It was evident from the moment Fears Chella first bounded onto the local music scene, around 12 months ago, that they were more than just a regular band. The buzz that seemed to immediately encase them was spellbinding and when they released their debut single ‘Cool’, things went from zero to one hundred pretty quickly.
The band, made up of Andy Gannon, Ben Tansey, Tom O’Neill and Dylan Mellor, have since gained interest from far and wide, notably getting airplay on Huw Stephens’ BBC Radio 1 show. “It was pretty unreal,” Andy tells me. “Me and Tom just sat in his car in the pouring rain listening to the whole show, waiting to hear it get played. There are some moments in life that just have this huge resonance with you and for me that was one of them.” It’s no surprise. For a band who’ve only released two singles to date, the hype surrounding them is that of a band with a huge future ahead of them.
Since releasing ‘Cool’ last summer, Fears Chella have been gigging continuously, playing some sizeable shows to crowds both locally and nationally and grabbing support slots for All Tvvins, Honeyblood and PINS, as well as writing and recording their brand new single ‘Girlfriend’. The reaction to ‘Cool’ was overwhelming to observe, but even more so to experience and I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who wondered how they’d ever be able to top that, with their next release. But it seems the band weren’t concerned. “I write a lot. Most days I’ll write something, so having material is never a problem. But when you come to release it, all the people around you tell you to record and release different songs. With Cool we just went with our gut and we did the same with ‘Girlfriend’. I guess there are times when you’ve got to listen to people and times when you’ve just got to do whatever you want.”
‘Girlfriend’ is three and a half minutes of fun, with a catchy chorus to go with it. It has Chella written all over it and opens another door in their signature grunge sound. “It’s about our need to be loved as people; our desire and need to belong” Gannon explains. “It’s more than just ‘I want you to be my Girlfriend’. It’s the deep mess, about feeling like that feeling of belonging can save us from this insane world around us, where everything is pretty fucked up.” Not only have Gannon and the rest of the band produced a track big enough to make you get up and get down, but lyrically, they’ve penned a feeling that is relatable across all generations. “Personally, that feeling of belonging has always been one of the big things that pulled me into music. I didn’t feel like I fitted into the other clichés I guess and so Girlfriend is more about how we yearn for that feeling of belonging.”
So what’s next for Fears Chella? More singles or something more substantial? It seems Gannon is remaining tight lipped on the subject. “We’re back in the studio very soon, you’ll have to keep you eyes peeled for when they’re out!” As for shows, the band continue to keep pushing, with a handful of exciting gigs coming up. “We’ve got a killer string of three shows at the start of April. On the 1st April we’re at the Baltic Social for Threshold Festival, 3rd April we’re at Gulliver’s in Manchester supporting LIFE and on the 8th April, we’re at the Sugarmill in Stoke supporting King No-One, so we’ve got a mental couple of weeks! After that we’re back in the studio…”
The sun is most definitely not going down on Fears Chella just yet. With two singles served hot, with extra helpings of their secret Chella ingredient and a continual stream of live shows, Andy, Ben, Tom and Dylan are at the top of their game and rising. Stoke today, tomorrow the world.