We’ve known The Fades for quite a few years now, we have been lucky enough to have seen them a few times – bless you Windmilll Brixton!! – and were very pleased to find out a new album was on the way after 4 years from their previous effort and good 15 years from their first release who put them on the map right away.
For all of you who are not familiar with the band we hope this interview will help you get to know them and you can welcome them in your music library and hopefully your records collection too!
The Fades rose from Richmond, London, hometown of brothers Dave (vox, guitar) and James Lightfoot (bass). Completing the lineup they have lifetime school friend Jonny Barnard (guitar) and Alastair “Flash” Thorpe (drums).
After an early demo got played on Radio 1 by Steve Lamacq in 2003, their debut single “You Say” and the follow up “Life Support” were released in 2004 and kicked things off with immediate support from Zane Lowe and again Lammo. This led to them playing a good run of shows across the UK with Alcopop! band Art Brut and this put The Fades on the map. Their reputation as a great band came from their full on live shows and this got also the attention of US indie label Cranky Girl Records who signed the band. More music was released and a great stint of US gigs established them once again as a great post-punk act who could deliver unique live performances and also managed to keep their authenticity on record.
After a few years break and busy with other projects, The Fades have just re-released their brilliant 2012 album Ragnarok as a deluxe edition with the addition of their first new material in a few years. The album got praises from the music press with Louderthanwar calling it “arguably the best garage rock album since Songs for the Deaf”.
The Fades are back and are ready to take on the “new normal world” we live in with their raucous but socially distanced shows, starting this week with a sold out show at The Turks Head in Twickenham.
Ragnarock (Deluxe Edition) is available on a limited edition of 100 vinyls via the band’s Bandcamp
Listen to the album here while you read our interview with Dave.
Hello guys and thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we found your music on Musosoup and we were really impressed, we’ve been listening to the album quite a bit and we are very pleased to be chatting with you about all things The Fades.
To start with, please tell us a bit more about your musical journey, when and how you started
getting involved with music and how the band started? What was the first music you bought/downloaded and what was your favourite artist/band as a child?
I think the first two records I bought with my actual money were the Californian Raisins LP and the CD single of ‘Cat in the Cradle’ by Ugly Kid Joe….. I was lucky however, to have a very music filled childhood. My Dad is a massive music fan and had a huge collection of records that we would listen to regularly. He used to DJ for us at school discos and stuff. My Mum had some good ones too. I never really had a favourite band per se until Nirvana came along, but I was into loads of stuff. Everything from the Beatles and the Stones to Depeche Mode and OMD. Having an older Brother also meant that I was introduced to a lot of cool stuff.
First song you learnt how to play?
I think one of the first songs I learnt to play was Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin – only the riff though and not the solos. Jonny Fade taught me on my first electric guitar that I bought from him. Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix riffs, Smoke on the Water, Nirvana stuff…. My uncle gave my Brother and I an old acoustic guitar and a bass I think. I’d spend hours noodling around on it and my bro took up the bass.
What are your main influences now? Is there a particular artist or an album that inspired you
more than others?
Nirvana were a massive influence on me, but it’s hard to say on any particular artist, because luckily I was immersed in so much music and was influenced by all of it. My brother and I learnt every song from Blood Sugar Sex Magik when we were starting out and would play them together all the time, so that’s a very special album to me too. I’m a big fan of Daniel Johnston and I’ve really got into the Flaming Lips over the last few years.
Tell us a bit more about your album Ragnarok. How did it come about and how come did it
take you 4 years to follow up your debut? Don’t get me wrong, we are all for waiting for the
good stuff! FYI our favourites are The Comedian, So Much Better and Ragnarok.
We took a bit of a break around the end of the noughties, everyone was a little jaded with stuff and we were working with different projects and stuff. Al went over to Australia for a bit too. Then we had a single released in the USA, from which we decided to do a live album and then go out to the States for a short tour. This obviously reinvigorated us and we had an amazing time out there, so on our return we decided to create a new album, which became Ragnarok. The two brand new tracks ‘So Much Better’ and ‘The Comedian’ came about just before lockdown. We all subconsciously decided that we desperately needed the Fades in our lives again, so here we are!
We worked at an online festival a few weeks back and it was great to be on a “festival” site after so long but speaking with the musicians we could sense there were mixed feelings on this and on the right mindset to play just in front of a couple of cameras for an online audience… what do you think about this? Did you get much involved with live streaming during these past few months?
I think people are very keen to play again, but it’s hard to recreate the right atmosphere without fans. We have a gig coming up on Friday (9 th October) that can only be 50 capacity for obvious reasons, and it sold out almost instantly. We will be live streaming this gig on our youtube channel too. Everyone has to be seated on tables of 6 and they can’t get up and dance or anything, so it will be a bit weird, but certainly not the weirdest gig we’ve ever done. We can’t wait to play!
This is something we ask pretty much everyone we know, not just during the interviews… we are massive lovers of movie soundtracks, what is your favourite movie soundtrack? And what existing movie would you like to recreate (or even just curate) a new soundtrack for?
Good question! This is something I am really interested in. I love the Drive soundtrack, Moon, Rushmore, O, Brother Where Art Thou, Guardians of the Galaxy, Judgement Night, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, loads! I love it when I discover tracks I’ve never heard before through film.
A movie I’d like to recreate the soundtrack for – very tough question, but I think I’d love to do something nuts like From Dusk till Dawn or Commando – go full out heavy metal madness.
Free question – please ask yourself a question that you have always wanted to get asked.
Could be a question about your future plans, or a statement or just a story you’d like to share with us and our readers.
A question I have always wanted to be asked: “How much money should I put into your account?” and “Are you sure that’s enough?” LOL!! What’s your favourite Fades song?….. I would probably have to say “JOY” – it’s a track the I wrote a very long time ago and when we finally did it in the band it sounded amazing with the pounding rolling drums and riffs. It’s a track that really came alive.
Before we let you go, can you recommend a couple of great new bands/artists you are into
at the moment? Any new artists we might not have heard about?
Japanese Television, Snapped Ankles, Melt Yourself Down
Thanks so much for your time and looking forward to hearing more music from you.
Follow The Fades at the links below: