In Conversation with…FAIRCHILD

Roaringly anthemic – Fairchild’s ‘Arcadia‘, is the first track taken off the band’s new EP ‘Sadako’. The opening track makes an instant impression, taking this band on first listen from relativity unknown to a band that has the sonic power and songwriting ability to take on indie heavyweights like Two Door Cinema Club and The Temper Trap.

We caught up with the Australian six piece to chat a little about their new EP, songwriting, moving to the UK and much more.

Hello Fairchild, I hope we meet you well? Where in the world do we find you today?

Hello, we’re at home on the Gold Coast, Australia.

‘Arcadia’ is the first taste from your new EP ‘Sadako’. So is this track a good introduction to what we can expect from the rest of the EP?

Hopefully it is a good introduction; it’s also the first track on the EP. Sonically, the overall sound is consistent across the six tracks and we’ve tried to add a nice variation as well.

You worked with Catherine Marks on both your début and this EP, how was it going back to working with Catherine on this latest piece after already having made that bond and connection with her on your début?

After spending two weeks in the studio with Catherine for our debut EP, it definitely helped already having an understanding on what you’re striving for with the overall vibe. Obviously the main difference this time was that we recorded the EP ourselves and sent the tracks off to Catherine for mixing. We’re actually teaming up with her again soon. This time back in the studio together to work on new material, which we’re currently writing & demoing.

Is it correct that you recorded and produced the ‘Sadako’ EP in Adam’s bedroom? How did that set-up work? Do you feel that being in that environment it comes through in the music?

Yes that’s right, everything was recorded & produced in Adam’s bedroom apart from the drums, which were done in a studio. We recorded most of the debut EP live, so the set-up this time was very different and involved tracking everyone individually.

All the tracks on this EP are actually all older than the debut EP. We’ve been playing them live for a quite a while and decided to re-visit them. It was quite challenging recording songs that your already really familiar with being played in a certain way. Overall we got a lot out of the two-month process, which has helped us going into a new writing phase.

For many writers, songwriting is a way to express themselves. Their thoughts, feelings, beliefs. What is it for you?

We feel the arts in general is a form of expressionism whether or not you consciously think about it or not. For songwriting specifically, it may be something as simple as telling a factual recount of something that has happened to you or a story that a stranger told you in passing but what ever it is, it sticks with you and has a big enough impact on you to put it into words. Adam (lead vocals & lyrist) feels he’s not much of a technical writer but it’s concepts that he’s obsessed with.

It’s the idea of something that makes him want to put it into words. He likes to know how things work, what was the thought process that lead to the eventuating result not focusing on what actually happened. Those moments of realisation that make you smile quietly inside or fill you with sadness to the point of crying. Over the years he’s started to understand the way that he writes and what he loves the most is leaving phrases open ended allowing the reader/listener to make their own mind up based off what is going on in their world. So it’s 50/50 in that regard.

What are your top tips for aspiring musicians and singer/songwriters?

  1. Try different ways of writing songs until you find the process that best works for you. If you play in a band, perhaps demoing through recording will work better then trying to make it work in a live setting. For a singer-songwriter, writing tunes with the idea of having other instruments involved from the beginning (even if you can’t play them). This gives you a larger scope to fiddle with what is possible. Don’t restrict yourself before expanding.
  2. Whatever you do/play, do it confidently. If you don’t believe in what you do, who will? If your unsure, that’s ok too. It may take a number of goes until you know what you want. Understand what you’re strengths are and utilise those, not overuse them.
  3. Work hard at what you write but don’t ride everything you write like it’s your only hope of achieving. Once you have done a few releases you’ll laugh at the music you produced years before, covering your face in shame at how bad it was whilst feeling guilty that your friends came to watch you play that rubbish. It will make sense one day, trust us.
  4. Enjoy the company of your band/writing buddies. It doesn’t always have to be business. They are the people that know you the best so treat them like family.
  5. Be persistent and not complacent. Once you start to think that you have everything sorted, you need to have that person that can tell you to wake up to yourself. 

You’ve played shows in Singapore and China. How are the crowds in Asia? I hear that they’re very considerate and wait till the very end to applaud, is that right?

We’ve been lucky to play quite a bit in Asia over the last few years – Japan, China, Hong Kong & Singapore. Actually the first shows we played outside our local area were in Japan, which was pretty surreal. The crowds are very respectful and they love their live music, regardless if they don’t understand English. It can be a challenging place to tour logistically but is also very rewarding and a lot of fun. In fact, Adam just got back from a songwriting workshop in Singapore where he worked with local artists.

Your music video for ‘Burning Feet’ see’s a role reversal of gender roles, in an attempt to not objectify women but to switch it up, all in good taste though, addressing sexism and how in popular culture women tend to be overly sexualised. Watching the video it made me think of all the backlash and controversy that Jake Bugg’s alternative version of ‘Messed Up Kids’ caused. What was your reasoning behind the video content for ‘Burning Feet’?

The simplest answer is that we wanted to do something that was different, something that went against the grain. The music video culture is so hyper sexualised now days that it has now become a big deal, or even controversial to not completely objectify women but instead to empower them which is crazy when you think about it. The clip has gotten more attention for not making a group of girls dress in their knickers and grind up against the band, which just shows you what the current trends have deemed normal and acceptable.

We didn’t ever set out to make this clip as some kind of statement, we just wanted to have a bit of fun, switch the gender roles around and let the girls take the piss out of us for once. All of our actresses were beautiful strong women and they had no problems flipping the norm on it’s head. The clips we chose as inspiration were mostly the ones that had built an aura for themselves because of their controversial content, like Blurred Lines and Kanye’s Bound 2. We wanted to take the ideas of those clips and create a satire around them.

I hear that your band is uprooting to the UK and moving away permanently from your native Australia to live over here. Why the sudden leap to move to our sunny shores?

Yes that’s right, we’re making the big move early next year to the UK. We have been thinking about it for a while but felt like the time was right now. The main reason is that Australia is just so far away. We’ve played most of our shows overseas in the last 18 months and we’re hoping being based on the other side of the world will provide further touring opportunities. Away from music as well, we’re looking forward to a change in scenery and lifestyle.

I’m sure there will be many things you’ll miss about Australia, but what’s one thing that you can’t live without and if you could, you would find a way to bring it with you?

Obviously the main difference is the climate. After a long winter in the UK, we’re predicting that we’ll being craving some Australian sunlight, but it will be a nice change. Individually, there would be a few things we wouldn’t mind bringing with us but is all part of the adjustment.

What’s your plan for 2015?

We are going back into the studio with Catherine to record new material just before we head over to the UK. Basically the aim for the rest of 2015 is to play a lot of shows, continue to promote the EP’s and the new material that will follow.

Fairchild Links: Website . Facebook . Twitter

Charlotte Holroyd
Editor, Creator and Founder of Bitter Sweet Symphonies. A lover of music and cinema, who's constantly attending gigs and in search of a great experience.

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