Ady Suleiman: Exclusive shoot for FAULT Issue 28

Ady Suleiman was shot by Miles Holder and styled by Edith Walker Millwood exclusively for FAULT Magazine Issue 28 – the Structural Issue. Interview by Will Soer.

Ady Suleiman knows who he is. Since he started singing his own songs aged 18 he’s been through a lot; collaborations with superstars (Chance the Rapper, Joey Bada$$, Erykah Badu), major label deals, and intense promotion schedules. His blend of honesty and groove formed irresistible rolling RnB, that explored the issues of his life in real time. Last year he wrote an article for the Independent opening up about recent mental health issues, a heavy stall on his mind and career that had taken a lot of work and lifestyle changes to release. Today I’m talking to him a couple of weeks before his debut album Memories will drop, and one day before he thinks he’ll be over a flu, but things are calm where he is. He’s enjoyed the excuse to binge-watch TV in his London flat and feels excited to be back on the road. Before getting into the interview we talk about another recent experience he enjoyed; his photoshoot with FAULT chief-editor Miles Holder; ‘it’s a skill for the photographer to get a natural look, as standing in front of loads of bright lights is always a bit tense.’

FAULT: Do you find photoshoots that different from performing in gigs, in terms of aesthetically presenting yourself?

Ady Suleiman: With music you always have the song. Any time I get lost and start thinking ‘oh shit there’s a lot of people in here’ and that’s in my mind, I say to myself ‘listen to the music’ and I can get back into character.

One thing I noticed in your music is that there’s a lot of direct addresses, to friends and lovers, when performing these tracks do you go into that headspace?

I think it’s really good to, as it’s like a scripted performance; you can perform the lines in a million ways, some are right. You can just go onstage and perform, and people would think it’s alright, but I want that extra level; the songs are personal and emotional and quite direct, so I want people to feel that story. I don’t necessarily visualise the person I’m addressing, but I always think about me as a character, what am I showing here to the audience, the emotion I was feeling when I wrote that song.

Do some of your tracks have an element of you talking directly to yourself?

100%, it works in both ways. For example, with Why You Runnin Away, it came about from me being frustrating with someone close to me, I was like why the fuck are you doing this shit. As I wrote it I related it to myself; maybe me running away doesn’t have as much consequence as yours does because you’re in a more severe matter, but I can still apply this to myself.

I recently read an article that connected the rise of quiet-storm style RnB in the US with political tension, as it’s a time when people need help with pessimism and anxiety. Do you think about your music as something that could help people like this?

Definitely. It always depends on the concept, sometimes it is just a story, but sometimes I think what am I trying to say with the story? Why am I telling it? Music is stuff that you say, you know everyone goes through, I can get away with saying it by singing it. Like with Running Away maybe I didn’t actually say that stuff to my friend. Some other people are comfortable just saying that stuff normally, but me not so much.

Do you feel like, this ability to express yourself more through song than through spoken word is aided by your musical lineage? Do you think that, in comparison to other genres, your style empowers you more?

I don’t think so, because I don’t really think of genres as doing a specific thing. I think I’d still be direct if I was into metal. If someone gave me a hip hop beat, a reggae beat, a soul beat, a jazz beat, what I’d do on top of this would be similar in terms of my delivery. Genre for me is more the instrumentation and what you put around it, rather than delivery. I think I got that from Amy Winehouse, because she was doing Jazz on that first record, but her lyrics were like ‘I need to get the right angle so he can fuck me right’. That’s why I really liked it, it was contemporary; she spoke the same way that we speak. I wanna talk the way I talk and speak freely.

So is she the GOAT for you?

Vocally, yeah 100%. She made me believe in myself, because she did that jazz/hip hop cross when I was wondering if I’d be able to the music I wanted to make.

She gave British music more hunger for that kind of direct honesty and strident character, that broke away from the semi-American ambiguous Simon Cowell delivery.

Yeah absolutely, I feel like I knew her, like she was my mate. When I went to see that documentary about her everyone in the cinema left feeling the same way, and I felt annoyed, like ‘you don’t know her better than me!’ I don’t think we’ll see anyone like that for some time.

