Nick, Strang, Tom and Rhi of
1. Give us some personal introductions and then tell us about FF’s history so far?
Tom: I’m Tom and I like cheese
Nick: I’m nick and I play Bass
Rhi: I’m Rhi, I’m Vocals
Strang: I’m the new King of Pop
Nick: Well FF formed out of the ashes of OUT OF NOWHERE, myself and Strang decided to take on a more old skool raw punk sound, we bumped into Tom pissed at Viva la punk, found out he was a drummer, asked if he was up for it and he said yeah. Tom gelled nicely then suggested his partner Rhi could come and do vocals, she came down to practise and it just seemed to click. After a few months rehearsal we played our 1st gig in June 08, released our 1st CD in November 08 and have just recorded our 2nd CD which is an 8-track mini album 'Hear Some More' which is out now.
2. How are you finding your feet in today’s hustling, bustling scene? Is the competition too heavy, the gigs (hard or easy to come by) and how is the general support?
Nick: As we’re based in Cambridge we have to work at building a crowd and it’s harder to find places to play, but we're gradually gaining more and more support from gigs we play locally and with promoters like Fungalpunk and Daggers punk giving us the opportunity to play further afield...
Tom: We get to meet and play with a lot of good unsigned bands and have a right laugh.
Strang: It’s hard to get people to come out to gigs these days. Apathy is the order of the day in a lot of cases, it’s only the hardcore fans that can be arsed to shift their bums off the sofa. We do a lot of free gigs, cos to us it’s about having a laugh, the more the merrier.
3. What is your local scene like – the faces, the places and the disgraces? Also add to this how you are finding the scene and general and further beyond?
Rhi: The scene is small, very small. But as Nick said it’s getting there.
Strang: Yep it’s small, but we’re working hard to get people away from the MTV mentality.
4. Give us an incite into your personal influences both past and present?
Tom: I have a varied taste in music, everything from folk to reggae and all points and genres in-between
Rhi: I like loads of different stuff, I tend not to bog myself down with one type of music over another, if I like a song I like it, I don’t care who it’s by. I’ve got a very eclectic CD collection!
Nick: PUNK PUNK PUNK!
Strang: Anything punk/indie, but main influences would be the Pistols, Clash, Ramones, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Banshees, Jesus & Mary Chain and also more obscure stuff like Dead Can Dance, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor…
5. What motivated you to start a band? I know a couple of you are no spring chickens so throw yourself into punk’s polluted pond?
Nick: After 15 years away from playing live and doing sensible things like having a family, I decided enough was enough and although I can’t fit into my old clash (original) jeans I thought what the hell, once a punk always a punk, it’s not something you ever lose.
Strang: Same as Nick, after a long break the timing was right to get back into it and finding the right people to do it with is a real plus.
Rhi: It’s a bit different for me and Tom because we technically didn’t start up this band we joined a semi-formed one! But I’m in it for the fun to be honest, its so much fun being up on stage and the road trips and rehearsals.
6. The best and worst of your CD collections?
Tom: The Bee Gees ‘Alive’ on vinyl is my worst. Best one? 'Planet of the Apes' by the Upsetters on vinyl
Rhi: My best one has to be either Muse – 'Showbiz' or 'Godspeed You'! Black Emperor - F#A#∞ both fantastic and my worst is erm... 'Flava' – Peter Andre. I know it’s awful!
Nick: Clash’s first album is my best; worst has to be Snoopy VS the Red Baron (single)
Strang: 'Never Mind the Bollocks' will always be the best – worst has to be a live punk compilation I bought from Leicester market a few years back which is white noise the whole way through. Don’t suppose there’s much chance of the bloke who sold me that reading this, but if you do mate, you’re a twat.
7. Your first CD was fucking marvellous and surely the standard is now set so high that you must be really working hard to meet it for the next release. How was the feedback in general and what are your personal feelings on that stunning release?
Nick: Feedback was very positive and we got through around 200 copies, some as far a field as America and Japan, also off the back of the CD we got a fair few gig offers.
Rhi: For a 1st CD we were really happy with it, but the 2nd ones gonna blow you away!
Strang: We’ve tried real hard to improve on the last one, I think we’ve progressed a lot song-wise and we’re a lot tighter as a unit than we were. Plus I can actually play the guitar now, always a bonus.
8. Tell us an obscure fact about yourself?
Tom: I can actually play the Flugal Horn!
Nick: I can juggle 3 balls and do round the world
Rhi: I used to have Giant African Lands Snails as pets.
Strang: My mum taught Paul Young to play the recorder.
9. Best gaffs and gigs you’ve played please and the worst if any?
Nick: We played a gig for our friend in her back garden and it was awful!
Rhi: People were looking through the fences at us and from windows.
Nick: AND people kept walking through us to make cups of tea!
Tom: and Strang got hit on the head with a ladder!
Strang: feckin ladder! Gave me a comedy Tom & Jerry lump on the cranium.
Rhi: it was fun though, really surreal but we played terribly!
Nick: best has got to be Bridgehouse 2 in Canning Town supporting 999
Rhi: It’s a great venue and I think it was the 1st time we had a mosh pit going on!
10. Tell us about the best and worst bands you’ve played with too?
Nick, Strang, Rhi, and Tom: this is an impossible question to answer. Every band, whoever they are, gives it their all and as a result keeps the scene going.
Strang: Diplomacy's not dead….
11. Have any of you any regrets in your musical careers and what are your long term ambitions as a band and as individuals?
Tom: What career? We do this for the love of it!
Nick: Well our ambitions are to keep playing, keeping it live and having as much fun as we can!
Rhi: If this band doesn’t make it big, doesn’t sell a lot of CDs, doesn’t get a lot of gigs, IT DOESNT MATTER! We love it for what it is, real and punk!
Strang: Being classically trained I’m generally gutted.
12. Finally its plug time. Go on push your cause and tattoo your message into the cerebral gunk of all and sundry!
Nick: Our mini album 'Hear Some More' is out now and has 8 tracks, available for £4 plus 50p p&p. Also you can still buy our 1st release for a pittance! Only £2.50! So either come to a gig or visit us on our MySpace – www.myspace.com/freedomfactionuk
Tom: Come and fucking see us and say hi!
Rhi: Yeah check out our myspaz, all gigs are listed there and info on how to buy our old and new CDs. And come and see us! But if you don’t, keep getting out there and supporting the scene!
Strang: Check us out, play our stuff to your family and friends, chances are that someone will like it. And have a good time ALL THE TIME!
FOOTNOTE: This interview is published later than expected and was initially meant for the on-line magazine Distorted. However since the aforementioned magazines demise rather than waste the textual matter it has been agreed to publish it here - hope you still enjoyed it - Fungalpunk/OMD