Back You are here: Home Interviews Feature Interview: Fat Freddy's Drop

Feature Interview: Fat Freddy's Drop

Splendour in the Grass is upon us and AAA's Gabriella had the chance to chat with Dobie Blaze aka Iain Gordon (keyboards) from New Zealand collective Fat Freddy's Drop and discuss the new album 'Blackbird' and the upcoming Splendour show.

How you doin’ Dobie?

Yeah good thanks, how are you going?

I am brilliant; it’s nice to hear a kiwi accent. I used to live in New Zealand, Hokitka.

Laughs. Haha great, we’re on the North coast.

How many days did it take you to record Blackbird?

Pause- How many days? Laughs. Days, that’s funny it’s more like how many years. It was a lot of years of recording that went into that. You know, we pop a recording out once every four years. So, I think the length, it took four years. There was a lot of days. It took a lot of time. We have a beautiful new studio, so we spend as much time as recording as we want to…. 

You have your own studio? 

Yeah, yeah we have our own studio that we've been recording in the last few years. It's a luxury to have.

Where is it located? 

Uh, it's in Wellington.

Do you reckon that if you weren't recording in your hometown, you wouldn't feel as inspired?

..Ah.. Pause.. no, no I think inspiration can be taken from wherever you are. Wellington's definitely an inspirational place for us, we love it, so um, the sound reflects the environment and the people who live in it. But no I mean we can write anywhere. We often write on the road. It depends on how we’re feeling. something might happen and we often end up making up some new thing, might be on the back of the bus, somewhere between Amsterdam and Berlin, or it might be in the green room or the hotel room.

Is Fat Freddy's drop a big collaborative project? 

There are seven composers and each person brings in a different element of composition to the way we write songs. We write songs democratically, we break through the subgroups, some songs probably than others. As far as composition and production and playing are concerned it's all equal tasks. 

As you grow more professional as a band- I mean your bloody professional already- is improvisation on stage and recording still a part of what you do? 

Yeah we always leave a bit of room for improvisation. We come from a jam band kind of era. I suppose it was really a big part of musical development that sorta came out of jazz and then it was hip-hop and, I mean electronics, bit of a mismatch of both things being the core of what we do. So, we always leave it in the air.

What's your opinion on major record labels these days, beccause I know you guys are under your own label, Drop.

Ah, I don't really have one. I'm not really involved in the industry to do with the major labels. I don't really know how it operates anymore. But when we started making music, there were offers to get involved with a major label, and, we've all, in different times, been involved in major labels to a degree with other bands in the past. But nothing major. So, I don't really have an opinion. But I know that we couldn't consider a major label because there wasn't enough money to split between seven people, once the major label took their part. It just wasn't going to work. The only possibility was to do it ourselves. it wasn't like a plausible decision or anything it was just a matter of necessity. And it worked. We're lucky it worked. 

Yeah, I think it's great. I think more bands should be doing that, if they can afford it.

Yeah, so do I, otherwise we'd be giving up half the money we make to somebody else!

How many shows are you playing at Splendour?

Um I think we're playing one. I may need to get my facts straight, I only got home from overseas and all I've been doing is kids birthday parties and school holidays and - laughs - I've got absolutely no idea, I think we're just playing one show.

Do you get to walk around the festival and see other bands or do you have to fly straight out?

No, actually I think we've got enough time to be able to see some gigs and enjoy it this time round. Normally we're in and out, but I think we have a bit of time.

One last question before I leave you to your kids and birthday parties… Where is your favourite place to play a show?

Wellington. Laughs. I gotta say Wellington. It’s always nice to be able to come home and play in the place we first started making music in a group, cos we're not all from Wellington literally, we all come from different parts of the country.

Related Articles

Our Community

  • Facebook
  • instagram
  • Twitter
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Google+

Contact Us

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.