Pretty good and you? Was just in the middle of watering my plants when Kevin reminded me I had this interview to do.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Keep You Safe”?
It’s the first of a series of slightly softer, more melodic stuff I’ve been working on.
I want to tell more of a complete story with whatever I bring out next and I couldn’t do that with only dark or heavy music.
For a long time, I was hesitant to put out music so different from my old sound but then I figured that people who listen to my music aren’t dumb. People get that artists go through different phases.
I needed to get some softer stuff out of me. You can’t be all dark and angry the whole time. You end up just coming across as an angry elf that no one takes seriously.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Every girl I’ve ever crushed on. Every single one of my friends who has ever been entirely ‘out-of-my-mind’ in love.
From all the directors out there, why did you choose to work with Rob Smith and how did that come about?
Rob quickly got what the song was about and got to work on several ideas for how it should come out. The concept was entirely his, based on conversations we had about some of the deeper theories behind the songs.
Your past video (and in some way, the music itself) had this somewhat dark vibe into it, what made you want to go for a brighter direction?
Just the need to explore the totality of this weird human existence. Sometimes being bright and cheerful is more vulnerable than being dark and hidden.
How was the film experience?
Perfect. The whole shoot was the most organized and professionally run music video shoot I have ever seen. I have no idea quite how Rob and the team at Velocity managed to pull this off.
How was the recording and writing process?
It was quite seamless and easy. I’d been thinking about the content of a song like this for a while and this literally just fell outta me. It took me like… half a day to write the whole thing. Finishing the last tweaks took ages (it always does) but the meat of the project was done almost instantly.
What was it like to work with Mac Motel and how did that relationship develop?
We’ve been homies for years. We’re both fucking hard-headed so we found it best to write in separate places and then make the case to each other for the respective material. It was more of a process of negotiation about the final tweaks than anything else. We’re both pretty specific engineers who usually mix and master our own stuff. In this case I mixed and Mac Motel mastered so we were mostly at odds with each other about how it should all come out.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
You can rest assured. I’m always working on new material. And it will always only ever come out when it’s ready and the time is right.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
Nothing public. This year though.
Would you be exploring other aspects of your high school years throughout this album?
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! I wanna nail the whole country (South Africa) in July.
What else is happening next in PHFAT’s world?
I have a really rad show at Carfax in Johannesburg on May 6th which I’m knuckling down for. I kinda wanna fuck the whole stage up. Otherwise I am scheming ways to spend more time running alone in nature and make lovely new songs.