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Interview

Bad for Lazarus 

Rich Fownes Interview

added: 27 Nov 2012
interviewed by: Rachel Gardner

Bad for Lazarus - Rich Fownes Interview - Printable version
Brighton based psychedelic rockers Bad for Lazarus have been whipping audiences into a frenzy in the last few years with their energetic live shows.

Ahead of their long awaited debut album they released the stand alone single ‘My Muddle’, the video of which was the second most popular on NME. I chatted to Rich Fownes to find out what the reactions been like to the new tracks and the state of rock music.

You set up your own label to release your music, why do that rather than approach an already established label?
For every cliché reason you hear about day after day. We'll always be open to offers, but it's a wasteland out there and I don't expect any favours or easy rides. No established label would have much of a reason to gamble on us, why pick us over One Direction...if I had money to invest I'd know who the safer bet is. We don't want to curb our ideas to try to appeal to the last, panic-stricken dinosaurs remaining.

As a band you have had a few incarnations, was it every frustrating and how did you keep the motivation going?
Not frustrating at all, we got better every time. So there were always a few excited faces when we took it to the next level.

How’s the tour been going? What’s the reaction been to the new tracks?
Amazing so far! (I have to say that though, right?) ..but genuinely amazing. The main difference I've felt on this tour is our singing has started getting really tidy. It's nice when that kind of thing starts feeling effortless, when you start you never know if you're gonna get there. Right now we're feeling the karmic payoff for all our public onstage no-nos.

How many takes did you have before you got the full my muddle video?
Six takes, although I think we used the fifth. But about a week of walking through Brighton and scouting areas to get the timings just right.

Craig Charles is a big fan, would you consider going on the new series of Red Dwarf, you could be rock aliens or something?
YES! I can't believe I hadn't even thought of that blag. If I could shoehorn my way into some gross latex outfit it would be a dream come true. I would like to be on Red Dwarf too. Zing.

How can an audience member expect to feel after watching one of your shows?
Ten English pounds lighter once they've visited our merchandise stall and seen some of our wonderful winter deals. We like to press the flesh after gigs and you can usually find us sweating it out behind the merch, so come and say hi, we'll give you a really sweaty hug.

Is the ‘My Muddle’ single a fairly accurate representation of the album to come?
Yes and no. As we got better at writing we got better and instrumentation, so every song has a pretty unique flavour. Having said that the hallmarks are pretty consistent. Our vocal harmonies, phrasings and rhythms are what tie together the tangents, so if you think of ‘My Muddle’ as the bouncy keyboardy one, we have a rocky fairground one. A barbershop doom one. A glam twangy one. A country shuffle one. A distorted hip-hop one. A Four Tops screaming into a dustbin one. And some other ones.

When is the album out and which is your favourite track to play live?
Album should be March! Tough question. Probably 'All The Single Ladies' by Wing. Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to sneak it into a set as of yet. I'm looking for the right safe party to give it a go.

How do you feel about the state of rock music at the moment? It all seems to be pop with a hint of whatever ‘scene’ is popular at that time.
Yeah I guess that's pretty spot on, but isn't that a great thing FINALLY!? I had a lot more apathy for the underground scenes a few years ago when it was all clangy noise.
Interesting as it was, it was more academic. In the last couple of years everyone seems to have fine-tuned their hooks and space in the writing, and for me it’s a bazillion times more satisfying. I think pop in its best and simplest terms means not overcomplicating stuff for the sake of being a smart-ass.

What’s the best thing about being in Bad for Lazarus?
Griff.

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