Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Indietracks interview #15: Standard Fare

Interview by Sam Metcalf (A Layer Of Chips

Standard Fare is a three-piece indiepop band from Sheffield. Comprised of bassist/vocalist Emma Kupa, guitarist/vocalist Danny How, and drummer Andy Beswick, the group drew inspiration from both classic C86 groups and heroes like Orange Juice, as well as American indie rock bands of the 1990s. Their sparse and energetic sound, topped off by Kupa’s arresting vocals, soon drew interest from indie fans, the press, and record labels.

The group released their first single, 'Dancing', on Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation in 2009, then recorded the songs for The Noyelle Beat. The sessions lasted a mere six days, and the results were released by Melodic in the UK and Bar/None in the US in March of 2010. After two years of writing and honing a batch of new songs, the band hit the studio with producer Alan Smyth for a lengthy 11 days. The resulting album, Out of Sight Out of Town, was released in January of 2012.

How has touring the new album gone? Have your crowds liked it?

Good thanks! Definitely since the album was released and people are getting to know the songs the response has been really warm! Only the mis-hearing of "Crystal Palatial" as "Twisted Fellatio" has been an unintended surprise, since we've been gigging the new songs. We've been quite tentative with our set lists and still keeping the old songs in there too. I think it's currently about 50:50 but we'll lean more towards new ones as the audience gets more familiar with the newer songs.

How many times have you played Indietracks now?

We've only played once (in 2010) and it was one of the highlights of that year, so we are excited to be returning! We can't wait!

Are you staying for the whole weekend, or just the day you play?

We're all hoping to stay for the whole weekend, except for Dan who has to go to a wedding on the Friday.

Who else are you looking forward to seeing play at the festival?

Lots of bands! Always Allo Darlin', Tender Trap, Go Sailor, and Tigercats but also some bands we haven't yet seen. Also just getting a chance to see bands in the church or on the train is always great fun.

Do you usually enjoy festivals?

Oh yes, they generally have such great atmospheres! And you get to see lots of bands all in one place. But it can get a little stressful when trying to fit in watching every band you want to see. We'll probably all have our own d.i.y. schedules.

Which three bands/artists would headline the headline of your dreams?

Emma: Sam Cooke, The Be Good Tanyas, and Fleetwood Mac (circa Tusk).
Dan: Johnny Cash, Greenday (Dookie era), and The Distillers.
Andy: Stevie Wonder, The Specials, and Passion Pit.

Tell me a terrible Standard Fare festival-related secret/anecdote

The time we played Latitude was a bit of a catastrophe - the only bit that went right was when we were on stage! Dan had to drive at stupid speeds along country lanes to get there 20 minutes before stage time. The battery in Andy's van's ran completely flat and we couldn't get our equipment out - he ended up having to use somebody else's kit and cymbals and some really heavy sticks he wasn't used to. After we played, Dan locked his keys in his car and had to call the AA. It didn't stop there. Later on, Emma was in the artist's backstage area slicing some bread with an exceedingly sharp knife (clearly rock stars demand sharp bread knives), and cut straight through the bread and into her palm. Some staff rushed her through the kitchen, blood everywhere, to the first aid tent which was full of teenagers who had drunk too much alcohol. It turned into quite a memorable experience!

Have you started writing the next album yet? If not, why not?

We've not had too much time since we released the last album in January to write or think about the next album but we did do some new songs for the WIAIWYA Singles Club and that's being released in June. The current plan is to not rush things too much and maybe write a more ambitious album over the summer/autumn.

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