Interview – Fyfe Dangerfield

January 20, 2010 by  

With his debut solo release, Fly Yellow Moon out this week, and a short run of intimate live dates to showcase the material, things are busier than ever for Guillemots front man Fyfe Dangerfield. We caught up with him for a quick chat to see how he’s getting on without his band mates and to find out what’s in store over the next twelve months…

So, your solo album was released this week – exciting times! How does it feel compared to your other releases with Guillemots etc.?
Well in terms of the live shows maybe more nerve-racking, but otherwise it sort of feels quite similar really. . .the record’s already quite old to me, a lot of it was done a year ago, but I’m really proud of the record and just happy it’s coming out really. That sounds like the blandest answer imaginable but its true!

Actually, I’m surprised you’ve got time to release a solo record with all the other musical stuff you’ve got going on…
I think I probably function best when I’m busy. When I have too much free time I just tend to waste it, though I’m working on that.

Are you looking forward to playing the solo stuff live?
Yeah, it’s scary because it’s just me, or at least focused on me – I do have a couple of string players with me for these gigs for some of the set. I just had my first gig in Birmingham last night, and it was a bit of a shambles! But you learn from each gig you do. On the bright side, I think bits of last night worked really well, so I’ll keep those elements and try other stuff tonight in place of some of the other bits. It’s just a gradual refining process. Like sugar or something.

The deluxe edition of Fly Yellow Moon looks lush…
Thank you! I worked with a great photographer and then designer which was great this time round, after not such great experiences with the Red artwork.

Have you released it because you really wanted to get the ‘extra’ songs out there into the world?
Why did you decide just to go for the ten tracks on the album?
Yeah, I really want everyone to hear these other 10 tracks too – really, I always want people to hear everything… It’s the same with Guillemots. Some of our B-sides are the things I’m proudest of – like the group of B-sides for Get Over It, which personally I think are a million times stronger than the A-side… but on the other hand, much as I was tempted to put out a double album, I did quite like the idea of trying to make a ‘classic’ length album -as in, one that would fit on one side of an old C90 tape. So that was kind of my thinking with this one. But yeah, I hope people get to hear the bonus stuff one way or another. I think later in the year it will hopefully be released digitally, but for now we’re keeping it as an exclusive for people who order the special edition.

Can you pick out any tracks that you feel particularly attached to?
Well Barricades is a song that for me has a particular resonance to a particular moment in time. But musically, maybe So Brand New and Firebird are my two favourites on the album. They are the two that seem to fit me with me best at the moment anyway.

Tell me about the track with auto tune! Have you gone all Kanye on us?!
Computer Game, it’s called! Yeah, was just a bit of a daft late-night studio moment. Adam, who recorded everything, put it on as a bit of a joke and we ended up liking the obtuseness of it!

So we know you’ve got pop, jazz, classical and experimental covered – are there any other genres that take your fancy?
Oh I don’t know, sometimes I get so frustrated at wanting to do so many different things in music – I find it hard to stick at one thing to the point where I get really good at it. But then you can’t turn yourself into someone you’re not. I just genuinely love so much different stuff! It’s like being in a shop and picking up something, and then being like, hang on, that one’s even nicer!…

‘She Needs Me’ is great for beating the January blues. Did you have fun making the video? Was it odd not having your band-mates around you for this one?
The video was done with a good bunch of people so it was fun in that respect. Videos are never THAT fun to make though, or not ones where you’re just being so normal. I did also freeze my tits off for the outside shots. But yeah, it was one of the more enjoyable shoots I’ve been in…

What are your musical plans for 2010? You’re working on the next Guillemots album, right?
Yeah, that’s my main thing really. We’ve been writing for most of last year and want to make an absolutely astonishing album that we know we have in us. It’s just a case of filtering out enough stuff to make it coherent but keeping enough ‘stuff’ to make it really interesting. I could get into a sauce and seasoning analogy here but I won’t….but yeah. . .we’re cooking something up!

Angela Slater


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