England's Fenech-Soler Talk With Us About 'ZILLA' & Their New 360° Music Video

By: Hannah Oreskovich

English electropop outfit Fenech-Soler have been a project since 2006, though you probably know them best from their 2010 self-titled record, which made major waves on BBC Radio and brought the group the attention that soon after found them signed to Warner Bros. Records. The group’s album Rituals was released thereafter in 2013, spurring them into a massive UK tour and an eventual spot playing the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In 2016, founding members Daniel Fenech-Soler (from which the band’s name stems) and Andrew Lindsay left the project, but brothers Ross and Ben Duffy kept writing. This year, the duo dropped ZILLA on So Recordings, and are currently on tour in support of it. Next Monday and Tuesday, May 15th and 16th, Fenech-Soler make their Colorado appearances on their North American tour, with a stop in Greeley on Monday at The Moxi Theater and Lost Lake on Tuesday in Denver. We recently chatted with the Duffy boys to learn more about their latest record, their new 360-degree interactive music video, and their plans for the summer. Check it:

ZILLA is arguably your most pop-leaning record yet. How did (mostly) self-producing this record influence its sound?

It hugely influenced its sound because every production decision was made by us and limited by the equipment we use. We tend to work pretty quickly when we start an idea, so [we] use a lot of things on the computer, but then re-record sounds using outboard gear if we feel it's needed. A lot of the sounds from ZILLA actually came from one keyboard that we bought as kids, so we feel it's a distinctive sound. The keyboard has these perfect faux-vintage synths, which we loved.

Fenech-Soler.

Fenech-Soler.

Your single “Kaleidoscope” was described by Noisey as “3:39 of pure joy.” What was the inspiration behind writing this hit track?

We just wanted to write the most concise 'to the point' pop song we could. It really is the most emblematic song of the ZILLA sound, so I guess the inspiration was to be as simple as possible in our approach. It was a kind of a less-is-more affair. We've always been influenced by lots of different artists, so in many ways, there's tons of inspiration wrapped up in there somewhere, but I couldn't really say one specific influence. The other songs from ZILLA guide it stylistically.

Your new video for “Conversation” is filmed in 360° and is super interactive for the viewer. Who did you work with to film the video? Why did you choose this platform for “Conversation” over other tracks? Is the location in your Northamptonshire studio?

Thanks very much! We had a lot of fun making the video and we choose a white art space in west London for the location. We wanted a minimalist colour scheme to again reflect a simplicity in the sound. The 360-degree element also felt right for this song because it's one of our favourites to perform live, so an immersive platform where the viewer can control what they see, combined with the clinical aesthetic, just seemed like a good idea. Toby at Blind Club directed the video. He's very talented.

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Photo Credit: Ed Whitmarsh

Having played all over the world since your inception in 2006, what is one of your favorite things about playing shows in North America?

There's so much of North America we haven't seen. This tour is taking us to some new cities, and giving us the opportunity to play to fans who we haven't managed to get to since we started the band. Oh, and we also love the American food options. It's the best.

Tell us one thing you make a habit of doing on your off days on tour.

Sleeping! Even though to be honest, on this tour, we said on the flight over that we have to do more tourist things. There's so many incredible things to see, and it's a privilege getting to travel around with your best mates playing music.

Any festival spots planned for the summer?

We're hitting the UK and Europe, and then hopefully getting out to some in the US. It's always a lot of fun as festival crowds can really transform a set. The songs can take on their own energy. We've never played a US festival, but any festival where the weather is good is fine by us! [The weather] is not usually like that in the UK. (laughs)

Listen to ZILLA:

What does the rest of 2017 look like for you guys?

Well we're going to release a cover EP in a few weeks, which we're looking forward to. We've covered all the people you shouldn't really cover, like Prince, Bowie, and Janet Jackson, so it will either be a positive or a career ender. We like them though, so I reckon people will dig them. Then after that just more touring. Hopefully [we’ll be] back in America very soon after this tour.   

Make sure to catch Fenech-Soler at their Colorado stops- tickets here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

BADBADNOTGOOD Talk To Us About Who They Want To Work With Next

By: Hannah Oreskovich

Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are best known for their interpretations and collaborations in the realm of modern hip-hop. The four piece post-hop and jazz improv group first came together in 2010 at Humber College’s jazz program over their love of MF Doom and Odd Future. Founding members Matthew A. Tavares (keys), Chester Hansen (bass), and Alexander Sowinksi (drums) actually released their “Odd Future Sessions Part 1” on YouTube after their jazz instructors were unimpressed with the project. Ironically, it grabbed the attention of Tyler, The Creator himself and went viral. Since then, Leland Whitney (saxophone) has joined the mix, and together the quartet have worked with Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, Danny Brown, Ghostface Killah, Future Islands’ Sam Herring, Mick Jenkins, Kaytranada, and more. The band are currently touring on their fifth studio album, aptly titled 'IV,' which BBC Radio 6 Music called the #1 album of 2016. This weekend, BADBADNOTGOOD play Denver’s Gothic Friday (01/13), and will take Boulder’s Fox Theatre stage with Sur Ellz Saturday (01/14). Grab tickets while you can here, and in the meantime, check out our chat with this crazy talented crew:

You guys had quite the international tour recently. Any spots along the way you’re really hoping to get back to in 2017?

We went to a lot of new countries we’d never seen before last year- Japan, Israel, Taiwan, Brazil, Mexico- they would all be amazing to visit again but we have a great time everywhere!

BBC Radio 6 Music picked 'IV' as their album of the year for 2016. What was your initial reaction to hearing that?

Very, very surprised to be honest. There were so many incredible albums we loved on that list and we didn’t feel like ours was a serious contender! We’re extremely happy about the recognition IV has gained. We’re also eternally grateful to our friends in the UK like Gilles Peterson, and all the other DJs at the BBC and otherwise for all the support they’ve shown us over the years!

What were some of your favorite albums dropped in 2016?

Solange’s A Seat at the Table, Kaytranada’s 99.9%, Anderson.Paak’s Malibu, Frank Ocean’s Blonde, A Tribe Called Quest’s We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, and Andy Shauf’s The Party, among many others!

BADBADNOTGOOD.

BADBADNOTGOOD.

Festival lineup announcements have begun. Anything you can hint at about your summer plans?

Sure! We’re going to be playing some incredible festivals across the world- Bonnaroo and Primavera to name a couple that have been announced. We’ll be around Europe, North America, and a few other trips are in the works. We’re also going to have a lot of time at home this year to record and get into some different projects! Peace and love for 2017.

Over the past couple of years, your collaborations with various hip-hop artists have been incredibly impressive. Who is next on your short list of peeps you’re hoping to work with?

We’d love to get a concise project together with Kaytranada. We’ve got so much work in the vault that has yet to come out, and he’s a great friend who’s a pleasure to work with. That’s probably top of the list right now. There are a bunch of other friends in Toronto who we’re stoked to record with too!

Give IV a listen:

>

When are you headed back in the studio?

Pretty soon probably! No idea what we’re going to work on, or what it’s going to sound like though.

If you had to tell us in one word what it was like working with Ghostface Killah on an entire album ('Sour Soul'), what would it be?

Wow one word... Challenging but also rewarding and amazing!

Make sure to catch BBNG at their Colorado shows this weekend; keep up with BADBADNOTGOOD here.

-Hannah

Follow Hannah on Instagram and Twitter.

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.