Fake Major

Fake Major Web-20

Our email tagline is ‘while Scotland sleeps we listen’ which means that when we do wake up, there is frequently a facebook-twitter deluge to wade through. The reaction summary the other day went a bit like this:

  (Sadness) -“Endor broke up!”

   (Relief) – “Endor is now just not Endor”

   (Joy) – “there’s a new song and video!”

   (Hell yes!) – a message from Comets and Cartwheels asking if we’d have any interest in doing a feature.

From over here it seems that it was all a  closely guarded secret. How well coordinated was the roll out? Is there a story to the new name?

“Surprisingly not as well coordinated as you might imagine. We have been working on our new project “Fake Major” for the last 6 months, and when we finally got our first track completely finished (and we were both happy with it!), we put it online two days later. It wasn’t so much a closely guarded secret, as much as we didn’t just want to tell everyone who had helped support Endor that it was over and nothing else. We wanted to show those people that we were still writing and recording, and had something new to offer them. The name comes from a feline friend that lives on my street. We thought it sounded good and stuck with it!”

With this duo you’ve gamely entered ‘Over The Wall’ and ‘TMTATC’ territory. I’m guessing this change has been a creative boon and way to move forward musically. Would you characterize that as being the case?

“I think when you start anything new, there is always an excitement at the beginning, and this has helped us be more creative in everything we have been doing recently – writing, recording, and making videos.

We have definitely changed the way we write and record music. In the past we limited ourselves to what we could reproduce at a live show, but now there is a real difference between our recordings, and how we reinterpret the songs when performing.”

Releasing the video on the same day was well played.  If I had heard the song ‘Little Researcher’ the first time without knowing the source, I can’t honestly say I would have instantly recognized it as being Endor. Listening to it a few times, I’m struck by how ‘well considered’ it all is.  Other than just extorting the questioner to listen, how would you say your song craft has developed?

“Little researcher was originally written as our previous band was falling apart, so for Jarv and I it was even more important that we scrutinized every single line. We continually revised the song until we were both happy, and I think we have delved a bit deeper with all the songs on our upcoming EP. Each individual part  – whether a guitar line or vocal harmony – has been more considered than before, make sure every part has its purpose and hopefully adds something interesting.”

The video is undoubtedly one of the finer debuts I’ve seen in a while. It probably seems impossible now, but did you ever consider any other narratives to present the song?  My favourite part was when the stethoscope is placed to the glass and the music itself slows down a beat shortly after.  Who came up with idea for the final notebook entry?

“We are extremely proud of the video, and it was a great creative experience to work with Jolene and Richard (of Precious Productions). I don’t think we did consider other narratives. Jarv had the idea of a child trying to make sense of the world around them, and together we all developed the different scenarios. Richard (of Precious Productions – we call him “Richard 1”) did an incredible job editing it all together, as you have picked up on it the stethoscope! We were lucky enough to have a star in the making play the heroine. Lots of the video was made up of things she already owns, and I think the final notebook entry was her doing. A future star in the making for sure.”

Since we last chatted, people have started sending us ‘press kits’ and I’m still fascinated by the nearly contradictory usefulness and meaninglessness of them.  Which four songs on that Snow Patrol album do I need to listen to again more carefully?

“Ha! Yeah press releases are a strange thing. Jarv sang on Open Your Eyes, Shut Your Eyes, Make This Go on Forever and Hands Open on their Eyes Open album.”

 The snippet from the press blurb that did make me take note was “The truest version of Fake Major exists somewhere between the record and the venue” This strikes me as a much deeper observation.  Could you describe that place yourselves? 

“The original idea we had for this band was to write songs that would sound great with only two people performing them, and equally as good with a full compliment of musicians. We hope that when people come to see us perform live, they can appreciate the different interpretations of the songs, while being able to relate to them from the recordings they have heard. As a bonus, it’s a lot easier to tour with two people rather than seven!”

The first EP is “to follow”. Any sense of the timeline? How many tracks? … Any information you could share would be most welcome.

“The final tracklisting is still to be decided, but the EP should be out in April 2013. We plan to release material as we have it, so expect more to follow.”

It seems that your first ‘official’ show was a few weeks ago in Dundee. We’d very much like to hear how it went. 

“The show in Dundee was great thanks. It felt good to be back on stage performing after hiding away for what seemed an eternity. It is always interesting to take the songs out from the practice space, and get an idea of what parts work better in larger rooms (and which definitely don’t). It’s especially satisfying when certain areas of a song unexpectedly sound great, it’s a real ear treat!”

Thanks for introducing us to Michael Cassidy. Can you tell us anything about him from previous experience? (or from what you learnt from the support slot)

“Michael is a lovely guy, and a great singer songwriter. This is the first time we saw him play with a band, and there is a real country influence that is probably less evident when it’s just him and his guitar, which I really liked. Special mention needs to go to his guitar player who was quite spectacular.”

Have you secured Ms. Crawford for the next video? 

“We are currently having heated discussions with Ms Crawford’s agents (/parents)! Child stars are extremely unpredictable.

Picture 5fakemajor

I like how Fake Major end up right under Endor on our band list. Here is another video release for the song ‘Camera

Thor

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One of the message bottles has turned up. It is a little scuffed and dated. I usually just launch into the interview without context. The assumption has always been that we either already know the band and if for some reason you are reading this and don’t – go check out the music first. Lately, I’ve been primarily listening to bands that have been featured in the blog. My musical listening experience is none the worse for this, but  I’ve been trying to add Endor since the beginning. They are obviously highly regarded by those in the know. They are also criminally underated like so many good Scottish bands tend to be. I’m pretty sure they were a ‘radar’ band. I’m extremely delighted that movement to another record is afoot. There is, afterall, a theoretical limit to how many times one can listen to ‘Chapel Doors’ and ‘Seek Cover’.

