10 for 2011 Interview: Fenech-Soler

By on Thursday, 16th December 2010 at 2:00 pm

Ben Duffy of Fenech-Soler tells us a brief history of their band, the benefits and disadvantages to living in Kings Cliffe and how they plan to spend the holidays…

Congratulations on finishing #8 in our 10 of 2011 poll of bands to watch next year. Unfortunately, we don’t have a trophy or anything to give you, but please know that it was the faithful readers of TGTF that voted to give you your place on this list. Although we risk sounding like the reporters on the red carpet at the BAFTAs, we want to know, how do you feel about this achievement?
Honoured. We have big plans for 2011, so it’s very nice so to recognised in December 2010.

Tell us a little about yourselves – how long have you been together, how you guys got together as a band?
We’re from a little corner of Northamptonshire and we’ve been making music for about 3 years. Myself and Ross are brothers and we went to school with Dan who plays bass. We met Andrew our drummer in a local studio when we had saved up enough money to record a demo CD along time ago. The rest is history…

Kings Cliffe seems an unlikely place to spawn an electronic band. When you started Fenech-Soler, did you always play this sort of music, or did you go through phases of experimentation (and if so, what were they?)
Our sound is definitely something that has grown over time and as a result of playing continuously. We always felt it was important to go out and play when we could and run that at the same time as recording. Everything we’ve done as a band has been done in a very DIY fashion so in the early stages it was about trial and error. There has always been a strong electronic core to everything we do… We just like spending hours in our hideaway!

What advantages and disadvantages are there from being from a small place like Kings Cliffe? Are you still based there or have you moved to the city?
One of us has moved! The rest of us haven’t had the time to make the transition yet. We spend a lot of time in London, which is great, but from a writing perspective I think we’ve always valued the silence of the county. We don’t feel influenced by a London scene or anything and that certainly wasn’t where we came form as a band. We’ve always had an outward perspective. A clear disadvantage is our East Coast train bill every week.

What singers and/or bands do you consider your greatest influences?
I think we just have an appreciation for good music in all forms. Today Radiohead ‘In Rainbows’ has consumed my day. It varies all the time. The new Kelis record is great. We played with her on Monday so that’s been on repeat.

Whose idea was the cattle skull in your press photos?
It was something we found lying around the studio on the day of the shoot. Completely random…

Tell us about your 2010. What was the best moment of the year for you as a band? What moment would you like to forget?
2010 has been an amazing year for us. We’ve traveled loads and had the opportunity to play over 100 shows. Being nominated for a Q Award was a massive achievement for us. Dockville Festival in Germany was quite eventful. In the end it was one of our best European festival shows but we got locked in our dressing room and had a long night! Maybe that experience could be forgotten. Not the festival though… That was good.

What’s something about your band that most people do not know or would not guess?
Our drummer Andrew has only one musical goal: to be the producer featured in Future Magazine. Once he achieves this, it’s questionable whether he will stay in the band.

Name something you’d like to do in 2011 that you have never done before.
This sounds obvious but I would like to do it…play Glastonbury. Last time I was there we were just starting the band so it would be nice to come back and actually be playing.

How are you planning to spend your holidays this year?
In our new studio, making Christmas-themed musical compositions and eating mince pies.

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[…] debut album, released in the UK last fall, in what Fenech-Soler singer Ben Duffy describes as “a little corner of Northamptonshire“ and their “hideaway” makes it all the more unlikely. Their name came up often in […]

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