Interview by Olivia Gehrke. “She can go fuck herself,” glowers Saul. Alicia Atout - AMBY Interviews 22,736 views. He states firmly that their job is like that of travelling preachers, always moving on, heading from town to town, spreading the good word. I know that we’re not making anything groundbreaking. Is that fair game? My roommates are Nels Cline from Wilco and Yuka Honda from Cibo Matto, and they’re an older generation; they weren’t used to the house being a den of iniquity. But so is a whole lot of stuff you haven’t. No-one knows or cares where the other three are. Interview with Fat White Family - Duration: 10:02. “There’s a certain amount of … harm reduction available to you if you only chase.”. The lyrics paint a torrid, magic realist vision of migration, triggered by Lias reading Prisoner of Love, Jean Genet’s posthumously published account of being embedded with Palestinian fighters in a Jordanian refugee camp in the 1970s. But you’ll discover that they can be a lot nicer than they appear. “The next day my manager got in touch and said: ‘Yeah, there’s a race row erupted over this. BY AMY HABEN. Fat White Family have thrown their hat into the ring on an ongoing feud between Sleaford Mods and IDLES.. Formed in a squat in Peckham, Fat White Family are no strangers to the hard graft. Do Fat White Family want to be an ambitious rock band, or freak-flag standard bearers? I didn’t like the way the label and management pushed to make Serfs Up! How Fat White Family clawed their way out of the gutter to make record number three. 1 . Their lives out here have taken on a slightly surreal hue: following a chance encounter at SXSW, they’ve struck up a friendship with Sean Lennon (pictured below), who’s become a benefactor of sorts, feeding them, housing them and giving them the run of his studio, a state-of-the-art facility in a remote upstate mansion owned by Yoko Ono. He’s back in London tonight, as is lone-wolf guitarist Adam Harmer, along with the latest members of their ever-shifting Spinal Tap-esque rhythm section. 10:02. It leads me to ask why they make music with people they don’t like in the first place. I’m British North African.” Nathan nods, laughing: “And I’m tanned Irish.”. It seemed that FWF were the Nirvana who revelled in releasing In Utero, but felt that Nevermind was beneath them. Why have the Peckham band swapped it all for health spas and flute solos? With Fat White Family‘s third album Serfs Up, the enfant terrible of British garage music returns.After their last record Songs For Our Mothers (2016) and their split over heroin addiction, both Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski focussed on sobriety and releasing music with their spin-off projects Warmduscher (Saodi) and Insecure Men (Adamczewski). I’ve realised that we can make any kind of music; we’re not stuck in one genre. Fat White Family’s music is rancid to lots of people’s ears, but that’s part of what makes it valuable – while their contemporaries fret over how best to appeal to everyone, Saul, Lias and the others aren’t remotely bothered about appealing to anyone. Because I’m sat here talking to you in Sean Lennon’s house, I must therefore be chasing fame.”. The space is lit by a single low-watt bulb. The words he throws around to describe the album – like “easy listening”, “calypso”, “reggae” and “Iain Duncan Smith going around stealing eggs” – would seem to back up that assertion, though what it’ll actually sound like is anybody’s guess, given that his latest thing is making his bandmates record each song in multiple styles. Sure, there’s a smidgen of truth to it: tales of their drug-taking are rife (and increasingly extreme), but for Saul, “there are deep-set psychological issues in this band that are a bigger problem for us than drugs. But second album Songs for Our Mothers (2016) bludgeoned any anthemic melody back into bloody submission, in favour of caustic noise (disco-influenced single Whitest Boy on the Beach notwithstanding). Leeds, O2 Academy (2) has done all it can do? You have to be a social cripple or a fucking retard to fit in. The reputation is real, but at the same time, it isn’t.”. !. I really like it and it seems like there have been. “Oh yeah,” says Lias. “But it’s intensely arrogant for the old guard to sit there talking about how shit everything is. Of those who are in attendance, Lias is warm and congenial straight off the bat, the friendliest and most outgoing of the Fat Whites. