An interview with folks

My whole Folks listening spree started late last year when it was announced that the band would be supporting Miles Kane, being a big Kane fan, I got tickets. I then looked into who was supporting and this band called Folks appeared, I decided to look them up, gave them a listen and I did quite like them, so since then I have been listening and keeping up to date with the rock n roll group from Manchester. Since then, a lot of things have gone on, they've done more gigs and progressed with their music career even supporting Noel Gallagher and I have started this music blog, so I thought I'd try and get the guys to agree to an interview and with luck they said yes!

Note before reading
Scott Anderson (Vocals)
Wil Akroyd (Keyboards)
Elliot Barlow (Drums)
Michael Beasley (Guitar, MB)
Thomas Fripp (Lead Guitar, TF)
Harry Gumery (Bass, HG)

Thanks for agreeing to this interview! First of all I'd like to ask what started the idea of wanting to be in a band together? 

MB: First and foremost, we're friends and the band is like an exotic bonus. It took a whole year for us to come together. Scott (Vocals) and I had been recording for a while and knew we would have to form a band if we ever wanted to perform the songs. We took our time but within a year we had been introduced to Tom, Harry, Bill & Elliot. We purposely found ourselves a rehearsal room in the absolute middle of nowhere so there was nothing in the way of distractions and rehearsed for three weekends. We were then offered a support slot with Cardiff's 'Colorama' who are one of our favourite bands. It may have been a little too soon for us but we could hardly turn the offer down to play with them. 

TF: I was asked to join Folks before even meeting them, so it was never a case of ‘i want to be in a band with these guys’. The friendships came after we had already been playing together for a few months, so it all happened backwards really.  

HG: I think being in a band is something we all love. We knew we all got on great and I can’t really imagine anyone else being in Folks. In this case Scott and Michael came to the rest of us with a great set of songs that we all felt we could really bring to life on stage.

How did you find releasing your debut album, do you think there is a lot more to come soon? 

MB: You make a record and then you have to do one million other things before it can come out. It seems to take a while but we've been touring since our first show with Colorama last year which has kept us busy. Once the album was released in October, we got busier. Over the past few weeks we've been all over England, doing radio sessions in between shows. We have a tour with Band Of Skulls beginning this month in Glasgow. We're delighted to go back to the city since we LOVE Glasgow - we did our first Scottish show there and had a great time. We have a new single 'My Mother' coming out in December and we have our own tour in the new year. 
TF: The album was released on 1st October, was a great day because we played 2 shows in 1 night down in London. First we supported We Are Augustines at Shepherds Bush Empire, (which is an incredible venue) then we dashed off to play at the Barfly in Camden.  Our record label had kindly given us a few gifts in the form of champagne and wine which made the night even more special.

HG: When you have a finished album your initial reaction is to have it out as soon as possible. It’s difficult at times to appreciate the work that needs to go into releasing an album. When it was released I was excited that people could hear the songs how we wanted them to hear it. As for more material I think we’re just getting started. We’ve only had a couple of brief chances to try new ideas lately but it sounds absolutely electric when we do.

You've had a great year, what has been the highlight for you?

MB: There have been quite a few but I loved driving through the Swiss Alps to our first show in Italy. We had a song on repeat in the van, a tune I'd never heard before called 'Earth' by Joe Henderson. I could hardly speak, observing the mountains. On the other hand, we supported The Staves in a village called Hebden Bridge. They are three sisters from Watford who sound like heaven and hell on earth. Their album 'Dead, Born & Grown' has just come out.

TF: Many highlights for me, but the first that comes to mind was the post-show fun at our first European show with Noel Gallagher, at the Razzmatazz in Barcelona. We weren't expecting much to happen after the show apart from maybe a conversation and a drink with the odd NG fan. What happened was mental, we were bombarded by hundreds of beautiful Spanish people asking for autographs and hugs. It was great. 

