(Photos of interview by Alysse Gafkjen)
In anticipation of their Columbus show this week at Outland, I caught up with Simon Balthazar, Amos Memon and Leon Beckenham of Fanfarlo while in Austin for SXSW. I must say it’s a bit intimidating walking into an interview being the face of Columbus to a group of musicians who are not only talented and finding success right now, but foreign to our Midwestern scene… quite literally. (Full disclosure: This is due to the fact that I both write for donewaiting and work for Benco.)
Donewaiting: How was Fanfarlo born and how has it developed into it’s current state?
Simon: Ok, so, the short story is.. Fanfarlo used to be a recording project and it kinda came about just before I moved to London [from Sweden]. We pretty much started releasing 7″ on friends labels [in London] straight away before there was really a band. From that recording project, I started meeting people and now it’s become this dysfunctional family of a band we are today.
DW: How long have you been playing together?
Amos: It’ll be the 4th year, later this year together. Originally we were 6, but now we’re 5 people.
S: For the last year, we’ve been playing with guest guitarists.
Leon: We’ve gone through about 6, haven’t we, in the last couple of years?
A: We’ve chewed them up, spit them out.
DW: London seems like a good place to make music, all things considered…
S: It is and it isn’t. It’s a really active scene, there’s all sorts of stuff going on. There’s a very quick turn around, things get old really quickly. And that’s a downside, I think. It’s good in the sense that there’s always something fresh to be excited about. But me personally, I’ve tried to stay a little bit out of the blog bands, you know buzz bands.
DW: In regards to your album Reservoir, how long did it take from start to finish to get out to the general public?
A: I think it was like 7 months.
S: We spent the first two months deliberating over the sequencing, the name and cover art. It’s funny, I mean we did put it out ourselves but I think if we would have had a label kinda whipping us into shape we would have gone through that quicker. I don’t know how interesting it is, you know, the way you sell a record. But for us it was interesting, it was really fun and encouraging to see how many people would get your record directly from you. Continue reading