Music Q&A: FEHM

The Leeds post punk quartet are playing Bluedot Festival this weekend at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire. They head out on their own tour on 2 Aug, visiting Hull, Leeds and Manchester

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Darren: We like to be able to encourage emotions from the chord progressions and melodies that hint towards a bit of nostalgia, which I feel is a good platform for Paul’s lyrics about social and political issues.

How have you evolved as a band over the years?
Darren: The band changed line-up twice over about five years, with members leaving and members joining. The three core musicians are Paul, Amy and Chris and it’s been interesting to have seen their styles develop and evolve as both an outsider and now an insider. The band has always had a unique sound, I feel, and its development is becoming more of an ensemble by really utilising each instrument. We’re always very eager to learn. I think one of our biggest strengths is that we continually want to learn more.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?

Paul: We’ve just brought out a new single, Scarborough Warning. We also have another song coming out in a couple of weeks called The Sea To Come. We’re playing Blue Dot Festival at the weekend and we’re going on tour at the beginning of August – you can get tickets on We’re also currently in the middle of recording our debut album as I’m writing this.

What’s on your rider?
Paul: Toblerone, Rheinbacher from Aldi. Honestly though, owt. We get what we’re given and generally what we’re given isn’t great!

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Paul: I suppose as band we haven’t had too many embarrassing or surreal moments as of yet. We did play Off The Record last year though in Manchester and we were asked to play two shows at two different venues back to back. We played one and had to move all our stuff across a few streets really quickly. Everyone helped out and everyone who watched us in the first venue pretty much came to the second. That was quite surreal.

In my personal life I did go on a cruise with Chris (drums), Amy (bass), and my parents, though it was more of a ferry to Germany, a drive of six hours, then getting on a smaller boat down a few rivers. Everyone was about 70-plus, literally nothing to do, bar every single night watching a turn by a 70-year-old man called Fritzel who wore a Hawaiian shirt with flames on and did karaoke of English songs which he couldn’t sing so made his own words up. He was surreal.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Paul: David Bowie’s Young Americans. It was one of the first songs I truly fell in love with when I was young. I listened to a greatest hits CD and as soon as that song came on I remember being sat on the edge of my bed looking out of the window, getting goosebumps. I feel like I didn’t even blink as the song was on. I ended up putting it on repeat about 15 times.

What’s your worst lyric?
Paul: Mine personally, or that of someone else’s? I’ll go with someone else – I’ll keep the band name out of it though. “Nothings lemon squeezy when you’re lacking minions.”

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