Interview O Fracas

We thought recent single ‘Follow Sue’ was one of the most urgent pop rackets about”, and so it was only fair we let frontman Ben have his say.”

Leeds-based maths fans O Fracas have built up quite a following in the recent past, and being with hotter-than-hot London label Marquis Cha Cha, it doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. We thought recent single ‘Follow Sue’ was ‘one of the most urgent pop rackets about’, and so it was only fair we let frontman Ben have his say.

You’re just about to support The Young Knives, are you looking forward to it?
Oooh. Well we actually had to pull out of those gigs due to some quite unfortunate circumstances on the family front. We’re really disappointed as, yes we were looking forward to it and we’ve played with them once before and it was ace. They’re a fantastic troupe, and great to chat to as well. However, we hope to get together with them again sometime. We’re doing a few dates with the Noisettes on their re-scheduled UK tour starting next week. We haven’t been too lucky with gigs as of late!

Are you actually from Leeds, or, like many, are you just pretending?
No we’re not pretending! How dare you?! Actually we’re only three quarters Leodensian, as Chris is from Blackpool, in that unspeakable county of Lancashite, sorry Lancashire. We quite often replay the War of the Roses when rehearsing. I have a bayonet fitted to the top of my guitar. Nothing like a bit of jingoism for the soul. Alex, Jim and I were all born in the Clarendon Wing of the Leeds General Infirmary. You can’t get more Leeds that that can you? Although incidentally Alex and I grew up North West of Leeds, in the Nether region of Airedale, parts of which have Bradford postcodes or telephone numbers. It’s a very confused place, where the Dales meet the West Yorks conurbation. People do weird and wonderful things like supporting Leeds Rhinos and Bradford City at the same time… very strange.

You’ve had some very good reviews, are you pleased with the response you’ve had so far?
I guess I’d have to say yes! Before the national focus on Leeds and the mythical ‘New Yorkshire’ vibe that developed out of nowhere, we were well received locally and had featured in a few things from out of town. When our debut single came out we were really happy with the response, magazines and labels were excited and we got the nod from other bands we’d never met before. However with the last single, we’ve been tarred with a bit of ‘trendy’ brush, just because we come from Leeds. There’s already a backlash of sorts with people who haven’t come across us before saying stuff like ‘here’s another band from Yorkshire’. Idiots. One reviewer didn’t even talk about music but made a load of short-sighted and quite frankly inexcusable rants about how we’re probably all rake thin and have trendy haircuts, which I’d like to point out is quite inaccurate. I’ve been battling with my weight for years now, haha. Its much more constructive for us to get a critical eye from someone who knows what they’re talking about, rather than receiving some trashy waffle about what ought to be irrelevant to a reviewer of music. Sloppy journalism really is the bane of our lives.

Is there an album in the pipeline?
Certainly, definitely, the pipeline is being prepared as I write. We’re doing some demos for some new tracks in July, and have earmarked 17 songs to be whittled down for an album. We’re already working on ideas for artwork and hope to find someone to fund it so we can re-record everything and release something as soon as possible.

What’s next on your release schedule?
After we’ve got all the work out of the way writing, re-working and preparing stuff for an album, we might do an EP in the early autumn, depending on how things have gone over the summer. Ideally we want to do another single or two as well before the year is out. Tying it in with an album would be an ideal goal, as we want to surprise some people who have passed us off as merely another ebb in the flow of new-wave, art-rock bands of recent years, so getting more varied material out there is a must really.

Are you playing any festivals this year?
We’ve decided to concentrate on material for an album over the next few months, but we have had offers from some places, and there are possible dates lined up in Europe and around the UK. We do like festivals so we’re still very much open to offers!

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