HG: Our European tour supporting NGHFB was an incredible experience. We played two headline shows in Germany at the end of it. People had seen us on the support slot and then came to the headline shows. That was really inspiring.

You toured with Miles Kane last year, how did you find it? Did you gain anything from supporting another musician? 

MB: It was the first time we had a tour bus and had to have people help us get microphones, amplifiers and drums on and off stage. He had a lovely crew who showed us the ropes. We kept in touch. As for the man himself, we saw Miles perform and we knew what we had to do. We're forever in his debt for that tour.
TF: Experience and fans were the two main things we gained from those shows. It was the first time we’d played to audiences of over 100, and they were terrific audiences too. We also made a number of good friends on that tour which is always nice.

HG: Touring with Miles was our first major support slot. A very steep learning curve from the much smaller gigs we had been playing. Miles and his crew were great though, they really went out of their way to help us.

Where do you think holds the best opportunities for upcoming musicians? 
MB: Songs. 

TF: X Factor

HG: Having great songs that you can get across in an powerful live performance.

What's coming up for you? Anything exciting?

MB: Our next single, My Mother, is released soon and we plan to make some recordings in December whilst we're touring with Band Of Skulls.

TF: I’m most looking forward to meeting and playing with Band of Skulls. I started listening to them when I found out we’d be touring with them, and they’re the best band I've heard in a long time, I love them. Gonna be playing some venues we've never played before too, such as Brixton Academy and the Guildhall in Southampton.

HG: We can’t wait to start a UK tour supporting Band of Skulls in November and we have our own headline tour in January. Our new Single My Mother is out soon too.

Where was the best gig you've played, why?

MB: Le Grand Rex in Paris with NGHFB's was the first time where as a band we opened our eyes to where we were playing. I wish I had a recording of that show. I had never been to Paris before and it was remarkable for a number of reasons. Not only was the venue brilliant, the audience warmed to us - and as the support act, I hadn't seen it before. They seemed appreciative that we performed before their idol came on, like we had been a great surprise. I loved it. After the show, there was a party in the basement, with Albert Hammond, Fabrizio Moretti and Clemence Poesy. We'd never done that before. We then went to a club where a three piece band could play any song you requested. Noel began the night choosing The Kinks. Everything was great. I chose Lennon. He wasn't happy that I'd chosen 'Mother' from Plastic Ono Band. It's not party music and I've been banned from DJ'ing ever since. Harry told Noel to 'Fuck Off' but that's another story.

TF: Hard to choose, but the one that springs to mind is when we opened for Miles Kane at Leeds University. I think it was the second or third date of that tour, so we’d just got over the fears and insecurities that come with playing to so many people, and we just had loads of fun. The crowd were great too, very receptive.

HG: The day after we played Edinburgh Castle with Noel Gallagher we played a tiny basement gig in Glasgow to about 150 people. The energy in that room was unbelievable!  

As a band, who do you aspire to?

MB: Personally, George then Ringo.

TF: John Bonham

HG: We draw from a lot of different influences but I think collectively we aspire to any artist who sticks to their beliefs and truly appreciates their fans.

Have you got any advice to give to musicians starting out?
MB: Careful what you wish for.

TF: No sorry, I am still a new musician starting out so I’m afraid I have little wisdom as yet.

HG: You just have to work really hard. Like anything.

Finally, I'm gathering artists opinions on who would be their ideal Glastonbury Headliner, who would you choose and why?
MB: It would be great if The Stones retired at Glastonbury. It's only 61 KM to Stonehenge, they could be buried there. However, I'd love to hear Kid A & Amnesiac back to back.

TF: A reunited Smiths. Or more realistically, Radiohead. They’ve done it a few times before but they’re perfect for that festival.

HG: Rolling Stones, Arcade Fire, The Strokes.

I'd like to thank the lads from Folks for this great interview! If you haven't listened to Folks before, give their single, Say Something a listen;

If you'd like to catch folks live give their live dates a little look, you won't regret it!

Order their latest album, I see Cathedrals here;


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