Listening to the 6 minute version of Need Somebody To Love makes it clear how central rhythm is to your voice, even the acapella section keeps a headnod going, and I could tell when the track’s end came without checking my phone screen because your voice broke time and curtails off. Where do you think that flow in your voice comes from? I’m assuming it’s not Amy Winehouse.

I don’t know, maybe hip hop, I listen to a lot of stuff like Damian Marley and Lauryn Hill. This is just me making sense of the question, it might not be true, but I think it’s because of my dyslexia. My reading comprehension is actually quite bad, so when I write something I freestyle. The freestyle has a specific flow, and I write to that flow. Some people can write something and then change the melody afterwards but that’s not how my brain works, it’s too fucking slow. I wish I could, because it takes ages to write this way, but once I’ve written something it’s already got an accent. Because I write in this instinctive manner I feel stuck to this flow. The music’s put around that; I don’t write to beats, it always starts with me and the guitar. It’s always so natural, which can be a fault sometimes because I want to just write a sentence, but at the same time it helps bring that uniqueness. Like I don’t focus on that flow in my music, it’s not a conscious thing, it’s just me. If you really want to be unique, even if you can’t sing, just crack your voice on a record, because no one else has your voice.

You sing about your social anxiety in Pass The Alcohol; is it difficult to re-access songs that are about being in that dark place?

Absolutely not. Those songs written about my mental fragility, I find it really easy to slip back into them, probably because I still have those thoughts but I respond differently to them. That song was about a time when I was using alcohol to deal with social anxiety, and I can still imagine doing that, but I’m choosing not to. Serious and State of Mind can be harder because they’re more about me having a theory, and I’ve developed on those theories now; I see naivety in them.

Do you wanna keep it that way, or would you consider rewriting songs to fit where you are now?

The only thing I sometimes do is in the outros, I’ll add little bits on, it’s a reflective period. And that’s actually how Need Somebody To Love was, the rappy part after the big chorus when it’s like *sings ‘bam bam bam bam’ beautifully*, in the story it’s like ‘cool, now I’ve met that person.’ But because it’s all me it’s not hard to go back to those places.

Do you think that your ability to slip into the mindset of something that’s been hard for you is easier once that you’ve solidified it into a song?

There’s a sense of that, because there’s a distance from it. When I come offstage I’m not still in that song, it’s over, though that depends where you are in your life. When I wrote Drink Too Much and performed it in those months, I’d come offstage and think about it, and I’m having a fucking drink. This is why I called the album Memories, because these songs are like little segments, little thoughts. Have you seen that Harry Potter thing, where he pulls memories out and puts them in a bowl? I can go into the songs and then come back out, without it sticking.

Photographer: Miles Holder
Fashion: Edith Walker Millwood
Grooming: Shamirah Sairally
Words: Will Soer

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

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FAULT Magazine 10 year anniversary @ UNIT London with Bulldog Gin & Snog

FAULT Magazine 10 year anniversary event & Issue 27 launch

FAULT Magazine 10 year anniversary: FAULT Magazine director Nick Artsruni (left) with Issue 27 front cover photographer Jack Alexander (right)

FAULT Magazine director Nick Artsruni (left) with Issue 27 front cover photographer Jack Alexander (right)

We celebrated the FAULT Magazine 10 year anniversary in style with the likes of Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, Rae Morris, Felicity Hayward, GIRLI, Dakota Blue Richards, Jonny Nelson and Sascha & Mimi Bailey at UNIT London gallery last week.

While the BULLDOG Gin sponsored bar served their signature gin & tonics (with a slice of crisp grapefruit on the rim) downstairs, guests enjoyed an exhibition of some of our favourite-ever FAULT shoots with the likes of Kylie Jenner, Usher, Ellie Goulding, Ben Barnes, Big Sean, Nick Jonas and Gary Numan. Well, we hope they enjoyed them, anyway!

Pride of place, of course, was our latest cover with Liam Gallagher. Shot by Jack Alexander, the front cover for FAULT 27: the Best of British Issue was the focal point for our showcase event that was catered exclusively by stupendous fro-yo trailblazers Snog and their brilliant new brand, Beltane & Pop.

