Shopping with Fear of Men
While the world was getting ready for the release of Fear of Men's new album ‘Fall Forever’, Side Stage met up with the band to find more about their inspirations and their shopping skills (that’s a pretty important skill). Yes, I’m starting this post telling you how rainy it was before I met up with Fear of Men at Aatma in Manchester. My wet dog style has a special appearance every time I visit that city but let’s focus on the bright side of that day. It took a while but I finally found the venue and of course Jess, Daniel and Michael, and minutes later we were absolutely (dried) ready to head to Manchester Arndale and start our shopping date.
Record Shopping at HMV
Michael: Mutazione- Italian Electronic & New Wave Underground This is a record I bought a couple years ago. It’s a compilation of Italian Electronic & New Wave music made from the early to the late 80s. It’s interesting to listen to electronic music made depending on the money you have. Beat wise and sound wise is a huge inspiration for the music I do today, for this new record, in particular, teaching me new ways to make music and improvise.
Jesse: Blondie- 'Parallel Lines' I’m a huge Blondie’s and Debbie Harry’s fan. The songwriting is very interesting in the way they were forcing themselves to go beyond being a punk band and be really pop. People don’t often comment on the lyrics, the basslines and melodies are incredible but the lyrics have something very special. ‘Hanging on the Telephone’ is a dark humour and smart song, an unusual thing to do in a pop record. When we were writing ‘Fall Forever’ I was like ‘Guys *this secret song* could be our Heart of Glass’, of course, it ended up being really different but I love songs that mean a lot and in minimum words.
David: The Smiths-‘The Queen Is Dead’ My aunt bought it for me around Christmas when I was about 14. I remember that I sat right next to the CD player with my headphones and I just listened to it. It’s one of those records that we don’t get it at first but then it ended up changing my mind. The song ‘Cemetry Gates’ was the one that stood out for me and slowly I realised I was falling in love with the band. I’ve played in punk bands before and this record made me think more about melody, what to do with it. Johnny Marr’s arrangements are just incredible; he used to put instruments into songs that you’ve never imagined that would actually work.
Book Shopping at Waterstones
Michael: The Collector by John Fowles I read this book three years ago. It’s about an old guy who’s a bit of a loner, collects butterflies and takes photographs of nature. He met this art student in London and abducts her, in the same way, he was collecting these rare butterflies he was interested in. I found pretty interesting when he wins the pool and buys a house in Sussex, just outside Brighton because I know the area and I could picture the streets and buildings. Then the second part it’s the student’s version of the story: how she’s trying to escape and how she is making him believe she likes him. John Fowles has a lot of books but this one it’s the one that I find more interesting and creepy at the same time.
Jesse: A Bigger Exhibition by David Hockney I love David Hockney, he’s one of my favourite artists. There’s a lot of humour in his character, he prefers really vibrant colour and catches people beautifully. I remember that I went to his portrait exhibition at the National Gallery in London, it was probably the best exhibition I’ve ever been to and also the first time I saw his work. Just blew me away and since then I’ve been obsessed with everything he does, from his photo collages to his sausages dogs. I love those dogs! He actually has two and has a really nice series of them.
Daniel: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky I chose this book because when I read it I felt like… I was experiencing it. I was reading it before going to bed and I used to wake up with the feeling that I had killed someone... Basically, I was going through what the character was feeling. Not many books have done this to me and I still don’t know how to explain how strange my mornings were. There’s something about it…