(December 31, 2008)
Q: Hello Fools & Horses, how are you today?
A: We are doing very well thanks! Looking forward to the New Year’s show tonight.
Q: First of all, could you introduce yourselves?
A: We’ve got Matt here on vocals and guitar, Tim behind me (he’s my little brother) on drums and occasional vocal, next is Steve (come say hi steve) on guitar and vocals, and finally Kent who is on bass and vocal.
Q: Fools & Horses, that’s an interesting band name. What is the meaning behind the name and how did you come up with it?
A: It comes from two places. There’s an old saying: Only Fools & Horses work. And there is a British sitcom called Only Fools & Horses, which got its name from the saying. We were hurting for a name prior to our first show and came across some tapes of the show. Tim and Matt had lived in England for a time and were and still are huge fans of the show. Fools & Horses it was and is still today.
Q: Recently you guys released a terrific album called “I Am The Ghost”. How would you describe the album, musically and otherwise?
A: Well, we think you said it all really…it’s terrific! To put it more humbly, it’s a conceptual time-capsule. Collectively we were going through some tough times. We were broke (still are), going through the ends of some rocky relationships, and so on. The songs are largely about these experiences, though some break the mold and are actually about happier things. But we always seem to be able to take a negative situation and make it sound fun and uplifting.
Musically, we were really trying to put together something cohesive. What I appreciate about F&H is we’re very dynamic and love all styles of music. The challenge for us was to rein the songs in and make them sound unified. Our only really negative review of the record was that it was too much like that. So in a way, we really pulled it off!
Q: What has the significance of the release been for your lives and careers? In what ways did it change things for you as a band?
A: Anytime we put something out it raises our credibility, especially with agents, labels, and the press. It proves that we’re committed, and builds to our story. It’s still a fresh release, so we have yet to see the majority of the feedback to come. But the tracks “Anna Was the Enemy” and “Selfish” have been in heavy rotation on radio for a good while, and it’s building the buzz on the record rather nicely. We’re also looking forward to playing some rather bangin’ festivals out west as a direct result of the record, and possibly a tour out in the UK.
Q: In hindsight, what have been the most amazing things that have happened to you in the year 2008?
A: The release of I Am the Ghost has to be the absolute best of ’08. We never feel better than putting out records. It’s in our blood. We opened for the Knack in September right after the release (“My Sharona”), and Matt recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Miles Zuniga of Fastball (“The Way”, and “Out of My Head”) to discuss producing the follow-up to Ghost. He’s a musical hero of Matt’s and somebody we look forward to talking more to.
Q: And I know it’s only been recently since you guys released “I Am The Ghost”, but are you already thinking about a follow-up?
A: Certainly are. We have an album’s worth of songs ready to go, but we’ll wait until we have even more to choose from before recording them.
Q: It must have been very exciting to take the songs on the road. What song was the most fun to play live, and how did the crowds respond to it?
A: Selfish has been a great song to play live. It’s a favorite to many of the fans. People who have never heard us before connect to that song, largely because it’s upbeat and very call & responsive.
Q: Speaking of touring, any exciting touring plans in the near future? Any special gigs in 2009?
A: We’re looking foward to entertaining the troops in Japan and Okinawa in March of 2009. Although Tim and Matt have lived abroad, the guys have yet to collectively leave the country to play. We’re also excited about playing at the South Park Music Festival in June (yes…the REAL South Park…Steve’s a HUGE fan)
Q: And if you could play anywhere in the world, your choice, where would you love to play? And why?
A: We’d love to play in the UK. It’ll be a musical homecoming for Matt & Tim (that’s where they really started playing), and a chance to show the Brits what we’ve learned from them. We adore the British musical sensibility.
Q: And if you could also choose who you would play that show with, who would you choose? And why that band or artist?
A: Oh, so many to choose. Maybe Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Travis, Radiohead, but all for different reasons. They each inspire us differently, but they put on killer shows and we think we’d complement the bill nicely.
Q: Who are the biggest influences for you guys, when it comes to your sound and songwriting?
A: Definately British artists for the songwriting. The Beatles, Travis, Radiohead, Coldplay. But we dig on Americans like Simon & Garfunkel too. The sound is a mixture of the likes of the Who, Zeppelin, Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Cake, Franz Ferdinand, etc. Really, any artist who releases a great record influences us. We could go on forever.
Q: What is the best thing about being musicians and what is the worst thing about it?
A: Doing what we love to do for a living is the best thing. The worst is it’s not really a living for us yet, but we’re getting there. Being away from home and our dogs, gals, beds (in no particular order) is tough.
Q: Okay a few random questions now.
Q: Day or night?
Q: Club venue or arena venue?
Q: CDs or digital music?
A: CDs…you can always digitize them, and still have the CD
Q: Okay, final question. What are your thoughts on people downloading music, both legally & illegally?
A: Downloads have changed the landscape and brought the power back to the consumer. Before, you’d have to buy the album and hope you liked all the songs. Now you can preview it and buy what you like. The artist doesn’t want you to buy just one song, because they’re all great songs (so he’d tell you) but it’s your money. Illegal downloads…hmm…We understand both sides of the argument. We’ll leave it at that.
Thank you Fools & Horses, it’s been a great pleasure talking to you!