The official ‘FAULT Magazine 10 year anniversary afterparty’ took place at Mahiki Mayfair…we think. To be honest, we weren’t quite sure where we were once our private section started overflowing with bottles of vodka and Mahiki’s trademark treasure chests!

Nick Artsruni with Jordan Stephens of Rizzle Kicks

 

FAULT Magazine editor Miles Holder with women’s fashion editor Rachel Holland

 

TV presenter Jonny Nelson

 

Felicity Hayward and Rome Fortune with Nick Artsruni

 

Presenter James Stewart at FAULT Magazine 10 Year anniversary event

 

Rae Morris

 

Dakota Blue Richards

Mimi Nishikawa-Bailey, Sascha Bailey, Nick Artsruni (l-r)

 

FAULT Magazine contributor Adina Ilie

 

GIRLI and friend (l-r)

 

Guests enjoy SNOG

 

 

Lucy Chappell with photographer Jack Alexander

 

Roxxxan with Nick Artsruni

 

Sophie Hopkins with Jack Alexander

 

Miles Holder with Melisa Whiskey

 

Model Alexander James

 

Model Chad Kuzyk

 

FAULT Magazine contributor Olivia Pinnock (centre, red hair) and guests

 

FAULT Magazine contributor Aimee Phillips

 

Some of the prints on display at the exhibition are available for sale.

 

Please contact us if you would like to inquire about any of the works listed below:

From left-right:

  • ‘Kylie Jenner for FAULT Magazine Issue 20’ – photographed by Lionel Deluy (black and white A0 canvas print)
  • ‘Ben Barnes for FAULT Issue 15’ – by Sinisha Nisevic (black and white A0 canvas print)
  • ‘Ellie Goulding for FAULT Issue 15’ – by Louie Banks (full colour A2 canvas print) – not for sale
  • ‘Usher for FAULT Issue 19’ – by Sinisha Nisevic (black and white A0 canvas print)
  • ‘Liam Gallagher for FAULT Issue 27 cover’ – by Jack Alexander (full colour foam board print)

 

  • ‘Nick Jonas for FAULT Issue 21’ – by Matt Holyoak (full colour A2 canvas print) – not for sale
  • ‘Kylie Jenner for FAULT Magazine Issue 20’ – photographed by Lionel Deluy (black and white A0 canvas print)
  • ‘Gary Numan for FAULT Issue 27’ – by David Richardson (full colour A0 canvas print)
  • ‘Big Sean for FAULT Issue 15’ – by Steven Gomillion & Dennis Leupold (full colour A2 canvas print) – not for sale

N.B: Where the works are not available for sale, we encourage you to contact the photographer directly!

 Special Thanks:

UNIT London Gallery

BULLDOG Gin

Outer Insight

Snog and Beltane & Pop

Mahiki Mayfair

Photographers on display: Lionel Deluy, Sinisha Nisevic, David Richardson, Matt Holyoak, Louie Banks, Jack Alexander

Amazing people who went above & beyond for us: Hermione Benest, Tim Lucas Allen, Vassilissa Conway

FAULT Team on the night: Miles Holder, Rachel Holland, Adina Ilie

This is your FAULT

 

Ben Hardy Earns His Wings In Our FAULT #23 Photoshoot Preview

Ben Hardy first appeared on UK screens playing Peter Beale in the popular TV soap, ‘Eastenders’. Like many before him, there was always a chance that Ben would fall into the “soap trap”, becoming the face of his onscreen character and settling into a lifetime stint that’d find him rarely taking on other roles due to a rigorous filming schedule.

For Ben, this was not the dream. With his eyes set on the big screen he took off to the states and landed the role of Archangel in the upcoming X-men Apocalypse movie. As part of our FAULT #23  X-Men Special, we caught up with Ben for this exclusive photo-shoot and interview.

 

Leaving a solid role in the UK and heading off for the states must have been daunting. Did you have a job lined up before you left?

No, I just left really. It’s one of those things you’ve got to just get out there to do otherwise I might find myself waking up in 10 years wondering what could have been.

 

 

Angel is quite a different role to the one you played on Eastenders. Did you know much beforehand?

Ha yes, the characters are a little different. I’d seen all the x-men films and watched the cartoon growing up but I hadn’t read many comics. I have done since getting the role and learnt a lot.

