Interview: Fanfarlo

By on Monday, 20th July 2009 at 6:59 pm

Fanfarlo (side)We’ve mentioned those lovely Fanfarlo guys before, and ahead of a busy summer (which sees them playing the ace Truck Festival this weekend, and a number of smaller ones over the next few months) we haven’t had time so far to do a decent “Bands to Watch” piece on them, so instead Simon from the band sat down and took the time to introduce themselves to us.

Hello Fanfarlo. What are you up to today?

Writing new songs mostly. Went to London fields today to play ping pong on the concrete table they’ve got but it was taken by some very intimidating players so I went and bought a bagel on Broadway Market instead. London fields is an odd place for all its quaintness. Last time I went there people were having picnics at seven in the morning, and the time before that there was a stabbing.

How did you all meet?
Like blood cells, we coagulated around a foreign object in the form of a Swedish recording project, introduced in the body of the London scene by Simon Balthazar a few years ago.

Your name’s a bit of a strange one. Where did you get it from?
I was reading a lot of French symbolists at the time and happened upon a novella by Baudelaire called La Fanfarlo – the name sort of stuck. We like how it is sort of language-ambiguous and sounds like ‘fanfare’.

Where abouts are you all from?

We all live in London, but I’m from Sweden and Cathy comes from Belgium via Italy.

What are your influences?
Coming from odd post punk and pop like Talking Heads, Television and Orange Juice, via American indie and folk like Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control and early Modest Mouse, but also coloured by more recent orchestrated folk like Beirut and Sufjan Stevens.

Other music we love includes old country and rockabilly like Jacques Dutronc and Townes Van Zandt – and anything that has saw and clarinet in it or sounds like it is coming from an attic; ‘Delicatessen’ and the soundtrack of ‘The Kill Off’ come to mind, as does Stina Nordenstam.

We are also pretty big on books, philosophy and vegetarian cooking.

What are you guys listening to at the moment?

Today Roy Orbison, Lykke Li and Riceboy Sleeps. And the Beck reissue of One Foot in the Grave. Finding myself not as excited by the new Dirty Projectors album as I thought I would be. But maybe it’ll grow on me. And the new video is incredible. We’re making a video soon, I hope it will be as good. Llamas!?

A lot of people in the press are getting excited about the festivals at the moment. Are you big festival fans? Any amusing festival tales to share from previous experiences?

Justin fell into a fire at Glastonbury last year but emerged unscathed, albeit covered in ashes. Mind you this was even BEFORE the weed came out. We’re not massive festival fans – festivals don’t tend to be that much about the music but more about getting wasted in a muddy field and paying lots of money for it. Generally speaking there are many better places/ways to get wasted. However there are exceptions like ATP and Primavera which are both excellent.

You guys certainly seem a lot more intelligent and interesting than the Lady Gagas of this world. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the music world today?

Probably mainly that people don’t want to pay for records any longer. It of course has the positive side that it’s bringing about the slow downfall of the major labels, however in general it’s a bad thing and musicians are suffering directly from it. But I suppose there’s no point in moaning about it. It bugs me sometimes how very hype driven things are.

Finally, you mentioned that you’re pretty big on vegetarian cooking… care to share a favourite recipe with us? Are you all vegetarian, or just a few?

Approximately half of the band, it varies. Yesterday I made an aubergine and olive omelette with parmesan and nutmeg, that was wicked. We’ve started bringing a small blender with us on tour and requesting fruit and soya milk on our rider, so that we can make smoothies when we’re waiting around. Soya milk + banana + peanut butter = bliss.

MP3: Fanfarlo – Finish Line
MP3: Fanfarlo – Pilot

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