Since their formation in 2010, The Fierce And The Dead have been shifting shape and evolving their sound on the regular, pushing boundaries and facing off different challenges with each new release.
The Southerners made their debut into the world with ‘Part 1’. An apt title, the EP consisted of just one track; a 19 minute odyssey that saw the then three-piece combine post-rock with electronica, whilst dabbling in a healthy dose of krautrock and psychedelia.
Their brilliantly titled debut album ‘If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe’ saw the addition of hardcore punk into the mixing pot, as well as the emergence of an underground following for the band.
Five years on and TFATD are still pushing forward, shapeshifting and evolving. The line-up has seen a new addition, with guitarist Steve Cleaton joining the fold, and they’ve also signed to indie label Bad Elephant Music.
‘Magnet’ is their latest release; a five track EP that was born into the world just before their appearance at the wonderful ArcTanGent Festival a few months back.
Opener ‘Magnet In Your Face’ does exactly what it says on the tin – an in your face, killer riff in an explosive minute and a half that sinks its teeth in and doesn’t let go. The diversity of the quartet shows throughout the EP, from the slicked back, intricate guitar work of the epic ‘Palm Trees’ to the enchanting intro to ‘Flint’ and the blissful, almost cinematic ‘Part 6 (The Eight Circuit)’.
With their fantastic year drawing to a close, I caught up with Kevin Feazey, bassist, songwriter and producer for TFATD, to talk about Magnet, their appearance at this year’s ArcTanGent Festival and what we can expect from them next.
BCFB: This August you put out a new EP; your first new material in almost two years. How did it feel to get ‘Magnet’ out there for people to hear?
Kevin: This one felt pretty special. We’ve had a crazy few years and Magnet is where we have ended up. I think all of our releases have been moving forwards in terms of composition, production and confidence, but Magnet feels a bit more of a jump than a step.
The limited edition version of the CD sold out rather quickly – Were you pretty pleased with the response?
Of course! We were pretty bemused by it all; we had no idea that would happen. The last album, ‘Spooky Action’ started the ball rolling but we had no clue that so many people were getting into us.
The EP is getting a vinyl release courtesy of the kind folk at Crate Digger Records. Are you pretty chuffed to be getting it out there on wax?
Vinyl is so damn expensive to produce that we’ve never had the opportunity before, even though it’s been something we’ve been wanting to do for years. So we are very grateful to the people at Crate Digger for getting involved. We have something pretty special planned for it.
Magnet follows on from a number of releases you’ve put out – What was your stance going into the studio for this record?
There were less time constraints this time, so the quality control became a lot more stringent. We actually scrapped the first recording session as none of us felt we were comfortable enough with the tracks at that point. The breathing space allowed us to concentrate on getting our ideas across and making sure it all sounded as we imagined it.
How was the production process?
Less pressured and more enjoyable than before. We experimented with the compositions more and had the opportunity to play the material live first. We actually made demo recordings of the rough arrangements for the first time too. When you’re in a rehearsal room, everything sounds good because it’s loud, so the demos allowed us to step back and listen in a different head space.
You’ve worked with Bad Elephant Music again for this release – It seems the relationship between the band and the label is pretty strong?
BEM have been so good to us. For a band of our size they are spot on. They have always backed us as artists first and as a business proposition second, which is exactly how it should be.
The same month the EP came out, you also made an appearance at this year’s ArcTanGent Festival. How was it for you?
We love playing at ArcTanGent, the atmosphere was amazing. It was more like a convention for weird music; we met up with so many bands and people we know from gigging around the scene – made a lot of new friends too. Every single band that played had a great audience; people were there to watch bands and have a good time.
Following on from the EP, is it right that you’ve got an album in the works? Can you shed any light on that at this stage?
We are just gearing up to start writing new material. We’ve plenty of ideas and have started knocking them into shape. It’s going to be very different again; I think we might surprise some people.
Check out the EP in full by clicking the picture below, and be sure to grab yourself a physical copy!