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Interview: Ben Davies from Idle Frets


Liverpool indie darlings Idle Frets have been grooving up UK stages since they burst onto the scene last year. Their infectious sound has seen them support the likes of The 1975 and Catfish And The Bottlemen, while the quartet have also performed a string of headline shows and festivals throughout the UK. We were lucky enough to chat with the band’s frontman Ben Davies just after the release of their funky new single Glow!

Congrats on the new single! What’s the story behind the track?

Thank you very much! The track is about a girl I fell in love with at a time that wasn’t quite right for her. She was in a dark patch of a relationship and looked to me to cheer her up. We both knew that it was a sh*t position to be in as but knew that nothing could happen while she was with her fella. That’s the point where I wrote the song…it’s a song out of frustration, and a feeling of not being in control of the situation. I guess I don’t want to go too specific as I want people to have their own interpretation of the song when they listen to it.

There are a whole stack of sounds going on in the song! What were you listening to or taking influence from when you were writing and producing the track?

We are all into different things really, this is something I feel gives us the sound we get as we don’t necessarily aim to be like a certain band. We just play what we enjoy, and that just creates this big mash up of sound that you’re talking about.

For instance, Dave (Guitarist) is big into his funk and John Mayer and the likes, while I’m into loads of things from Thin Lizzy to Catfish And The Bottlemen, to The 1975, right the way through to a good ol’ dose of Little Mix!

This track, like your earlier releases Aftershow and Now You’re Back, has a very tight indie-pop sound. Can fans expect more of the catchy bounce in your first full length release, or have Idle Frets been brewing a few different sounds that you’re yet to unleash?

We don’t focus on aiming for a particular sound but I guess it won’t steer too far away from the tracks you’ve listened to so far…they’re a good taster of the output that comes from the weird cocktail of influences we have within the band. We are definitely a live band though so the focus is on how we can make the live shows as fun as possible!

What led you to landing on this indie-pop sound for the outfit?

We don’t like to limit ourselves too much to a category but we guess you’re right in the fact it would fit under the indie-pop umbrella. I think that’s just the output we get. It’s a strange one to try and explain!

You’ve had a few goes playing headline shows as well as a few festival slots, what’s the difference in these performances for you as a band?

I think the headline shows are much more interactive as people are coming specifically to see us, so you can hear loads of people singing the tunes back to us. Festivals hold a different atmosphere as everyone is drunk and up for a laugh, so although some may not know the words they get the general vibe and that’s where the festival atmosphere comes from.

You’ve supported The 1975 and Catfish And the Bottlemen, as well as a stack of other bands. What lessons about performing live have you taken from those artists?

Be yourselves! Both bands were absolute gents and had a lot of time for us. They just love music and were so positive towards the band. We learnt to be real to friends and fans that come to watch and be nice to everyone on the way up, I think that’s where the most successful bands come from. Ultimately just enjoying it too is hugely important.

Obviously, it might be tough for Aussie audiences to pick up on British bands that haven’t managed to break it on our side of the world. Who are some artists that you guys are vibing now that everyone else needs to know about?

Man, it’s so overwhelming that our music has made it over to Australia! There’s a class band we just played a few UK dates with called Marsicans so go check them out, they’re going to be big man! Lovely lads too!