For fans of Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance, The 1975
Fast Car To Florence are a Frenetic Alt Rock two piece hailing from Nottingham, UK. The duo combine a blend of Alt Rock & Indie instrumentation with big, catchy sounding vocal hooks to create an overall unique and anthemic like sound.
With their upcoming 'English Skin EP' out on May 8th 2020 (featuring the singles 'CRY' and 'English Skin' as well as an acoustic version of the latter), we caught up with the talented duo to find out more...
The band consists of seasoned musicians Isaac Anderson on guitar/vocals and Chris Barber on drums.
In just one sentence, explain Fast Car To Florence’s sound...
Loud, passionate, energetic and full of feeling.
In one paragraph each - who or what inspired you to become a musician?
Isaac – I started learning guitar at about 8 with encouragement from my dad – my whole family is really musical. I was always really excited by the idea of creating and performing ever since I was very little, and learning the guitar just took that to the next level – it opened the door into music being a platform to create and perform. The idea of being in a band fascinated me and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do since.
Chris - I was introduced to a few rock bands by a friend of mine in school around the age of 9... I think it was Nirvana’s Nevermind and System Of A Down that first made me want to learn to play the drums, especially Dave Grohl’s drumming! As soon as I started having lessons at 11 I became obsessed and haven’t stopped since.
You recently released a single ‘English Skin’, although the song has had quite a life already. What is the history of this song so far, what does it mean to you and why did you decide to record/release it now?
It’s a bit of a funny story with English Skin! It was one of the first songs we ever worked on together, and the very first that we ever released – we did a bit of a rushed job of it because we didn’t rate it as a song compared to others that we were working on, but ironically it ended up being people’s favourite in the years that followed its original release.
After we reintroduced ourselves with CRY in February, it made sense that a new version of English Skin should follow straight after – a version created and released with a bit more time and energy dedicated to it. The song is about feeling confused, a bit lost and slightly unsure about life – spookily, it’s inadvertently turned out to be a bit of a reflection on the current situation.
You both actively work as session musicians - how does playing other people's music compare to playing your original stuff?
It’s really cool! It’s difficult to make a living from JUST being in a band when you’re at this level, so you have to have something on the side, and it’s amazing for us that session touring is that ‘day job’ in a sense.
We get to spend all of our energy creating and performing music all the time and everything we do outside of the band feeds back into it in some way.
What can we expect from a Fast Car To Florence live show?
A SHOW. We want the audience to feel just as involved in the performance as we are. As a band with just two members, we have to give so much more energy to fill the stage and we always want attendees at our gigs to leave having soaked some of that up.
There’s a rare sense of community at live shows. Lockdown notwithstanding, how often do you get a group of people of different ages and backgrounds all in the same room for the same reason? We always do our absolute best to make our shows a welcome escape from reality.
What is your favourite song to play live, and why?
Isaac – I love playing CRY. That song is about how music is such an important way to channel emotions... so playing it live means you get to do exactly that. Technically it’s a really easy song to play and sing too (for me anyway!) so I can just relax and enjoy the moment without having to think too much.
Chris - Mine is CRY too! The song has such a good vibe live and the drum parts are really fun to play.
You tackled the issue of having to cancel all upcoming live shows head on by performing a ‘Live In Isolation’ set, streamed direct to YouTube. How did you find performing without each other/an audience in the room?
It was definitely the weirdest ‘gig’ we’ve ever done, and required a fair bit of time to prepare and rehearse. But it was such a great feeling looking back afterwards and seeing the reaction – keeping people entertained during this time and giving them an escape is so important and it makes us really happy to be able to do that.
Gigs may be cancelled for now and we might not be able to play to people (or even with each other) in the same room – but no one has forgotten that connection that live music brings, and if anything, that makes us all the more excited for the restrictions to be lifted and gigs to start up again.
Check out Fast Car To Florence's Live In Isolation show below...
If you could support any band/artist, who would it be and why?
Foo Fighters is a definite bucket-list tick for both of us! They’ve been a huge influence on us – both as Fast Car To Florence, and separately.
Who are 3 other bands/music artists that we should all go and check out?
We want to take a moment to give a mention to our hometown - Nottingham has an incredible scene and it’s such an honour to be a part of it. It’s hard to pick just three bands and artists but you should definitely check out Mid November, Kelsey and the Embers (who opened our first and only gig of this year so far) and My Pet Fauxes.
What’s next for Fast Car To Florence?
We made a lot of very detailed plans for this year and the coronavirus has thrown them all into chaos, so we’ve learnt to just sit back and take things as they come! There will definitely be more music out as soon as we’re able to get it finished, and gigs will follow as soon as it’s possible to play them. For now, it’s important that we don’t think too hard about that stuff... it’ll happen when it happens.
People need to feel connected during this time, and we’ve been working really hard to build a community around our music and create a space where people can feel welcome, included and safe.
We’re on a real wavelength with our ‘family’ (we hate the word ‘fans’) and it’s genuinely awesome. So as long as we can keep that up, we’ll be happy.
And so concludes our interview with Isaac and Chris. A massive thank you to the guys - we absolutely cannot wait for the 'English Skin EP' - out May 8th on all digital streaming platforms!
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