Welcome to the Freakshow – Fatal Smile interviewed
Hailing from Sweden and known for their party reputation and fierce, make-up smothered image; Fatal Smile was a band that promised to be fun to interview. Sat in the bar of World’s End, Camden, guitarist Mr Y and drummer Philty, relaxed in casual clothes and flat hair and had a chat with JJ Lee – a world away from the leather-clad, white-faced rockers that would later burst onto the stage downstairs.
What made you decide to self-produce the latest album 21st Century Freaks?
Philty: If you can produce a Cd that’s totally self-produced, if you can do everything, you get everything 100% pure of the sound from that band.
Mr Y: After working with legends such as Stefan Glaumann and Michael Wagener it felt natural to go and do it. We had loads to choose from but picking the 11 on the album was easy.
Philty: I still think one of the bonus tracks is the best. Maybe we’ll release a bonus track in the future.
So there’s something for fans to look forward to in the coming months. Did they enjoy producing it themselves?
Philty: We fucking hated it. We did it every day for a year. Like 9, 10 hours a day.
Mr Y: Yeah it sucked. We were so close to a nervous breakdown. But by the end it was fucking sweet. I don’t know if we’ll do it again, time will tell. Our sound totally developed more. It was better this was because we had the time and knowledge to do it. We had something in our heads, the way we wanted to have it and we didn’t stop until we had it on tape.
That would explain the long days in the studio then. Writing wise, “everyone puts in their shit together. What was it like recording? Do you collaborate, write separately etc?
Mr Y: It’s like a big fucking happy family, at the end.
Philty : (points to Mr Y) He’s the riff master, the riff lord! He records these real old-fashioned demos. He even has a drum machine that doesn’t stay in time. How do you even do that?
What are your thoughts on playing in the UK? How do you like the scene here?
Mr Y: The UK fucking rules.
Philty: Camden’s great, I love Camden.
Mr Y: We don’t get the biggest clubs to play but the people here are diehard. The UK has always been more of a punk scene though. It’s a great mix of everything; you get people you don’t see in Sweden. We really like it.”
Philty: In Sweden, metal is huge, really big. A lot of kids play metal.
So what makes you stand out in the genre?
Mr Y: The music? Or the good looking guys?
Philty: Check out our newWelcome to the Freak Show video. It’s like 4 30-second clips of just what we feel like and what we want to do.
Mr Y: It’s all about kick ass music and having fun. We actually do we love so playing music, getting drunk and getting laid.
Do you feel the new, stronger image helps?
Mr Y: Yeah, before this album we had a class hard rock image, ordinary rock’n’roll make-up and every fucking review we got they said good looking guys blah blah blah and there was no fucking focus on the music.”
Philty : We’re trying to look worse, switch it off a bit.”
Mr Y: We look worse but we play better. So it’s good.
How has the live show developed with the new album?
Philty: Loads more fire. Lots more bombs. But we can’t bring any of that here.
Mr Y: That really sucks. It’s a shame we couldn’t bring it but hopefully for the next festival we can bring it all.
What’s it like on tour with Fatal Smile?
Philty: Well there are about 6 or 7 of us.
Mr Y: Well you know, we always say like, we’re not going to drink tonight or whatever but it always ends the same way. It’s like a ticking fucking bomb
Philty: He’s the worst of them (points to Mr Y.) Sometimes you stand there and watch him and think is this actually real? What the hell is going on? It’s like children in a candy store.
Mr Y: Yeah but candy is good, so why stop? He’s the youngest of us but also the wisest, sometimes.
Philty: I thought you were gonna say all the time.
Mr Y: Yeah, I didn’t hear that.
What have you been listening to in the genre recently?
Mr Y: With being in the studio so much we wanted music to chill to. I love it-
Philty: Yeah like waterfalls and rain and shit. We play hard rock all the time so you get kind of sick of it. I’m more into like, John Mayer and music to chill out to. But really, if I was going to get my party mode on, then it would have to be AC/DC at River Plate. Holy shit, have you seen that?
Mr Y: Yeah. It’s basically about good fucking music. Music with balls.
And what does the future hold?
Philty: Well we have lots of plans but we can’t really talk about them yet. A bunch of stuff in the next couple of weeks though.
Mr Y: Yeah like a new video. We haven’t even thought about another album, we’re just doing this right here, right now. We’re just a bunch of guys having fun. Nothing strange; all about rock’n’roll.
For future tour dates, videos and more – visit www.FatalSmile.com