Interview: Five Minutes with The Fratellis

The Fratellis, like many musicians at the moment, have been learning to adapt to the current global circumstances that are dictating the industry at the moment. The Scottish rock band from Glasgow has had its own share of frustrations with postponed album releases and tours, however, they have been seen reaching out to the public on multiple levels – going so far as to even set up an official Reddit AMA. Fans were also treated to the release of one single, ‘Six Days In June’ and their track, ‘Strangers In The Street’ both of which revealed a tempting glimpse into their upcoming album, Half Drunk Under A Full Moon (available on the 30th of October). All proceeds from ‘Strangers In The Street’ will go towards Covid-19 related charities.

Find more information on this initiative here.

Learn more about how one of the biggest names in the indie-rock scene are evolving in the exclusive interview below.

You’ve recently had to postpone your upcoming Half Drunk Under A Full Moon album release as well as the tour surrounding it, with a mixture of disappointment and understanding arising from your fans. Despite the challenges on this front, what has this time afforded you personally and professionally?

Whilst it’s disappointing for us and any fans who would have been coming to our shows, I don’t think it’s as important as the effect the cancelling of all live music & theatre etc is having on the livelihoods of everyone whose job it is to put shows on. I really hope there’s a solution to that issue before too long. As for using the sudden free time, as luck would have it all the years of touring has been good practice for sitting around endlessly, waiting to be told we can make some noise again!

Many people have sought comfort in music and creative media while going through self-isolation. Has this period shed some light on interesting/new ways of engaging with your audience and sharing your work that you would like to explore further in the future?

We’ve done the odd bit online here and there and we’re pretty open to any new ideas in that environment, but speaking for myself there’s a magic that happens when you have musicians and an audience in the same space together that I’m pretty sure can’t be replicated in any other way, we can have approximations of it but the real thing is a world all of its own. Still, we can be an industrious bunch when push comes to shove so you never know what new ideas we might dream up.

What are you all looking forward to the most when you can finally get back on the road with Half Drunk Under A Full Moon?

I think by the time we’re able to play live again it’ll probably be three years since we last did a full tour so at first, I’ll just be curious to see if we can still do it! I find having some new songs to play gives you a spring in your step which has an effect on the whole live set. It can bring older songs to life in a way that makes the whole thing even more enjoyable so I’m looking forward to having that experience again. Also, I think that when people are allowed to go to shows again there’ll probably an outpouring of enthusiasm that I’m looking forward to getting caught up in.

Do you automatically approach a new album, tour or project with previous work in mind? Are new projects necessarily “follow-ups” from previous ones?

I think new albums are almost always a reaction to the previous one even when you’re not aware of it. Usually, when I start writing for a new album everything that comes out is an exercise in not wanting to go over the same ground as before but this time the songs that I wrote were a continuation of some threads from our last album. I felt there were some things that I wanted to run with a bit more so those few songs became the starting point for the new ones. I think those threads have been pulled enough now so I’m already starting to follow some ideas to take us away from Half Drunk Under A Full Moon. I love this record but there would be no point in trying to repeat it.

Considering the very complicated and heavy global political and social climate, do you feel that music should be a reflection of this, or an escape from this? How do you find a balance here?

Anyone who writes or creates will know instinctively which direction they want to go. I  actually think it’s pretty difficult to write topically and pull it off convincingly – you can’t fake those songs or statements, you have to really feel it in the gut. I’ve heard various people over the years say that art and politics should be kept apart but that would be like trying to keep life apart from itself. Personally, any outrage I feel at certain injustices doesn’t translate to being able to sum it up in a song, I just don’t have that skill. Thankfully there are people who can do it, or else we wouldn’t have had ‘Killing In The Name‘ or ‘Gimme Some Truth‘ and the musical landscape would be desperately worse off for it.

What are some words of hope and encouragement you would like to offer your fellow creative professionals?

For what it’s worth, there are people out there for whom what you do is at times the defining event of their lives and that’s a pretty good reason to get out of bed in the morning.

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Written by Alaric Hobbes and Sarah Britton