Custom made for radio, they have a heart that grooves and a vocal that drips with emotive cool. Layered synths and Nile Rogers-referencing guitars partner up with a driving rhythm section to deliver a killer slice of anthemic indie rock. Think Catfish & The Bottlemen, Peace, Sundara Karma. I got to chat with Idle Frets and find out about their motivation and how they came together.
How are you ?
Luke: I’m feeling pretty groovy right now thank you very much for asking.
Can you introduce the band members and their roles ?
Erin: Of course! I’m Erin, I play drums, and am generally late for everything and forget everything that is important. Ben’s our lead Vocalist and Diva Fret. Luke slaps the bass and is general diplomat and peace keeper, and then there’s Dave the Rave, our lead guitarist who bring the laughs and slick tones to the band and tunes!
Where did you all meet ?
Luke: Ben and I are cousins so I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him since forever. Ben and Erin met at school so they go way back, too. I’ve known Dave for over 10 years now, we met through a friend of mine who happens to be Dave’s younger brother.
How long have you been together ?
Erin: We have been together for 2 years now as this set up. Idle Frets have been going for about 5 years but we had a different bassist and wrote different kind of music. When Dave came along about 2 years ago this coming January everything fell into place a little bit more and we started up again as Idle Frets that we are today.
How do you gather up your ideas for making new music ?
Luke: Generally, Ben will come to the band with the base of a song structure and we’ll work together to turn that into us rather than just him. We just make music we like listening to so when we’re in rehearsals we just bounce ideas off of each other and see what we feel sounds best.
What is your motivation ?
Dave: Fried chicken, shout out to Colonel Sanders. Musically I’m just obsessed with playing the guitar and writing tunes. We all get a buzz of it, I guess that’s our motivation.
What are your future goals ?
Ben: I guess the goal is to play as many shows as possible and to get some major festivals in the bag! We all love festivals and would love to get in for free basically! Seriously though, they’re a great way of picking up new fans, which is what this is all about, growing and growing.
Who were your main musical influences growing up ?
Dave: The first record that really grabbed my attention was Arctic Monkeys – WPSIATWIN. I was obsessed with it, which inevitably lead to me picking up the guitar for the first time. Then I went through a massive Jimi Hendrix phase which then turned me onto the likes of John Mayer, D’angelo, and The Roots.
Do you have a mentor that has literally guided your way through the splendour that is the music business ?
Ben: Well, our manager Ben is as close as we’ve had to a mentor, god help him. He’s great. It’s nice to have someone who’s one of your best mates acting on your behalf as you know he has your very best interests at heart, it enables us to be as creative as possible with all aspects of the band.
How do you feel about the switch from physical formats to streaming and its impact on emerging talent such as yours ?
Ben: I’m not too fussed. I think everything changes at some point, it’s happened to everyone so I’m not going to sit here and moan about how people aren’t buying records, because let’s face it, neither do I. Streaming is the future of listening to music, and as a music fan I have to appreciate that as frustrating as it may be on the business side of things, it just forces bands like us to work harder as it’s become even more competitive to break out. I think it’s a good thing, I guarantee you will see much better artists breaking through in the next 5-10 years because of this tough competition
Erin: Hard question, and I could talk for eternity about this so ill summarise. I think it has its positives and negatives. I think it’s brilliant as far as accessibility goes. Bands like us and others of our size at the minute benefit from the fact that streaming services can be reached by millions of people at the click of a button meaning more and more people can hear about us and our music quicker than they ever have before. On the other hand, though, 2 things. I think it’s sad, I loved getting a CD when I was younger, having a stack or a draw full that you could pick up read the lyrics in the sleeve and play a physical copy of music that you can keep and hold, but also it has become a lot harder for bands like us to make any money. Money used to come from CD sales, you’d pay about £10/12 for an album. Now, people buy online for about £3 and think the original physical prices are extortionate so money comes from playing live, and there’s hardly anything in that either! There are many other points I could cover about the battle of piracy, and whether artists are getting paid the right amount from sites like Spotify and the fact that artists release their stuff on certain streaming services only but that’s for another day!
What has been the highlight of your career thus far ?
Dave: There has been many this year. For me it’s a toss between recording at the Motor Museum, or our first London headline show at the Garage. It was close to a sell out and it was possibly the most fun, sweatiest gig we have ever played.
What live dates do you have in place for 2017 ?
Dave: We have some festivals lined up but I don’t think we can announce which ones yet. We’ll also be touring… maybe? We will reveal all dates soon!
Name your top 5 favorite foods ?
Dave: This is a tough one! Depends on what day of the week it is. Right now I could eat KFC, steak, cheeseburgers, pizza, mash. I am very healthy.
Name your top 5 favorite pairs of shoes ?
Erin: Haha! Great! I’m a sucker for Dr Martens, so personally my top 5 are my black Doc shoes, my black and white classic slip on vans, and my white Reebok classic trainers. I have a grey pair of shoes from an Instagram boutique that I love, and I’d say number 5 my cherry red patent docs that kicked the bucket this summer after 4/5 years wear!
Thank you guys for speaking to me and wish you all the best for the future. Please keep us posted on what’s happening.