Thursday 10 November 2011

K&A with French Wives

Glasgow's French Wives are a band who have been featured on here a few, fleeting times.  Finally though, as they've been busy recording their debut album, I got the chance to ask them a few questions.  Here you go!

Kowalskiy:  Who are French Wives and how'd you all get together?
French Wives:  We're a 5 piece indie pop band from Glasgow who got together in the most boring of ways, i.e. responding to adverts and friends of friends. I wish that story could be more interesting, but unfortunately it can't.

Kowalskiy:  How would you describe 'your sound'?
FW:  Definitely not folk music. Aside from that we tend to aim to write intelligent pop music. Whether we do or not is up to the listeners, if there are any!

Kowalskiy:  I'm sure there are many!  Especially now that new single 'Numbers' has just been released.  How does it compare to your previous singles?
FW:  I think it's a big improvement both in terms of songwriting and arrangement and production. We've been lucky enough to work with the producer Tony Doogan and he's really brought us along. He's like our Mary Poppins, although if he knew I said that he wouldn't be happy!

Kowalskiy:  I'll keep that between us then...  Anyway, if the track is anything to go by, your debut album should be great.  Fancy whetting our appetites further and tell us what else can we expect it?
FW:  Lots of new songs basically! We really wanted to write an album where the songs would connect thematically and in terms of sound, so we pretty much spent the whole of this year writing new songs to go on the record. After our last release I think we basically thought that we could do a lot better than the stuff we were playing at that point, so we hired a studio in the south side and basically knuckled down writing and demoing for months. Hopefully it will pay off! We've only retained two songs that were our singles but Mary Poppins, eh I mean Tony, has helped us shape them in a new direction, and I think they'll be a lot more hard hitting and direct.

Kowalskiy:  Apologies this interview will come after the single release night! How'd it go, and are there any other gigs lined up?
FW:  Apologies for filling out this interview long after the tour, haha! The single launch was good, and then we did a few gigs after that in various places around Britain. We had a fun time and all the gigs went pretty well, so no complaints. We're mainly finishing work on the album this month, however we're playing three gigs this month, all of which should be good fun. This Saturday (12th) we're at the Greenside Hotel in Leslie, the following Sunday (20th) we're playing at the Kinross-shire Music Festival, and then we're taking part in the final night of the Sleazy's 20th birthday celebrations with FOUND and Over the Wall, so it should be a belter.

Kowalskiy:  What would be your ideal gig?
FW:  Can't think of a venue at the moment, but Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac in a small venue (let's say the Captain's) would have been amazing. Wouldn't really care about anything else if I got to see them then.

Kowalskiy:  Oh yeah, what's with the band name??
FW:  Again, it's a boring story. We got our name, like so many others do from someone suggesting it out of a conversation and us not thinking of anything better before our first gig, where it just stuck. However, there is a porn film from the 70s called French Wives which none of us have seen, but not through lack of trying.

Kowalskiy:  I was a big fan of your Home Fires series of releases and videos. Any plans to re-record/revamp any of these tracks for the album or are those resigned to the musical history bin (if such a thing existed)?
FW:  The reason we gave most of those tracks away was because they kind of were already resigned to the musical history bin. We'd been going as a band for quite a wee while and realised that most of the people who were our out and out "fans" rather than just our pals probably wouldn't have heard most of the songs as we'd stopped playing them live/never released them long before they even knew who we were. So instead of them just sitting on a hard drive we thought that whilst we don't really consider them to be our finest works or have any long term ambitions for them, some people might still be interested in hearing them, so we stuck them up online and people could download them at their leisure. I think it worked out quite well in the end. The videos were definitely fun, apart from the Housemartins cover, which took 23 takes and until 3 in the morning and still wasn't right. We'll be doing something similar in the lead up to the release of the album, I think.

Kowalskiy:  I look forward to it!  Aside from the album, is there anything exciting gonna be happening with French Wives in the future?
FW:  It's all album related really. We've worked really hard getting the songs ready, and there were loads of administrative problems, so we want to really focus on getting all the plans for the release right, just to kind of make sure that people can hear it!

Kowalskiy:  Lastly, with the time fast approaching, it seems fitting to end the interview by asking what you'll be dressing up as for Halloween??
FW:  I've done this interview so late, I'm so sorry! However, I didn't think I was going out for Halloween until the last minute. Thankfully, I'm very well prepared and turned to the spot under my bed reserved for my emergency back-up costume, which has never let me down. It's an "Army Officer's" uniform my gran made and it's crackin'. I saluted everything in sight that evening!

New single Numbers is out now, over here, for you to download.  Hopefully it won't be too long until we can get our hands on the album!  Until then, remember you can get your hands on the Home Fires series for nowt and you can still catch French Wives live a few times before the end of the year:

Upcoming Gigs
12th Nov - The Greenside Hotel, Leslie
20th Nov - Kinross-Shire Music Festival
30th Nov - Nice'N'Sleazy, Glasgow

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