Listening to the self-titled full length now, I bought mine digitally.  I was looking to see if there was a physical version to buy and couldn’t find one. Was it only released as a download?

“No it was released on CD as well, but that sold out and we have just repressed it. We released it ourselves, so we took a while weighing up the decision to repress. In the end we opted to go for it as we had a number of requests to make it available on CD again.”

Your contribution of ‘Chapel  Doors’ for the Songs for the Land of the Rising Sun benefit record has an extra 4 seconds of silence at the end. Was there a particular reason for choosing to include this song? It does rank as one my favourite songs. I’d love to hear your story of what ‘it is about’.

“Not really, we just thought it would be good to contribute a track that was some people’s favourite so as to encourage them to buy the record. That song always gets a really strong response.

I would find it hard to describe what the song is ‘about’ because I think the lyrics are pretty straight forward. The first nugget of it came one afternoon when I took a wrong turn trying to find a friend’s flat in Glasgow. I ended up on a street I had never been on, and wound up outside a church where there was a wedding car waiting. A small boy and girl, each about 6, presumably an usher and bridesmaid, were chasing each other outside the closed door. Sounds made up really, but it was from that little image that the rest of the song spun from.”

It is hard to believe that the record came out mid-2010. It has been on constant rotation. Have you written any new songs? Are there any plans to release them soon?

“We have written songs since, some of which we like and plenty that are rubbish. When we finished the first album there were a few hungover little bits and pieces that we took a while to work through and decide whether they were worth keeping on or letting go. One song in particular really picked away at us and I couldn’t stop playing it on piano, but I couldn’t write final lyrics. We finished that around 3 months ago and it feels now like we’re able to properly move on to album two. That piano song will definitely be on there and we’re going to have to pick 9 more by Summer which is when we’re aiming to record.”

Apparently my Endor collection is not complete. Is there any chance of making the first single available digitally as well?

“Nope, sorry. ‘Hold On’ sold out back when it was released and it was never available digitally. We actually don’t have any control as Say Dirty Records would be the ones to decide to rerelease it or not. I really hope they don’t though, not that we weren’t happy with it but it’d be like someone releasing your baby photos.”

It seems that the helptheendorly wordpress blog seems dormant. Is facebook your new forward operating base?

“Yeah that would be my fault. We will update the site more when we swing back into things fully (if we don’t our managers Paul and Vicki might kill us). Facebook is great though for chatting to folks and letting people know about shows.”

With the usual pangs of envy, I noticed that on Dec 16th  you opened for the Jetpacks and Remember, Remember.  I’m curious how you got that support slot. From here it is all magical looking, but I imagine quite a few outfits would have coveted that slot. Why Endor?

“The Jetpacks asked us to. We’ve been friends for years so it was a bit of a Christmas night out vibe. Richard and I played extra guitars on a few of they’re songs on the night and I got to sing the ‘oh oh oh ohs’ on ‘Quiet Little Voices’ which was awesome. but we were taken aback by, like, 1000 people screaming that part back at the stage. It’s amazing how well they have done. They’re one of the best bands around..”

I’ll confess that I might be playing ‘Star Wars: the Old Republic’ right now. Does the band name have anything to do with that universe? I must ask since I’ve learned that I can’t assume anything when it comes to a band name choice.

“Yeah it does but only because we formed the band when we were high school and never grew out of it. Quite a lot of people tell us that when they think of that word now they think of us, which is nice. It also appears in Lord of the Rings and the Bible apparently so we should be safe from any Lucasfilm legal departments.”

Do you have a hat tip to what we should be looking for this year? Personally, I’m really looking forward to Chris Devotion and the Expectations in January.

“Randolph’s Leap’s debut album, Washington Irving’s, and Bear Bones’ too. Also the second State Broadcasters record (you MUST check out their first, it’s called The Ship and the Iceberg), They are our favourite bands. We like them so much we have stolen members from all of them! It’s really more of a timeshare I guess.”

I want to ask another song specific question – ‘Seek Cover’.   I’m in love with the Belladrum live version. How exactly does Belladrum work?  Can we get these recordings somewhere? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHw8yDo6SzI

“Belladrum is a normal music festival in Scotland. That video was filmed as a session when we were up there by Netsounds. I think they audio file is free from their website.”

Constant ‘twitter’ useage forced me to look up ‘Hogmanay’. Since today is the 31st, I would be remiss if I didn’t ask how you spent it.

“We were all in Glasgow I think. Richard, Mark and I were at a party at a friends house, Kieran was in a club in town and Andy… actually I’m not sure I’ve heard from Andy since Hogmanay. If he isn’t at practice tomorrow you’ll have a scoop on your hands.”

Lastly, we’d love it if you asked glasGOwest a question.

“What made you decide to focus on Glasgow?”

Urusei Yatsura – Mogwai – Delgados – The Pastels – A.C Acoustics   …..  to the curent glasGOwest band list. Look at the list then think on how many are still missing. I cannot think of any place with such a concentration of music that moves me. It couldn’t be anything but Glasgow really.  Then there is my infatuation with Chemikal Underground. I’ve always thought of my music as coming from regional center points. Glasgow – Leeds – Cardiff . Of course, what once starteed out being primarily glasgowcentric is gradually spreading out. I think it is safe to say that it will remain the musical heart.

T&P