Taylor Bennett open and honest interview and photoshoot for FAULT Magazine 29

Photography Dalong Yang
Fashion Editor Chaunielle Brown
Grooming Brittan White @kate ryan
Photo assist’ Maya Lou
Fashion assist’ Carina Camacho, Francis Harris and Jennifer Laurantius
Words: Will Soer
Have you ever talked to someone you’ve just met about your sexuality? It’s a scary thing to do at 2pm. Despite the global reach of his music, Taylor Bennett talks to me alone, without intervention from his record label (whose staff includes only his father and his best friend). His older brother – Chance the Rapper – has Chicago on his shoulders, and his father worked as an aide to Obama, but Taylor is carrying a mass of inestimable size. The 22-year-old rapper represents those who resist the repression of categorisation. In 2014 Donald Glover praised Macklemore‘s on-record advocation of gay rights, whilst noting that he was able to do this because of being white. Like its home country, Hip Hop still has many barriers to break.
The title track of your new EP Be Yourself explicitly states ‘I’m an outstanding Afro-American bisexual’? Do you remember where you first performed it?
Nashville Tennessee, at a pride festival. I had never even practiced it, but I knew this project was coming out, I knew what I wanted it to stand for. As much as I love the track and you can bounce around to it, it’s a statement, and it’s often easy to leave a show on a turn-up note and forget the one thing you wanted to have said. I always get the show-tracks (which strip the main vocal) made as soon as I get songs, in case I have a moment like that. I remember performing it and it not sounding that good, with the voice control.
Aside from the sound, physically how did it feel?
Physically it felt great. Like you can go onto the stage and fucking kill it for thirty minutes, and hit everything on the right punch, but sometimes it’s those two minutes where you cut off all the music and talk about what’s going on in your life, why you want to portray this, and then your fans come back and understand it… It’s a crazy feeling, getting an energy that’s reciprocated and sent back to you.
This interview is about you not me, but I want to share where I’m coming from. The first person to play me your music was my brother, he’s three years younger and really benefited from that-
That’s what my brother tells me all the time, we went to the same school, he’d always say to my parents that I know what I shouldn’t do because I’ve seen what he’s done.
I envy you for that! We moved to England when I was eleven, and I was bullied because I sounded gay. I got more confidant, got into music, my brother and best friend both came out, and hip hop has been a big thing between us in a lot of ways. So alongside your music, I really want to explore this stuff, what’s it like to be bisexual within hip hop.
Everybody asks me that question, but that really hit me what you just said. Because in America, I’m black, and we’re all very limited, but to hear about somebody that lives overseas that’s white, that has a younger brother and a best friend that’s gay, and something that keeps you together is hip hop, like man… I won’t say that that’s not something that happens all the time in America, but I’ll tell you that that’s something you won’t hear someone say.
It’s not out in the open.
You’ve gotta ask yourself why people don’t talk about it, and that’s a big part of why I’m doing this, I believe there are people that don’t want us to explore ourselves, who want African Americans to be oppressed based off communication. There are a lot of people who have the same stories as you, but they won’t share them, because it’s not familiar. We all listen to Kanye West, but we don’t talk about how he got bullied and called a gay fish on South Park, and the whole world hated Kanye West. Same with Lil Wayne, he wore skinny jeans and everybody called him gay.
You know I’ve never thought about that aspect of Kanye’s story, it happened before I got into hip hop, when I thought rock bands were where it’s at. Before I saw how clearly human idiosyncrasies are presented in hip hop, where you’ve got all that intensity focussed into one person.
I talk about Young Thug [a cross-dressing rapper who is also featured on Be Yourself] a lot, he’s one of those people that have had to be sacrifices for education. Every time something like that happens in main hip hop culture, the whole world gets affected, and that’s the power of not just music, but like you said, hip hop, having one person who carries the weight. It is hard to be a black artist and not be a rapper, even if the aesthetics of what you do are nowhere near that. It forces people to feel as if they can’t be original, because even their personality has to be what the listener wants it to be. And that’s when things start to be regurgitated.
You recently said that, after coming out on twitter to everyone [including friends and family] on the night you turned 21, there were ten minutes when you could have backed out and claimed you’d been hacked. Did you seriously consider it? Are there certain responses that could have made it very difficult not to back out?
Yeah man. Like yes, yes, yes. I’m not superman. All artists do read their comments, some things that people say do really affect it, there’s a lot of artists that are trying to live with this perception of who people think they are. My whole thing with this project is I’m gonna do the exact opposite, I’m gonna stand up for what I believe in and bring attention to something in the world that is a major topic. Like why, when I talk about this situation, am I always combatting with the fact that hip hop doesn’t identify with gay people?
That’s the funny thing about Young Thug, I know gay people identify with him, my best friend has literally been told ‘you are to Young Thug as Jesus is to God’. We’ve had nights where we get back from a club and put on his track Safe, and we’ve jumped and screamed along to it, and it doesn’t matter that we can’t go through every lyric and say ‘yeah we agree with that’, what matters is the expressive exuberance of his voice and image.
And he’s Young Thug. His name, that’s how America… we are all products of our environment, and that’s how America is made to be. And it’s nothing shy of that. I feel a certain way when I walk down the street, when I have my hoodie on, I don’t feel safe going a lot of places, there’s a lot of things I can’t do. I was talking about cars to one of my friends, and the fact that maybe I shouldn’t get the Porsche that I could afford, because it’s dangerous.
Damn.
There’s a prison-to-school pipeline, based on the standardised testing we take and what bubbles we fill in when about our ethnicity, that’s how many prisons they build in the next 15 years. Private owned companies own and buy prisons for the government, and most of these people who get locked up, they don’t just fucking make license plates, these guys make big brand clothing, all sorts of things in America, for private owned companies.
It’s difficult to remember with this stuff going on that you can do something, rather than just focussing on achieving the chilliest form of existence possible.
I mean I was raised in a Christian household, I believe I have a relationship with God. I believe that God is just like the internet, he sends little bits of pieces of information to everybody, and that’s why we need to have conversations, because you have a piece of information that I need, and I need to transfer to you. Religion puzzles so many people because it is an unknown power, it has variables of people way older than you claiming to have seen things you haven’t seen.
That’s also a defence for hip hop, that you can’t judge the lyrics if you haven’t walked in those shoes. It’s impressive that you have embraced both Christianity and Hip Hop.
Because I’ve seen the greatness that they can bring in my life, the happiness, and I can’t shy that from my listeners, I just want you to be yourself. I don’t wanna be a leader in this thing, I can feel that’s not my purpose. The biggest thing right now that I believe on the world, something that is my purpose, is to start conversation. I’m not supposed to tell you when and where to have it, I’m just supposed to put out an opportunity to kick the door open and talk.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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First Aid Kit talk Ruins, burnout & brave new beginnings for FAULT Online cover

