FRANC MOODY – Interview

Franc Moody gaben Anfang des Monats ihr Berlindebüt und das gleich vor ausverkauftem Hause in der Berghain Kantine. Dass wir Fans der Briten sind, ist seit dem Soundtrack des Sonntags klar und natürlich konnten wir sie nicht einfach so die Bühne betreten lassen, ohne ihnen vorher ein paar Fragen zu stellen. Spätestens nach dem Interview wollen wir doch alle in diese Fan Whats-App Gruppe…

To give people who don’t know you yet an idea of what Franc Moody is about: If you had to make up a slogan for your band, what would it be?
Jon: Craggy! DIY craggy funk.
Ned: A little rough around the edges, low-fi, not perfect, a little bit shitty, more raw, rough and not polished.

Is hat something that is important to you?
Jon: Yes, sometimes when stuff gets too polished, especially musically it loses a little bit character and candour. Especially the music that we are trying to do, the cross over into the dance world. I think that’s where it ended up sitting cause it is not a polished dance tune. For example: We take Ned’s guitar and rather than contising every little bit, you kind of find the best bit that you played and take that rather than auto tuning the vocals so it’s perfect. There is a little bit of feel there so it’s more natural.
Ned: A human element. Keeping that human imperfection. You can suck the life out of a take if you tune the vocals so it’s perfectly on key. If you move a drum so it’s perfectly on the beat. If everything is perfect there is no soul to it. While if the vocals –like most humans would do– are slightly out and the drums out, keys a little bit off – that is character!
Jon: It’s not like we try, we just don’t use the methods available to make it polished. We try to play with soul and meaning.

What do you think about people using autotune as a style element?
Jon: I think it can sound very hip, though it is overused.
Ned: I abhor when it’s used in a way to just mask a vocal. But when it’s a feature in a vocal sound that’s really cool. When we are writing songs we never use it, but we did do a session once where– to come up with ideas– they would put the microphone in front of us that was set to autotune. Not as a take but just to come up with ideas and that was quite interesting.
Jon: So just riffing over melodies and singing some stuff that comes into your head. With the autotune it kind of clicks into the melody rather the kind of nonsense stuff that comes into your head. That was rather cool.
Ned: But for us: No. The imperfections are what make you distinct from another person. What’s the point of getting rid of that.

According to your press text, one of your inspirations is the contrast between the digital world we live in and everyday life stuff.
Ned: That’s someone’s pretty good general analogy of the band, I guess marrying those two that’s the cragginess. The analogue and the digital world. If we are getting a bit highbrow about this it’s what we are in real life. I remember reading about how Elon Musk said that humans nowadays are AI now anyways because they have more information at their disposal.
Jon: Musically as well, that is how the whole project started. Ned and I wanted to work together, we started writing for other people and found this little studio we moved into. Before that we would always record with a real drummer recording on tape and stuff. In the new room, we couldn’t fit a drummer in there so we started using programmed drums, which was weird for us. And we found a way to make it sound better was to crank it up in the mix a little bit, kind of dance music kind of style mix of those drums. So, there is a bit of mix of an analogue guitar and old craggy organs we had in the studio. Percussions, soul shakers on top of a synthesized kick-drum. Still the drums sound kind of live-ish but there was that balance and we still use a few very electronic elements. So yes, it’s kind of blending those two worlds from the music to how we go about live.

© st.weicken

But how important do you think the digital world has become for a musician nowadays.
Jon: I think it is pretty important, yes. It’s kind of amazing when you think, you can have a room full of 200 people here tonight but a post can reach however many people you have got on Instagram. It is really powerful. We have to train ourselves pretty rigorously to deal with it cause it’s not natural to both of us.
Ned. There are elects that are wicked on there, elements that are easy to get across your music and get your music in front of people, it’s incredible. At the same time, you don’t want to be in front of your phone all the time and elements that are addictive.
Jon: It’s cool that we are doing a tour like this and we haven’t got a massive Instagram following but the live thing is very energetic. I wouldn’t have it that way around that we have a hundred thousand followers on Instagram but two people coming to the show. But hopefully it will build up.

Let’s talk about your new single „Dream in Colour”and the video.
Jon: The video we were thinking about how to perceive this transition into dreaming in colour. And we had a few ideas but nothing really locked into place. So, this girl Marta Brodacka came up with the idea of doing it through dance. From robotic dance to more fluid which was cool.
Ned: I guess the song it’s a nod to loosing up and let go of the rigidity a little bit.
Jon: Personally, it made a lot of sense when we were writing it and talking about the whole gig scenario. All these people coming together with all their tension and their whole history and then you get in this space and get to share this energy together and you loosen up. That was one of the ways I looked at it when we were writing it.
Ned: Just letting go a little bit and let the good things and the colour of life take over. I guess the video is trying to mirror that.

YouTube video

How long have you known each other?
Jon: 10 years now I think.
Ned: we meet through a mutual friend of bluesy band and Jon. And a mate from the band said you know this guy Jon Moody he’s a killer keys player you got to get him along.
Jon: It was my first tour really. And then I was involved with another band alongside from Neddy’s band and we ended up building this studio together in Tottenham, it was collective of all of us.

The Arch!
Jon: Exactly! You know that classic thing where like 15 of us in it together were gonna get that knocked together in two weeks. And then three years later basically nothing has been done but it was wicked, it was such a cool space. Really craggy out there, old typing machines and just dust and dirt. I actually built a room in there and ended up living there. But we used to put on these parties which is the thing I think we both take away from it more than anything. We didn’t have money to pay the rent or put it up so we thought we put on a gig and they end up being these incredible all-nighters. Squeezing people in there like sardines all totally on the cusp of turning to shit, a bit illegal but fucking fun. We would play till like three in the morning.
Ned: The communal vibe of building that warehouse was a really inspiring thing to do but the warehouse parties…it was a lovely spirit.
Jon: And that is why we put on a rave in London the other day. Ned and I couldn’t really go back there for various reasons but we found a place quite near buy and said let’s do another one! It’s been to long! It was really fun just a 200-capacity place. Just our biggest fans who we have a What’s App group for.

You have a What’s App group for your biggest fans? How do people get in?
Jon: There is a link that we post now and again.
Ned: For everybody who wants to get in. It’s pretty good. There’s info about releases and for example the rave was just for them.
Jon: We released the tour today, tickets go on sale on Friday but people in the group can buy tickets tomorrow. It’s been lovely cause everyone in the group is so good spirited and there is nothing but fun and a little bit of banter.
Ned: There are funny little inside jokes and it’s really fun when social media things are really good and organic.

Why did the parties stop at the arch?
Jon: The Arch kind of just fell apart. It was a good thing because Ned and I were like. Let’s work together. We were kind of done with the band thing, we started writing for other people and then we got an amazing management and after a few months they said we should start a band. And we were like. No! But then we thought we could do a little better this time and we’ll give it a go. So that is how that started but the raves are back on in a big way. We’re going to be doing them every couple of month I think.
Ned: I think we’re going to try some here in Berlin and in Dublin and Amsterdam. Trying to keep the spirit but take it to different places, that’d be quite fun.

Franc Moody Tour:
12.03. 20 Gebäude 9, Köln
13.03.20 Säälchen, Berlin
14.03.20 Bahnhof Pauli, Hamburg

YouTube video


Foto-und Videographin, Fotoredakteurin und Bedroomdisco-Lover

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