- Tue, 2009-12-29 14:10
Fly Yellow Moon marks the debut solo release from Fyfe Dangerfield, the founding member and front man of Brit and Mercury Prize nominated UK avant-pop troupe Guillemots. An accomplished classically trained musician, composer, songwriter and singer, Fyfe recorded his solo material with acclaimed producer Adam Noble (Coldplay, Paul McCartney and Guillemots) in just five days.
I Like Music caught up with Fyfe in the back of a taxi to chat about his musical ambitions, the new Guillemots record and his current musical recommendations.
"I Like Music because… it keeps me sane.” Fyfe Dangerfield
ILM: What can we expect from your first solo release?
Fyfe: There’s nothing to it really. It’s just some songs. I had some bits and pieces that I wrote mainly in 2008 and around the time of Red with Guillemots. A lot of them were really acoustic and suited just one voice and a guitar, songs that wouldn’t really work for a band record. Me and my friend Adam just booked five days in the studio at the end of the summer to see what we would come up with. We weren’t really thinking of making a record. I think that was probably why it turned out well. We weren’t worrying about it too much. We got about two thirds of the record done in those five days.
ILM: How did your experience and time with Guillemots prepare you for your solo work?
Fyfe: I don’t know! This all seems like a bigger deal than it is. I didn’t think about anything like that. It just felt natural. I went into the studio to do some recording. It went well. We decided to put it out. That was it really! We’re very busy working on stuff in the band as well. It’s not as if I’ve left the band and this is a new career, it’s just something else I’m doing.
ILM: A case of ‘I’ve written some songs. They don’t work for the band. Let’s go and see what happens.’
Fyfe: Yeah. Exactly that. Everyone in Guillemots does their own things outside of the band as well. I think doing this has allowed me to come back to the band with more vigour.
ILM: What’s happening with Guillemots at the moment? How is everyone?
Fyfe: We’re good! We were writing for most of 2009. It’s going really well. We’re going to hopefully start recording a new record in a couple of months. We’ve just spent a long time being in a room really. Being friends, hanging out and getting loads of stuff together as a live band. Rather than going into the studio with ideas and writing in the studio like we did last time, we’re going to try and get an entire new live set together and then go and record it.
ILM: What is the setup for your solo live show?
Fyfe: I think I’m just going to do it by myself. Um.....I think. I need to decide pretty soon! I’ve got a little secret London show, whatever you want to call it, public rehearsal, whatever. I’ve done some radio sessions with some string players, I really love playing with strings. I’d like to take them on tour but I’m starting to like the challenge of having to do it all myself. I’m just going to be very relaxed about it. Initially I thought I needed to plan out a bigger set and stuff, now I’m just thinking that it’s more in keeping with the record to be on stage for an hour. Just doing what I do. Seeing what happens. We’ll see.
ILM: All sounds nice and happy and laidback...
Fyfe: Haha! Yeah. Here’s hoping to a nice, happy laidback year!
ILM: What music have you been listening to recently?
Fyfe: There’s about fifty things I’ve been listening to recently...er...I just heard the new Besnard Lakes track Albatross. That was very good. Also this guy called Thomas Feiner. Who has a very interesting album I discovered a few months ago. Very melancholy...court songs I suppose. That’s great. Also I’m a big fan of Animal Collective. I’ve been listening to old episodes of Chris Morris’ Radio 1 music show too. They’re just amazing. You can download them all somewhere on the internet. It’s incredible. Loads of the music he plays is really great. Just random songs I’ve never heard. There’s a song by Prefab Sprout called Ghost Town Blues which I’d never heard before that show. Great lyrics. He doesn’t even say the names of the tracks half the time, so I’m just constantly typing things into google to find them out!
ILM: You’re a classically trained musician, member of a successful band and now, a solo artist. Do you have plans to branch into any other areas of musical expertise?
Fyfe: Oh! I have loads! I’m just trying to get more and more things done. I want to write more orchestral stuff. I really want to get into writing instrumental music for films. That’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages, to separate my voice out from a lot of the music I do. I want to start writing proper, genuine pop songs for other people as well. I’m trying to get myself working a bit harder at home and have a bit more perseverance as a writer. I tend to write for five minutes and then think ‘I’m bored of this.’ A lot of writing is about sticking with an idea, even if initially you think it’s not that good.