 

Angel has appeared in the X-men films before played by Ben Foster, were you able to draw much from his character to play his younger self?

As the timeline has completely warped and while I did watch X-Men: The Last Stand,  I went into playing Angel as a brand new character altogether. I’m drawing on Angel’s character as dictated by the script and my own interpretation of him without worrying too much on past appearances.

 

Is the transformation from Angel to Archangel true to the comics?

I can’t say! But I will say that it’s a really awesome transformation scene.

 

How did you adapt to all the special effects used in the movie?

It was pretty weird. I’m like, ‘OH GREAT! I get to see the X-Mansion’ and I get in there and it’s one platform and green screen [laughs]. My wings are always CGI so I’m on set flapping my arms about a lot.

 

Moving forward, will you and the younger cast members be taking over the mantle of the X-Men?

As far as I know, the original X-Men actors will remain in the franchise. But I think there is a great young cast in Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner, Alex Shipp and Lana Condor, who have so much talent to bring to X-Men in the future.

 

There are a lot of British people in the movie! Did you all gel well on set?

Definitely! And of course the British connection helped with the banter, we could always just say, ‘well, how about that Tesco amirite!’ as a counter haha.

 

What is your FAULT?

There’s plenty! I’m a massive binge-eater. I’m either training hard and eating super healthily or I’m the opposite. There’s no in-between!

 

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 23 – THE ART ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Don Broco – Exclusive Photoshoot + Interview with FAULT Magazine Online

miles-holder

Words ADINA ILIE
Photography MILES HOLDER

 

You’re just about to release your second album, Automatic. What can you tell me about it?

Well, it’s the album that we’ve been working towards for a year and a bit now and it’s the longest time that we’ve ever actually spent away from touring and being a band. I think for us, life in the studio was quite a change of pace.  We wrote our first album in about 2 months, recorded it like boom bosh and out. After that, we went on tour and then suddenly it was the right time to start writing the second album, so we just pulled ourselves out of the game for a year and wrote it. It was definitely an interesting period of self-discovery for us. Working out exactly who we wanted to be as a band and experimenting with different sounds to create the album. But now we’ve got it and it’s all done and it feels really good.

How did the writing process go this time?

It was the first time we ever wrote with our new bass player, Tom, so that was quite exciting, like finding out each others taste and boundaries and pushing each other and seeing how far we’d go. But once we got into a flow, we found it was a very collaborative process. We’re very much a band, we’re not one person calling the shots -with us, all four of us are very deeply involved in every process of the song. It’s all about the teamwork.

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What effect do you think it’s gonna have on people? Do you expect a different reaction as opposed to your first album? 

Yeah, I think it’s definitely going to take a few people by surprise.  But at the same time, if you’re a fan of the band already, you’re gonna really enjoy it.  It might open you up to new music and hopefully question what you’re listening to and make you think like “okay, this isn’t a band that sound like anyone else.” We’re hoping to make our mark on the world of music and stand out as a band, stand out as a group. You know, bring in all our interests and joys, make up a musical landscape and refine that into one sound. We’re hoping it’s gonna get people talking.

miles-holder-2

For you, in what way is your second album different to your first? What have you done differently now, if anything at all?

We’ve written better songs that really work together and take you on a bit of a journey, rather than just a random collection of ideas. There are ideas that are developed and messed about with in our heads. From a listener’s perspective, I think you’re gonna leave feeling like you’ve actually listened to a more well rounded bunch of songs and a better album. Musically, we experimented with a lot more instruments on this album. We got to play in a pop studio to begin with, as opposed to the usual recording on a computer that we did on our first album. On this one, we went to a proper studio where we really embraced the live band sound and made sure that everything sounded as real as possible. If we had to play things a couple of times to get them right, we did that, without being perfectly accurate in everything.  The perks of being in a studio is that we’ve got all these instruments, we got to play around with a lot of keyboard sounds, old school organs. We managed to do a couple of songs with string arrangements, so for us it was fun, like discovering instruments that take you out of that basic guitar, bass, drums. So I think that’s probably the main difference, from a songwriting perspective, the use of electronics and instrumentation.

Tell me a bit about the video for Automatic. Did you have any input on the visuals?  

