Interview FAMY: ‘It Was The Best Time Of Our Lives’

One sold out single followed by two years of silence - FAMY are finally ready to land.

Nothing quite sounds like FAMY. Blame it on the South of France heritage, the purposefully misspelled name, the chapel walls they recorded their album in. Sometimes they sound as folk-pedalling and gigantic as Mumford and Sons, without the banjos and dodgy waistcoats. Vocalist Bruce Yates is on the brink of alien-like falsetto. His voice reaches notes that border on a literal squeal. None of this should work. Plenty of casual listeners will think it’s a disaster. But at this moment in time they’ve every right to feel like they’re on the brink of an illustrious career - don’t count on it, though.

They’ve disappeared once before, after all. Following a sold out debut single - ‘Dogg Dogg’, in 2011 - nothing followed. As it turns out, this absence wasn’t due to laziness or wantaway intentions. Management issues and legal jargon got in the way of new material. A whole album’s been readied for two years. It was recorded in the summer of 2012, drummer Thomas Edwards confirms. “It was probably the best ten days of our lives,” he follows, with not a hint of hyperbole.

“That summer was really horrible. But those ten days, we arrived at the chapel, set up and suddenly the sun came out. It was perfectly blue, beautiful! Surrounded by green fields,” follows Bruce.

“It was a track a day. We were really focused. We knew what we were going to do. It was the best time of our lives. One of my favourite memories ever.”

To have the whole thing stalled by delays and wrangling might have shot FAMY in their stride. Instead they’ve returned with ‘Donkey’, which contains tracks from the debut, each one more stirring than the last. Its title-track proudly declares “Famy is here”, like it’s having to reassuring any doubters about the future.

Thomas, Bruce and his brother Arthur Yates [guitarist] both shadow as members of Los Porcos, disco-obsessed mavericks donning all-white suits and strutting dancehall moves. Part of that project feels like an inside joke. This is different. The serious intentions are written on the wall. Bruce recounts a night where the band recorded an ‘Intro’ for the album. “That was the night we lit all the candles in the chapel and… got religious. The vocal booth was on an alter of the chapel. The bass amp was on the bell tower.” It sounds too good to be true. He’s probably taking the piss. But when these songs finally emerge, this one-departed group will announce themselves, here to stay.

Taken from the new, free DIY Weekly, available to read online, download on Android via Googleplay, or download on iPad now.

Tags: FAMY, Features

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