In a slightly oversized room upstairs in the Guild, I got a call from Matti Fantasi – the ever exuberant frontman of Midlands-based Glam Punk band, Dead Frequency. An almost familiar voice for me here at Burn FM! We discussed the change in the band lineup since Burn Live in January, their upcoming tour and making friends with other rock bands.
Hey, Matti! How’re you doing? Last time we saw you here at Burn was at Burn Live in January.
Has it been that long already?! It’s been going good – a very strange year in terms of the band but we’re back on track now.
Tell me a bit about what’s been going on since then. You’ve had changes with the band lineup obviously.
Yeah, since last time I saw you we unfortunately lost our guitarist. He’s in a metal band now – Conjurer. We’re still good friends, but, obviously, after that we spent a couple of months looking for a new guitar player and things just sort of ground to a halt for a little bit. We did find a new guy, but unfortunately it didn’t work out that time round either. So, in August, we decided, instead of wasting any more time trying to find someone new, we’d just go on as a three-piece. At the end of August we did our first gig as a three-piece officially and that was it! The response that we’ve been getting since then has been pretty much the same as it was before. Every time that we go out now we’re always a little bit worried, but I think it’s just getting used to the format ‘cause we’re so used to having it another way. That’s really what it’s led up to now and we thought the ideal thing to do to re-introduce ourselves was to do a tour! And that’s exactly what we’re doing at the end of the month.
Tell us about the tour: where are you going, when is it happening?
It’s the last week in October. We thought we’d do it around Halloween [because] we’re all big fans of it and it’s just a good reason to go out and have fun for the week! And we’ll take some time off work, which is great! It starts next Saturday [24th October] in Banbury. And then it starts again on the Monday. We were gonna book the Sunday, but me and James [Bourne, bass guitar, backing vocals – not the guy from Busted / Son Of Dork / McBusted] are going down to London for the NFL, so that sort of took priority! We are actually in Birmingham on the 26th, the Monday night, with another band who are touring called Sunset Horizon and, I believe The 3RD Degree are playing as well. I don’t know if you remember those guys – they played the Burn FM show with us. I think we’re playing with them on the Friday as well so we’ll be seeing them a few times. Then, on the Tuesday we head to Cambridge. The good thing about this tour is that it’s quite relaxed and we’re just playing with a load of bands that we’ve played with before and we’re actually friends with now. It’s like we’re just going to different cities just to meet up with a bunch of friends and have some fun. So the Tuesday’s Cambridge with the Von Nitros… Wednesday we’re back up in Sheffield – which will be the 28th. That’s with Taxi For Bob – another band who we’re friends with. And then the big one for me is the Thursday the 29th. We’re going down to Exeter, which is my hometown, to support Creeper who are getting bigger in Kerrang and all that at the moment. We’re going down to the Cavern to play that one. Now the reason that it’s important to me is I haven’t played in Exeter for 8 years… which is a bit weird considering it’s my home town. So it’s a pretty big deal for me. And then we come straight back up the next day to Coventry at the Ivy House. That’s a Halloween show with a load of great bands. So we’re looking forward to it and I think it’s gonna be a really good week.
So, you said you’re friends with some of these bands now. How are you feeling about being a bit more experienced, touring as Dead Frequency and performing with bands you’ve performed with before?
It’s a good feeling. When you first meet these bands, obviously you don’t know each other and you’ve got to break the ice and all of that. But we keep in contact regularly with these guys. Even the band that we’re playing with in Cambridge, the Von Nitros – really great band by the way – their singer has asked us to play his wedding next year. So that gives you an idea as to how quickly you can make friends with people. The good thing is, with all the bands that we meet, it’s very rare that you’ll meet a band that are sort of “too important” to talk to you or don’t want to integrate with other bands. Usually, 9 times out of 10, we all just get along. Because we’ve all got the same goal in mind and we all understand how things work. So bands like Taxi For Bob – we’re really looking forward to seeing them again ‘cause we don’t get to go up and see them often. And it’s great for us because we get to see these bands live at the same time. Because we’re gigging all the time, we couldn’t necessarily go to one of their gigs… so it’s nice that we actually get to see them play and it’s just gonna be a load of fun. I suppose the difference between this year and last year: it was sort of our first tour last year with Spunge and for us it was just such an overwhelming thing, but we did really enjoy it and we had a lot of fun with it. But this time it’s more about business – that’s not really the right word – it’s more of a promotional thing so it’s gonna involve a lot more hard work. The fact that we’re driving ourselves to the gigs; we hired a bus last time. It’s just things like that. You learn after doing it for a while that you need to take care of your voice a bit better. Last time I just went a bit too hard with it and didn’t look after it. So we have learnt quite a bit already and this time round things are going to be different because you learn. Hopefully it won’t take away the emphasis on the fun. We’ll just wait and see what happens. But, yeah, we’re really looking forward to seeing some of the guys again.
Have you got plans for the downtime between gigs? I guess there’s a lot of driving and stuff this time?
Yeah, the unfortunate thing is obviously work gets in the way when it comes to things like this. Sadly, we’re not in a position, at the moment, where we can just tour. So some of us will be working during the day and then going straight to gigs. Places like Birmingham – obviously it’s quite easy for us to get to – it’s about 35 or 40 miles away. Apart from that it will just be travelling up and back every night. I think we’ve got one day off for Exeter, because that’s a 3 and a half hour journey. But we’re quite lucky that, a lot of these slots we’re doing, we’re main support to a local headliner and that gives us a bit of lenience to get there. We should be on a little bit later. The whole week is going to be busy; it’s gonna be travel and work (unfortunately). But it’s gonna be good as well – the Banbury show and the Coventry show are actually Halloween shows, like charity events. The Banbury show is already sold out so already it’s looking good. And we are dressing up for those two shows, but I’m not going to give away exactly what as – don’t want to spoil the surprise!
What about after the tour? Have you got any plans for new music or anything?
We’ve been asked quite a few times when the new stuff’s coming out and, to be honest, the only reason we haven’t been able to release anything this year or since Desire For Fire – it might look like laziness – but when you think about the circumstances behind it: we started writing in January a bunch of new stuff to play live and possibly get recorded. But, if you see it from our point of view, we’ve had setback after setback which has really stopped us from doing anything. When Brady [Deeprose, ex-guitarist] left we went to a stop. We went into rehearsals as a three just to keep things going but we couldn’t write any new stuff because it was still missing a part. We didn’t know back then that we were gonna be a three-piece, so we couldn’t really write anything until we found a guitarist. And then, when we did find a guitarist, it was only an interim period – a couple of months. By the time he’d learnt the set and all the songs that we do, he’d decided that he didn’t want to be part of it. It’s just been, I suppose, bad luck in some respects that’s stopped us from writing anything or being able to get in recording. But in the last two months we’ve made some real headway and we’re going to be back in the studio in January. So we’re gonna get it done nice and quick and it should be out for February. So a new EP! Hopefully we should be doing a new video next month for Deaths, Knives and Broken Lives! But, yeah, things now are starting to progress – finally – and it’s exciting times. In 2016 we should be going on tour again, early as well. So all to look forward to.
Cool! Well, I wish you the best of luck with all that!
Thank you! We’d like to come up, if you’re doing any more shows, we’ll come up and play one of those next year as well!
Dead Frequency are performing on Monday 26th October at the Sunflower Lounge in the city centre.