Interview: The Fugitives
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My father’s passion for classical music. He was a keen pianist and aspiring conductor. He made me and my brother take up instruments from the age of six.
The only other job I ever wanted to do was be a footballer, or soccer player as you call it in the US :)
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I do HIIT or hiking most days. Fresh air, exercise, endorphins and being around nature help the creative process greatly. It’s when I often get my best ideas, for example the album cover and concept of our current record.
How long has your band been around?
Since the late 1990’s under various guises. However there have been several hiatuses and sabbaticals along the way.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of N/W London, England. Some of our biggest influences are from America though, so I wouldn’t say our location has been a major influence. Saying that, we love British music too!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
To be honest it was the only name we could all agree on and liked! But to get deep for a moment, it is a kind of musical metaphor for ‘breaking free’ of musical conventions. Although it does quite suit us because our songs do crossover many genres.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We played at a pub in Hampstead called The White Horse. It was a night when everything seemed to come together. The band was in top form and tight, the PA sound was excellent. A lot of friends and family were in the audience and the place was packed out. The atmosphere and audience reaction was pretty electric. We played at The Garage in Islington which was another great and memorable gig.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
For us the most important thing with venues is having good stage monitoring and a good FOH engineer. If that’s in place we’re happy to play anywhere.
We’d love to play one of the big Glastonbury stages or Hammersmith Apollo one day.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Vinnie Colaiuta on drums
Sting on bass
Don Henley on vocals
Rick Davies on keyboards
Jeff Lynne on guitar
John Helliwell on sax and woodwinds
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?
Be your own biggest critic by only playing and recording your best songs and discard the average ones.
Practise hard and have a strong work/play ethic.
Be true to yourself, have fun and don’t take life or yourself too seriously.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
All the above.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
‘Destiny’. Lyrically very personal. Compositionally and the arrangement-wise it fits the song perfectly. Writing it was quite effortless.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Probably ‘This, That and The Other’ and ‘In Your Life’.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
This process usually begins with demos in my home studio. I then go into the main studio which has a large live room, control room and vocal booth to put down backing tracks of piano, keyboards and vocals. I then arrange sessions with the drummer and bassist. Following one or two rehearsals we usually record the bass and drums live and in the same room. We then add guitar parts, backing vocals, percussion and synth/keyboard overdubs at the same or separate sessions.
For the mixing and post-production stage we alternate between the main studio with SSL desk, Logic and its outboard and my home studio with ‘Studio One’ for further editing and mixing.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
We pride ourselves on excellent musicianship and production values, as much blood, sweat and tears goes into that. The devil is often in the detail there. But the quality of songwriting has to be of a high enough standard for that first. We set the bar high there and a lot of songs will be rejected in that process. Lyrically, our current album has a fairly concurrent theme and concept.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Rarely when it comes to the playing, arrangement and the musical side. Occasional disagreements during production where we just negotiate through it. They’re usually fairly minor but that tension is healthy and can be channeled to positive creative effect.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have begun work on the follow-up album. Once that’s done we plan to go on tour to promote both albums. We also plan to make a video for ‘15 Minutes’ which is one of the most played tracks on ‘Everymen’, the current album.