Scottish Band Fatherson Wears Heart on Sleeve
Forming in Kilmarnock, Scotland, in early 2010, Fatherson immediately captured hearts with their raw, honest alt-rock sound. Inspired by Scottish stoicism as much as their own personal turmoil, debut album I Am An Island and its 2016 follow-up Open Book were masterclasses in full-throttle rock songwriting, and garnered support from (and tours alongside) their north-of-the-border brethren in Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit, Idlewild and Twin Atlantic, as well as further runs alongside the likes of Kings Of Leon, Augustines, Enter Shikari and more.
That no-bullshit, heart-on-sleeve approach is integral to Sum Of All Your Parts. Where before guitarist Ross Leighton, admits to masking his thoughts and feelings behind metaphor and anecdote, this time around he pulled back the comfort blanket. Returning from the tail end of the Open Book tour, the trio immediately began hashing out their third record over nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday sessions in Glasgow studio. Free of deadlines and buoyed by the success of their second record, they promptly threw out the rulebook.
MiLLENNiAL caught up with the band to discuss the album.
What is the story behind ‘Sum Of All Your Parts’?
Sum Of All Your Parts is the outcome of us deciding to step back from all the bullshit that surrounds making music and making an album for us and the fans of our band. When things started to “go well”, I think we began to feel a bit claustrophobic and limited in what we should be doing with music rather than what we could be doing. This time around we just hung out for 9 months in a studio we built in an old telecoms building and made music we thought was cool. In the end we’ve made something we’re actually really proud of and can stand by with real conviction and confidence.
How did you decide on the name for the band?
We were going on tour with Idlewild and we decided if we wanted to get the most out of it we should change the name to something cooler than the previous name we had (Energy!) and start taking the band seriously. So Fatherson was the name we hated least in the run up to that tour and thats how it came about. Nothing too crazy sorry!
Describe your musical sound for those who haven’t listened to you yet.
Scottish accent, guitar band with a lot of big singalongs and honest heartfelt lyrics.
What are rehearsals like?
We always kind of rehearse like it’s a show. We set up whatever room we’re in like a stage and practice the minutia of the show, guitar swaps and musical beds and stuff. That way we know the show inside out and when it comes to performing live we can push and pull the show as we see fit rather than trying to make it up as we go along.
Explain what motivates you to make music.
I get to see the world with my best friends and sing out my troubles for other people to relate to and realize that they’re not the only person that feels that way. It’s my little therapy session that became a career and I feel so blessed to be able to do it and thats what keeps us all doing it. Not a lot of people get to make music for a living, so you need to respect and recognize how lucky you are.
What are you most excited about the upcoming tour?
I’m excited to be on our third album so we can really push and pull the dynamic of the show. It’s going to be amazing to build the set list around the new music that we are super excited about and then punctuate the hour or so with our favorite songs from the previous two, or just make the best setlist for the audience to have the best time watching.
Tell us about your musical influences and why they influence your work.
Other bands we tour with or play shows with influence us most I think. When we toured with Augustines late 2016, they taught us how to keep an audience in the palm of your hand for 2+ hours every night. When we toured with We Were Promised Jetpacks they taught us how to fill a room with a noise so visceral that everyone is transfixed and has goosebumps for the whole time. Then when we toured with Enter Shikari, they showed us how to make Rock Music into the most incredible passionate and engaging show that people will ever go to by the way they designed their lights and their audience participation. These bands taught us how to make music less of a gig and more of a show and an experience that people will live with forever and we just try to follow in their footsteps with our own quirks.
What is next for Fatherson?
We are going to try and just be on the road for the next two years and come visit your fine selves as often as we can.
ContributorIrais Urias is a multimedia journalism student at The University of Texas at El Paso. She has a strong interest in travel and street photography and hopes to enhance her skills around the world after graduation. When she is not working you can find her at the gym or practicing yoga.