Clean Bandit – Exclusive Online Cover Shoot and Interview

Clean Bandit, formed of Grace Chatto and brothers Jack and Luke Patterson, are known for their inescapably catchy hybrid of electro-classical-pop. The band, which originated in Cambridge, won a Grammy for their song, ‘Rather Be’ and have had three number one hits in the UK to date, a figure that will no doubt continue to climb as they release new music.

We caught up with the trio following their exclusive shoot for FAULT’s online cover, to talk about their upcoming sophomore album, dream collaborations, love of touring and not letting the pressures of success get to them.

GRACE – Top: River Island, Trousers: Aphid, Shoes: stylists own / JACK – Suit: New & Lingwood, T-Shirt: River Island, Shoes: Converse / LUKE – Jumper: Cheap Monday, Trousers: River Island, Shoes: Converse

‘New Eyes’ was released three years ago and you’ve got a follow-up album in the works. Can you tell us anything about the focal themes?

Grace: I think the first album was a lot more lighthearted, whilst our second album, with the lyrics anyway, are more serious. Some of them are about breaking up, like ‘I Miss You’ and ‘Tears’, which will both be on the album. The music is still quite dancey.

Jack: I think other acts find it easier to put out a larger volume of music at a time but as we produce and write all our own stuff, and we also produce and make the music videos, it just takes us so much longer to create each piece of music, so we’ve really been focusing on that the last few years. We were touring our first album for a really long time as well. But our second one is in the works and it’s nearly done. Hopefully early next year.

You’ve previously said that you focus on making individual songs rather than making music as a collective body of work. Is this the approach you’re continuing with?

Luke: I reckon so, yeah. It kinda suits the way we work. We’ve been getting into the video side of things even more since the last [album]; making things even more extravagant working with bigger crews, trying not to limit ourselves.

Grace: A lot of our singles have been quite different styles but one thing that unifies this album is the way that we made it. It was much less produced from the beginning. With the last album, we would think about the sounds and make them on the computer but with these, it was more about the piano and voice firstly, then thinking about all the electronics afterwards.

Jacket, Topshop – Tee, River Island

You’ve collaborated with a number of British solo artists – from Anne Marie and Louisa to Jess Glynne – all of whom, at the time of working with you, were still up and coming. Did you choose to work with these singers because you feel it’s important to help nurture homegrown talent like yourselves?

Jack: All of those people are just so talented in their own right. We’re always looking for amazing voices to either write with or record and perform songs.

Grace: We always try to think about what voice will work best with the song we’ve got. We took ‘Rather Be’ to Jess Glynne and quite a few other singers as well to try out different voices but it worked best with hers. ‘I Miss You’ was different because we wrote it with Julia Michaels and it’s a very personal song to her. We heard Zara Larsson singing at a festival a few years ago, showed her ‘Symphony’, she loved it and came on board with it straightaway. It totally transformed the track. It’s exciting when someone brings a whole new personality and vibe to a song.

GRACE – Top: Monki, Trousers: Monki, Shoes: Jimmy Choo / JACK – Top: Coach, Trousers: Jack’s own, Shoes: Converse / LUKE – Top: Urban Outfitters, Trousers: Luke’s own, Shoes: Converse

Who would you absolutely love to work with?

Jack: Beyonce, Lana del Rey, Drake, Kendrick Lamar…

Luke: Stormzy.

Jack: Frank Ocean.

Grace: Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, Bryson Tiller.

You’ve got a big US tour lined up for next year. Do you enjoy life on the road?

Grace: I love it. It’s really cathartic thing for me because I love travelling and seeing real people react to our music in real time. There’s no feeling like it. I also love playing with other people.

Luke: I love being out there. I love dedicated time to tours when you know you’re going to be away for a month and you can really get into the zone.

Jack: Weirdly it’s only on tour that we find a routine. When we’re back in the UK what we’re doing is so disjointed.

Grace: Having a tour manager that looks after us all is like being on a school trip; telling us where to go, what to do [laughs]!

Jacket, Issey Miyake

Which are your favourite songs to play live?

Jack: ‘Disconnect’, our collaboration with Marina and the Diamonds. Some good keyboard moments in there.

