At the back of the Fears Chella van, all four members of the band huddled together in an attempt to shelter from the rain. It wasn’t the kind of weather anyone wishes for when they organise an outdoor festival, but this is what the organisers of Ashcombury Music Festival were faced with.
Having only played three gigs as Fears Chella, Andy, Chris, Ben and Tom have received the kind of reception many new bands could only dream of. Their debut single ‘Cool’ has made them one of the most exciting up and coming bands on the local scene, and it appears they’re just getting started.
How are you all?
T: Yeah all good.
Even though it’s pouring down right now!
A: Well fortunately we’re all under the tailgate right now so…
B: We’ve got beer and burgers so I’m happy.
T: We’ve got a voucher each for free food.
A: That’s our pay for the day!
Did you enjoy your set even though it was really soggy?
A: Yeah it was really good. I think it’s always going to be hard when it’s smashing it down with rain at an outdoor festival. I think it went as well it could! Everyone’s happy to be here despite the weather.
C: I wouldn’t like to be on later! Thunder and lightning!
Hopefully it will be dry later! Fears Chella are still a new band. You haven’t been a thing for that long have you?
B: Pretty new.
A: We only released our single around three months ago now. Before that we’d been together and jamming since maybe the start of the year. But basically, when we released the single, that was when we put out the social media pages. We’ve only been ticking for a few months but we’ve had a really good response to the single. Stacked up loads of plays on the song between Spotify and Soundcloud and stuff like that. It’s going really well.
It does seem like you’ve gone down pretty well, from what I’ve seen.
A: Yeah. It’s cool. We’re constantly being asked for interviews from blogs and radio stations. I feel obliged to share the blogs that reblog us, but then our Facebook feed is just filled with like 25 blogs that have done a piece about ‘Cool’. It’s all good though. You can’t knock it at all.
Are you going to release more music?
A: Yeah. I think lots of bands just spew out material, just because they feel that people won’t like them if they don’t release more stuff. But we’d rather sit on it and make sure it’s right. We just want to write and release the best songs we can. We don’t want to just release stuff just for the sake of it or go and record it in some half arsed way. So yeah we are tentative. We’ve just played an eight song set so we’ve got that and we’ve got another five or six songs on top of that. We’ve got loads of demos that we haven’t even started yet but we have rough ideas for. So there’s loads of material there, it’s just about being careful about what we release. You want people to like what you do ultimately, so there’s no point in releasing something just to get it out.
Personally, I don’t think there’s many local bands that carry the same sound as you guys. Would you agree?
A: I think we’ve definitely got our own thing going on. The way our songwriting process works is I usually bring a demo and it’s just the really basic bare bones of a song. Then we’ll work on it as a band and sort of get everyone’s personality and everyone’s style into it. I think that’s the best way to write because then you get a true representation of the members of the band and everyone’s vibes, rather than just trying to be something else and all of your songs sounding the same. Sometimes people come up to us and they’re like “Your third song sounded loads different to your sixth song”. I think people like that. Everyone likes a different song from out set. That’s the band we want to be. We don’t want to try and be something we’re not.
Release have a similar ethos. Every single they’ve released is completely different to the previous. Is that something you’d like to do?
A: The way we look at it is our instruments always generally sound the same, so it’s all down to the songs that we write and the way the that we play them. You keep that character of your sound just through the sound of your instrument. We really get on with the Release lads. They’re good mates of ours and they practice at the same place so we see them all the time. They’re writing great songs so I just wouldn’t knock it all. That’s the way some people write and all that shows to me is that they’re just writing the songs that they want to write. They’re not saying “We wanna be like our first single” and try and re-write that over and over, they’re just writing what they love and coming and playing it. I think there’s a lot to be said for that.
Their set sounded amazing earlier!
A: We pulled up as they came on–
C: We thought “That sounds like Release!”
A: We were like “Yep, that definitely sounds like Release!”
So what shows have you got coming up? What gigs have you played?
A: We played the Night & Day in Manchester and we played a show at The Sugarmill with Broken Flags and both of those went down really well. We’ve played today and then the next show we’ve got lined up is supporting All Twins at The Sugarmill in October.
T: October 14th
A: After that we’re just looking at booking up tours and stuff like that. We’re in talks with loads of different bands and it’s just about picking the right one really. We don’t want to go off and spend loads of time touring with people we don’t like. We try and approach bands that we’re good mates with and we think are cool and have got a sound that compliments ours. We’re just talking that out at the moment. We’re got a lot of management and booking agent interest, so we’re just sort of playing it cool and just trying to pick the right thing.
It’s great that you’ve got interest. Am I right in thinking you’re also based in Manchester?
A: We’re sort of based between Stoke and Manchester yeah. I used to live in Manchester and we’ve all spent a lot of time there. It’s so close to Stoke. Our first show was at Night & Day in Manchester. I think it’s good for us because we get a really good response from the Manchester scene. We played Night & Day and we didn’t take that many people with us, but loads of people were messaging us leading up to it. We played to like a hundred people that we’d never met before. They’d just found us on social media or on Spotify or something. We were like woah this is crazy. People were coming up to us after the show asking us for photos and stuff like that. That was our first show and we’ve found that at every show we’ve played since. At The Sugarmill we saw loads of people that we’d never met, who just showed up on the door. Afterwards they were like “Can we have a picture?”. They were blogging about it and putting it on social media. It was really cool.
B: It says a lot when a young lad came up to me and bought 16 tickets, straight off. That’s something you don’t usually get when you’re a band and you’re just starting off.
Wow. It must help to give you a boost?
A: Oh yeah. You’ve got to love what you’re doing and we do. It’s absolutely pissing it down like today and it would be really easy for everyone to go inside, but we got up on stage and we enjoyed playing our set. We love what we do. We’re just four mates who go out and play music and I think if you’ve got a band like that, then you’ll never really have a bad gig. You just show up and you do it and you love doing it. It doesn’t matter who you play to or where you play, you’ll just do it and love it.
I was talking to James from Delamere and we were saying that Facebook has become a massive promoter in itself. You don’t even need a promoter sometimes because social media does it all for you.
A: Yeah definitely. You can make something massive just through Facebook alone.
B: We’ve found that with Instagram. We’ve found that Instagram has been the one that’s taken off for us.
A: Yeah. We put the single out and quite early on a lot of people reposted it. A few music blogs wrote pieces about it and they had loads of followers on Instagram, so over the course of like two weeks we went from having 70 followers and a brand new Instagram page, to 2000 followers literally over night.
B: We’re just short of five and a half now.
A: It just shows you the power of social media. All of these people that come and see us at shows and buy tickets, I guess that’s where they find us. It’s just such a powerful tool.
That’s pretty impressive! So what’s next for Fears Chella?
A: We’re trying to line some tours up. We’re talking about studio time as well, but we’re just trying to find the right producer.We’ve had a lot of producers approach us so again, it’s just about going through the right people. Picking someone who really digs what we’re doing and is really going to benefit our sound and help us move forward. So yeah I guess touring is our next thing. And the All Tvvins show in August–
A:…October.*laughs* Not August.
Haha! Are you going to go back in time and play the 14th August?
A: Yeah I’m gonna get my time machine, go back and play the gig. No it’s October the 14th. I like how no one else picked up on it though. Everyone else was like “Yeah, I’ll just leave him to it”.
It’s okay. I’ve got your back.