‘We’re weirder than the stalkers’: An interview with The Fratellis

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At this year’s V Festival in Chelmsford, editor Megan Downing caught up with two thirds of Scottish trio The Fratellis. Jon and Barry spoke to The Edge about festival season, weird fan experiences and their alcohol heavy rider.

I managed to catch your set earlier, how was it for you guys?

Barry: It was lovely, it’s always nice to play shows. It was quite early in the day but there was lots of people there, so it was all good.

So far this year what has been your favourite festival performance?

Jon: We’ve done a bundle over the last three or four weeks, there was one particular one in Spain, two or three weeks ago which was quite magical actually. When everybody came off after and everyone saw each other, there wasn’t a lot of talking going on just a lot of laughter. When it’s gone so well all you can do is laugh about it. One of those ones.

Especially this summer, have you had any weird fan experiences?

Jon: Not really, no.
Barry: They tend to come when you’re on your own tour, you’ll see the same person turn up at five different shows and it starts getting weird.
Jon: I tend to put people off. They tend to think we’re slightly scary.
Barry: I think we’re weirder than the stalker.
Jon: This is very true.

Before you guys were touring at festivals, did you regularly attend festivals as punters?

Barry: I did, I’d been to a few, yeah.

Do you have a fond memory of being at a festival and being on the other side of the stage?

Barry: The first T in the Park when it was Rage Against The Machine and Cyprus Hill. I was about 16, did a bit of moshing, that was quite nice.

Post-festival season what can we expect from you guys? Are you touring, recording?

Jon: We have a record out at the beginning of October, and we’re on tour pretty much from  October until Christmas really.
Barry: It’s gonna be good fun. 

Is that what you guys love doing, showing your records off to your fans?

Jon: It’s being a showoff. You’re being a ‘hey look at me!’ and when somebody give you the chance to be a showoff every night of the week you take it naturally. It’s a good place to be.
Barry: It’s great, we’re going back to America pretty soon as well which will be nice, and then we’re touring Europe and a UK tour all to support the new record.

Are you still as enthusiastic as you were in the early days?

Jon: Oh god yeah. We might not seem it. 

It’s the first time I’ve seen you guys and I thought you had so much energy!

Jon: Oh really?! When in that case, you should come back to another show then. I thought that was about 50 percent. I would hope we do seem as enthusiastic.

Are you bored of playing any songs yet?

Jon: Well, you know, you play those songs over and over again, the only thing that changes is the audience and if on most nights and most days, they like it, you have no reason not to like it.

Are there any places in the world that you haven’t performed in yet and would like to?

Barry: We haven’t been to South America. I was lucky enough to go there last year and really enjoyed it. I think the band would go down really well there, festivals are all great over there. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to do that this time. 

When you’re going around at festivals… [interrupted by Jon pulling straw out of my hair] Have I got straw in my hair?

Barry: He just wants to touch you.

Aw, thank you! Do you guys have a drink of choice on your rider?

Jon: Theres always vodka, theres always gin, theres always Berroca, apparently we have a lot on our rider! Somebody told us earlier, I didn’t realise ours was a particularly big one. 

You guys are divas apparently!

Jon: Oh no no, we’re not divas in the slightest! We’re just alcoholics it seems, without having realised.
Barry: We always seem to get through it!
Jon: Yeah, there is never any excess.

You must have great times. As it’s coming towards the end of festival season, after the tours, what are you guys planning to do, are you going to go back to the studio? Or do you not like to think that far ahead?

Jon: The tour is taking us up to almost Christmas. So we’ll take Christmas off, but for me, I hate Christmas. It’ll be nice to get going with another record as soon as we could really. We’ve always said we would do that but not quite managed it, maybe this time will be the time to actually do it. 

My last question is do you each have a favourite track that you love playing out of your set?

Barry: Yeah, it changes every night for me, but ‘Cuntry Boys & City Girls’ I always enjoy playing that song. ‘Got Ma Nuts From A Hippy’.
Jon: Anything new! I love playing anything new, I get very bored. Well, if a crowd are liking it then that keeps you going.

The Fratellis tour the UK this Autumn. They come to the O2 Academy Bournemouth on November 17th.

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About Author

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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