I first met John and Danny of Fair Do’s when they dropped at my place on a week day very early in the morning. They were filling in for Dead Neck and they played a show the day before in London, supporting Ignite, and missed their ferry. They needed a place to sleep so I opened my house … what every punk/rockers usually do when friends need help. I didn’t know John and Danny personally at this time, but their band already had a very good feedback. Today, I’m glad I can make an interview with Fair Do’s and help them promoting their forthcoming record, “Leopards”.
Hello Fair Do’s. Thanks so much for your time! For those who have never heard of your band, would you mind introducing yourselves, as well as Fair Do’s?
(Danny) – Hello Greg, it’s our pleasure! I’m Danny, the guitarist and main shouter at Fair Do’s.
(John) – And I’m John, the drummer and backing shouter in Fair Do’s. We play fast and heavy, melodic hardcore punk and come from Manchester, UK.
There are so many skatepunk bands, all around the world. According to you, what do you think sets your band apart from all the other bands in your genre?
(Danny) – We stopped looking for musical ideas within the punk scene a long time ago. If you want metal, break beat, grime and soul influenced skate punk, then you’re in the right place.
(John) – Like Danny said, we like to introduce ideas and styles we’ve heard in other places into our musical genre, and our playing. We think that good rhythm and melody, can be found in many places, so we keep our listening varied. We’re all a sucker for a classic punk rock singalong chorus, but we also tried to include some more groovy, and bouncy parts this time around.
You guys drop your debut album, “Leopards”, today. How long have you worked on it and how did you approach the writing process for this record?
(Danny) – It’s been 4 years since we released the Trying Times EP. We spent 2 years writing and practising, meticulously demoing each riff, run, fill and vocal line. It then took around 18 months to record, mix and master. We all work full time so we were spending every free weekend over in York tracking. Then the last 6 months have been spent preparing for the release. We totally suck at this so were lucky the team at Lockjaw Records took over and whipped us into shape.
(John) – We took a lot of time to be able to play through all of the songs from start to finish in all honesty. Our guitarist, Dave, had a large hand in writing our album tracks, and he essentially set us all a huge task in upping our playing. He would approach us with demos, and we would spend week after week drilling those songs home, ironing them out, and getting them up to tempo. We also spent that time working on lyrics and vocal melodies, as our writing process always starts with guitars and drums.
Focusing on this new album: How much would you say your sound has improved, compared to your previous EP, Trying Times?
(Danny) – It feels more like the EP was a demo and this is the real thing. Everything you might have liked about Trying Times has just been multiplied. Bigger riffs, harder lyrics, catchier choruses, faster songs, slower songs, more crushing breakdowns and a real step up in production. If you can’t tell, I’m over the moon with how it’s turned out!
(John) – I think we definitely polished our sound and style a bit more thoroughly than we had on the E.P. We’ve always tried to include some metal influence in our sound, but we really focused on bringing that forward a bit more this time around. We also tracked with our good friend, and great drummer/guitarist Dave Boothroyd at Reel Recording Studio, York. We knew he had first hand experience in the style we play, and the sound we were looking for, so we’re happy to track with him, and aim for something a bit more polished than last time around.
If each one of you had to pick ONE track that, according to you, best reflects the spirit of this new release: Which one would you pick and why?
(Danny) – That’s not an easy question but I’ve got to say Hanging. When I first heard Dave’s demo,I had no idea how i was going to be able to play it! Without being too cheesy, I think it sums up the journey we’ve gone through as a band, gives an indication of where we’re heading sonically, and captures the moment lyrically of a political climate that is both hilarious and frightening in pretty equal measure.
(John) – I feel like a bit of cheat here, but I’m going with Hanging too, for pretty much the same reasons. It feels like we created quite a defined sound with that track, and it was truly a huge challenge for us all to be able to play from start to finish.
I’ve noticed that many people compare Danny’s vocals, and the band in general, with Belvedere. How do you feel about this ?
(Danny) – I have absolutely no problem with that. Steve has an iconic voice and Belvedere are one of my favourite bands!
(John) – Yeah, we have heard that comparison before. We all love Belvedere, and spent a lot of time in our younger days with them on the stereo. Great band!
UK’s current punk/rock is amazing and there are many punk/rock or skatepunk band labelled as “technical”, like Almeida, Darko or The Human Project. How close are you from this scene and bands, and what do you think about all this “technical” trend ?
(Danny) – We consider all of the above bands as close friends because we’ve been playing together, helping each other and inspiring each other for years. Trends come and go but this is what we’ve always done and its what we’re always going to do.
(John) – We always just aimed to play the music that we loved, and it just so happened that we ended up sharing the stage with those bands doing the same thing. We were always happy to discover great bands on a lineup, and we’re even happier to see some of our best friends getting the recognition they deserve after years of hard work. We’ve all been slogging it out to empty rooms for years on end, so it’s great to see the style get gain a bit of a wider audience.
(Danny) – I wouldn’t really describe the style as technical. It’s interesting and creative and we all just love to play, but most of the melody, harmony and rhythms are pretty simple, just really fast!
What do you all listen at the moment ? Are there any bands you closely follow ?
(John) – We’ve shared the stage with some excellent bands and friends recently, and I’d recommend you check out The Affect Heuristic, Head Honcho, Forever Unclean and Upstream Colour. So many to list, but that’s a great start.
What else can we expect from Fair Do’s in 2018?
(Danny) – We’ve had a fantastic year so far with the Death By Stereo tour and Manchester Punk Fest back in April, then we just got back from a week in Belgium and Germany, finishing at the absolutely stunning KNRD Fest. Leopards is out on Friday 27th of July and our Manchester release show is on the 30th; then the plan for the rest of the year is to take this album to every corner of the UK, with one eye on going to Japan early next year.
(John) – As Danny said, we’re always looking to take ourselves to new places, and play for whoever will have us. We’ve been lucky enough to get on some great line ups so far this year, and we’re hoping to get even further afield with Leopards.
The last words are for you. Want to say anything to your fans ?
(Danny) – Fans are for rock stars, it’s an absolute privilege when anybody shows a shred of interest in what we do. Thank you so much to everyone that’s already ordered our album, we cant wait for you to hear what we’ve been working on!
(John) – Again, thank you to anyone who ever helped us, or supported us. We’re just four idiots trying to make the music that we like to hear, and it blows our minds that other people apparently like to hear it too. We couldn’t have got this far, and made an album we’re so happy with, without all of your continued patience and support. We really are excited for you all to hear it.