Make no mistake, there is no “The” in the title of this band. Such frivolities are cast aside for this young Plymouth-based punk band, as they blend a raucous amount of violent post-punk with a dash of easy going indie rock, making for a sound unlike any other in the punk world.
Leading this band from the helm is frontman Tommy O’Donnell whose vocal mix of hardcore punk roars, catchy cleans and jagger-esque stage movements make for a truly hypnotic experience. Next on the line up is guitarist Cian Kinsella, effortlessly dispensing wailing guitar solos and punchy riffs with the skill and nonchalance of a truly talented musician. Thirdly, on bass guitar we have Reece Shepherd, keeping the melodic section of the band in check by hammering out bass lines reminiscent of Lemmy or Tina Weymouth. Lastly we have Callum Waterhouse on drum duty. Sitting atop his kit, Callum commands the crowd into motion by punching out frantic and skillful rhythms, channelling his inner Bonham and Moon.
Drummer, photographer, and local music enthustiast Troy Holty sat down with the band at the KFC on Mutley Plain before they were set to play a headline gig at the Underground to find out about their new EP “Good Kids“.
PS: So to jump right into it, you guys have just finished your first EP, how did you think it went?
CW: It was smashing, especially since we managed to get the vast bulk of the EP down in one 8 hours session.
The rest of the band just nodded, unable to speak with a mouthful of chicken wings.
PS: Were there any issues you ran into whilst recording?
R: Fast Forward.
CW: It [Fast Forward] was the last song on the EP, we were all tired and pissed off with each other plus I just didn’t have the mental capacity to work through it.
R: We survived though.
The group chuckled between each other.
PS: What are your plans for the EP release?
C: The EP should be released sometime in February, at least that’s the plan.
It stunned me a little to hear that the EP was to be released on cassette tape, far from being a hipster band I just wrongly assumed that FADES would follow the EP release norms, I soon came to realise that FADES never follow the norms for anything, it’s part of their charm.
T: We love the whole DIY thing with cassette culture, our sound seems to fit the format too, we recorded our first stuff like ‘Mellow Yellow’ on cassette, it’s an ode to our past.
Just as I was about to ask about anyone who didn’t own a cassette player (I know you poor fools are a minority), Tommy added: “You’d get a CD with it too, like you often get a download with records these days. We want to make our EP something special.”
The mood within the band was of palpable pride, this was their first time in the studio and certainly had been a long time coming.
PS: Tell me about FADES’ long and winding past as a band.
T: (Laughter) FADES have officially been a band for close to a decade (nine years) now, although that would be considering me as the only member to remain for the entire nine years.
The current (and hopefully future) format have only been together since early 2014 yet they act like a band that’d been together since the beginning of time.
PS: So, enough of the past, what does the future hold for FADES?
C: Well the EP is first priority, then getting the release show sorted then I guess we would love to support some bigger artists out there.
PS: If you could support any band, who would it be?
C: Ice Age.
T: Parquet Courts.
CW: Parquet Courts.
As the interview came to an end and the last scraps of deep-fried chicken were swept up by various band members, I thought how I could best sum up FADES, I’d just have to say that they always look like they’re enjoying what they’re doing. This isn’t a band that takes itself too seriously, they look like four mates having a good time. FADES will always deliver a top-notch performance and have a bloody good time doing it, no matter if it’s a real venue or a sweaty, run-down bar. This is both an ode to their stage presence and their ability as musicians to create original material whilst staying true to their punk origins…
…and I swear to god you will have “Mellow Yellow” and “Back To The Top” in your head for weeks after.
FADES are launching their EP ‘Good Kids’ on the 26th of February at the Underground, with Deadsnakes and The Vice.