(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #114: Charlotte of The Fontaines

By on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at 1:00 pm

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. Today’s installment comes via Charlotte Fontaine, who with her brother Hank are Los Angeles ‘new-wop’ act The Fontaines.

I have a funny story about how I discovered them. As we all know, there have been some contentious battles over which band with a specific name came first, the American or the British one, and who gets to keep the name and who has to affix “US” or “UK” (or something similar) to their name or worse, legal action ensues (don’t forget Hinds almost getting sued by The Dears). I was Googling for “The Fontaines” for our Live at Leeds 2016 preview last year, and apparently there’s a British band with the same exact name. Unfortunately for them, I found the American Fontaines first and there’s really no contest between them. Charlotte’s singing style is influenced by her love of doo-wop and Motown, and anyone like me who grew up on those classics, their sound really hits the spot, accompanied by a funky pop backing. Charlotte was game to answer our SXSW 2017 flavoured Quickfire Questions, so read on for her answers below.

To catch The Fontaines performing at SXSW 2017, we’ve been advised they’ll be appearing at Burger Records’ afternoon snowcase at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom on Thursday 16 March, The Planetary Group’s nighttime showcase at Tellers on Thursday 16 March and the Grammy Museum showcase featuring L.A. bands at the Market and Tap Room on the evening of Friday 17 March. As always, we suggest you checking in with each individual SXSW 2017 showcasing artist’s Facebook and other social media accounts, along with the official SXSW schedule, to confirm appearances closer to the time.


Describe your music / sound in three words.
Textured, temperamental, and taffy.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Eating! I keep hearing it’s one of the best food cities in the U.S.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Caddywhompus, what a name!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
A steamer for my voice. It looks like a very doctor-friendly bong.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I mean, if it’s a restaurant and bar, I’ll take the lobster. [A foodie…we’re going to be BFFs! – Ed.]

What was your favourite album of 2016, and why?
I’m so out of touch…what came out last year? I was listening to a lot of Nina Simone.

Will this be the first time you’ve played to American audiences? What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
It’s our first time playing SXSW, and so far we’ve heard it’s super crowded and a little insane. I can’t wait to perform in a new state!

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon.

What was your favourite song as a child?
I could not get enough of ‘Straight Up’ by Paula Abdul when I was in fifth grade. I made everyone who came over listen to it on my CD player.


What song always makes you laugh?
‘New Mistake’ by Jellyfish makes me smile.

What song always makes you cry?
‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King.


What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
I’ve never been in love.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
‘Fireflies’ by Owl City reminds me of my unrequited 9th grade crush. I cried to that song for a full school-week!

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’ by James Brown.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Charles Bukowski and Charlotte Bronte are at the top of my list.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Professional basketball player. At 5 feet tall, my body was just meant for that path.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
‘Tapestry’ by Carole King. Gotta have a little bit of heartbreak in heaven.

Many thanks to Charlotte of The Fontaines for answering these questions!

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