This week’s snapshot is of Rich Fownes, Bass and Guitar player for our new favourite psychedelic indie rock band, Bad for Lazarus. Fownes was previously a member of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster and part of the live incarnation of UNKLE.
TQS: Tell us what your daily routine consists of?
RF: Recently we parted ways with Dom Knight. We had gigs booked for a month after and we gave ourselves that deadline to be back on form.
It was wasn’t quite that simple, he was singing over a good chunk of the set, and to sing his songs would have felt like karaoke; on top of which we didn’t want it to be uncomfortable for the audience to watch. As well as integrating a new member into our fun factory we had to ready 4 new songs. So our nightly routine has been killing it night after night after night…after night in our rehearsal rooms. In the daytime I was pouring over footage from the practices and addressing issues with songs with everyone individually. It was totally inspiring to absorb ourselves that intensely in our ideas.
TQS: What you are working on at the moment?
RF: I’m working on relaxing now all that has paid off!…and getting ready to record, mix and master all the new stuff. Here we go again, time to flip the ‘dangerously obsessive’ switch on again.
TQS: What are the 3 records or 3 films that you couldn’t live without and why?
RF: Without thinking I’d take Jon Candy’s seminal masterpiece ‘Uncle Buck’ – it just makes me happy. Probably how most people feel after a bath. A mixtape with Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ on one side, and Led Zepplin ‘remasters’ on the other because those are the records that gave my inner rock monologue a voice, and it’s the same voice that commands me to this very day. I’d also take this King Crimson record that Ross (drums) recommended me. I frankly haven’t delved into it yet because I’m afraid of how good it is. A jealous depression won’t be far behind that first listen.
TQS: What do you wish you had more time to do?
RF: Watch Uncle Buck a few more times.
TQS: How would you describe your teenage years?
RF: Really boring by most peoples standards. I knew what I liked from an early age, and it’s still what I like in my ripening, death-encroaching, autumnal-despair years. It’s mostly the same routine as I have now. I just replaced unholy amounts of self-love with a gorgeous, long-suffering girlfriend.
TQS: If you could take a time capsule to any age, where would you go and why?
RF: My instinct is to say the late 60’s/ early 70’s…but much like meeting your heroes, I wouldn’t want t dispel any romantic visions I have about what gigs, free-love & the youth revolution would have actually been like, so I’m going to go with the 90’s. Even though I was there, I wasn’t really in the loop at the time the last golden age of rock music was truly upon us. I was still listening to ‘The Bodyguard’ soundtrack with my mum while Nirvana were headlining Reading. Wrong tape at the right time.
TQS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever got?
RF: “Production is the art of subtraction” – I spent most of my early songwriting as an extreme maximalist. I thought it was obvious that the more was going on, the smarter everyone would think I was. It was a tough lesson to learn, but it’s all about that one simple hook that could be played forever and just sounds better each time. And that’s A LOT harder than cramming a fuckload of notes into a small space. We still have a tendency as a band to fill it up when we get that initial enthusiasm for a riff and you think of all the weird and wonderful places it could go, but it’s our job to strip it back to the meaningful bits and nothing more. I hope that comes across.
TQS: What’s the difference between British and American gig audiences?
RF: All the American shows I ever played were in quite weird situations. If there was a difference I was too shellshocked to notice one.
TQS: Any good tour stories?
TQS: Any regrets?
The single ‘Muddle’ is available on Itunes now and the new album ‘Life’s A Carnival, Bang! Bang! Bang!’ is due for release early 2014 on Shit Chic and has contributions from Chris Goss (Masters of Reality) and Leila Moss of The Duke Spirit. You can also catch Bad for Lazarus live in London on the 29th Oct at the Shacklewell Arms and on the 31st Oct at Power Lunches, Hackney and on the 2nd November supporting The Icarus Line at The Hope in Brighton. www.Facebook.com/BadforLazarus