Q & A with Frenchy from Cheap Fakes
Redefining an already well established and well respected sound is a risky thing to do. Cheap Fakes have done it with nothing but absolute authenticity and sophistication.
Set to release in early July, the album Deep Space is one that will inspire audiences to fall in love with their stylistically eclectic music all over again. And finally, after two years in the making, Cheap Fakes are ready to share their new groove on a two month East Coast Album Launch Tour. The Deep Space Tour will see Cheap Fakes perform through Victoria to Queensland and include a number of tasty music festivals along the way. The tour will include two performances at Splendour in The Grass in late July.
It's always good to catch up to these guys before they head our way (July 28th, Solbar, with Hemingway)... and this time around, we caught up with guitarist/producer Scott 'Frenchy' French.
Hey Frenchy… ‘Deep Space’ is finally (just about) here! This album has been in the works, from what I’m aware, not long after (previous album), ‘Modern Vintage’ came out… what was the decision behind heading back into the studio so quick?
Yes finally here! I guess the whole idea with this one was wanting to take our time, get a little experimental, explore new sounds and open the floor to the new band members. Also me having my own recording studio…why not!
This time around, you recorded at your own studio (Lovestreet Studios in Currumbin), with yourself engineering, writing, arranging and performing on the album… was the process more stressful than if you had a producer on board as well, or did it allow for more flow?
Well most audio engineers end up as somewhat of a control freak so i kinda liked being behind the wheel this time haha. The production of the album was very much a collaborative effort from all band members so I just really facilitated bringing all the ideas together and getting the best out of everyone. Its certainly a lot of responsibility and sometimes you can get too close to it but that’s why nothing was rushed and we had a lot of fun with it.
Cheap Fakes, for the last three or four years, have been really showing signs of newer influences and showcasing a more diverse sound (which most bands should do - evolve). I guess having a few line-up changes along the way tends to have an affect on this as well… what can fans expect from 2018 ‘Deep Space’-era Cheap Fakes on tour?
Absolutely, I think the sound has evolved quite a lot but the flavour and the energy remain the same so I think our OG fans (haha) will still dig the new direction. Line-up changes absolutely opens a new sonic palette and it would silly not to use that to its potential, but also we all just grow as people and the expression of music comes out as it will. We really wanted a limitless approach to the writing and recording of this album, not to feel like it had to be in line with previous material. But never fear we still dig rocking the old tunes at gigs too!
For those uninitiated, quite often the original mix of the album has to be adjusted when it is sent for pressing to vinyl (which ‘Deep Space’ has been). How was that process for you, as an engineer?
As a matter of fact I’ve just listened to vinyl test press and I loved it. Yes for sure it has a different feel on vinyl (especially knowing it as intimately as I do) but i think thats the experience people are after when listening to vinyl. The mixing process certainly makes use of a lot mod modern technology but we love the old school funk and soul flavours so I think the album suits vinyl nicely.
Ok… you’ve peaked my interest… what actually is Cactus-Jazz?
Ha! I am actually not the coiner of said phrase so maybe not the best one to answer but if I had to guess its like jazz but a bit wonkier with more pointy bits…haha guess you’ll have to listen to find out…
You’ve got a pretty meaty tour lined-up, which also includes two shows at this year’s Splendour in the Grass. That’s epic! How’s the nerves knowing you’ll be playing one of, if not the biggest festival in the country right now? Cheap Fakes have played Woodford Folk Festival a few times, but this is surely a whole different kettle of fish?
Yeah super excited to be playing Splendour in the Grass! Haha without sounding too sure of ourselves I guess we always just do our thing no matter where it is or who its for - if people dig it then even better - and in the festival atmosphere I think we always have a way of getting people on board, after all everybody's there for a good time not a long time! We’ll bring our A-game! haha
Awesome stuff! Thanks for your time, Frenchy. Been a big Cheap Fakes fan for a while, and keen to get my mitts on the new album. We’ll see you at Solbar with Hemingway on July 28th.
Thanks mate! Looking forward to the Solbar yeeeeww
The new album, 'Deep Space' will be released on July 11th.