Yeah we did. The basic idea was born out of our artwork. We wanted to create something strong, visually striking for our album and we spoke to various designers and photographers about trying to achieve what we wanted. The easiest idea to get it done and make it look good was to fly out to the location in Malibu. We were talking about either Miami or Malibu, somewhere where you have sea and the weather and the palm trees and create something that wasn’t pastiche but still gain reference to that sort of bygone era where exciting music was coming out in the 80s where a band still sounded like a band. You know, once we had the collection of songs that really reflected the sound of the album, we wanted the visuals to represent that. So yeah, we went out to Malibu and then to LA and came across this incredible villa in Malibu where we shot the album artwork. The video for Automatic was kind of born from the idea of that. Our director really wanted to play on this visual reference of static motion and things kind of reflecting. I guess that’s cause the song is called Automatic. His idea was to show people having a good time and show this kind of high society that you associate with that Miami aesthetic. A lot of the references were guided towards our artwork.

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Will you be doing a headlining tour after the album release? 

Yeah, we’ve got an album release launch show on the 7th, then we’ve got a week tour and we’re going back to some of the venues where we first started playing a couple of years ago. That’s gonna be the first time we get to play a lot of the new songs on the album. We’re really excited about that, it’s gonna be the first time in 3 years that we’re actually gonna get to play those venues that made us into the band that we are today. We’re extra excited.

It sounds like you really miss touring.

We do! Touring is our favourite part about being in a band and we did enjoy the studio, but at the same time, touring is what it’s all about for us. When you’re on the road, it feels like you’re actually achieving what you’re set out to do. It gives you that sense of “okay, we’re making the right call being a band.”

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A lot of bands aim to break America. Is that something that’s been on your mind or something that you’d potentially like to achieve at some point in the future? 

Yeah, I think definitely. I think for us it’s not specifically America, it’s everywhere really. I mean, the more we get to tour and the more we get to explore the world and see new and exciting places, the more driven we are about being in a band. We’re hoping to get out to America next year; it will be the first time we go out there and play, which should be fun. But there’s so many other countries we haven’t been to, we only scratched the surface. So yeah, I think this album, if things go well, will give us the opportunity to travel and explore the world.

What’s your FAULT? 

I think it’s probably being too caught up and not looking at the bigger picture. I mean for us that’s what Automatic was all about actually. Staying into the moment and not worrying.

Jennifer Davies Exclusive photoshoot & interview with FAULT Online!

Jacket: Tim Ryan
Dress: House of CB

Jennifer Davies is an artist who is pushing the boundaries of how music and visuals come together. With the release of her ‘Lapse of Time’ EP, Davies has created a video accompaniment for each track, all directed by Peter Wormleighton. All the music was produced with close friend Tord Knudsen of The Wombats, and the collision of dance beats and thunder-strike vocals bring to mind the punk-pop of Blondie and Gwen Stefani.
How did your debut ‘Lapse of Time’ come into being?

My background was always in bands, and when that came to an end I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was signed as a solo artist but it just wasn’t sitting right with me, so I took the decision 18 months ago to be honest with the label about how I felt. I knew full-well that they could just let me go but my friend Tord Knudsen (who is in The Wombats) had worked with me on a few songs and I felt really good about them. I asked the label for the opportunity to see where I could take them, and decided that if the label didn’t get it we could go our separate ways. Thankfully they did!

Your creative process seems to be really innovative, and constantly evolving. How did it grow from those initial demos?

Having taken control of the music side of things, I started to wonder what would happen if I worked with other young creatives that I knew. A lot of major labels just go to the same people they’ve worked with for years and often it’s not that exciting. I wanted to prove that you can’t buy creativity, and it felt like a good time to collaborate with other people on the cusp of a creative breakthrough. Each video has been directed by my friend Peter Wormleighton, and styled by my friend Nabil El-Nayal, who was shortlisted for the LVMH Fashion Prize.

Jacket & Trousers: JH Zane Shoes: United Nude

Jacket & Trousers: JH Zane
Shoes: United Nude

Who have been the biggest influence on your sound?