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative. South Yorkshire was attractive because it was affordable: for the price of an unfurnished cupboard in London’s zone 2, they could rent an entire house in Sharrow, a nice suburb of Sheffield – and still have enough money left over to build their own studio on an industrial estate in the less-nice Attercliffe. I know that we’re not pushing anything forward. He says: “When I was about 12, we moved to Cookstown in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and [the bigotry] was on another fucking level, man. When he wasn’t on tour, he spent much of last year “shivering and staring out the window” of his dad’s house in Cambridge; his immune system was so weak that at one point his bandmates seriously thought that he might have Aids. After we did the first one, people pointed out that we had a lot of different styles going on, which wasn’t intentional, but which I quite liked the idea of. I’m afraid of dying.”. Fat White Family returned recently with their third album 'Serfs Up', a record which is stunning for many reasons, chief among them the fact that the band even still exists. There appears to be some tension left simmering, not just between Nathan and Adamczewski, but also the different potential paths for the band. Yuppies Out was intended as more of a situationist prank than a serious political statement, though their opposition to the gentrification of working-class London is real enough. Though they spent the last few hours separately, the Saoudi brothers of Fat White Family are in a collective daze. A strange bloke.”, “He’s a bit of an outsider. When I ask what became of their old drummer, Lias and Saul don’t hold back, with the latter brazenly declaring, “we’re not nice people, and his horrible, spiteful personality worked within the band”. Only a peppering of sand nigger carcasses to shift and we’ve got ourselves a new Dubai gentlemen! When the band met Lennon at SXSW this year, Saul claims to have had no idea who he was; he was more interested in his girlfriend. Fat White Family (Lias Saoudi) interview I 2016 I The Drone 11:57. Some are in it for the girls, or the parties, or the doors that fame might open for them. We should crush them. The nuances of their politics, however, are tricky to define: they’re staunch leftists, but Saul also once went on an EDL march, “not out of support, but because I wanted to see what it was like up close. As per Lennon’s prediction, I don’t get all of them in the same room at the same time: only the songwriting core of the band – Lias, his organist brother Nathan and guitarist Saul Adamczewski – turn up to meet me. “I think it’s because they see us as having gone back on something that we believed in. Recent live shows suggest that Britain’s unhealthiest band really are getting their act together. Maybe everything that’s out there right now does mean nothing, but that’s for us to decide, not you.”. I’m in Sheffield to experience a day in the life of the band, which not only includes a sauna and swim in Nether Edge, but Turkish food at the Zeugma restaurant in Highfield. Fruit de la rencontre de deux défroqués de la scène londonienne de la deuxième moitié des années 2000, Lias Saoudi et Saul Adamczewski, Fat White Family s'est rapidement extirpé de son sillon indie en … Do you know what you’re getting into?’ I’ve been speaking to Fat Possum [the band’s US label] about it, and they’re going to start investigating ownership of all the stuff we want to put out, so hopefully we can start releasing records next year.”, Of their own album, Saul says, “We’ve really tried to go to the extremes of what’s tasteful, or even good. First off, congrats on the latest album! But then you get to see a bit more of them… there are some fucking depressing blokes in our band. Last modified on Tue 13 Oct 2020 12.42 BST. When the Fat White Family and Insecure Men musician finally arrives, he introduces himself with a handshake and wry, gap-toothed grin, before slowly beginning to make his way through the assorted items. Picture of Saul and Sean Lennon courtesy of Lennon’s Instagram, Our interview the following day takes place at Lennon’s Greenwich Village apartment, where Saul is currently staying – his host has long since given up trying to house all of them. It’s our job to crush them.” But given that the industry has become hollowed out to the extent that there is little middle ground left for bands such as FWF to occupy, how will he know when Serfs Up! By clicking on an affiliate link, you accept that third-party cookies will be set. During the pleasant walk from the spa to the restaurant, Lias assures me that everyone’s clean, including guitarist Saul Adamczewski. It’s our job to crush them, “It was pernicious, of course, but it was intended to show exactly what I felt he was driving at in as explicit a manner as possible,” Lias says. It was a creative strategy that won them more enemies than friends. They deserve to be killed.”, One of the reasons people are alternately confused, repulsed and excited by Fat White Family is that they simply don’t care about the same things other bands do. As I later discover, the studio isn’t the only amenity they’ve been making use of: “We’ve gone from the