‘The Fratellis’ have enjoyed a summer of festivals and I was interested to find out which had been their favorite, Jon had a very definitive answer, telling me in his thick Scottish accent that ‘Arenal Sound’ in Castellon, Spain absolutely ‘blew us away’ and ‘made us feel just like ‘The Rolling Stones’’, especially as it was one they agreed to do on a whim and had no idea what to expect. We went on to discuss what really makes a festival or gig, agreeing that there is just ‘an invisible force’ that you can never put your finger on.
When I asked about the new album (‘We Need Medicine’ – out 7th October), I was surprised to hear it has not been long in the making, Jon explained the band ended their hiatus with the sole intention of playing gigs, he said they were shocked at the positive response to their reformation – ‘we were surprised to find people didn’t leave for drinks or bathroom breaks when we played new songs at summer festivals’, so agreed to produce a new album.
One of the things that most impressed me whilst talking to Jon was his desire to create songs and albums that he was happy with, ‘I would rather everyone else hated it but I was happy with it, instead of producing something I regretted’.
Talking about the new single ‘Seven Days, Seven Nights’, I was delighted to hear that Jon feels it really ‘represents the new album’ as well as being ‘one of two or three songs on the album with real life meaning’. He commented that his musical and outside influences have remained the same since he was fifteen, although when I asked how much he feels their style has changed since their first album, he commented ‘time naturally dictates change in style despite continuous influences’.
Jon hopes to start recording another album after their seven week tour this autumn. He pointed out that the perfect time to record an album is straight after a tour, high on the adrenaline and excitement it creates. I enquired as to how long he hopes to continue making music for and his very profound answer was ‘as long as we are allowed to’, I would hate to outlive our glory, I’d rather quit while we are ahead’.
I found it brilliant to talk to a musician with such strong morals for making music rather than being completely steered by the music industry. It seems to me ‘The Fratellis’ are really keeping alive the true reason for the existence of music – for the enjoyment of both the audience and the band.
Wanting to end with a fun question, I finally asked Jon what he would have liked to be if he had not become a musician, to which he replied with complete sincerity ‘all I ever wanted to do was make music with my friends’. However, at the last minute he added ‘but I always thought being a pilot would be a great adventure’.