A lot of pop artists! I feel like ‘pop’ is often seen as bit of a dirty word, but pop culture can be so exciting. I’m drawn to all sorts of things; Garbage and Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani, Blondie. I really like pop music with personality- and I approach it with a punk aesthetic. I don’t care if people get it or not; if the passion is there, people can see it and they will connect with it.

The visuals of your music are obviously very important to you. How do you approach them?

There are a lot of different ways I go about it. For ‘Lapse of Time’, I was really influenced by Madonna’s ‘Ray of Light’. The piano element that repeats throughout the song reminded me of people rushing around the city. I loved that idea of the contrast between the city in Liverpool, and then the vast landscapes of the North West (where I’m from.) We paired up with this young photographer named Paul Richardson and he came up with this idea of me actually being in the time-lapse. I didn’t realise when I agreed to it that it would mean standing in the same place for hours and hours outside in the cold (laughs) but I love the effect! I think everyone on my team just loves the idea of these epic visuals and it’s great to all be moving in the same creative direction.

Dress: House of CB Top & skirt: Jane Bowler Shoes: United Nude

Dress: House of CB
Top & skirt: Jane Bowler
Shoes: United Nude

With the release of the album, you’ll obviously be starting to do a lot more live performance. Is that notion of ‘epic visuals’ something you hope to take forward to the stage?

Yes definitely! To begin with, I guess it will be quite hard because it will mostly be support slots and small festivals but I’d love to just take it all the way. I saw FKA Twigs performing on Jimmy Kimmel with just a fan and this giant piece of fabric and it was amazing. I think all you need is a simple idea, and if you execute it really well, you can make a performance so memorable.

Have you always wanted to be a musician and performer?

For me it actually started with movement – I always loved to dance. Eventually I started playing piano, and I would take the songs I liked and strip them down, and then start writing my own from there. My Dad ended up getting me this broken-down, second-hand piano and I never looked back! (laughs)

 

Top & Skirt: Jane Bowler

Top & Skirt: Jane Bowler

So what’s next?

Well at the moment we’re actually working on an interactive video. We basically picked five different amazing locations and have done a single take in each, deciding that the camera would roll and I would carry on no matter what. I nearly got run over by an ambulance but it’s looking good! (laughs) I’m then supporting The Wombats on a few of their dates, and then playing a few festivals, and looking forward to finally finishing the album!

What is your FAULT?

I over-think things way too much. I know I’m guilty of it and I try to stop it but I just can’t. It’s another FAULT that’s not going anywhere!

The Lapse of Time EP is available on iTunes and as a free download: here

 

Photography: Miles Holder

Fashion Editor: Kristine Kilty @ Lovely Management

Hair & Makeup: Amy Brandon @ Lovely Management 

Fashion Assistant: Shannon McGrath

Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid

 

Ella Eyre Releases Audio for ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’

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Ella Eyre was shot by Miles Holder and styled by Rachel Holland at the Malmaison Hotel for FAULT 18.

 

We first heard part of this track back in January 2013 as part of ‘Virgin Records:40 Years of Distribution’ and it obviously put Ella on our radar as we would go on to feature the star in FAULT 18. This weekend Ella Eyre has gifted us by releasing the audio to her stripped back cover of ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ on her official Vevo account.

The track is full of Ella’s raspy vocals which made so many of us fall in love with in the first place. While it goes without saying that after hearing Ella belt on track ‘Waiting All Night’ with Rudimental that her voice packed some awesome punch; it’s just great to hear her sing with her raspy jazz-tones and vulnerability exposed in such a way.

We’re hoping that we can hear much much more of this on her upcoming studio album ‘Feline‘ set for release on 4th May 2015. Listen to the track below!

 

Charlie Simpson Exclusive Photo-shoot and Interview with FAULT Magazine Online

 

 

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Leather Jacket: BLK DNM
Collar shirt: Karl Lagerfeld
Knit: Karl Lagerfeld

Charlie Simpson rose to fame as a member of multi-BRIT Award-winning boyband Busted, with sales of over 3 million records, and a win for Record of The Year in 2004. Prior to the band’s split in 2005, Charlie began as the lead vocalist, guitarist and co-lyricist of Fightstar, releasing 3 albums and an EP. His debut solo album Young Pilgrim was released in 2011, and followed up in Summer 2014 by Long Road Home, which entered the UK Independent Albums chart at number one. Charlie sat down with FAULT to discuss writer’s block, Warped Tour and life as a newly married man.