Luke: It’s still ‘Rather Be’. We’ve changed it up a bit and have some insane key changes at the end of the song which just take it up a notch.

Jack: We like to remix older tracks as well when we’re playing live.

Grace: ‘Rockabye’ and ‘Birch’.

GRACE – Dress: Amanda Wakeley, Shoes: Stylist’s own / JACK – Top: Levi’s Jeans: River Island, Shoes: Filling Pieces / LUKE – Shirt: Paul Smith @ Finnicks Trousers: All Saints Shoes, Jimmy Choo

You’ve had three number one hits in the UK so far. There must be quite a lot of pressure to keep producing chart-toppers. How do you stay on top of your game and not let this get to you?

Luke: There’s a lot of collaborations that go on that are all about the fame game, but our mentality is just to write a quality tune rather than remixing something just for the sake of it.

Grace: We just try and make songs that we like rather than making what we think other people will like.

Jacket & Jeans, Topshop / Shoes, Grace’s Own

What is your FAULT?

Grace: I’m bossy. It can get on other people’s nerves but it can also help get stuff done.

Luke: What’s my fault?

Jack: Your fault? You’re a bastard [laughs]!

Luke: That’s not my fault, that’s your fault!

 

Find Clean Bandit on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Words: Aimee Phillips

Photography: Jack Alexander

Styling: Holly Ounstead

Make-Up: Elaine Lynskey using MAC Cosmetics

Hair: Narad Kutowaroo using Unite Hair

Styling Assistants: Ellie McWhan and Jordyn Antunes

Special thanks: Burlock

‘Cazzette’ – The Electronic Music Duo Chat with FAULT Online

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You may not recognise this duo without their cassette-tapehead pieces but Cazzette have burst onto the electronic music scene with their breakthrough track ‘Beam Me Up’ in 2012 and have been going from strength to strength with each release. Sebastian Furrer & Alexander Björklund both hail from Sweden, the same Sweden that gave the world Icona PopAlesso and Avicii (who Cazzette have performed alongside.) We sat down with the young producer to learn their process and their plans for the future.
FAULT: We just checked out your new video “Genius” and got a bit jealous. Was it an average day for Cazzette in Ibiza? How did you go about making this beautiful video? 

Cazzette: We wish! Usually we are in and out in less than 12 hours. It was an amazing experience to actually stay on the beautiful island that is Ibiza. That particular day we played alongside Avicii, Zedd and Ruby Rose. We just tried to have as much fun as possible and just be ourselves, which we feel gave the video a very genuine vibe.

 

Your recently released “Desserts” EP sounds terrific to us, and just like your previous works this one has a new sound. Why do you like experimenting with the music rather than sticking to one genre, and do you plan doing it in the future? 

Evolving as producers is the top priority for us and the agenda has never been about fitting the buzz sound of the time. It feels natural for us to explore within music and see what comes out of it. Too often people in dance music get stuck in bubbles with what’s hot at the time and for us that just isn’t appealing atall.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

 We are in North America right now on an awesome tour and are on the road for the next couple of months. As always we are spending as much time in the studio as possible, but the tour has been pretty time consuming, especially after getting the EP finished.
You are originally from Sweden that is famous for its electronic music. How did Sweden Dance Music scene influence your music production? It must be hard to believe in yourself when working in such a saturated market.

Actually seeing all these other producers succeeding was a huge motivation for us in the beginning. If they could do it, so could we. As a result there are a lot of creative people to bounce of in Sweden and some of our favourite moments have been alongside amazing singers and songwriters from the country, like Jonas ‘The High’ who we recorded ‘Sleepless’ with.

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How did you like Creamfields this year? Any interesting UK festivals scheduled for the next summer?

Creamfields this year was great. We extended our set with 30 mins since mr.(Martin)Garrix was late. It’s pretty rare to get a whole two hours on the main stage of a festival these days and it’s cool to build a longer set at a festival. As always the crowd were a lot of fun too, we had a blast.

 

As far as we know you guys were making your music distantly via Skype. Has it changed now? Do you also work in a studio?

Not as much as you might think! We each have our own studios and still send files back and forth. It is rare you will find us in the same room unless we are recording a vocalist or something. It sounds weird, but that’s just how it works for us.

