Drawing a myriad of contrasting influences from rockabilly, Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Fleetwood Mac and spaghetti western, UK based Fanfarlo returns this week with their third full-length offering, “Let’s Go Extinct”. Addressing evolution, existential and futuristic themes, it takes the listener on an outer space opera pop mission. Blending in 80’s synch, contagious choruses and rich instrumentation, there’s a lot to digest between “The Beginning and The End”.
Amidst the pre-release frenzy, I chatted with Cathy Lucas from the band last week about a variety of weird topics. Read her answers below and visit Fanfarlo’s website for more album and tour info!
If you could go back and play one album on repeat at 10 years old, what would it be?
Cathy: Todd Rungren- “A Wizard A True Star”. It’s an incredible record with beautiful examples of his songwriting. It’s playful. As a kid, I would have found that really fun. When I was 10, I was obsessed with Queen so I guess there are some similar glam aspects to both of those so I would have dug Todd back then.
What kind of a child were you at that age?
Cathy: I was really into music and liked to play piano and violin. I was quite a tomboy and went through a phase of only wearing a black sweater and black jeans every day. I thought that was so cool. (Laughing) I still do that sometimes.
Here’s a series of quick fire questions and let me know who in the band is most likely to do the following:
• Get lost in a city you’ve never been to- Probably me although Simon has a terrible sense of direction too but I tend to go on long walks and sometimes don’t get back in time
• Show up late to a venue- Yeah, that’s me again
• Be the cheerleader or the person you’d go with a problem- Justin
• Play a practical joke on the other bandmembers- Justin
• Forget something and remember it after you’ve left the city- That’s definitely Simon. He’s done that so many times. He’s also left his guitar behind at the airport on multiple occasions.
What’s the funniest experience you’ve had onstage?
Cathy: We’ve definitely thrown things into the crowd and I’m not a good thrower. I remember instead of throwing something in front of me, I threw it behind me. There were like 1,000 people there and most of them were laughing at me.
What would someone be surprised to know about you?
Cathy: My favorite instrument to play is the bass. I listen to a lot of funk, soul, jazz and disco and it’s very bass driven. I play a lot at home.
Have you had any odd fan experiences?
Cathy: We do have some extreme fans who are so lovely that comment on our Facebook and Twitter and go to the shows and we recognize them. There’s a young lady who flew from Argentina to London to come to see us play. That was so special and sweet. No proper freaks that I’m aware of.
Who’s been your favorite band to tour with and why?
Cathy: We toured with Lawrence Arabia and the band around Europe and US. That was super fun and they have great taste in music so we swapped music ideas. They were really sweet people. Musically, I also loved Philco Fiction. Check them out. They’re great.
If your house was on fire, what are four things that you’d grab on the way out?
Cathy: I have a lot of stuff. (Laughing) I have a synthesizer that my dad built in the 70’s that’s been refurbished. It’s quite an amazing piece. It’s wacky sounding and has a lot of modulation options. It has a dirty spring reverb. Even though it weighs 36 kilos, I might try and grab it. It’s a Maplin 3800 kit synth. I’d also take my violin, my hard drive with all of my projects on it and a tailored suit that I had made. We have cats so maybe someone else could take the cats (Nigel and Rufus).
What’s been your biggest WTF moment?
Cathy: As a band, we’ve had a few of those. The first time we came to America, we did a really quick 10 day tour and the first place we played was Seattle. It was a tiny venue but it was completely sold out. Everyone was going insane. We’d never experienced anything like that. We were like “WHOA, What’s this?” We had a more extreme experience in Taiwan. We played Taipei and people had cameras in our faces. It was almost too much.
What are your plans for the rest of 2014?
Cathy: Depending on how much we tour, we may try to do another album this year. We’ve got a new drummer so there’s a real desire to record and make something with her. Last year, we did a live soundtrack and we would love to do a sci-fi soundtrack in the future.