 

FAULT: You have spoken about the process of writing Long Road Home, in terms of going back to the drawing board and the obstacles that come along with that. Was the process of putting it together an enjoyable one?

 

Charlie: A bit of both- I always love working on a record but this was the first time I had experienced a bit of writer’s block. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and needed a break from writing. Luckily, it matched with me going off on the Vans Warped Tour in the US- I played 28 shows in a month and it was just a nice way to separate myself from the situation. I think I wrote some of the best stuff on the record after that happened. It feels like a record I had to fight for, which made it all the more sweet to finish working on. I’m really proud of it.

 

It’s interesting that you have referred to the ‘journey’ of writing Long Way Home, and it came out of your time on the road with the Vans Warped Tour. Do you find that being on tour helps the writing process?

Yeah definitely. When you’re writing at home the environment can become quite stale; being on the road adds fuel to your creativity. The album felt like a journey from one point to another where I sort of found myself again.

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Leather Jacket: BLK DNM
Sleeveless Shirt: BLK DNM

 

 

Since releasing the album this summer, are you now able to identify certain undercurrents and themes, or do you go into the process wanting to say something specific?

It’s strange because my last record was a lot more melancholy and I always find it easier to write sad songs, but when I started on Long Road Home I had just got engaged and so I was feeling pretty good about everything! I had to tailor the writing around that kind of mood, which was actually a great challenge as I’d never done it before. It was really good to express that kind of emotion on the record.

 

In terms of ‘tailoring the writing process’, what are the distinctions between writing as a solo artist and writing as a group?

As a solo artist I get complete creative freedom. In a band, it has to be majority rules; if you write something you really like and one other member doesn’t like it, it really makes you question things. With this album I was able to take it in any direction, which is why I think it took me longer to write. With that creative freedom comes more responsibility because it’s all resting on your shoulders.

 

When you are struggling with writer’s block, is it a case of producing a lot and then throwing a lot away, or is it just hard to produce anything?

It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t come up with anything, just that I wasn’t writing anything I loved! I’m my own worst critic and I have actually ended up with about 20 unfinished songs I didn’t use. It’s cool because maybe I will revisit them at another time, but it’s a really strange process.

Returning to your time on the Vans Warped Tour, how does the live experience and performing impact your songwriting?

When I’m songwriting in a solitary environment, the lyrics are a lot better. But musically, I can be anywhere- on the Warped Tour I had my guitar on me the whole time. I tend to write the music first, and then I go into my little hole and write the lyrics, but I’ve always been a melody man first.

 

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Coat: Phillip Lim
Collar Shirt: Mohsin

 

Do you start with a vision for songs, or do they evolve with time?

Yeah sometimes I’ll literally have a vision of a song in my head, and I’ll go to my studio and just make it happen. I like for there to not be a formula to the songwriting- when it comes, it comes. I always equate it to fishing; sometimes you go and nothing comes, and sometimes you catch a big one!

 

You’ve worked with a lot of different set-ups and sounds. Are your influences quite varied?

It’s completely varied but it’s always been centred around heavier, Rock-ier sounds. I love Deftones and Metallica, but my Dad also put me onto artists like Jackson Brown and those West Coast bands from the 1970s like The Eagles and The Beach Boys. Whatever form of music it is, I have always just loved vocal harmonies and making big sounds with voices.

 

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Overcoat: Dent De Man
Sleevelss shirt: BLK DNM
Bracelets: Hermes Jeans, Shoes and Watch: Charlie’s Own

It’s interesting talking about your childhood influences and you mentioned music has been in your family for over 200 years, from composers and musicians to a former head of the Royal College of Music. Now you are married, is it fair to say family is an important focus for you?

It’s actually the most important! One of the themes of the record is how you can be in a dark place, and be unsure of what is going on, but the one constant is family. I’m really blessed to have a loving family, and that will never change. I’ll always have my family, my wife, and (hopefully) my kids.

 

Is that easily compatible with the music industry?