FAULT Magazine X First Aid Kit

Photographer: David Yeo, Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland

 

FAULT: Stay Gold came out in 2014. What were you doing for the four years until Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We toured Stay Gold intensely for about a year and a half following it’s release. After that we felt quite burnt out and exhausted. We could’ve kept touring forever. However, since we’d toured pretty much non-stop since we were teenagers we felt like we needed a little break. We needed time to figure out our lives, beyond First Aid Kit. We lived in separate countries. I stayed in Stockholm while Klara moved to Manchester for two years. It was necessary to get a break from not just the band and the music, but from each other. It was pretty difficult but we feel like we learnt so much about ourselves and about life during this time period. We built serious relationships, bought our own apartments. Klara started taking acting classes. I got a driver’s license. We needed to catch up on some grown up things we’d been missing out on.

 

When did you start work on Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When we took our break we told ourselves we didn’t need to work on new material straight away, we didn’t want to rush another record. We didn’t even have to listen to any music or go to any shows if we didn’t want to. However, pretty quickly after the touring ended we felt quite eager to perform and write again. Klara broke up with her boyfriend and had a little bit of a life crisis. This inspired the theme of the album and sort of got us started on it.

We went to Los Angeles for six weeks in April 2016. We rented a house in Echo Park and went on road trips across California. We hung out with other musician friends and gathered inspiration. That’s when we finished writing most of the tracks that ended up on Ruins.

