The Fratellis are invading the Pacific Northwest with shows in Vancouver (tonight), Seattle (tomorrow) and Portland (Saturday). No, it is not the criminal family from The Goonies, although that was the inspiration for their name. It is the much beloved Scottish rock band maybe best known for the early hit “Chelsea Dagger”. This is a high energy band and show that you don’t want to miss. Their new album “In Your Own Sweet Time” dropped March 16th! See tour dates and info below.
Jon Fratelli took some time to speak with me about the new album, music, their shows and creativity. Check it out:
Earle Dutton (ED): How does it feel to have a Top 10 new albums in the UK?
Jon Fratelli (JF): Well, it’s is nicer than not being in the top 10. It is probably kind of helpful. It is nice that people like the work that we have done. It is a nice place to be.
ED: What do you attribute most to your longevity as a band?
JF: (Laughter) I wish I knew; possibly stubbornness. Stubbornness and I have never found anything else that gives me as big a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
ED: The music industry has really changed since the band started out (12 years ago). How do you guys try to keep up with it?
JF: We have never tried, no. It really feels like it is none of my business even though technically it is my business. It really helps to have good management and a record label. It leaves us open to do the thing we are good at. I hear that the music industry has changed; well I hear it from other people. My own experience is that nothing has changed. You make the best music that you can. You make music that excites you and keeps you entertained. You put it out there with some hope that some other people might feel the same way about it. In that regard, to me, nothing has changed.
ED: You guys are so high energy. I heard you performed about 20 songs before your first break the other night. How do you keep up the energy and stamina for that sort of show on a regular basis?
JF: Well twenty songs seems sort of conservative to me. We usually play about twenty-three or twenty-four a night. I don’t really know how many we are supposed to play. I often think we should play more. Well doing those shows takes a lot of medicine for me personally. I think what it really comes down to is that people have paid money for a ticket to come and see you. We don’t have any bells and whistles. When it comes down to it, the one thing that we can really offer is effort. We just try and make sure we have given people all the effort that we can. As to how we do it; we manage to do it most of the time. Sometimes we get stopped in our tracks or at least I do. An enthusiastic audience is usually enough to give you enough adrenaline to push through.
ED: What is your most requested song to perform live?
JF: It is hard to say because people don’t tend to shout them out during the show. Our first record is the best known, so we tend to make sure we play a fair number of songs from that record. Hopefully everyone gets what they are looking for when they come to a show. People really like “Chelsea Dagger” and they kind of know that they are going to get it at some point in the show. We would be fools not to play that song.
ED: What is your favorite song off the new album?
JF: It changes from day to day. There is not a song on that record that we dislike. We only recorded eleven songs and we only recorded songs that we absolutely liked. We didn’t do sixteen and then pick. We only recorded the ones we really liked this time, which means we ended up with a record that has nothing we would want to skip. Because of that, it is impossible to pick one at the moment.
ED: What makes you feel creative as an artist?
JF: It is completely song dependent. There are these little flashes of ideas for songs that appear in my head and that makes my day. That is the whole reason for being alive. If you are lucky enough that those little snippets of songs appear, then you feel creative. I don’t necessarily feel creative on an ongoing basis. It is all dependent on if I am lucky enough for an idea to arrive.
ED: How do you keep track of all of the snippets?
JF: The iPhone is a handy thing just for getting down those ten second ideas. If an idea is insistent enough, then you are not gonna forget it. Somewhere between the iPhone and wherever it is that they memories are stored (laughter).
The Fratellis Upcoming Tour Dates:
April 26,2018 / Vancouver, BC / The Commodore Room
April 27, 2018 / Seattle, WA / The Showbox
April 28, 2018 / Portland, OR / Roseland Theater
April30, 2018 / San Francisco, CA / The Fillmore
Get tickets and more info here.
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