When I was younger I loved just getting out on the road, and I still do. I love making music, but I love getting out and playing it just as much. But that’s getting harder as I get older. Family life and being a musician aren’t that compatible, there has to be a balance.

 

You scored the British film Everyone Is Going To Die, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013, and you’ve mentioned this as something you’d like to pursue more extensively later in your career. Can you talk more about the relationship between the music and the visuals in your work? 

It’s huge! I love film as much as I love music and the marriage of visuals and music is such a wonderful thing. With scoring a film, someone else tells a story and it’s your responsibility to bring out the emotion in it. When you’re writing your own music, you constantly feel that it’s not just music but somehow a representation of your entire make-up. It’s nice to take that pressure off a bit!

 

You’ve now been a touring musician for over 10 years. What changes have you seen in the music industry?

The industry is almost unrecognisable. Facebook, YouTube, Spotify – none of these things existed! The landscape of the industry has changed so much, you’ve just got to go with it. Whether streaming or downloading, as long as people are still consuming music (legally!) it’s a good thing.

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Overcoat: Dent De Man
Sleevelss shirt: BLK DNM
Bracelets: Hermes Jeans, Shoes and Watch: Charlie’s Own

 

What is your FAULT?

You should ask my wife! (laughs) I would say I’m pretty impatient, which can be a good thing. I get quite frantic and when you’re in the studio that can be a good thing, but in other situations it can be a nightmare.

 

Photography: Miles Holder

Writer: Will Ballantyne-Reid

Stylist: Vesa Perakyla

Grooming: Stefano Mazzoleni @ Emma Davies Agency

THE MADDEN BROTHERS – TASTER FROM OUR EXCLUSIVE SHOOT FOR FAULT ISSUE 19

 

 

The Madden Brothers were shot in London by photographer Miles Holder exclusively for FAULT Issue 20 Click here to order your copy of this issue!

The Madden Brothers were shot in London by photographer Miles Holder exclusively for FAULT Issue 19
Click here to order your copy of this issue!

 

FAULT Magazine Issue 19the Millions Issue will feature instantly recognisable rock siblings the Madden Brothers inside its Men’s section. Fresh from their reincarnation as a double act after their successes as founding members of Good Charlotte, Benji and Joel have released a new album – Greetings from California – under their own name.

FAULT: Why have you decided to fully focus on the Madden Brothers project?

Benji: I think it was a natural progression… it would be easy to sit back and say “we can go around the world and get paid just doing stuff we’ve done for years “– but it’s not fulfilling. I want to make something new and relevant to now, and that was where the real desire was – that’s what we set out to do with this record.

Joel: [When we started Good Charlotte, aged 16] we were kids making music about shit we were going through. Well, we’re not going through that any more – I’m married with two kids and we’re living life… We’re full-grown so we have to make music which is relevant to our lives now.

 

Miles Holder

Interview by Kevin Lyster

 

FAULT: What direction do you see Madden Brothers going in with Greetings from California and beyond?

Benji: When people heard ‘We Are Done’, most said, “Who is this?!” It doesn’t sound like anything we’ve ever released. It can go anywhere we want it to – we were talking about it recently, one of the things we’ve always loved doing is harmonies – it’s one of the things people remembered about Good Charlotte – so we decided we were going to do it properly. We worked a lot with Pharrell on the record – we wrote two songs on the record with him – he really gets the vision and supports it. Three years ago, when we decided to do this Madden Brothers thing, we told him how we wanted it to be and he was like, “Yeah the Eagles, I can see that shit.” He’s a visionary and then we started writing songs [together].

Joel: We listened to The Beach Boys, The Eagles and then, as teenagers, Sublime and then Dre’s Chronic and all these hip hop records – we’ve been in California for 10 years and while we are from the East Coast, it was [always] our dream to get to California.

Miles Holder

 

FAULT: What brought you to the decision to split the album into two sides?

Joel: The thing that brings both sides together is that California vibe. Whereas one side is more Phil SpectorBrian Wilson, the other side feels like The Eagles, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band – it’s a trip but it oddly works!

 

The Madden Brothers’ debut single ‘We Are Done’ and album ‘Greetings From California’ are both out now on Capitol Records.

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – THE MILLIONS ISSUE – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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