We last interviewed F.O.E.S in February when they were getting ready to release their excellent EP Ophir. Ahead of their show at Maguire’s Pizza Bar in Liverpool (the review of which can be read here), we caught up with Josh and James for a chat.
So what’s been happening in the F.O.E.S camp since our last encounter?
Josh: Well we went on tour straight away to promote Ophir, and then we almost straight away went back to the studio and recorded another five tracks. We’re not quite sure about what we’re going to do with them yet, so for the moment we’re just trying to plug Ophir a little more.
How’d the recording of those tracks go?
James: Really well. I think – without sounding too egotistical – we raised the bar a bit. The sound’s just a lot bigger.
Josh: Our producer said it was one of the most ambitious things he’s tried to record. We recorded a lot of stuff whilst we were there!
Moving onto the here and now – you’re currently on tour with Atlas : Empire at the moment. How’s that going so far?
James: It’s going really well. They’re a cracking bunch of lads and the gigs are great. They’ve got quite a cinematic sound.
Josh: Yeah, we’re really impressed with their live set. A lot of their stuff is instrumental and a lot of instrumental stuff I hear winds me up and never seems to go anywhere, but these guys are really good.
You’re about halfway through the tour – are there any interesting stories to report?
James: I dunno. Touring just seems to be about getting in a van and going to one place, eating a Tesco sandwich and drinking really cheap cider/beer! People seem to think going on tour is really glamorous but it’s not! It’s boring!
Well you must enjoy playing the shows!
Josh: Yeah! When you’re playing the shows, meeting people and playing with great bands, it’s a lot of fun. Just not as rock and roll as it’s made out to be! (laughs)
Tonight is a hometown show for you. What can people expect from tonight’s show – any treats in store?
Josh: We might chuck another song in the set.
James: Yeah, there’s a song we haven’t played…we wouldn’t call it an encore type of song but I think we’ll end up playing it anyway. We’ve got a couple of new ones in the set as well so we’re excited to show them to our friends and family.
Josh: With our live performance, we like to keep it flowing and we like to put on a good show. I think we’re perhaps a ‘bigger stage band’ rather than a smaller one. You see a lot of bands that go mental in the crowd and go climbing and stuff, but that’s not really our scene.
James: It seems a little bit too rehearsed, if anything! For us, whatever happens happens. We live in the moment!
Moving onto a few more random questions – if you could choose an animal to represent the band, what would it be?
James: Wow, that’s a new one! I don’t know…
Josh: We use the elephant a lot…and obviously there’s sparrows in the band name, but that’s not as mighty!
James: Maybe a lion? King of the jungle!
Josh: Anything grand and majestic like that would be good.
James: In fact, a tiger actually. They’re more likely to live in a jungle than a lion, really.
Do you have any claims to fame?
Josh: I met Orlando Bloom once, but didn’t realise it was him. And that’s about it!
James: I shook hands with Chris Martin when I was very very drunk and patted him on the stomach, but apparently I actually hit him in the stomach!
Where did you meet him? At a Coldplay show, or…
James: No, I was in my old band and the label we were signed to were doing a launch night over at Baby Blue in the docks. Coldplay must have been recording A Rush Of Blood To The Head and they came out drinking. And I went over and tried to say a friendly hello…but yeah. I’ve only ever told that story twice!
And finally – if F.O.E.S could put their name to a product, what would it be?
Josh: I suppose it would have to be a beard oil, wouldn’t it? Everyone comments on the beards, so I guess a beard product would be best.
James: Or a coffee! We seem to be drinking a lot of coffee these days. We could just take a packet of Kenco and draw our name on with a crayon!