crisis loan centre to Yoko Ono’s steam room!” cackles frontman Lias Saoudi. “Everybody’s so hyper-conscious of what everybody else is thinking that they’re afraid to put themselves on display.”, Fat White Family certainly aren’t afraid of that, but the result is that they’re widely perceived as psychotic fuck-ups. “That’s why I’m so glad we’re done with all that,” says Lias, swimming backstroke, as I struggle to keep pace with him. Most of what you’ve heard about them is true. Amid the Beefheartian murk and the Fall-esque clangor, a pop sensibility began to emerge on singles such as I Am Mark E Smith and Touch the Leather in 2014. Those people have genuine grievances – they see traditional working-class English values disappearing, and they’re scared about it. “One of my oldest friends actually said to me, ‘All you care about is fame’, which I just found completely absurd,” says Saul. I’m not white, my dad is from Algeria. Do you advocate violence as a means of achieving revolution? !”, Idles? This article originally appeared in the January 10, 2015 print issue of NME. In just 12 months, Fat White Family have gone from radical underdogs to a band at the tip of the cultural clusterfuck they once railed against. Onwards!! But after 20 minutes, the distressing conversation is cut short. “His problem was veganism, wasn’t it?”. That said, things began optimistically when they first moved to Sheffield in 2017. some pretty positive reactions all around to it at this point. “When they’re selling off the NHS and leaving people to rot, where do you draw the line? It’s not something we set out to do, but we’ve somehow met a load of rich kids and they’ve all been morally sound.” In Sean Lennon, they’ve encountered a genuine fan who just so happens to be the heir to a $500 million fortune, but the band are aware of how the arrangement looks, and in the eyes of many of their friends and former squat-mates back in Brixton, they’ve already sold out. I suppose we’re both quite misanthropic, and that’s what we have in common.”. They sounded like a mix of Bong Water, Charles Manson, the Butthole Surfers round a campfire, the most smacked out and slowest Birthday Party and Cramps numbers. They’re even doing away with crisis loans, because obviously these poor fucking drug addicts looking for £6.56 to make their lives tolerable for a few hours is what’s sinking the economy.”. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Newcastle, O2 Academy (21) He says, ‘Your music, the notes are all wrong, but the Eagles – that is perfection.’ He’s quite sweet, really. Interview With Lias from Fat White Family 17 August 2014 Northern Transmissions chatted with the affable frontman Lias Saoudi from the UK band Fat White Family while the band was spending some quality time in New York City. Along with Saul, Lennon is co-producing the band’s second album, which will be released this summer on their own label, Without Consent. On The Rise: Charlotte Clark 10 October 2020. I’ve been trying to take it easy recently, but I still go out and get fucked up and I still get ill afterwards. They are what happens when culture becomes so homogenised that it practically ceases to exist; when society becomes so hostile towards those on its lower rungs that the only sane course of action is to opt out of it entirely. The ones who write songs about concupiscent paedophiles, coming in girls’ mouths and bombing Disneyland. “When they first came over to stay, things got… messy. Speaking to GoldenPlec Fat White Family guitarist and backing vocalist Saul Adamczewski is quick to admit even he isn’t sure what genre his band are. Ironically, our friend Danny Fields, who managed Iggy & The Stooges, said singer Lias Saoudi “moves like Iggy onstage.” Sean Lennon has been a friend and fan of the band for years, even letting them use his upstate recording studio. Thursday 21st July, 2016 12:20PM South London squat-dwellers Fat White Family will be in New Zealand next week for their first ever shows on these shores. “Yeah, almost everything we pick up, Sean’ll be like, ‘Oh, that was my dad’s.’ We’ve been using this old mellotron of his – I don’t know if it’s the one that’s on ‘Strawberry Fields’, but for the sake of the story, let’s just say that it is.”. Sweat drips off the brows of Lias and Nathan Saoudi, the current core of the Fat White Family. All rights reserved. This band takes on him comes to the hard graft sensational word-of-mouth pub gigs are some depressing... Middle-Class boobs ” the girls, or freak-flag standard bearers I suppose we ’ not... And they ’ d all been smoking meth and waving guns around at each other and.... Smack out of his arse shift and we all file out of the pool noble and! Still comes to the restaurant, Lias assures me that everyone ’ s partly because of that around. 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