 

What’s your approach to music production?  

It’s about having fun and doing interesting things with live music and technology. Our approach is definitely more song orientated now. Those one off ‘bangers’ just don’t really do it for us.
What’s your FAULT?
It’s never our fault!
Words: Ksenia Safrey
 

FAULT Future: Freddie Dickson

 

We recently spent the afternoon with Freddie Dickson, the young voice setting music blogs ablaze with his dark ‘Doom Pop’ sound. Courting comparisons to Lana del Rey and the legendary Nick Cave, Dickson has just today released the video for his new single ‘Speculate‘,  which has already been played on Annie Mac’s show on Radio 1 and Jo Good’s on XFM.

It’s taken from an EP, of the same name, out April 13th on Columbia. Dickson has also announced an intimate headline show at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington on 1st April, before heading out on the Communion New Faces tour on the 20th.
Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

What are your influences and how have you arrived at this current ‘Doom Pop’ sound?

In the early days it was Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, and all those guys I had grown up on. Then as I got older I became more into production- The XX, Lana del Rey, Florence + the Machine, Plan B. I wanted an all-encompassing style for my music.

When did you start writing?

I didn’t start singing until I was 18 at an open mic, but I had been writing since I was 15/16. It just got to a point where I realised I didn’t want anyone else to be singing my songs.

When you did start performing, was it something that came easily to you?

No, I was so shy! But I just drilled my way through endless open mics. I guess I ‘Ed Sheeran’d’ my way through it! (laughs)

Were people quick to take notice?

No, not until I changed my sound. To begin with, I was just too stuck in the past. I was trying to be Bob Dylan, and no-one should try that! I got bored myself, and I did a gig in East London when I was 21 and a friend was just like “that was really bad.” And I knew it.

But I went away, and got Logic on my laptop, and started developing the sound I have now. The artists I want to be like are the ones who constantly change- Plan B, Kanye, Bowie. I get bored so easily (laughs)

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

It’s interesting, watching sessions and live performances that you’ve done, to see how you take that production-based sound and transfer it into the realm of the live experience. How do you find the music changes when you perform it live?
I think the live experience has to be so different from the record – if you just try to mimic the recorded version, there’s nothing worse. It’s almost like you have to do a cover of your own song, and put some twist on it.

The visuals seem very important to your music- is that something you’re closely involved with?
Yeah I think it’s so important. All the artists I like – Nick Cave, Patti Smith – they created all this powerful imagery. It would be weird, given how dark my sound is, if I was styled with bright neon clothing, right? (laughs) I think it all has to fit together; how you’re photographed, how you look, the live performance.

Part of that process is collaboration, which seems to underpin so much of today’s music industry. Is that something that comes easily to you?
When I was first signed I had so many co-writing sessions set up for me, and none of them really worked. But  I eventually hit it off with someone and now I have this great team of musicians and producers who help me reach the exact thing I want. I’m not an accomplished musician, and I don’t even try to aspire to greatness because the singing is really my thing.

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Does the writing process come easily to you?
No not at all! And I think that annoys so many of the people I work with (laughs) I like to make sure every word is perfect, and that every syllable comes out of my mouth easily. I could never be one of these people who writes three songs a week, they’d all sound the same!

It’s interesting to hear you talk in terms of before and after being signed. How has the process changed since being signed- are there new pressures that come with having a label?
Not really- my label has been really nice. We still do it in the same way, writing away in my bedroom, and they give me my own recording space with good speakers which is great. It’s like having a little office (laughs)

As you’re writing music, are you constantly listening to new material by other artists, or do you try to cut yourself from other people’s work?
No, I follow a lot of blogs and love just diving into new music. I’d love to work with a hip-hop band, or a dream collaborator like Nas or Sia! I think she’s amazing because it’s so much about the songs and the voice.

Are you excited to be going on the Communion New Faces tour at the end of April?
Yeah I can’t wait  – it’s such incredible exposure! At the moment I can see how the fans are spread out and there are so many in places like Russia and Eastern Europe, but not enough in England yet (laughs)

Finally, what is your FAULT?
Scotch Eggs. And not being able to write songs very quickly.

 

All photography by Constance Meath Baker