 

 

How does it differ to your previous records?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We wanted to try new things on Ruins. Because it’s dealing with a relationship ending, the lyrics are both more personal and more universal than on our previous records. Before our lyrics were a lot more fictional and had more story telling elements. This time the songs are more direct. I think it stems from us being older, more experienced and more in touch with our own emotions. We’re also braver in a sense, it takes a lot of courage to write so openly about your inner feelings.

We decided to work with a new producer in a new city, so we reached out to a long-time favorite producer of ours, Tucker Martine. We told him we wanted to make an album that was less polished, had more of a live feel and a little more edge. Previously, we’d been pretty strict about the sounds we allowed on our records. It had to be very folky, pretty and acoustic. This time we sort of through all those ideas away, and we’re very open to new things. Whatever fit the song, we went for. It was super refreshing.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Red Silk Slip Dress by Amanda Wakeley, Black Poloneck Top by Alice McCall, Red Boots by Zadig & Voltaire, Pearl Hooped Earrings by Dower & Hall

 

Obviously, this is your fourth album, has the process been different to your others? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): The songwriting process hasn’t changed that much since we started, but this time we wanted to make sure we really took the time we needed not to rush the record. All songs stem from a line, an idea, a lyric and then we work from there. Sometimes that takes less than five minutes, sometimes it takes years. In the end the most important thing for us is that we end up with songs that feel real and interesting. Something that makes us curious.

This time the recording process was different because we had a live session band that improvised a lot in the studio. It was so much fun! Getting to hear all these musicians that we’ve looked up to for so long play on our songs was a dream come true.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Black Blazer by Stine Goya, Red Tule Skirt by Amanda Wakeley, Black Top by Black Gold by Diesel, Red Loafers by Kim Kwang, Gold Curved Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

How have you grown since your 2010 debut?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When I watch old YouTube clips of us performing I feel like we’ve changed so much. We were just kids when we started out, although we felt like we were so much older back then. We were pretty insecure. We can hear in our old songs when we’re trying to imitate our idols and it’s kind of cute. It’s definitely not something we’re ashamed of.

We’ve always been good at what we do and had a strong core in our music, but we’ve just grown so much more confident with the years. Both in the studio and on the road, we trust our instincts much more and can relax. I don’t think we care so much about what people think anymore. We’ve always sort of been following our gut feeling, and it’s lead us this far…so we must be onto something, right?

 

Does this last album feel like the most “First Aid Kit” like album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think all records are very ”First Aid Kit”-like in their own pretty ways. They’re just documents of who we were at that certain period of our lives. We think of them as time capsules. We don’t want to stick to a sound too much, we truly are open for experimenting. Who knows what the future will bring, getting too comfortable in a certain style is boring.

 

So talking about Ruins, can you tell me a bit about the lyrical inspirations behind it?

Klara (First Aid Kit): When we went to Los Angeles to write the record I had just gone through a breakup. The wound was quite open. I thought I was going down one road and then it all changed. The songs came through that and so of course, they all mirror that intense experience of this major loss. Visually, we see the record as a ruin of a relationship, walking around it, exploring it and trying to understand it. It felt like an important record to write as honestly and boldly as possible. That is how you get a real connection with people, which is always what we strive for.

 

And musically?

Klara (First Aid Kit): We always follow where we feel the songs want to go, arrangement wise. We usually have more a broad sense of what we want a record to be – this one we felt needed to be a little more raw with more of a live sound. Honestly, it’s all about the gut feeling. You go on in with ideas and expectations but in the end you go with what feels right and good.

We were listening to a lot of different music during the writing process, like Big Thief, Angel Olsen, Whitney and Mitski. We are always returning to our old favorites Townes Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan too. The list is endless. It’s hard to pinpoint where the inspiration comes from, it can be so random.

 

You’ve said that most of the record is about questioning yourself following the breakdown of a relationship. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It’s so easy to grow comfortable and be blinded by what you once thought was good. It’s hard to uproot yourself and leave it all behind. You feel so very lost. In the midst of all that it’s hard not to second guess yourself, looking for simple answers to things that will never really make sense. The record was written during a really vulnerable, exciting, scary time.

