News Reading & Leeds Festival 2009: Fake Problems

With Reading & Leeds Festival just days away, we caught up with a few of the bands playing to see how they’re getting on, what they’re currently up to, and what we can expect from them over the festival season.

Florida’s Fake Problems have just released their new album ‘It’s Great To Be Alive’, and they’ll be playing tracks from it on the Lock Up Stage this Friday (Reading) and Sunday (Leeds).

So, Florida – State of oranges and gym-goers – what else do you think is great/bloody awful about Florida?

It’s great because it’s practically always sunny and paradise-esque. We never have snow and in the winter-time it gets as cold as 50 degrees MAYBE. The downfalls are it’s practically ALWAYS hot and sweaty - there are bugs galore (real gross bugs, and snakes too!), and it takes us about 8 hours to get out of the state before we leave on any tour. Oh also, hurricanes and alligators terrorize us. So the price of living in paradise is constantly being afraid of dying of an alligator attack, hurricane catastrophe, or heat stroke.

How have you guys been preparing to travel to Europe – have you packed a large amount of literature? What do you guys listen to when touring?

We’ve been rehearsing a lot - European crowds tend to demand a longer set than we’re used to. In America we play around 30-40 minutes, but in Europe they won’t let us leave until we’re sweating our way to the end of a 120 minute set.

We have a pretty wide range of music we listen to on the road. Yann Tiersen is a good ‘driving through the countryside’ artist though.

Your most recent album, ‘It’s Great To Be Alive’, has an edge of punk rock, blues rock and a sprinkle of country… which aspect do you feel comes out most in the live setting?

The rock! Our records are pretty layered and orchestral. For our live show, however, we tend to lean more towards the raw rock and roll aspect of our songs.

What did you most enjoy about making this record?

Definitely going to Omaha and recording with AJ Mogis at ARC. We’ve been listening to records that have come out of that scene since we were 15 years old. It’s been a dream of ours to record there - so to have that come to fruition was a new level for us.

If you were actually going to level with the devil, it would presumably involve some home truths, any ideas of what you’d actually give him a talking to about?

I’d ask him what he did that was so bad he got kicked out of heaven.

Playing Reading and Leeds can be a pretty daunting prospect – a far cry from SXSW and the teeny venues earlier this year – are you looking forward to it? How do you feel/hope you will be received? The Lock Up Stage can be pretty wild, what would you play to make people really go nuts?

This will be the biggest show(s) we’ve played to date. I’m pretty anxious. My mind goes wild around a lot of stimulus and I tend to have a lot of fun. We’ve been working on our set for the past few days and I think the crowd will really enjoy what we’ve got in store.

You’re also playing the Brighton Freebut in the same weekend – 3 shows in 3 days, how will you make sure you’re on top form for these big dates?

Although Reading & Leeds are huge major festivals, I’m just treating it like another day, another show. We play 9 shows in 9 days - we’ve played 3 shows in one day, etc etc. We’re a rock band and our job is to rock, as much as possible, whenever we’re needed. Like Batman with more drinking.

Frank Turner is a bit of a legend, and you’re supporting him on a UK tour next month – nervous? Excited? Have you met him already?

Frank has been a GREAT friend of ours for the past two years. We actually put out a record of his in the states, and have taken him on tour with us twice before. He’s a huge inspiration to me as a songwriter, as well as a touring musician.

You are apparently only ever three degrees of separation away from someone mind-blowingly famous or inspiring… as you’re in a band this shouldn’t be too hard (we hope) but tell us your best one.

Hmmm… Does Frank Turner count as mind-blowingly famous? I met Chuck Norris one time when I was 6 years old!

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