Filed under: Interview
If Nathan Fake is the current flavour of the month then this is the longest 30 days ever recorded. His break out single ‘Outhouse’ was released in 2003 and has been known to cause spontaneous fits of dancing worldwide ever since. The following year saw the release of James Holden’s remix of ‘The Sky Was Pink’ and subsequently meant that Nathan had been elected as poster child for young upcoming artists. But you can’t stay promising forever, eventually you have to step up to the plate and demonstrate your full potential.
It’s now 2006 and with the release of his first album and extensive touring worldwide it looks like Nathan Fake is ready to take the plunge into the deep end. With Nathan’s success in the clubs in mind his debut album “Drowning in a Sea of Love” really did come as a surprise. The eleven tracks are less likely to have the club kids pumping their fists and more probably going to inspire lovers, thinkers and dreamers everywhere. This is something the promoters have obviously already noted because Nathan, with friend and fellow musician Vincent Oliver in tow, is now busier than ever with the festival scene.
We clambered onto a bus and headed into the mountains of Nagano to track down a shaggy haired young man hiding out in a quaint Japanese Inn before his live set at Taico Club.
Interview & Introducion by Nick Lawrence (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : Thank you for talking to us.
Nathan Fake : It’s alright, yeah.
HRFQ : Your single ‘Outhouse’ was released three years ago, how did you first get the attention of Border Community?
Nathan Fake : I just sent James Holden an mp3 demo, I emailed it to him and yeah that was it really. He just said he liked it and then I finished it off. It was quite painless I guess.
HRFQ : ‘Outhouse’ actually appeared on a mix CD by Armin van Buuren called “Big Room Trance”.
Nathan Fake : Oh right? Cool.
HRFQ : What do you think of your music being described as big room trance?
Nathan Fake : It’s kind of unusual, I guess, but it’s nice that different people like it.
HRFQ : Do you think it has a wide appeal?
Nathan Fake : I don’t know really, that song has a lot of different elements to it. I guess the melody trance people would like.
HRFQ : Your new album “Drowning in a Sea of Love” is very beautiful and emotional. How do you manage to create that sort of feel without relying on lyrics?
Nathan Fake : Well I’m not very good at writing lyrics. I’d love to be able to use more words in my songs but I don’t know, I just like writing melodies and everything just seems to fall together that way. I guess I don’t really think too much about whether or not it’s going to be emotional, I just sort of write a song and go along with it.
HRFQ : Is your music all quite spontaneous?
Nathan Fake : Usually the stuff I’m most happy with is, the stuff I think is my best stuff. If you think too much about it then you end up getting a bit bogged down with it. The best things sort of come out naturally.
HRFQ : Is it different producing an album rather than singles?
Nathan Fake : That album, I kind of wrote everything in a fairly small timescale, in the space of a few months really. It took a while to sort of nail it but all the songs were initially written during the same time. I guess because of that they have a kind of thread running through them. I guess an album could be just a collection of singles you’ve written over the years but it wouldn’t really feel like a whole album, it’d be more like a compilation. So yeah, the way I saw it was work on the whole thing as a project in itself.
HRFQ : What about the photos on the album, are they your family photos?
Nathan Fake : Yeah, I went through all my old photo albums when we were thinking about the album and I showed them to James and we went and put the artwork together using Photoshop. We didn’t actually use Photoshop much, we just used it to to put the wallpaper in but the ones that were all fuzzy and messed up were like that anyway. They were photos that hadn’t come up properly. Like there’s one that is someone on a swing and it is completely blurred but that is they way it had come out.
HRFQ : Before “Drowning in a Sea of Love” came out there was actually a remix 12″ released. How does it feel to hear other people’s takes on your music?
Nathan Fake : It’s cool, I guess the thing about the remix EP is that it is actually people who I wanted to remix my music. Actually Vincent here, this is Vincent Oliver, did a remix of Long Sunny and he is one of my friends. It’s kind of nice to get people who I feel quite close to to do the remix as opposed to the label just saying, “We should get this person”. Also, with FortDax and Apparat they are people who I really like so it was nice to hear. Me and James thought about it quite carefully, which people would be able to work with which tracks the best. So yeah it’s cool, I really like all the remixes.