 

Do you find it cathartic to write about these kinds of subjects?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It is very cathartic. Writing is the way that we deal with whatever is hard in life, which is why our music is so sad, haha. Getting to share our deepest emotions with people, even though that can be scary, is so rewarding. The connection that we feel with people who love our songs is so special. Playing shows and singing the lyrics to another human being in the crowd, seeing their reaction and knowing the song means so much to them, there is nothing like it.

 

You’ve previously said that you wanted this album to be “more real”. Can you tell me about the ideas behind that? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): That wasn’t something that we planned to do but the songs ended up being more direct and open. Like we previously stated, we wanted to have more of a raw feel, of a live performance.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Tan Leather Jacket by Scotch & Soda, White Embroidered Shirt by MCQ by Alexander McQueen, Black Leather Skirt is Klara’s Own, Black & White Ankle Boots by Malone Souliers, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

Is it difficult knowing that such personal songs will be listened to around the world?

Klara (First Aid Kit): All the songs and themes are very universal. We left out names or anything that felt too personal. The songs are still very emotional and of course that can be scary but it’s ultimately the most rewarding thing, when people react to something that came straight from the heart.

 

How has your relationship with each other changed during this album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think our relationship is stronger now than ever. Touring together for so long has been hard. We’ve been put under a lot of pressure and pretty much been around each other 24/7. No wonder we some times argue and can’t get along.

For a while I think we were on totally different wavelengths. We wanted different things for the band but didn’t express it clearly enough. We’re much better at communicating now to make sure we’re on the same page. We also know when we need space from each other. We have so much more fun together now, too!

 

Now that it’s out, how has the reception been?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Honestly, it’s been pretty darn amazing. Releasing Ruins was scary, especially after that four year break in-between albums. We didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect from either music critics or our fans. We didn’t know if anyone was still into our music. We never expect anyone to care or take our popularity for granted.

Also, when we’re making music we’re constantly torn between feeling like what we’re doing is the greatest thing ever and feeling like it’s a complete piece of shit. Sometimes when you’re in the studio singing a song you feel like it’s a masterpiece. Then when you get home and get some perspective on it, you listen to it and get doubts about it. That definitely happened with Ruins in a sense. However, it’s been amazing playing these sold-out tours full of crowds who know the new songs by heart. When we look at our listeners we can tell that the songs mean so much to them. It’s powerful.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Pink Embroidered Suit by Alice Archer, Silver Silk Shirt by Bogdar, Silver Mules by Jones, Gold Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Rings by Dower & Hall, Bracelet by Dower & Hall

 

What do you want people to take away from your latest album? 

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We want people to feel comforted, to not feel alone in their feelings. We hope it’s a relatable album. Everyone goes through heartbreak in their lives, one way or another. It’s important to realize that it’s completely normal and that things are going to be OK. That’s the beauty of sad songs. They allow you to wallow in those sad feelings for a while and then hopefully gather the strength to move on.

What are you working on next?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Though we just started touring Ruins, we’re already thinking about the next record and future tours. We can’t say much at this point. All we know is we think we’ve got a really exciting future ahead of us.

 

Interview by Ely Watson

To find out more and to purchase RUINS, visit here.

Photographer: David Yeo
Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland
Make-up artist: Jaimee Thomas at Untitled Artists
Hair Stylist: Jordan Leigh
Nail Artist: Diana Drummond
Stylist’s Assistant: Ana Carnu
Photographed at Yoyo Studios

Liam Gallagher – Exclusive FAULT Magazine Issue 27 Covershoot and Interview Preview

 

Liam Gallagher

As you were. As you are.

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Photography: Jack Alexander

Menswear Editor: Kristine Kilty

Grooming: Natalya Chew

 

FAULT Magazine is proud to present our Issue 27 cover story with non-other than Liam Gallagher. With a career spanning over 25 years and a myriad of stories to tell, we sat down to discuss the ups and downs of his career and get to know Liam Gallagher as he was and as he is. Enjoy.

 

FAULT: Do you recall the first 24 hours after Noel quit the band? What was going through your mind at that point?

Liam Gallagher: Oh fuck. That very moment I just went– right, there have been certain powers at play. It wasn’t too big an argument; we’ve had worse arguments. What went down was something that was pre-planned.

 

FAULT: What was the lead up to that point that makes you so sure that it was pre-planned?

