For Folk’s Sake interview: Slow Club

for folk's sake slow club

Your EP is out soon are you happy with it?
Rebecca: Yeah we just can’t wait for it to come out, everything that people have got on record is quite old now so we’re excited about some new songs coming out.

How long ago did you finish it?
Charles: We did some of it in January.
R: …and some of it’s the summer before. We’ve got a load of stuff recorded and some of it’s this EP and some’s going to be an album and some will probably be sent to a black hole never to be heard again.

When’s the album planned?
R: Hopefully in the New Year but we don’t know what’s happening with that yet. It’s nearly good to go, although we keep writing new songs that we want to put on it. It’s quite hard to decide what to do really.

Do you find it easy to juggle the time between writing the songs and touring around and playing?
R: It just happens when it happens.
C: We haven’t toured for a while, actually.
R: Yeah we’ve been having a nice time socialising
FFS: You’ve been hanging around with the Mae Shi!
C: How do you know about that?
[Rebecca recorded a cover of the Mae Shi’s track **** which can be found on their myspace]
R: I’m going to record their whole album and send it to them when they least expect it, then I’m going to go to LA and perform it. That’s part of the two-year plan.

I’ve heard you described as the British White Stripes and a cross between Emmy the Great and Neutral Milk Hotel, how would you describe yourselves?
R: It’s funny because I’ve never actually heard NMH and neither of us listen to the White Stripes.
C: I think people just say that because…
R: I think it’s lazy journalism, I’m going to put it out there.
C: I guess when we were first starting out we just got people to listen to the myspace. It’s hard work saying you’re a folk band because if you want to do something different then people say what you did before was complete bullshit and you didn’t believe it. Say as little as possible I think.

FFS saw you on tour with Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn five months ago. How did you meet them?
R: Just playing and gigs I suppose, it’s really nice we’re everyone’s Northern cousins.
FFS: Have you worked with any of them?
R: I did some backing singing for Noah and the Whale for about two weeks, it was nice but kind of weird performing outside Slow Club.

How did you meet each other?
R: Take it away Charles
C: It’s not very exciting
FFS: Feel free to make something up
C: Well I was travelling with the Sudanese circus in ‘84 as a trapeze artist with one leg…
R: What was I doing there?
C: You sold the t-shirts and the hats.
R: We were just at school together. There’s been nothing romantic, never, beginning to end, never. He went out with a girl who I knew, that’s how we met. Then we formed this band and we’ve never looked back. That’s not true actually, I look back all the time to a fonder time.

Where did the idea of playing the chair come from?

R: Just because it was in the garage that we were rehearsing in, and then I hit it a bit. We had this crazy person trying to make us be as weird as possible a while ago and we were like ‘I just don’t think it’s that weird. It’s just a piece of wood that sounds quite cool.’
C: It was easy at the start to do stuff like that. We started out with just a guitar and we just built it up to other things.
R: I prefer just bashing drums now. I think it’s nice to have something that looks quite interesting and whatever, but it does sound good so it’s not really that it’s a chair.

What other artists should FFS look out for?
C: We did see a really, really ridiculous band in Edinburgh called The Black Cats.
R: Oh yeah! That was the best night! We played this gig in the caves and every time I was walking around the backstage bit you could hear this amazing music it was as if Beirut were upstairs or something. As we were leaving I was a bit drunk I met this man called Francois and…
C: Bearing in mind that we had a four-and-a-half hour drive.
R: …yeah everyone was really mad at me but we ran upstairs and there was a squat or something it was so cool and there was there was a drum kit and a trumpet, violins, it was a massive amazing band. When I found Charles he was really mad at me, but he came up too, it was amazing.
C: And then we hit two rabbits on the way home.
R: Apart from the rabbits it was great.

Have you thought of extending your line up or adding instruments?
R: Yeah I reckon we’ll do it.
C: It’s just money really.
R: It’d be nice, we might do one-off shows with a massive band and if we get to do a second album with shit loads of people would be great.
C: The first song on the EP has got 30 singers that we got through facebook.

What are your plans now?
R: We’ve got loads of songs recorded that keep getting replaced by songs we like more so we do have to sort it out. But we might go in the studio again.
C: We’re not going to do the rest of the album where we recorded the first bit because it’s a bit too comfortable. We spent two weeks in January in this ridiculous studio…
R: Which was really good!
C: …it was amazing but we want to do the rest of it somewhere a bit grimier.
FFS: Do you know who’s producing it?
R: We haven’t had a producer yet, but we’ve started to think it would be good to get someone in cos we’re running out of ideas
C: There are people we’d like to work with but it’s expensive. It’s really just to get an outside opinion cos when you’re in a studio for 12 hours at a time you don’t really hear it, you just do it. It’s because there’s only two of us.
R: It’s hard because if Charles has an idea and I have an idea it’s a stalemate. Generally it works out, though.
C: When you wrestle me to the ground.
R: Yeah, I hit him.

Interview: Mike Didymus and Lynn Roberts