BIMM alumni Fickle Friends are currently recording their debut album in LA with producer Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys, The 1975). Sam Rowlands talks to them about their new music, living the LA highlife and resurrecting Michael Jackson.
You all met at BIMM; tell us how – and what were Fickle Friends like in the beginning?
A few of us were in the same class and some of us met at open mic nights. It was a gradual thing, we didn’t really get going until Harry (bass) joined at the end of our second year.
You uploaded a demo of Swim in 2014 and this year you released it as your first single via Polydor records; how did you get noticed and signed by the label?
It was two solid years of touring and doing everything pretty DIY. When we put the first version of Swim out it kind of got the music industry in a bit of a tizzy. They all came down to see a small show we did, but we just weren’t ready for it. I think they saw that and left us to it – apart from our now booking agents, who signed us after that night. We have them to thank, really, because it has meant we’ve been on the road constantly. After a management change and selling out London Dingwalls in October last year it felt like the right time for a label to come on board and lucky for us they did.
How does it feel to be working with such a highly rated producer like Mike Crossey?
It feels pretty mental. Mike has done some incredible stuff and we keep pinching ourselves because a year ago we would joke about how one day we might cut a record in LA with him and now it’s actually happening. He has breathed new life into some old tracks and inspired us to write some really fresh stuff too.
Why was he right for you? Which albums/ bands that Mike has worked with in the past in particular do you like?
Our label asked us for our top three producers we’d want to do our album with and Mike was top of the list for many reasons – mainly for his work on Two Door Cinema Club and The 1975, plus we had worked with his engineer before. I don’t think there are many producers out
there who are really nailing the indie/alt-pop crossover quite like Mike.
What advice would you give other bands that are trying to make themselves heard?
Write some really great songs and play EVERY GIG EVER and make lots of fans, because fans buy music and share it with other people – they’re the most important thing.
What’s the ultimate dream for the band?
To bring Michael Jackson back to life for a collaboration. And to play The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.