Liam Gallagher: Lots of things. A lot of sneaky little meetings. People might say that it’s paranoia. But you can never be too paranoid in life. I kind of knew he was going to map it at some point. It was going to happen at V or it was going to happen at Reading. It only got postponed until Paris. I knew he was going to jump ship at some point. And that’s what made me feel that my paranoia was right. Or maybe I’m clairvoyant; I’ve got 6 senses.

 

FAULT: Did you feel Noel’s absence while writing this record?

Liam Gallagher: Yeah – because I don’t want to be solo. I don’t want to do it on my own. I’m not a guitar player or a prolific songwriter. I can write a few songs every now and again but I miss being in a band. I miss my brother the way he was back then. I miss singing those great songs that we all made great.

 

FAULT: Were you disappointed that your former bandmates did not reach out to you in times of crisis? Are you resentful in any way?

Liam Gallagher: My older brother has always been there. I thought I’d at least get a call from Noel, but there was no call. I thought I’d get a call from my other manager, but nothing from them fucking cunts. But then I met Debbie and she’s been there all the way. A lot of my mates are gone; I don’t really have anyone in London and that is fine. The universe is my mate.

 

Liam Gallagher: I’ve been through a lot of shit, but it was shit that I caused. When you cause shit – you man up and fucking deal with it. Sometimes you have to fucking man up to your shit.

 

 

 

FAULT: Did you ever feel that you were done? That you hit your peak in ’96 in Knebworth and then it was all downhill from there? 

Liam Gallagher: I feel like I’ve maintained it without turning into the traps of the business. I’m still outspoken, I’m still wearing my heart on my sleeve and if people like it that’s fine. If you don’t then you don’t. I’m not a ‘yes man’.

 

FAULT: Did you ever see yourself hitting the top once more by yourself?

Liam Gallagher: The night Oasis split I felt absolutely disappointed and then I felt exactly the opposite when my album went number 1. In this day and age, rock’n’roll has got cobwebs on it. I never actually saw myself hitting the top once more. But if you truly believe, things will happen. I’ve been good to rock’n’roll and I reckon rock’n’roll will be good to me. It saved me twice.

 

FAULT: Hollywood is ablaze with accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. Have you seen similar occurrences in the music industry? 

Liam Gallagher: : Not really, but you know it’s there. The shady little fuckers at the top. It’s not even with just men and women, it’s men and men too. All these pop bands – you hear about it with Take That but I’ve never witnessed any of it. Nobody would come near us. We were caught up in our own bubble. We weren’t hanging about with the record company. We’d go to the awards show and they’d be there, but we’d just get off and do our own thing. And I certainly didn’t see any weird shit.

 

FAULT: What changes do you reckon we should make to keep things safe for both men and women alike?

Liam Gallagher: That’s a big tough question. Obviously get rid of all the shit bags. Obviously, if everyone took care of their shit – everything would be cool. We all live together under one sky at the end of the day. Everyone just needs to cool the fuck out.

 

FAULT: Do you think Liam Gallagher has the power to get people to go back to the roots of rock’n’roll?

Liam Gallagher: I’ve got a lot of fans out there and I always have. My oldest kid is 18 and my friends have kids about the same age – so they’re going to bring them to the shows. That’s a good thing. All you can do is make good music and do good gigs. Do good interviews and try to sell it how it is. Stay honest to what you are and don’t get carried away with all the show business shit. That’s all that I can do. I’m definitely not the savior of music, I’m the savior of me.

 

Liam Gallagher:I don’t get involved with the industry and the business side of it. I let my manager do that. That’s the problem with music today – it’s got no fucking soul. I get being business minded, but it can overpower. You forget about the fucking music.”

 

Find out who else will appear in the issue here

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 26 – THE BEST OF BRITISH ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO ORDER NOW

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Amanda Steele – FAULT Magazine’s Future Face Of Fashion

Despite being only seventeen Amanda Steele has already created quite the storm within the fashion industry. Despite her young age, Steele epitomises everything it means to be a model in the current industry. With a strong fan base within and outside of the industry it’s clear that Amanda has all the tools and business know how to become not only a great model but a brand within herself. FAULT Issue 25 features Amanda as our Future Face Of Fashion FAULT with a special FAULT Focus Cover Shoot. Please enjoy the preview below featuring  Alexander Wang, Balmain, Christian Louboutin and much more.

