Scotland’s favourite, Fatherson take new turns in their sophomore album. Open Book is as it sounds, honest declarations and beady-eyed questions transposed down to four minute tracks.
Previously admiring Belladrum in an interview a few years ago, it’s no wonder why Fatherson love the weekender. Attracting a huge audience with an alt-rock sound, they’re no strangers to surprise sets at this festival.
Read below as we talk Tom Jones, Open Book and karaoke bars with Ross of Fatherson.
So we’re at Belladrum and you just came off stage, how did your set go?
Ross: It was awesome! I couldn’t believe that we just sort of announced it today and still so many people showed up and stayed through the rain! The first couple tracks were cool and then it started raining like I’ve never seen it before, like just moving in the wind ha! So really grateful everyone stuck around – also goes to show that Belladrum’s pretty much the best place ever!
You also mentioned that you’ll be filming a music video today at the festival, what can we be expecting from it?
Ross: To be perfectly honest, just us walking around the festival. I think the boys have been off doing other wee things for it just because I’ve been in the press area for like 3 hours now… I just know everyone here from coming the past few years so it’s good to hang out! But yeah, it’ll be a bunch of cut up footage from different festivals over the summer and then just kind of hanging out I think
A sort of tour video kind of thing?
Ross: Yeah sort of! I don’t really know to be honest
Just see what happens!
Ross: Yup, just see what happens! I don’t really know the brief for it was but I do know that the guys that are filming it have worked with us before and always do a good job – so it’s looking promising!
So you guys are pretty much regulars for Belladrum festival, what would you say has been the biggest highlight (as a punter or musician) over the years?
Ross: As a punter, the first time I came was about six years ago when I was around seventeen I think and I’d never actually been to a festival before – apart from T in The Park – and it was just really cool to see it all I guess. And then two years ago seeing Tom Jones play was awesome! Being in a dressing room next to him was so weird – we obviously never saw Tom – but we did see this portacabin he had brought with him that was filled entirely with suits. Like this massive flight case came out of a van and when it came off it was just endless amounts of suits for him to pick from!
Ha! Did he have suit changes or something during his set?
Ross: No I think he just got to pick a suit for the day, keep his options open though
What a guy
Ross: Tom Jones is living the life
So we have to talk about the latest album Open Book. When we last spoke with you guys ahead of the big debut album, you mentioned how recording went on for 18 days straight – was it that intense this time around?
Ross: Yeah we did 21 days this time! But it was nice because we did it split up between three studios this time. So we did a week in Gorbal Sound again – where we did the first album – then two weeks in Rockfield in Wales, so we lived in that studio for quite a bit. Then we went and did some stuff in 45 in Glasgow! But Rockfield was cool as hell, it’s where Coldplay recorded A Rush of Blood to the Head and Bohemian Rhapsody was recorded in the same studio we were working in! And the guy who owns it is just about mad as a hatter, but he had so many cool stories.
Sounds pretty surreal!
Ross: Yeah really surreal! We also all got our own house pretty much, like a two floor sort of thing with bathroom, bedroom, kitchen etc
No wonder it took you 21 days to record!
Ross: Ha! I know right, it was awesome
How have you found the reaction to the album so far?
Ross: It’s been cool because it’s gone straight into festivals rather than shows. You never really wanna play that much new stuff at festivals just in case people don’t know it and they come and have a terrible time. But it’s been out for a bit now over the Summer and today was maybe the best reaction we’ve had so far! Well T in The Park was great as well, but today we played a couple songs we’ve not played yet off the album and it was nice just to get to play it all together!
It got to No. 2 in the Scottish album charts as well didn’t it? No big deal…
Ross: Yeah it did! It was pretty nuts. I mean it’s like a real thing
Yeah that happened
Ross: It did go to No. 2, that’s something that actually happened. It’s a big deal! I think the amount of albums we sold within the first year of the first album were sold in five days with Open Book – which is crazy!
That’s insane! Do you have a favourite track to play live from the album?
Ross: There’s one actually called Open Book which I think might be my favourite. We played one called Sleeping Over today which we’ve never played before, actually we’ve played it once in Holland before we recorded the album. But yeah it was nice and fun to play, no one really knew what was going to happen and don’t really know it that well so just had to see what would happen!
You could mess up easy and just act as if it was meant to happen! No one would know
Ross: Ha yeah! I mean it’s live, just go with it
So you’ve got a show coming up in the Barrowlands in December, how are you feeling about it?
Ross: We’re all like 24 this year and it looks like the show is going to sell out, which is sort of like bucket list stuff! Like we went to all our favourite gigs at The Barrowlands! The O2 ABC as well actually and our show there sold out when the album came out which is crazy because that’s where we’ve gone the last five years to watch bands play! But The Barrowlands, it’s going to happen and it’s going to cap off an insane year. We’ve been just about everywhere this year and played with all the bands we loved – and then just going to top it off two days before Christmas at The Barrowlands! Pretty cool
Just about the best way to do it really
Ross: I know right! And we’ll just be out until New Year after that ha!
And won’t remember any of it!
Ross: Of course!
What other shows can your fans be looking out for this year?
Ross: The next one we have actually is Reading and Leeds – should be good! Then it’s Lindisfarm festival, Bestival, then we’re going to Germany for a bit then we have an underground festival in Glouchestire at the end of September and then we MIGHT be on a tour for like six weeks right after…
But who knows right?
Ross: Yeah who knows, maybe we’re not going on tour maybe we are…
Ha! And we’re just going to finish the interview off with a quick game of Who’s Most Likely To. So, who’s most likely to get lost on tour and show up at the wrong venue?
Ross: Defintley Greg! He once turned up a minute to a show. I mean I’ve done it before as well, like years ago but yeah about four years ago Greg just turned up, sat at the drums, didn’t bother saying hi was just kinda like “yeah cool, don’t worry” and started playing. After the show we were all “Where have you been?!” etc because we were all running about trying to find him and he was like “I was just in the pub next door, I knew we were on at half seven so I just came through at twenty five past”
Ross: I loved it, thought it was great! Everyone else not so much…
Who’s most likely to end up in a karaoke bar on a night out?
Ross: Me! Actually no there’s a guy who does front of house called Nick and we have been in karaoke bars. There was one in Nottingham and we were the first and last people there! He was singing that one from Top Gun like “you’ve lost that lovely feeling” and he was just in everyone’s faces singing his heart out! So yeah Nick would do that or maybe our guitarist Andy… Actually okay all of us would!
And lastly, who’s most likely to become the next Kanye West on twitter?
Ross: Ha! I don’t know actually… Probably me I guess, I’m the only one that really uses it so if anyone else became Kanye I’d be much happier! Like thank f*ck for that – on you go, enjoy twitter! Actually you know what, I’d love it to be Mark, just for him to take over and become Kanye West – it’d be awesome! Just like posting pictures of himself all the time, bring his own brand of shoes out and everything. We all tried to buy Yeezys like a month ago actually and do you know the market director for Yeezys is 19 years old?!
Ross: Yeah my pal Ross makes watches and he was out in New York like two weeks ago and ended up going for dinner with the girl who does all the marketing for Yeezys and she’s 19! Like it makes you feel sh*t about yourself but good for her, like just go off and conquer the world now!