Interview: Fonzy & Company
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music is an escape and a component that just gives life more meaning. My mum would blast in the car Carpenters, ELO, Huey Lewis and everything just made sense. Then I developed and started finding other artists that were harder, faster and more chaotic which just changed that game for me. I think I would be much more sensible, richer and more grounded if I didn't have music, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Work, like all the time. It gives me incentive as I know it's all for the band. Everytime that arsehole customer comes in, I just keep thinking 'It's OK you have a band to think about'. To be fair that does drive the influence a little. But seriously apart from TV and Movies I don't do much else except music, unless getting drunk and talking to my cat counts?
How long has your band been around?
2019. It wasn't even suppose to be a band, just a recording project. I wanted to play live too badly I think. The line up has changed but the music remains in tact.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Bristol. Thing is apart from one, none of the band are from Bristol. What makes the band special is a few different walks of life with different backgrounds and origin stories. That has definitely had more of an impact than the city itself. I grew up in London and then spent a majority of my teens in Salisbury so a mixed bag.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Fonzy was a nickname growing up. 'And Company' was the collective of musicians and friends helping me make my music come alive. I still write the music initially, but it's always interesting and sometimes better to get a different outlook on how a track can sound.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We started at arguably the worst time possible. When we were ready to gig at the end of 2019, COVID hit shortly after. So we have had an extremely limited array of shows for a band of 2-3 years, all of which have been awesome. Yet to play to an empty room so we consider ourselves lucky. We have some of our biggest shows coming up soon.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
We've had a pretty good run so far. But as highlights go, I'm sure most of us have had bigger experiences outside of this band. I was on tour in Europe, Isle Of Wight Festival, Glastonbury Festival etc in previous bands and I'm never going to forget that feeling. I'm definitely chasing the dragon in a way with Fonzy and Company, but I know so much more now.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Right. I don't know who in their right mind would go to this festival but if money is no option let's get Green Day, Fleetwood Mac, Alexisonfire, Rancid, Norah Jones (on the Sunday so people can calm down), Ash, Travis, The Interrupters, Bowling For Soup, Steel Panther, Sports Team, The Libertines, The Offspring, Pixies, Jimmy Eat World, Rush, Aerosmith, CCR......oh man. We would open though.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Most people aren't willing to give what it takes. It's not a way to get laid or party, you have to divide those people in the Industry who are there to either screw you or ready to get real. I'm not here to fuck about, if I want to do that I'd go back to being in a Green Day tribute band. If you're serious, make sure the people surrounding you are the same, otherwise it's time, effort and money you aren't going to get back.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
You will work with people you look up to now, but then you'll realize that they actually don't have a scooby about anything, just pure dumb luck. Choose your path on your own terms and continue to not tolerate any bullshit.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I personally love 'The Serenade'. The progression of the solo is just ear candy. One of the first songs we ever released 'Pieces' always sounds gorgeous too and helps to break up the set nicely. We had a bunch of people sing back out track 'Silk' a month back and that was a lovely surprise.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I write the track, lyrics etc and the band take it, blend it and what comes out is what we are. Inspiration is everywhere. I keep the lyrics as opaque as possible so the listener can engage and relate in their own way. People still have the same problems and we like to think we are there for anyone that needs us. Music saved my life and it would be awesome to think a Fonzy track has helped someone.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
It's always nice to get almost analyzed when it comes to our lyrics. I only know what certain songs are about, but the others are open to interpretation. We cover a range of issues that are relatable in all walks of life, we definitely have some scars mentally and physically from our different trials and tribulations. That's what makes the music real to us though.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
All bands have their creative differences, think it's only human to have disagreements. Even in the band's general direction, we have altercations but it's only ever temporary. Communication is definitely key - being in a band like ours can be mentally exhausting for everyone involved. Purely down to its treated like a second job, any band who says they never disagree are either naive or don't take it seriously enough.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We are gigging extensively around the UK, we have our own beer out soon, we have more episodes of the podcast coming out and finally Touché is out 17th June so excited.