Having already toured with some of the biggest names in rock, Fin are making their own impressive mark on the current music scene. Noise Addiction’s Tom Willmott chatted to them ahead of their latest single launch show at Shepherd’s Bush Hall.
How did the band form?
Luke: Myself and Kerry were at school together ever since we were little kids and we were in and out of bands (very bad ones!). Then we met Jonny and Simon - who were also at school and in a band together – through an old bass player of ours and it went from there. We got Kerry in to replace the bass player and we became Fin from then on.
Jonny: We’ve been together for about two and a half years now.
How did you come up with the name Fin?
Luke: Basically, we were trying to find a name, and I was going through my record collection looking at album names, song titles and anything you could think of. I came across the title of a song by the band Pavement off the album “Brighten The Corners”, and there was a song called Fin, and the name just popped out. I loved it, and asked the guys what they thought, and they liked it as well. So we kind of figured short and sweet, and it did the job.
Who would you consider as your main influences?
Jonny: We’re a mixed bunch when it comes to the stuff we’re into. But I think generally we’re very into our 90s grunge and rock bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Radiohead, but we also take influence from bands like The Temper Trap, Gotye and Phoenix.
Luke: There’s a band from Belgium called Deus I really love and am inspired by, but then There are other things that I consider good like Motown and Michael Jackson.
Recently you’ve been asked to support some big name acts such as Incubus, Feeder and Brand New. How did you get approached for these exciting opportunities?
Simon: We were very lucky last year. We were just playing some London shows and managed to get a brilliant booking agent on board called Rob Marcus. They loved what we do and wanted to help us, so they started getting us some great shows and tours.
Luke: Incubus was kind of the first big tour we got. We’ve all been fans of Incubus since we were kids, so it was quite a big opportunity for us. Since then the tours have been coming in and it’s been a great experience.
Jonny: It seems what’s happening is people are hearing what we’re doing and know we’re doing it by ourselves and then want to help out because they believe it’s good. The Incubus manager got it, passed it on to Incubus, they liked it and asked us to come on tour. It does seem people want to get involved and help us achieve those sort of things.
At this year’s Brit Awards you were chosen as the backing band for Rihanna. How did it feel to be performing at such a large scale event?
Luke: It was a strange experience. We’re used to what we do, but we got offered this opportunity, and we thought meeting Rihanna at The Brits would be amazing. It was a really good experience, and we got to meet Noel Gallagher. We gave him our record, he listened to it and gave us the thumbs up which was brilliant. We also saw Chris Martin from Coldplay. It was just an interesting experience for a band at our level to see what it’s like if you’re up there with Coldplay or Noel Gallagher or Rihanna level and to see what The Brit Awards is all about.
You recently toured in the US. How was that experience?
Simon: The US was brilliant. We went over there and played about eight shows at SXSW in Texas, had a great time, and then one of the coolest things we did was hire a van and drive across four states all the way to LA. That was an amazing experience to see how big America really is. Then we played two shows at The Viper Rooms in LA that were really busy, really vibey. Kerry smashed his head open and there was blood everywhere. It felt good to be over there. The American audience seems to like what we‘re doing and was really receptive.
You performed at the Occupy London setting, which has now been cleared. What was the reaction like and did you feel an urge to try and spread an important political or social message?
Luke: Myself and John went down there to check it out because a lot of our friends are unemployed, so we were just interested in it. By fluke, we had just come from an acoustic session and we had our guitars with us, and they asked us to entertain them for about half an hour because they’d been there all day. We were happy to do that. I’m not sure about the political message, because I don’t want to stand too much with the politics behind it, but I support it.
Jonny: When we recorded our album, we decided to completely do it ourselves and it came to the point where no one else was going to help us do it, and we took it upon ourselves to record and go ahead with it. I think in terms of money, we’ve shown you can do things without having to spend a lot.
Luke: I do notice that there is a very clear gap right now between the upper class and less fortunate, so I think it’s only a positive thing that these people are bringing that to the forefront of everyone’s lives at the moment.
You’re playing a launch show next week for your latest single. Are you looking forward to it?
Luke: We’ve got a lot of special stuff planned for it which we can’t tell you about but it’s going to be really good and we’ve been working really hard in getting it prepared, and it will be our first show since we’ve been out in America. It will be also be our biggest show yet.
You’ve recently released a video for the single “Twenty Three”. What was the concept for this?
Luke: Well, because we’ve been doing all the videos ourselves, editing them, and coming up with the ideas, we were really stuck with what to do with “Twenty Three”. The video is based in a backdrop of silver that engulfs us, and it was just a little idea that we had. We wanted to do something completely different but it cost too much money. The backdrop happened to come from a very famous band, which we will leave a mystery.
Jonny: It’s in a rehearsal space somewhere.
Luke: We covered ourselves and put some lights in there, filmed it and at the end we came out with loads of glittery kind of stuff that came from the backdrop.
Simon: I think it was the quickest music video we’ve ever done.
Luke: We shot it within four hours, which was ridiculous.
After reading your bio on Facebook, it says that you’re releasing a sequence of 7 inches that make up the album. With Record Store Day coming up, do you feel it’s still important to have a physical product when it comes to releasing music?
Luke: Absolutely. That’s one of the whole reasons why we did it. Growing up, we would go to a record store, buy a record, hold it in our hands, read the lyrics and connect with the bands on a visual as well as audible level. The whole package is lost in the digital world, and there’s not so much discovery now. We really wanted to bring that back with what we’re doing and make it more investable, so people would want to invest in the band more.
For the album, do you have a title set, and when can we expect it to be released?
Luke: At the moment we’re keeping the title secret.
Simon: We’re looking to get it out around the end of summer/autumn, which is our prospective date. We really want to get it out there.
Luke: The thing our fans understand already is that it’s DIY, so everything we do is self- funded and obviously it’s taken us a long time to get to this point using our own money, so once we can afford to do it, we will.
Finally, you’ve been confirmed to play at Hop Farm festival alongside the likes of Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel. Are there any other exciting shows or happenings in the pipeline?
Luke: There’s a lot in the pipeline but we’re not allowed to disclose it yet until it’s 100 percent confirmed, which is annoying but you’ll be hearing a lot more on tours and shows soon.
Simon: We’ll be doing a load of festivals over the summer that we’ll confirm ASAP. But we’ll be out there – you’ll be able to find us!