HRFQ : You are heading to the Montreux Jazz Festival with Border community and you are on the lineup with names like BB King and Van Morrison.
Nathan Fake : That’s cool, I didn’t actually know that. My dad loves Van Morrison so he’ll be quite happy with that.
HRFQ : Did you ever think your music would get you onto this sort of lineup?
Nathan Fake : Well no, I guess it is because the album is different, it isn’t straight up club sort of stuff. It’s nice that different sort of festivals are interested in backing it.
HRFQ : Today’s festival, Taico Club, is an outdoor event how does it compare to a club gig?
Nathan Fake : Playing in a small venue is a lot more intense than playing in a big open space. I guess when you are in a small club you’ve got people right there in front of you and you can rock out and it’s quite intense but playing in these kind of places, well this location is amazing isn’t it. I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s great you know, I like all of it really
HRFQ : What goes into your live performance?
Nathan Fake : At the moment it is Vincent and I, I do the music and Vincent does the visuals. We have our two laptops and they are connected together, my computer is sending audio to Vincent’s laptop and it’s sort of manipulating the visuals which he has made to go with each song. We have a basic guideline that we follow for each song but I guess it is still quite open because I tend to fiddle around a bit. Obviously the music was done already and Vincent made up the animations to go along with his view of the songs. We were friends already anyway so it was nice to be able to work together, painless.
HRFQ : Is there any chance that you’ll ever turn to DJing? A lot of producers do it to help promote themselves.
Nathan Fake : Not in the sense of a kind of club DJ, not professional, because I’m not very good at it and I don’t know enough techno records either. I’ve DJ’d in bars and stuff like that, just records I like but I can’t mix or anything like that. It’s not something I am interested in pursuing, DJing is fun but I’m more interested in writing music and would never want to pursue DJing on the same level as writing music and playing live.
HRFQ : Are people ever surprised that you don’t DJ?
Nathan Fake : I think by now people fully realize that I am live act. At the start I used to get a few gig offers to DJ but I just had to say that I don’t DJ. I suppose I could’ve but if my heart wasn’t in it I wouldn’t feel right.
HRFQ : With touring live so much how do you find time to make new music?
Nathan Fake : Right now, in the next couple of months, it is really hectic so I don’t have much time to write music. I kind of start writing little bits and bobs but I haven’t really had much time to seriously work on stuff, which I would like to do. The touring sort of calms down a little bit after July, maybe over the winter I’d like to get some more music finished.
HRFQ : Another album?
Nathan Fake : I’ve got ideas for another album, yeah. Because “Drowning in a Sea of Love” is two years old actually. I started writing the songs ages ago and it’s only just come together as a full album. I mean, it was meant be an album when I first started on it but it has taken a long time to come out I suppose. It is the labels first album and it is my first album so it was a big project for everyone.
HRFQ : Well, you have ‘The Sky Was Pink’ on there which is a few years old.
Nathan Fake : Yeah, I wrote that song quite a while ago before I even decided to write an album but it fitted in with everything else that I was writing, so it went on the album.
HRFQ : Were you surprised with the success of that track?
Nathan Fake : Yeah. I think it was mainly down to James’ remix but we were both really surprised by how well it went down and how well it is still going down, it’s a bit strange. It is kind of annoying because some people think that James’ remix is the original so when they come to see me play live they shout out at me to play ‘The Sky Was Pink’ when I’ve just played it. Because obviously the original is quite different to the remix, but I think people who properly like my music already realize that was just a remix.
HRFQ : Any other tracks off the album you expect to be bigger than ‘The Sky Was Pink’?
Nathan Fake : No, not really. We haven’t released anymore singles so I doubt anyone would single out any one track. ‘You are Here’ seems to be a favourite with some people, which is nice. It is just an album as a whole really, there are no real stand out…There are a couple of tracks that I think stand out a bit but it’s generally got an album feel to it. You just listen to it from start to finish I guess.
HRFQ : Just to finish off, can you give us a message for your Japanese fans?
Nathan Fake : Domo arigato.
End of the interview
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