See the full shoot in print & digital editions of FAULT Magazine issue 25!

Byline: Miles Holder

Photography by Nelson Blanton | Styling by Sammy K Makeup by Anthony Merante | Hairstyling by Kristin Heitkotter Thanks to Apex Photo Studios for use of their location

 

 

 

 

 

HTGAWM’s Jack Falahee discusses lessons learnt from the LGBTQ community in FAULT Issue 25

 

Photography by Joseph Sinclair
Styling by Angel Terrazas
Grooming by Mishelle Parry at Celestine Agency

Jack Falahee ‘Playing Connor | Finding Jack’

Words: Miles Holder

How To Get Away With Murder first appeared on our screens in 2014 and is to this day one of America’s most progressive and expertly written television dramas. Oscar award winning actress, Viola Davis stars as the powerful, female, African-American lawyer without a defined sexuality nor reason to explain one. As an African American female actress, she will no-doubt have faced similar prejudices to that of the character she plays; however the same can not be said for the whole cast. Enter, Jack Falahee. Despite years of training at prestigious acting schools, it was the role of a homosexual college student, Connor Walsh that would provide Jack with a clear and untilfiltered glimpse into the LGBTQ community. It’s a credit to Jack’s skills as an actor, that Connor’s character and his sometimes turbulent relationship with his HIV-positive boyfriend have created strong discussions within and outside of the LGBTQ community. With that in mind, I sat down with Jack to find out what the character that means so much to so many different people – means to him.

You’ve got an impressive resume – you’ve studied so many different acting methods, what is it about television and the screen that mean you’ve gone down that route?

When I was at NYU I was originally admitted to study musical theatre but when I started hanging out with kids who had grown up with ballet classes and vocal coaches, I quickly realised I was a bit out of my depths. If I felt that way in a class of forty students, then going to an open audition for a broadway show was going to be a nightmare; and it was and I was cut very quickly.

I went to Amsterdam and studied the experimental theatre and then Shakespeare in the States but when I got into television acting, I was really inspired by the technical side of it. I grew up enjoying movies but when I started studying it I became aware of angles, what “the shot” was and just everything that is done to make a screenplay come to life. That really fascinated me and will likely lead to me producing and directing in my future.

What period of Connor’s character resonated with you the most?

Fundamentally he and I are very competitive and also very jealous people – it’s something which I’m personally working on but I don’t think Connor is! I grew up with 3 siblings and 2 brothers who are all wildly brilliant and whilst it was a house full of love, it was also incredibly competitive so I definitely relate to Connor in that way.

When you first got the role, did you think the show would have such an impact?

Frankly, you’re not thinking about that when you’re a struggling actor; you’re thinking about getting a job so you can pay rent and survive so I never really sat down and considered I’d be spending years of my life on the project.

I’m still not over how the much of an impact the show has made and a lot of that is Connor’s character and his importance to fans. It’s emblematic of my straight privilege, but I never thought his character would be so important to the LGBTQ community. When the finale came out and Oliver proposed to Connor, seeing the Twitter reaction was so overwhelming and I was just overjoyed at how meaningful the character is to people.

What are the best lessons you’ve learnt from your fans?

100% opening my eyes to the LGBTQ struggle and I can’t stress that enough. Going into this, it was never written on the page that “Connor Walsh is a homosexual”; so when it came to the first love scene I just thought, “wow this guy is willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead” and now I know that was the heteronormativity in my mind back then that was rationalising this whole aspect of his character. It wasn’t until Pete Nowalk was like “oh no, Connor is gay” that I’ve been really trying to become a student of the history of LGBTQ rights and learning more about the struggle of those in the past and in the present day.  I asked Pete and my friends for a reading list on LGBTQ history because one of my favourite aspects about being an actor is that I’m continually having to learn about things I’ve been very uneducated on in the past. I’ve grown up with friends and family who aren’t straight white males so it was important for me  to do Connor’s character justice. The outpouring of love from the fans was so gratifying and humbling for me. Receiving messages from fans saying “Connor & Oliver helped me come out to my parents” is deeply rewarding and to be any small part of the courage needed to come out will forever be a blessing to me.

