They may claim “it’s complicated”, but, according to the colossal debut release from Scotland’s biggest independent band, The LaFontaines – producers of a slick, exciting alternative-hip-hop-classic-rock hybrid – it’s as clear as crystal: this band are the future of music. Preparing to bring the population to its knees, The LaFontaines are armed with the artillery to crown them as the ultimate ‘breakthrough act of 2015′. The face of music is changing.
We caught up with Jamie from the band to talk Spice Girls, shower caps and Moroccan holding cells…
For those whom are yet to wake up and smell the roses of The LaFontaines – who are you, and what do you stand for?
It’s hard to try describing something that doesn’t really exist anywhere else. But if we were to strip it all back, we’re a band from the outskirts of Glasgow. We’ve spent a lot of time in a van and we’re about to release our debut album, CLASS, on our own record label.
The last time Gigslutz caught up with the band was at T in the Park last year. How much has changed since that meeting?
Loads. We’ve since recorded our debut album. We’ve been back out on two UK tours, and ventured to Europe for the first time in support of Watsky. We’ve also been arrested in that time, whilst filming the music video for our current single ‘KING’… FYI, being interrogated in a Moroccan holding cell for four hours is well rubbish, although it’s very similar to an episode of Homeland.
This year, The Lafontaines have the honour of performing on the T in The Park 2015 main stage. How does it feel to know that in a single year, you’ve jumped from one of the smallest stages to the largest? How excited are you for the gig?
It’s amazin’. Totally chuffed to get the slot. The other year, after a spot of bother, we were warned we wouldn’t be allowed back! So, to then get a slot on the main stage is really, really cool: a milestone. A nice nod that we’re doing things the right way.
As festival season draws ever closer – what are the plans for the rest of summer?
The whole plan for this year is to do what we do best. Pile in a van and hit the road. This year’s all about letting as many people as possible hear the record. We enjoy nothing more than playing live, so bringing a fresh slate of songs for the fans is something we’re really excited about.
Let’s talk your debut album, Class. Can you give us any details surrounding the release? (IE. Where it was recorded, song inspirations, what listeners can expect?)
It’s the closest representation of our live sound to date. We’re over the moon with the way Matt O’Grady produced the album, presenting a consistent and accurate portrayal of the atmosphere we aim to create at all of our shows. It’s an ideal mixture of each individual band members’ tastes, which was exactly what we hoped to achieve. We also recorded the drums in the same studio the Spice Girls were put together in; I’d like to think that’s why our drums sound so great…
You’ve included The LaFontaines’ first official single, ‘All She Knows’, on the Class tracklisting. Why did you decide the track deserved a place on the LP?
We feel our debut album should reflect the journey of the band. ‘All She Knows’ was part of that journey. We also just felt it gave the record a nice dynamic
Notorious for cheekily causing trouble, you’re currently on tour of the UK. What crazy antics have the band been getting up to?
The nightly fiasco of trying to smuggle as many people as possible into one Travel Lodge room… We have a touring party of eight, so we have various methods of getting everyone in. Our favourite is cutting the wires on the windows (when we’re luckily enough to get a room on the ground floor). We’ve also got really good at putting shower caps over the smoke alarms. To be honest though, it’s pretty peaceful (so far).
For those who’ve yet to witness a live show – can you describe what punters should expect to experience in four words?
A lot of joy.
You’re branded as “Scotlands biggest independent band”. What has being an independent group taught you that you probably couldn’t’ve experienced while being attached to a label?
It’s given us a lot more freedom in what music we want to play and how we’d like to market ourselves as a group, and learning about the business side of this game through starting our own label. We’ve also became experienced accountants now too. Nothing more fun than doing your band’s expenses… Rock and Roll, eh?
If you could offer advice for emerging Scottish bands, what would you say?
Don’t get tied into fulltime jobs if you want to make a real go of it – make sure the music comes first. Rehearse as much as possible and just keep on trying to create the best tunes that you can.
Keeping the Scottish theme – if you could curate your own, star-studded headline show, where would it be held, and which Scottish acts would make it on the bill?
I would love to play at Edinburgh Castle and I would put Paolo Nutini, Teenage Fanclub, Hamish Imlach (r.i.p), Idlewild, Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai.
Thanks so much for your time, big up the release of Class! And thanks to yersel’s gigslutz
And huge thanks to Jamie from The LaFontaines for answering our questions!
Class is out today, via 889 Records.