INTERVIEW: The Frisbys

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re doing well thanks!  We released our third E.P  ‘My Wicked Mind’ on the 26th June so we’ve been really busy promoting it.  Unfortunately our E.P release show had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Hopefully it won’t be too long till we can reschedule  – it feels like forever since we last played live! On the plus side, lockdown has given us a lot of time to write, experiment and demo some new material which has been really fun and an unexpected positive.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Heard”?  

We like to think of ‘I Heard’ as a fighting song. It’s about maintaining an endless determination to push through, even when everyone is telling you that what you are trying to achieve is impossible. It’s about doing what you love in spite of what others say or think and being true to yourself. 

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I wrote ‘I Heard’ a few years ago when I was at a bit of a crossroads. A lot of my friends were progressing rapidly with their adult life skills – having babies, buying houses etc. I felt like I was somewhat putting those things on hold, as making music was more important to me. As wonderful as it feels to create music, it often comes with big sacrifices. Sometimes I worried that people were judging me for my choices – and that they couldn’t understand why I had taken the route I had.

I think the song also reflects the up and downs of following your passion – it’s a rollercoaster of highs and lows. Sometimes the knockbacks set you back and it’s hard to remember why you keep pursing what you love.  I wrote this song almost as a way to encourage me to keep going at times where I felt like I wanted to give up. 

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

Yes. We’re about to release some lyric videos for our singles ‘I Heard’ and ‘Lead Me to the Water’ in the next few weeks. Initially, we decided against music videos for the release as we were on a tight budget. Being an independent band we felt our pennies were better spent elsewhere! 

The single comes off your new album My Wicked Mind – what’s the story behind the title?

 The title actually comes from a lyric in ‘I Heard’,  “my wicked mind is still wasting time, waiting to return a hero”. It’s the idea that everyone else is taking life seriously whilst we’re off daydreaming about something that many people would consider unachievable! It also relates to mental health, the internal battles that we wage within ourselves and how the mind can sometimes attempt to trip us up.

How was the recording and writing process?

Mine and Helen’s process for writing songs is slightly different from one another. We write sometimes separately and sometimes together and trade input on each other’s songs.  The great thing about being a twin is you can be as brutally honest as you like when critiquing ideas! Once we’ve worked on ideas for a new song, we will bring them to the band to develop further. This will involve working out parts, rearranging sections and just generally building in complexity. Sometimes they change format completely. 

The recording of the E.P was a bit chaotic as we ended up recording in three separate studios over three years! We actually began recording this E.P in 2017 with producer James Curtis-Thomas at Essex Road Studios who recorded and mixed Gretna for us. Unfortunately, we stopped work on it for a couple of years – life got in the way!

 We picked it up again in 2019 after winning the ‘Upstaged’ competition at The Brook Studios in Wallington. The Brook Studios was where we recorded our last E.P ‘The Cause’ so we were thrilled to work with owner/producer Andy Brook again.   He recorded and mixed ‘I Heard’, ‘Lead Me To The Water’ and ‘You Are’.

Our stripped back piano track ‘Print’ was recorded at Crown Lane Studios with Bill Sherrington. We felt it was so simple it needed to be recorded as ‘live’ as possible. The recording is pretty much one take from start to finish.

We were a little worried that recording in three separate locations would affect the whole sound of the E.P and knew we’d need to find a great mastering engineer to unify the tracks. Luckily we were able to work with Doug from Focus Mastering who has mastered some of our favourite bands ( First Aid Kit and Joseph).  He worked his magic to tie the whole thing together. We’re really happy with the end result.

How has Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers influenced your writing?

 They’re both great bands so it’s flattering to be compared to them and I can see how our track ‘I Heard’  has a very similar feel. In terms of influences, Helen and I are massive fans of 70’s songwriters like Carole King, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles as well as harmony based groups like First Aid Kit and The Staves. As a band though, our influences are as diverse as we are, spanning the decades and a wide range of genres.

What aspect of the human mind did you get to explore on this record

Whilst ‘My Wicked Mind’ is not a thematic E.P in concept, it is a collection of songs that explore both the inner turmoil and resolute strength of the human mind.  Our brain is a wonderfully weird organ that can create such beauty whilst also causing so much pain. A lot of people think our songs are about romantic relationships when often they’re about mental health – our relationships with ourselves and our own thoughts.  But I like that people attribute their own meanings in the songs we write – it should be personal to them.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Each song on the E.P has it’s own particular story.  Sometimes it’s been inspired by personal events; songwriting can be very therapeutic when you’re going through a rough patch. Sometimes inspiration takes the form of a story we’ve read or something happening in the world at the time.

Any plans to hit the road?

We’d love to tour the E.P and were scheduled to play some festivals over summer. We’re planning to get out and gig more again once it’s safe for venues to reopen. Let’s just hope that venues get the funding they need to survive this tough period as I know a lot of our favourite places to play are struggling to stay afloat at the minute – it’s very worrying.

What else is happening next in The Frisbys’ world?

As we’re unable to do an E.P release show, we are planning a live-streamed performance on Friday 10th July. It’s going to be a stripped back set (just Helen and I )  and we’re planning to play some of the songs from the E.P.  We’ve also got a BBC Introducing Live performance coming up that we’re looking forward to. Fingers crossed that it won’t be long before we can reschedule our proper E.P release show!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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