Are you comfortable with your sex symbol status?

No! Well, it depends [laughs]. I go back and forth on this, on one hand, it’s a great boost to my confidence but on the other hand, it’s a very vulnerable thing to be. Women live their lives being objectified and reduced to just their bodies every day and it is awful so I’ve been discussing it with the women close to me. I obviously can never understand how women can go through life that way but I can see a glimpse of what that experience might feel like and it’s not a nice one.

Nine times out of ten, it’s all good fun and nice things are being said but that 10% of the time when people disregard my space or my wellbeing is not okay. People tell me “that’s what you signed up for” and I really don’t think it is! I was this chubby, awkward kid and now I’m a sex symbol with the help of great makeup and lighting experts making me look a certain way on tv and magazines.

What is FAULT?

I think that there is a part of me which is always seeking validation which is very informative of why I’ve become an actor; regardless of what might happen, I think I’ll always be seeking approval.

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

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

Little Mix Bonus Online Cover Shoot for FAULT Magazine Online

A Bonus (not so secret) photoshoot with the Little Mix to celebrate the release of  album – Glory Days

Often referred to as this generation’s Spice Girls, Little Mix are just on the cusp of releasing their latest album Glory Days. The girls are no newcomers to the FAULT scene, having previously been featured in issue 17– back when Salute was only just being released. It has been a while since and the foursome has surely done some growing up in the meanwhile. We caught up with Little Mix ahead of their album release and here’s their take on the past 5 years of their careers.

You’ve gone a long way since people first saw you on the X Factor. You’ve rocketed to the top, broken records and vanished the jinx of the X-Factor winner. How does it feel to prove everyone wrong?

Perrie: It feels really good. Every little bit of success we get, we feel massively grateful and humbled for it. I don’t think I’ve ever expected to have the success that we have now. But I’m glad we broke that curse for X Factor. We’re very proud of ourselves.

 

It’s been five years now. What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned over the past five years?

Perrie: Just to try and stay grounded with all your family and friends. Hold your loved ones really close. And try to keep your own little circle of friends. It’s hard to trust people in this industry. So yeah, keep all your family close.

Jade: To appreciate what we have. I think it’s very easy in this job to think negatively and think low of yourself after working such long hours. We’re always tired, but we have to remember that we’re in a much better position than many other girls. And also – to never underestimate our success.

So straight out of the X Factor – what were the biggest issues that you encountered in the industry?

Leigh-Anne: We didn’t have a clue what to expect. When you’re in a show like that, you’re kind of thrown into it in a way that you don’t really have any time to adjust to it. I think we were just really lucky to have each other. Doing that on your own – must be so much pressure. I’m just really happy that I got to have these girls as my comfort blanket.

Was there a specific moment in your careers when you realized that you’re becoming role models for young girls and therefore had a responsibility towards them?

Perrie: I think being named role models kind of happened just naturally, we never really asked for it. Which is lovely, I love the fact that girls look up to us and we empower people and inspire them. But obviously, we’re young girls and we’re going to do silly things sometimes that can kind of put pressure on us, but we’re just being ourselves. And if that means that we’re being role models by just being ourselves, then that’s incredible. It’s a massive compliment.

 

And as so, do you have any particular life stories that you’d like to share with your young audience for them to learn from?

Leigh-Anne: Well, both Jade and me had bad skin when we were young. And we used to get teased. And at the time – you think it’s the worst thing in the world. What I would say to anyone that is suffering from it is the fact that it will go away and it’s not the end of the world.

As women in the public eye working in an industry that constantly scrutinizes people – women first and foremost – have you ever felt you had a responsibility to act against it?

Perrie: Well, now that we’ve got a bit of influence – which is amazing – we try our best to make something positive out of it. We don’t think it’s fair that women get scrutinized more than men. Everything is harder for a woman in every kind of aspect and that’s why we try to empower women with our music, our image and everything we stand for. If we can help a little bit, then we’re doing okay.  

 

How did you all find your individualities under the given circumstances?

