We sit down to talk to bassist, Jay and drummer, Rusty from FEWS just before their show at The Crofter’s Rights in Bristol.
We talk ex-asylums and unspeakable tattoos.
You’re a half Swedish band, what made you decide to be based in London?
Ramus: We aren’t really actually
Oh you’re not?
Ramus: No no, it’s just that this guy (Jay) lives there
Jay: I live in London. I think a lot of band stuff happens in London, the label and everything, management and things like that. It’s where music was recorded so it feels like a base rather than being based in a place.
Rusty: Well done!
So how did you guys all meet and choose to form a band together?
Rusty: At first it was David and Fred, the singers and guitarists met via Myspace and then they started making music together and went travelling for a while like hanging out. I think they met in Berlin didn’t they?
Jay: They met in Berlin, yeah after getting in touch via Myspace.
Rusty: They hung out there for a while. I’m old friends with David so yeah.
Jay: Yeah, I got involved at a later date because they needed a bass player and yeah. I got recommended strangely for some reason. And that’s how it all started.
How did you come up with the name, FEWS?
Jay: I have no idea! You should definitely get them (Fred and David) on that. They have big stories, there’s rumours. I’m not even sure.
So you’re midway through a pretty extensive European tour, how’s it gone so far?
Rusty: Not bad, gone quite well!
Any place in particular that you’re looking forward to play?
Rusty: We always enjoy playing Paris!
Rusty: Really looking forward to playing the next Paris one!
Are the crowds quite different in Paris compared to the UK?
Rusty: It’s just a good vibe. It’s a good vibe here too, but it’s a special kind of vibe for Paris.
Jay: Just anywhere in Europe. They’re far more just like, fuck it and going crazy. In general, it’s great but yeah in November we’re there supporting the Pixies.
So you shot your music video 100 Goosebumps in a decommissioned church which was also an ex asylum, why did you choose that location and what was it like to play there?
Rusty: It was really really weird to play there because you can hear anything you’re doing so it sounded so reverby but I don’t know, why did we choose that location? It was amazing
Jay: I don’t think you saw all of it in the video
No it’s quite focused on you guys
Jay: Yeah, it’s just a really insane looking place, uh yeah really cool
Rusty: Yeah a really cool place
Where about’s is it?
Rusty: Peckham, was it?
Jay: Yeah yeah, it was in South London. Yeah really weird, not many people know it’s there
Rusty: Apparently it’s used for loads of films as well
Jay: Yeah it does get used a lot, yeah!
So you’ve released your debut album earlier this year, what was it like to finally have your own album out there for everyone to listen to?
Rusty: Really really really fucking exciting. Really really cool. I mean obviously we were happy with the album so we were just waiting to get it out there. And it’s finally out there. It was a bit scary to release it but yeah we couldn’t wait, really exciting!
And you’re signed to Play It Again Sam records, is it more important for you to stick to a more important label than to go a more commercial route?
Jay: I mean; I don’t care to be honest
Jay: Uh yeah I mean I think we get looked after in a nice family way
Rusty: I think that’s more common in independent labels
Yeah it’s more personal
Rusty: Yeah exactly
Jay: Yeah we actually hang out with them
Rusty: Yeah yeah yeah!
Jay: Which is great and yeah it can be more fun!
What’s your song writing process like? Do you tend to come up the melody first?
Rusty: It’s definitely the music first. Mostly it’s David and Fred who has an idea and then we work on it together and do rehearsals and stuff so yeah
Jay: Tracks get sent over
Rusty: Yeah exactly
Jay: Via email and we listen to them
Do you have a favourite song to play live?
Rusty: Yeah! Ha ha. My favourite to play is ILL
Rusty: It’s so much energy. You really get into it. I mean I get into everything but especially that one! That one is just so fucking good
Jay: I’d say it depends how these guys are playing really
Rusty: Ha ha
Jay: I mean if they’re playing a bit meeeh. I mean if you can get that into text somehow
Ha ha thanks for that! Your music has been described as post-punk would you agree?
Rusty: I mean yeah I don’t really…
Jay: It’s really hard to label, I can never answer that question
Rusty: No me neither it’s a tough one!
(A fan enters)
Fan: Sorry to disturb you, can I be really geeky and get you to sign this?
Rusty: Ha ha of course!
Jay: Has that just been ripped off the wall here? Are you getting this
Ha ha yes!
Fan: I do this every time I go to a gig
Jay: I was wondering, I was actually downstairs brushing my teeth actually and I was looking at all these posters and I was like…oh there’s no FEWS poster here
Fan: Thank you!
Rusty: No thank you!
Jay: So yeah very hard to label anything. It feels like…because I joined the band at a later date and it feels like there’s loads of different influences and genres, like even quite dancey kind of vibes
So you all bring something different to the band
Jay: Well I don’t bring anything to the band but yeah…the wit. I don’t know, post-punk I suppose is pretty good.
Rusty: We’ll accept that
Jay: Ha ha yeah we’ll accept that
So finally I thought we could play a quick round of who’s most likely to if you want to do that?
Rusty: Ok yeah yeah yeah
So who’s most likely to get a tattoo they regret?
Rusty: Ha ha ha
Jay: That’s definitely me, or Fred I don’t know if you’ve regretted any of your tattoos, I definitely do!
Fred: No no I don’t, I just want to get a long word over it.
Jay: Ok, so me and David. I’ve got two or three I really hate
Why what are they of?
Jay: I mean one’s so bad that umm…it’s a lyric from a band called
Rusty: Ha ha ha
Fred: No no don’t say it!
Is it that bad!?
Rusty: Ha ha ha
Jay: You’re not going to know now! He’s (Fred) got one as well which is better than mine.
Are you allowed to say what it is?
Jay: I don’t think we can now, I think we’re sworn to secrecy yeah
Rusty: Yeah it feels like it. I don’t know what happened
Jay: I think Rusty is going to get some lyric tattooed which is really bad
Rusty: Am I?
Jay: Yeah! I reckon you should say that one
Rusty: Ha ha uh what?
Jay: But yeah, we’ve all got some weird ones
I did not expect that ha ha. Ok so who’s most likely to survive a zombie?
Rusty: Ha ha David because he’s a fucking zombie!
Jay: Yeah, yeah exactly!
And finally, who’s most likely to fall asleep at a party?
Rusty: I’d say you!
Jay: Fuck off! Maybe at a party, yeah
Rusty: At a party, you! Anytime at all sleep basically
Jay: Do I ever do that?
Rusty: Yeah yeah you do!
So you do actually fall asleep at parties?
Jay: I dunno, maybe I have. Yeah me!
Interview by Sacha Patston