SOUND OFF: FASSINE
Mar 30, 2020
If you think you’ve heard a Fassine track before, you’re probably right. The London trio has had songs featured on Netflix from ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ to ‘Lucifer’ as well as Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar, and Sky Arts.
Fassine’s third album FORGE (March 27), and first on Trapped Animal Records & Cargo Records, is a tribute to the unassuming heroes on the fringes of society. The band shares, “FORGE’ is about the small pockets of communities that are overlooked, unheard, ignored.”Sweet and aggressive, new single “Bloom” is a response to the obsession of perceived beauty in perfection. Addressing this disconnect, the band asks if something is more beautiful when it is broken.
Keep reading to learn more about Fassine and their writing process, FORGE, and inspirations.
(Pictured L-R: James, Sarah, Laurie)
1. What was the inspiration behind your latest single, Magpie?
Sarah: ‘It’s about a Magpie-type lover and all that comes with it, luring us into the hope of a beautiful relationship. It’s as close as we could get to writing a pop song on this album’.
2. Your new album FORGE has released! What can you tell us about it?
S: Forge is our most daring album yet, it’s quite a polarizing and that’s exactly where we want to be. There’s not much room for middle ground here.
3. What inspires you to be an artist?
Laurie: If you’re a true artist, you think like an artist in everything you do. You take inspiration from everything around you. The lens you view life through is a very wide one so nothing is ever off limits when pulling in ideas.
4. Favorite city to perform in?
S: Our favorites in the UK are Manchester and Swindon. We played in both cities promoting our last album ‘Gourami’ and absolutely loved the gigs and the people. They have also birthed some of the greatest bands the UK has ever produced.
5. If you could plan a festival who would be playing?
L: Great question! Edwyn Collins, Altered Images, Keely Forsyth, Baxter Dury. It would end up giving Coachella a run for its money so we’ll stop there.
6. If you could open for anyone – who would it be?
S: XTC, David Bowie or Kate Bush.
7. How did you come up with your name?
S: We were thinking about a name for some time, Laurie and I stumbled on the word, looked at each other and said, ‘Don’t say anything, let it settle, let it settle’. Later that day, we said ‘Yes, that’s it, no question’. And it’s a great name! It’s perfect for us as it doesn’t have any baggage or preconceived ideas. It allows us to freely create just about anything we want to without any raised eyebrows.
8. Do you have a party trick?
S: Laurie is quite the comedian; he is always performing (showing off) in the studio or the rehearsal room and has an array of voices that keep us all entertained. My favorite is his impression of Shirley Williams, an eighty-nine-year-old Liberal Democrat Politician here in the UK. ‘Shirley Williams sings the songs of Slip Knot’ is an example. Another favorite is ‘Man-with-no-voice-screaming-inside-a-box’. He has unlimited energy, even at 3am when we’re in the studio and tired of life, he will start to break dance on the floor.
9. Where will the band be in five years?
L: Talking to you about our 5th or 6th album hopefully!
10. What is your favorite song that you’ve written?
L: ‘Limbs’ – As it was the most fun to write and record. It was also one of the most organic and improvised songs we’ve ever done. Ideas flowed so naturally during those sessions it was a great time.
S: ‘Gold’ – For me, this song represents everything we are as a band.
11. What is the writing process like?
S: A lot more disparate these days, we used to sit in a room and write together, now, we often create and write individually. Laurie will create a stable of instrumental tracks and then I will pick my favourites to work on. Then Jim will put in his thoughts and then we’ll all take that version to our producer Rohan and we’ll pick the song apart and reconstruct it there.
12. What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
L: I’d be a full-time birder.
S: Journalism, writing about people’s lives and their stories.
13. Can you each tell us a secret?
Laurie & Sarah: We watch an array of movies and documentaries of great substance, though sometimes, we find ourselves dabbling in soap operas such as EastEnders (but the old episodes from our teens). Not long ago, whilst holed up in the middle of Winter, we found ourselves watching the very first episodes of Home & Away, an Australian soap. I bet even Nick Cave has to switch off occasionally!
14. What does popular mean to you?
L: That’s a really tricky one and particularly in art. I wouldn’t necessarily equate poverty with purity and I think that just because something is popular it doesn’t mean it’s not worthy. Equally, I wouldn’t say that most popular music is anything to write home about either. I guess popular for me is when people down the pub start talking about it. For example, Kings of Leon went from niche to popular. They were a band that suddenly even your mum knew. Now that’s not a bad thing at all, especially for their bank balances and not their fault either but it does shift things in your own perception of something. How you deal with that is how mad you end up!
15. Can you tell us about any shows or projects you have coming up?
S: We’re playing the XTC convention in the UK in September, which we’re super excited about, fans are coming from all over the world. We have also started working on new material with some collaborations. But, the new material will not be like anything like we have done before I can promise you that.
You can check out the album here: