Interview: Fear Of Men

Formed back in 2011 after guitarist Daniel Falvey heard singer Jess Weiss’ reverb-laden soundtrack at an art exhibition, Fear Of Men have gone on to push the boundaries of music.

Debut album Loom’s emotion-filled, personal lyrics have led to many comparisons to a young Morrissey. Indeed, his contrasts of melancholic, harder hitting lyrics and seductive pop melodies are something Fear Of Men have tried to learn from when making their own sound.

“I love the Smiths so that’s a really huge compliment to me,” says frontwoman. “What we really respect about [The Smiths] as a band is the way they had a lot of different sounds over their career but it was their kind of incisive, thought out lyrics which you don’t really get in pop songs. I think that’s a really interesting way to juxtapose.”

The Smiths’ experimental approach is mirrored by Fear Of Men’s, as is their lack of interest in the ‘proper way’ of doing things.But the addition of some modern technology into the mix, namely some recording equipment borrowed from a friend, opened up the ability for Jess to begin creating their own multi-layered sound.

“Before that I’d only been able to have just one person playing the guitar and singing. You can’t get experimental with sounds, you can’t use effects, you can’t layer things up. Then suddenly I had this amazing new toy to play with which I spent hours and hours in my room sampling different things.”

The intrigue in disorders and medical conditions especially androphobia (the fear of men) also brings a likeness to a young Moz but also signals her belief that it is now the turn of both the boys and the girls..

“I think it’s a really good time for music in that there are so many more girls in bands than there used to be and it’s less of a gimmick because I think it’s obviously always positive to have women in bands but for it to be 50/50. It’s really gratifying to see women telling their own stories with music rather than I guess maybe like the 90s where there was a bit of cliché of a sexy bassist but I think it’s kind of the women’s turn to say something new and connect with a different audience on that.”

The last record took over a year but just a couple of months later another is already in the works – and is already signalling an evolution from in their sound. Having been on tour since March and surrounded by new people, events and places constantly, it has inevitably influenced the way they’ve approached their latest recordings.

“I think my perspective on life has probably changed a little bit in the last few months,” Jess explains. “We’re definitely going to push things forward and move forward with the kind of musical anguish that we’ve been secreting between the three of us.”

The upcoming headline tour follows their three month long run of dates supporting The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart across the UK and Europe. And Jess admits she is looking forward to the mini-break before hitting the road again. “As soon as we get off this tour we’re going to get into rehearsals. Mike the drummer; his parents live on a farm so we’re just going to go there for the weekend, play music all day and it’ll be really good to have a rest like that and sleep in the same bed for a few nights in a row.”

Last time Fear Of Men appeared in Birmingham, in support of Best Coast, things ended up pretty weird with the lights cutting out mid show. But 2 years later with their debut album Loom under their belt, things have developed significantly off stage and on it.

“I was really nervous when I was first playing shows,” continues the singer. “Now I feel like I’ve got a bit more strength but then the songs are sometimes about vulnerable introspective things that I feel needs to come across in our live sets too. We’ll definitely get the chance to play some more songs, extend the set a bit and try some new things out which will be fun!”

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