The LaFontaines are truly one of the most exciting prospects to come out of Scotland since deep-fired Mars bars and the Arts Club in Liverpool on 24th September will bear witness to the band who have been selling out iconic venues and cramming in the audiences at main stages at Scottish festivals for the past few years.
The four-piece deliver a unique sound that fuses the guitar swagger of Kasabian, with the edgy hip-hop delivery of The Streets and the electronic-pop undertones of Twenty One Pilots to create a style that pushes the boundaries of rock.
The band’s 2015 debut Class was their first statement, reaching #1 in the Indie Breakers Chart the week of release and making the Top 10 in the Scottish chart. The LaFontaines released their follow up album Common Problem last year to critical acclaim and saw their Glasgow headline show sell out within a week, receiving high praise from Kerrang who hailed them “Kings Of The North”.
Jamie Keenan took some time for a quick chat. The band also took time to make a funny short video for for fans to buy tickets for this event. You can see this below;
1. You’ve been playing a LOT of shows this year- things seem to have stepped up on that front even by your standards?
We’ve been playing a tonne of gigs this year. It’s amazing being busy and long may it continue. We’ve been right round the UK and Ireland and loads of shows on the continent too. The prestige of the festivals and also the slots have went up another notch as well.
2. There seems to be a real momentum behind the band- what sparked it?
We’ve done loads of great support tours as a band but were never able to capitalise on it by doing our own gigs a few weeks after them. This is the first time where we’ve had the opportunity to go back out and play the same places and create more of a following, especially in Europe. The calibre of songs we’re beginning to produce is stronger than ever too and it’s all finally starting to take shape.
3. Of course you’ve signed a deal-how big a boost was that after so many years of near-misses and being messed about by the industry?
It feels for the first time that someone in the industry has actually got our back and has the same vision we do for the band. We’ve been doing this since we were at school 10 years ago and there’s been a lot of people involved over the years but with no fruit to bear. It’s been a fantastic start witht the label things are looking to get even better.
4. The new music is sounding phenomenal with real potential crossover vibes- do you feel that way too?
Definitely! The songs we’re working on just now are by the far the best we’ve ever written. The new single ‘UP’ was a different sound for us and getting on good Spotify playlists and on radio has helped to push the music out to different people who wouldn’t necessarily have seen us play live before. We’re noticing a lot of engagement on social media from new people.
5. Was it something you consciously decided to do after the rage of the last record, to be more upbeat, or did it just happen with the change in line up etc?
It’s not a conscious decision to be more upbeat, however the confidence and the optimism that we currently have as a group is at an all time high. That might just be from the way everything is starting to pan out. Also, the producer we’re currently working with in Glasgow is also the best person we’ve ever used and has let us do our own thing.
6. You got your first ever play on Radio 1- we know just how big a deal that is for a band who have been ignored by them and others for so long- how did that feel? Must have been real vindication?
It was a really nice feeling to get a track played on Radio 1. They had been saying it wasn’t their thing for a few years now. However, it’s important not to put all your eggs in the one basket and trying to emulate other songs that appear on Radio 1 because most of it is flash in the pan stuff.
7. Where are you in terms of music- I know you’re writing all the time, when would you realistically like to have a new record out?
We’ve got a massively busy few months ahead of us and booked right up until next summer so far. Anytime we’re home, we get back into the studio even if it’s just for a day or two. There’s maybe another 5 or 6 songs nearly finished and the bones of another 10 or so. We’re thinking of spending a good few weeks in January doing as much as we can. I reckon there will be another album late summer 2019
8. You’ve got the ‘Up’ Tour coming up- what can we expect? The fonts are legit the best live band in Scotland, is this about getting out there and showing that to people who haven’t yet been indoctrinated into the cult of Kerr?
For the first time, we are actually selling a good amount of tickets outside the home turf. This is exciting and the venues have all been another step higher on the circuit ladder. This will be by far the best headline tour we’ll have done. We just need to keep going back so the crowds get bigger to the size of shows we’re used to playing in Scotland
9. Europe is loving you- what’s happened? What sparked this sudden slew of European dates this year and the sell-out crowds etc?
No idea! We played in September in a tiny club in Hamburg called Molotow as part of Reeperbahn Festival and it seemed like it was just another normal rowdy drunken crowd. But from the back of that, we got a good amount of festival bookings and club shows and also got introduced to who is now our European booking agent ‘Mario’. The audiences in Europe seem to be taking to our music extremely well and it’s probably where we’ll be looking to concentrate on more next year if this year is anything to go by!
10. Jamie’s book was the surprise hit of the end of last year- are there plans for a sequel and how are you keeping his ego under control?
There’s 100% plans for book 2, possibly to go along with album 3. Another collection of out-there tales from the road and from native sub-urban Glasgow life. At the moment though, we’re currently in talks to have a few pilot episodes made so we’ve been working away at a screenplay which is a very exciting development
11. You opened TRNSMT at 3 days notice, after being awake for 36 hours- typical Fonts move, but how was it? Can you remember?
We had just landed at Dusseldorf airport when the offer came through on the Thursday afternoon. Our flights were due to land at Edinburgh on the Saturday around 5PM but then had to change these to fly from Cologne at 6AM. We were playing about 11PM on the Friday night and then had to pack the stuff down and drive straight to Cologne where it turned out the flight was delayed. Made it to Glasgow with about an hour to spare. It sounds like hassle but it was really exciting.
12. You’re going to India in December. How the hell did that happen and can we come?
Cannot wait to go to India! It came about from sitting next to a one of the guys from the label at dinner one night. He had just bought John Lennons old flat in St Johns Wood in London. I was telling him that I was a massive fan. He had been in India extensively prior to this meeting, and he was saying how he was working on a new Beatles film about their time in India as loads of new footage had been discovered. I told him I’d always wanted to go and jokingly asked if he could get us any gigs over there. He said he could. And a few days later, we had an offer in for what’s known as ‘The Happiest Music Festival’. It’s going to be something else.
13. Finally, to those looking at the UK tour and thinking- why should I go see these rapscallions with their accents and big loud noise- what would you say?
I’d say that you should come along and check us out. We are just simply too good. It will beggar belief. You will rub your eyes upon seeing us perform and exclaim “ oh my goodness, this is simply wonderful”