The first time that I heard The Fullertons was during their soundcheck. I was outside, sitting in the back garden behind The Jericho Tavern in Oxford, and I couldn’t tell if it was the band or a DJ playing a CD.
A few minutes later when I went inside and up the stairs, I found out that it was indeed the band, and from just the soundcheck – hearing the music from quite a distance, outside with the sound coming out through an open window, I was very much looking forward to watching their show. I was also singing with a band that night (currently being renamed), and it’s always good playing your own gig and also being treated with an entertaining set by the other bands that might be playing with you.
The Fullertons put on a very entertaining show and as I’ve said before on Band Weblogs, they look and sound great. Their songs are tight, energetic and the keyboard adds a nice touch to their indie/pop sound.
This summer, they’ve been touring around the UK and have recently come back from playing in Moscow, Russia.
Frontman/singer David Chanell took some time out for an interview with me for BandWeblogs.com.
Jenny May: How long has the band been playing together?
David Chanell: The band as it stands has only been playing together for a few months, but The Fullertons started with a slightly different line up about 18 months ago.
When and how did it happen that you and your brother Chris started playing music together?
Chris is my older brother, and he had gone off to uni in Nottingham, but after the 1st term dropped out, and a year later when he tried uni again he ended up choosing the same uni as me (Leicester). This was where we began to play in a uni band together that sowed the seeds for what became The Fullertons. The band mainly then played covers at uni events, but our own stuff got us noticed enough to play with the likes of Jools Holland and Goldie Lookin Chain at the uni.
What is your songwriting process like?
Currently it’s usually the case that a song idea will come from me or Chris, and then Rich and Rik pick it up and work out a good bass line and drum part to compliment it. Then we share lyric duties and give help and tips to each others’ individual bits of the song. It’s not a one man band, and we all seem to be on the same wavelength when it comes to new ideas.
What music did you listen to when you were growing up?
Growing up, my first influence was Buddy Holly, my early teenage years were in that awful gap after britpop and before the Libertines, so I didn’t have any modern influences, until I got towards the age of 18. Bands that remained with me throughout the early years were Supergrass and Kula Shaker. The rest of the band have very diverse influences and musical backgrounds, but we can all sit together and enjoy the same stuff now.
So far, where has been your favorite venue to play?
The best venues to play are the busy ones, and then it doesn’t matter whether it’s a glorified pub or a beautiful theatre… but there’s been a few that are really nice places to play, these being Scala in London, The Orange Box in Yeovil and Club 85 in Hitchin.
You just played a few shows in Russia – how did it go?
Russia was amazing. Chris had been there before, but for the rest of us it was a new experience, and that in itself was amazing. The gig made it even better, the venue was full, and the people were friendly, and everyone seemed to really get into what we were doing. I was quite nervous about the prospect of it as the DJ was playing the best of Britpop all night, and really modern music hasn’t quite reached Russia in a big way yet. Moscow has some amazing sites, and we crammed this all in, as well as making the most of our generous hosts’ hospitality. We hope to return.
How was the audience reaction in Russia compared to English audiences?
The Russian audiences are there to dance, and probably just hope you play dancey tunes. A UK audience doesn’t want to let go as easily.
Do you have plans to release material in Russia and/or to play there again?
Releasing something over there would probably be quite successful, but you would need to play out there far more and get the radio and press support just as much as you do here. It may be slightly easier to break russia just purely due to a smaller number of bands out there.
Where else would you like to tour?
To see the world doing what you love is the best feeling, so getting the chance to do more all expenses paid travelling would be amazing – and if it was free I’d go anywhere. Despite this being in some peoples minds more boring, I would love to see and play in the US and Australia.
How often do you practice?
We try to rehearse once a week as a full band, and do writing sessions with however many of the band can make it on other nights of the week.
What was the last CD that you bought?
I’m into loads of WW2 POW films, anything that’s got a true story behind it, makes it far more exciting. The most recent film I saw was a new one called “The Bank Job” and that fits my credentials for a good film, bit of action, based on true stories, and funny.
Where was the video for “Where You Going To Now” (watch video) filmed?
Where You Going to Now, was filmed at a club in Soho, that is basically Stringfellows…but it’s been re-named.
What was it like making the video and who are the ‘club going’ girls?
The video experience was amazing, something we had never done. It was a long day, but it was really insightful to understand a little how that industry works. The girls had auditioned for the parts, we only met them on the day. We had been contacted by other girls that were hoping to be in it, and didn’t make the part..so that was all quite exciting – and The Sunday Mirror wrote about it, so that was a bonus! Check it out on our myspace (it’s a bit old now, though).
What band would you want to tour with someday?
I would love to tour with someone like Supergrass, just because I couldn’t get bored of watching them every night, but from modern bands who are breaking through, a band that would be great to tour with would be someone like Vampire Weekend.
What’s your idea of the perfect party?
The perfect party would be at a house…but not ours…with good music, a great live band, mates, and loads of free food and drink, with some kind of amazing pill that stops you getting a hangover the next day.
The Fullertons will be playing a Live Session on BBC 3 Counties radio Friday, August 1, 2008.
For tour dates, music and more, go to:
The Fullertons MySpace