Fryars is the musical brainchild of London-based Benjamin Garrett, who’s peerless sound has won him fans from Kanye West to Depeche Mode, and has seen him tour with acts as diverse as London Grammar and Wild Beasts.
He co-wrote two tracks on Lily Allen’s number one album ‘Sheezus’ and he’s just getting ready to go out on a UK tour supporting the lady herself. The tour starts on Nov 22nd in Glasgow. But before all that Fryars is gearing up to drop his highly anticipated début album ‘Power’. We caught up with Ben to discuss the album, his upcoming tour with Lily Allen, his favourite blue steel selfies and more.
Charlotte, Bitter Sweet Symphonies: When I saw you live earlier in the year, you were inviting everyone in the audience to tweet any disses or clever remarks about you during your set. Is this something you do regular at gigs? What’s the best comment you’ve received so far or one that made you lol?
Fryars: “That’s the only show. I was trending in Manchester as a result. Some of it was truly X-rated. Most of it made me LOL. It was a power trip. Mostly just Alan Partridge comparisons.”
You collaborated with Rae Morris on ‘Cold’, a track that has garnered a lot of praise and of course, attention for you both. Do you feel that being involved with that track it has brought you a lot more fans because they may have not heard your music before and were introduced to you through that song?
“Possibly. But I feel like the track is still a bit of a sleeping hit.”
What was the process like working on ‘Cold’? Are there any interesting stories from working with Rae that you could share with us?
“I had some ideas for a duet with Rae, she came round to mine and we finished it in a day. Took a while to get the mix spot on.”
Browsing your Instagram, it’s seems like you’re very partial to a selfie. What’s your favourite pose?
“It’s all the blue steel. It’s not really ironic either. It’s serious.”
I see that you’ve been spending some time with Nick Littlemore, have you been collaborating on anything together?
“We did some work, yes. But also sat in the garden and ate cheese and drank wine and went shopping and had breakfast and stuff like that.”
You have become good friends with Lily Allen and now you’re going on tour with her, so I’d expect that they will be lots of backstage shenanigans, maybe tour pranks?
“Her current band is my old band too. It’s guaranteed LOLs.”
Did Lily ask you personally to support her on this tour?
Your début album ‘Power’ is just days away from release. How are you feeling now? Excited? Nervous? A bit of both?
“It’s a major relief just to get it out there. I hope it gets at least half the attention it deserves.”
Already having released a number of EPs before you started working on your début record, how hard was it to get a tracklisting together?
“The concept and track listing existed before the music. It’s carefully considered. The EPs are a by-product.”
So what kind of album is ‘Power’ in lyrical terms?
“It’s a concept, a story and a mood told through 16 tracks. It’s melancholy but triumphant.”
Where’s the most unusual place that a song idea or lyric has come to you?
“In my sleep.”
What does 2015 look like for Fryars?
“All I can see is mist and fog. Perhaps behind it is an extraordinary vista.”