In today's interview, Mark Glenister talks to Chris from Frauds from a socially safe distance, about fake news, recording a second album and learning to rap.
Firstly, how are you? How is Mikey?
We are both well thank you, I’m furloughed but Mikes actually working harder than ever teaching guitar online.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
Most days I wake up anytime between 8am and 11am followed by a swift caffeine intake, a shower, daily ramble to our local wetlands and then return home via the off license for some evening brews.
I’ve been trying to keep myself busy trying to learn new disciplines and I’ve spent the last week learning how to rap (cringe I know). It’s not really for anything other than trying to get deep into something creatively that doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m already feeling the benefits of this as it opens up huge doors in terms of rhythm and flow, which is very important to me as a singer. There’s not gonna be any rock/rap frauds just yet as I’m saving that for my mid-life crisis.
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
The main thing that I think has come from this is the realisation of how fragile everything is and how much we all take for granted. All the work that’s being done for crowd funding is amazing and at the very least its going to buy people some time in order to recalibrate how these venues/spaces etc can be run in the future. It’s all so difficult to predict but for all of our sakes I just hope within the next 2 years we can see some kind resemblance to normality. I think the main take away from it all from a specifically arts & culture perspective is that the industry really isn’t protected as well as it should be. Things need to change and places of significant cultural need to be protected at a Government level much like nature or heritage sites.
Photo by Rhi Lee
As a band are you doing anything for the fans? A lot of online gigs and Q&As seem to be the norm for a lot of bands, how easy or difficult is that for you as a group? How has this impacted your side projects?
Earlier this year we recorded our second album and have pretty much finished it now. We had planned to start getting stuff out there around this time, but we are now taking the time to refine everything and make this release something very special. In terms of online gigs we have done just one so far as we are apart from each other we’ve really had to think differently about how we can put something across that is of a decent quality. We took part in Dork Magazines Homeschool festival over the bank holiday weekend and we made something bespoke for it. We are going to do a couple more, but the writing process is a lot different and we are reworking the songs to sound good with drum machines etc. We will also probably do a few cover’s as that’s always a laugh, just want to have as much fun as possible right now and bring the smiles.
With the lockdown being extended, does that effect plans for tours, singles, albums?
Absolutely it’s difficult to know what the “right” thing to do is, especially as we’ve put so much time into making something that you want to support and get in the ears of as many people as possible! Again, we are working on releasing something soon but it’s top-secret hush hush type stuff.
As a fan I know how much I miss going to gigs, for the music and for the social aspect, is this something that you miss as well?
Oh massively! It’s our social lives as well and it’s really hard living without it. It always felt like something you could rely on, we’d often just go to gigs on our own and know we’d see people we know or meet someone new. The community spirit is so important for so many reasons and I’m itching to get back to it. When we can we will be throwing a massive party with a load of bands and fun stuff to celebrate.
How important are your fans at this time, I know and I speak from experience, a lot of merch is being purchased to help bands, and I know you have a great connection with fans generally so are they an important aspect of getting through this?
Definitely but for us we haven’t been hit badly at all, so we would rather use our platform to share for other people who need the help. I really feel for all the bands who have had amazing tours and life changing festival experiences ripped away from them, I just hope they get to do them eventually as this games a hustlers game and the amount of time and effort that goes into these things are enormous. We both have jobs and income, as the band doesn’t financially support our personal lives at all, so we are not asking for anything as it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
Despite horrors of this pandemic, the lockdown seems to have a created a lot of really positive community action, and for once social media is being used mainly I a positive manner – Do you want life to return to normal once this is over, or would you like people to be using this time to evaluate their lives and start be part of communities and positive social change
All of the above, life is fragile, and it would be nice to think that after this we can all be more empathetic to each other. Nice people like you and pretty much everyone I know feels this way, but I don’t think that feeling is mutual across this island. This situation is so politicised, and I’m worried about it tbh. I think it could potentially turn into a seriously toxic situation and be worse than Brexit. People have sadly died as a consequence of this and a lot of money has been spent. I hope I’m wrong but the world that we’ve made before this is that of where you opt into our own echo chambers of confirmation bias. You can think up the most ludicrous idea and I’ll guarantee you that you can find an “article” that will support your theory. Fake news is more rife than ever and people are scared to shit. Fingers will be rightly pointed and hard questions will be asked and it’s difficult to know what the social reaction will be at this point and how the political parties twist the narrative. However, this turns out we will be fighting the good fight in our day to day interactions and will do all we can to keep people as upbeat as possible. Tough times are ahead and strong communities will be key to riding it out and hopefully we can bring more people into this world who maybe feel a bit lost, angry, upset with all that is happening and we’ll be around for a beer, some music and loads of hugs.
Our next interview with Avalanche Party is published on Monday