Fears Chella are an evocative band from Stoke, who blur the best of 90s indie-rock, grungy vibes and dreamy pop melodies to create a uniquely brilliant sound . They have now released Girlfriend, a follow-up to their debut single Cool, giving listeners a sample of what is yet to come. Fears Chella have picked up recognition at BBC through Huw Stephens and BBC Introducing, in which their debut earnt Record of the Week. Here is what frontman Andy had to say about BBC Introducing, Girlfriend and their live show.
First off, how did you guys meet?
Well me (Andy) and Tom had been best mates for years and after my old band split up literally the first thing I did was take what became the demos for Fears Chella to Tom and I was like “let’s make this into a band where we play songs we love to play and where we can all just love doing it”. We’d known Ben from another band locally that we’d played with before and he didn’t live far from me so we got him down to jam and it just clicked straight away. Then after trying out a couple of people on guitar we stuck as a three piece for a bit. Dylan was a good friend of the guy who runs our band practise space and he knew we’d go together well. So Dylan came down for a jam and the rest of us just knew we had the right vibe. If I’m honest, it couldn’t have really been much easier!
Sonically, who have been your influences?
I can’t speak for the other guys but I guess the music from when you’re younger has the strongest lasting impact on you. I grew up listening to 90s bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins and then got into bands like My Bloody Valentine, Weezer and Sonic Youth. The whole indie rock band thing was really what got me into writing. But then I’m just a sucker for a killer pop song so I guess you kindof just mangle all that together!
Coming from Stoke, what do you feel about the music scene?
The music scene is Stoke is like nowhere else! Considering it’s a smallish sortof City and it’s not musically on the map, we’ve always had this cult like music scene locally where you’ve got hometown hero bands that people really get behind. When I was a kid it was just like being absorbed into this whole other world.
You have been involved with BBC Introducing, what do you think of programmes like this who work with the up and coming artists/bands?
To be honest, I think that BBC introducing are one of, if not the single, most influential avenues to getting unsigned bands out there. Without the championing from people like our man Rob Adcock at BBC introducing we wouldn’t be where we are now!
Your new single, Girlfriend came out at the end of February. What’s the story/meaning behind this track?
Well Girlfriend isn’t just a boy meets girl cliche love song, it’s about our human need to be loved. It’s about our dependency and addiction to this feeling and our yearning to belong to something. It’s about this picture that we create in our own mind about how perfect it ‘should’ be and I guess how we strive for the unachievable in it.
How has Girlfriend been received so far?
It’s been insane, we’ve had loads of blogs and magazine write ups, BBC introducing Track of the week, loads of killer playlists and it’s just phenomenal the amount of fans that get in touch with us to just say that our music has connected with them and makes them feel something.
What have you got planned for 2017, in terms of recording and performing?
Well we’ve got 3 shows coming up soon. 1st of April at the Baltic Social for Threshold Festival, 3rd of April were at Gulliver’s in Manchester supporting LIFE and on the 8th of April we’re at the Sugarmill in Stoke supporting King No-One so we’ve got this mental start to April! And then we’re back in the studio shortly after that I think working on our new single!
You have had support slots with bands such as All Tvvins, what has this meant to you as a band?
All Tvvins we’re just a killer bunch of guys, we also played with Honeyblood not long after that aswell and they were just such nice people. That feeling of playing those bigger shows is incomparable really. You’re just kindof put infront of this big crowd of fans for someone else’s band and you’ve got to win them over. They’re gnarly though, it always makes for mental shows!
Describe your live show in 3 words.
Angsty, poptastic and engrossing
What is your favourite song to perform live?
For me personally I think probably Girlfriend, more because even before it was out as our single it was always the one that the whole audience would go mad for
If you could choose any artist to collaborate with, who would you choose?
I think someone totally out there like Bruno Mars. He’s got cool like no one else and I’m kind of just in awe of how good every song of his is. Maybe it wouldn’t work musically, but we can always iron that out!