All posts tagged friendly

  • triple j mag story: ‘Friendly Fires in the studio’, December 2010

    A story for the November 2010 issue of triple j mag. Click the below image for a closer look, or read the article text underneath.

    Garage Days

    A lack of recording venues gave Friendly Fires licence to get creative

    “I don’t think I’ve had a day off in the last two years,” says Ed Macfarlane of the British dance-punk trio Friendly Fires. That’s no complaint, though: since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2008, the vocalist and his bandmates (Jack Savidge, drums; Edd Gibson, guitar) have been in demand, making a 2009 appearance at Splendour In The Grass. Though they’ve been writing and recording on and off since January, the band only recently set aside time to work in earnest on their follow-up LP: in the same garage as the first album, no less.

    “It feels really informal,” says the singer. “We’re not a band who’ll just set up the drums and guitar, and write and record in a day. We like to spend a lot of time really getting into the production, and trying to create weird and interesting sounds. I’m probably the band’s biggest perfectionist; I produced the first record and I’ve produced most of this one, too.” Ed admits that sometimes he needs Jack and Edd to slap him around the head and say “‘stop messing about with the hi-hat sound – the song is the important thing, let’s focus on that!'”

    The decision to self-produce was born of necessity: the natives of St Albans, Hertfordshire, weren’t keen to record in their hometown’s sole recording studio. It was a blessing in disguise: you’re entirely responsible for the output when you do everything yourself. Almost everything, that is; their debut’s opening track, ‘Jump in the Pool‘, was produced and co-written by famed producer Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Florence and the Machine), and Paul’s working on three new songs. ” Maybe that will affect the sound of the record, but I’m still pretty sure it’s gonna sound like us, not a producer,” Ed says.

    When it came to writing for the album, due out in February, Ed spent a productive month in a cottage in Nomandy, France. “I can’t speak French, and I don’t have any friends in Normandy, so it was just me on my own, trying to be creative. I got cabin fever about three weeks into it. There was definitely a point where I was questioning what I was doing.”

    Ed’s dance moves feature in live shows, and he confesses to indulging sometimes while recording. “It’s also particularly embarrassing if I’m working on a track alone, then my Mum or Dad opens up the garage and see me dancing to my own music!”

    For more Friendly Fires, visit their MySpace. The music video for their song ‘Kiss Of Life‘ is embedded below.