Perrie: We kind of stayed the same I think. From the beginning, we all knew who we were individually, what our style was and what we liked and disliked. Nothing changed, it just evolved. We like to be individuals because more people can relate to us. People relate to Leigh-Anne differently than they relate to me and so on. We’re all tight knit, but we embrace our individualities too.

Have you always had this mindset?

Perrie: Yeah, we’ve had the same beliefs pretty much from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to be girl-power; we’ve always wanted to inspire people.

 

How do you usually cope with the pressure of that omnipresent eye of the media?

Perrie: At first, it was really horrible. We were really young; I was 17 when I got put into Little Mix. I felt like a baby, I didn’t know how to fend for myself. Moving to London was terrifying – to not be with my family. I think, at first, we found it hard reading things about ourselves that weren’t true. Like rumours or seeing a bad picture right on the front of a magazine or whatever it was. But now, we literally couldn’t care less.

Leigh-Anne: It doesn’t matter. We’ve learned how to deal with it all of it now. Everybody gets it. Adele, Beyoncé, everyone gets scrutinized. And it’s usually from people who don’t have a life.

What’s next for Little Mix?

Perrie: Hopefully a lot more success. But we’re very happy with this album. It’s a lot more mature, it’s very honest and it’s different to what we’ve done before. We just hope it does really well.

 

What’s your FAULT?

Perrie: I can be stubborn.

Leigh-Anne: When I gen drunk, I take things really seriously.

Jade: Mine is overthinking. I’m too much of a perfectionist.

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Jonathan Holmes discusses working on Stephen Spielberg’s BFG with FAULT Magazine

 

Veteran actor Jonathan Holmes plays a ferocious giant called Childchewer in Disney’s The BFG, the cinematic brainchild of figurative giants Roald Dahl and Stephen Spielberg.  In this interview, Holmes tells of his time as a giant among men.

 

FAULT: In playing a character from such a beloved book, did you feel any extra pressure or responsibility?

Jonathan: I think we all felt a huge sense of responsibility. But knowing we were in the hands of such an extraordinary creative team certainly gave us confidence.

 

FAULT: In The BFG, how were you guys able to shoot the interactions between giants and regular-sized people without relying on CGI characters?

Jonathan: Many of the scenes had to be shot in three different scales. And consequently shot three times. Giant scale, BFG scale (he’s half the size of the other giants), and human scale. So we would have various balls, poles, etc. to make sure our eyelines were correct. It was quite the operation!

 

FAULT: How much makeup did it take to turn you into such a convincing giant? Or were the effects added in editing?

Jonathan: All giants were shot using ‘performance capture’ technology. We had to wear tight suits with dots on them and dots all over our faces that picked up every nuance of our performance. The animators then animated to that.

FAULT: How did you approach playing such an unconventional character?

Jonathan: We were very fortunate to have a month or so of rehearsal to get used to the technology and to create these characters. Terry Notary, one of the pioneers of performance capture from the acting perspective, helped hugely in finding the physicality of these creatures. We spent a good deal of time improvising.

 

FAULT: How did your experience working with Steven Spielberg differ from your experiences working with other directors?

Jonathan: The main difference was the technology we used. Because the cameras would only pick up those of us who were ‘dotted’, Steven could direct us whilst actually being physically in the scene. Which, as you can imagine, was a huge thrill for all of us.

 

FAULT: What makes your character happy (besides eating children)?

Jonathan: A good hair day!

 

FAULT: Is there any food in the real world that you think tastes worse than a snozzcumber?

Jonathan: Overcooked vegetables. And marzipan.

 

FAULT: Is there anything else we can look forward to seeing you in?

Jonathan: I’m working on an animation series and a video game – but sadly I’m not able to tell you much more…

 

FAULT: What is your FAULT?

Jonathan: I have a ten year old daughter who would tell you most things are my FAULT.

 

Words: Cody Fitzpatrick

FAULT Magazine Online editorial: ‘Vue d’Ensemble’

 

Photographer: Charles Warren

Stylist: Pedro Moura

Beauty Artist: Renato Olliveira

Model: Renata Kuerten @ Mega Models Brasil 

Styling Assistant: David Souza

Retoucher: Doctor Raw.

Special Thanks to the Capital BGH Hotel in São Paulo for the location