heading into the future, how has the sound evolved? Paul, you were obviously going at it solo before LANY. Jake and Les, you guys had a band called WRLDS before becoming this trio.

PAUL: When I was a solo artist, I was writing pretty crap songs. They weren’t very good. It takes a while to learn how to write good songs. It really didn’t sound like what we do now. I learned so much from these guys. There’s so much musical education, especially in the early years of LANY. Whatever they’re listening to, I start flooding my brain with. I think WRLDS wasn’t too dissimilar from where we’re at now.

JAKE: Part of how we went about it was similar, but it really is about the three of us and what that combination makes. It’s different.

PAUL: Yeah, totally.

What’s the most irritating question that you’re asked over and over again that should be put to rest? I mean, apart from “What does LANY mean?” or “What do you like better: L.A. or New York?”

JAKE: I hate it when people ask, “If you could describe LANY in three words…”

LES: [Laughs] “Each of you, give one word.”

PAUL: Yeah, I mean, how good are you if you can just describe it in three words?

JAKE: I hate those questions.

Watch me ask you a really annoying question next…

PAUL: [Laughs] Your next question! The most basic question.

What’s been your toughest moment as a band? Maybe early on before all of this felt real.

PAUL: I don’t want to say there’s one season more challenging than another. I think looking back on it, I would never wanna do the first year again.

JAKE: We look back on it fondly, though.

PAUL: Oh yeah. The back-end of that first year—

JAKE: We crushed that.

PAUL: But it was tough. At the time, it didn’t feel tough, you know? I’m sure even the season that we’re in right now just trying to grow and evolve as a band, whether it’s with the creative direction or just being on the road a lot, there are things that can wear you down. But I think we just talk about it.

JAKE: We just wanna put in harder work to make really smart moves, and our manager has helped a ton with that. We’ve just grinded for four years.

PAUL: Also, nobody wrote a book on how to be a band and everyone’s story is different so we’re kind of flying by the seat of our pants a little bit. We’re just trying to make the best decisions every day, you know? I think we’re doing alright so far.

You’re very upfront about your goals. I mean, you literally said earlier, “We want to be the biggest band in the world.” What do you want to conquer next?

PAUL: Well, we did just play our first two arenas and that is the goal, for sure. I mean, we were talking about 2019 last night and 2020. We were about to get our tour schedule for 2019, which is just a rough outline, but you know. The world is a big place and there are markets like South America we haven’t been to yet. We want to go back and play Spain and hit more parts of Europe.

JAKE: Play Glastonbury!

PAUL: I think the goal right now is really to make album two as perfect as possible and put it out because releasing music dictates our touring schedule and basically the rest of our lives, you know? So we gotta take care of that first.

What is your FAULT?

PAUL: I’m super competitive. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so that gets the best of me sometimes.

JAKE: I probably love people a little too much.

PAUL: [Laughs] That’s such a great answer! Wow.

LES: I want to do everything myself. I’m kind of a lone wolf sometimes, but I know it’s better if we have an awesome team around us.

 

For more information on LANY, including tour dates, head over to www.thisislany.com

A special thanks to the Universal Music Group team!

FAULT Magazine OTW Photoshoot and Interview with Dan Crossley

Dan Crossley X FAULT Magazine

Words & Photography: Miles Holder

Grooming: Shamirah Sairally

Despite his young age, Dan Crossley ripples within the music industry have turned to waves thanks to the release of his debut EP in 2017 and singles ‘Feel’ and ‘Nothing But Love’. Latest single ‘Talk’ caught our attention so we sat down for an interview and photoshoot with the young star on his way to stardom.

 

How would you describe your sounds to people who haven’t heard your music before?

My sound has been influenced by a number of past and present artists. I’m currently on a soulful future pop kinda vibe but we’re throwing a range of different elements in there from an urban perspective. Did I just make up a new genre? Haha.

Biggest musical inspiration?

As a songwriter, Amy Winehouse was a huge inspiration to me growing up but I could never settle on just one person. There are so many great writers and artists that I aspire to.

How easy is it for you to write openly about your life experiences – some people find it hard but for others, it can be quite therapeutic?

Writing my own material has always come naturally for me. When I was younger this was the only way I could let my thoughts and emotions out. Whatever I was going through at that particular time in my life would always come out of me through music. I struggle to sing and relate to other peoples songs unless I can feel they are written from a genuine place and feeling.

What’s a song that always makes you cry?

‘Breath Me’ – Sia – Such a powerful song.

When should we expect to hear your next release?

We haven’t set a really firm date yet. This EP is really important to me so I’m not rushing the process. The way things are shaping up I’d expect the first single to be released in the summer. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?

I want to be doing A LOT of live stuff once the EP drops. Whenever I’m not in the studio I’m rehearsing and working on ideas for my live show. I really can’t wait to connect with as many people as possible and give them some epic music to relate to.

What is your FAULT?

Regretful unnecessary hangovers. Haha. No, I would say I’m impatient. I want to do it all now and have to remind myself to slow down and relax from time to time.