Interview: The LaFontaines [July 2015]

By Lais

We had a quick chat with The LaFontaines about their debut album ‘Class’, playing main stage at the upcoming T In The Park in their homeland of Scotland, and how you go about describing a band that simply can’t be pigeonholed.

Hey guys! Your debut album, ‘Class’, came out last month. How’s it been going down?

It’s been pretty surreal. We’ve been excited to let people hear it for a while now so it’s been great to see the reactions and read the reviews. It’s our first fully independent release so to see it enter the charts was definitely a humbling achievement. I believe it was also very well reviewed in Punktastic itself which is obviously the main thing right? (and thank you all very much)

How would you describe the sound of the album to someone who hasn’t heard it yet? And how would you describe your sound in general?

I’m not sure we’ve ever really answered this question without it sounding absolutely terrible. We’re just five guys that enjoy quite varied types of music and somehow that seems to translate into a mash of alternative rock/punk/hip hop. Every review I’ve ever read uses the line “It really sounds like it shouldn’t work but it does” and I think that sums it up about as well as possible. A lot of the time we just describe it as party music now, which is much easier and occasionally helps to avoid the obvious cross over comparisons that don’t really sound anything like us.

Give us a bit of background about the band – when, where and how did you start? And how did you get to where you are today?

Myself (Findlay) and Kerr met in high school, where we were both doing our own terrible musical projects and we decided to try to write some stuff together. I think our first attempt was actually a sort of rip off of Baz Luhrmann – ‘Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen’, only in a much more Scottish fashion. I think it still exists on the Internet somewhere, although hopefully in a dark enough corner that no one will ever hear it again. From there we recruited everyone else from various local bands that we liked until we settled on the lineup we have today.

You’ve just finished a big tour of the UK. How did that go? Any standout moments for you?

It was the first time we’ve ever attempted a headline tour in England so that was pretty special for us. Even just the fact that people came out was a pretty big deal but the turnout we got for our London show was likely a stand out. That was absolutely crazy. We’re actually back down at the end of this week for some shows with a band called Doomtree, so we’re looking forward to getting back into it.

You’ll be playing T In The Park soon. How are you feeling about that?

Pretty fucking excited. We first played T in the Park going through the usual application process for unsigned bands and playing on the T Break stage so to progress to opening the Main Stage is a huge deal for us.  I think Biffy Clyro are the only other unsigned band to ever do so, so we’re in good company.

Your album was produced by Matt O’ Grady, who has also worked with the likes of You Me At Six and Don Broco. How did you find that experience?

Matty is absolutely incredible. We’ve always been told that it’s difficult to capture what we sound like live but he really did nail it. He also has homemade football targets like the ones you get in training mode when you play Fifa and occasionally takes recording breaks to practise his shooting with them up the park. So not only is he a master of recorded sound but of Beckham style free kicks which is really all you ever need in life.

What have you got coming up after this? And what are you most excited about in the next year?

This year is all about giving the album the best chance we can and getting as many people to hear it as possible. We have some big gigs to announce later in the year but can’t disclose just yet unfortunately…

What are your biggest ambitions as a band? Where would you like to see yourselves in five years?

I think we all just want to get to the point we can dedicate all of our time to making music and touring this little project of ours across the rest of the world. That’s all we’ve ever wanted really. We’ve already started to write for album number 2 so stay tuned.


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