Interviews Music

Artist Feature: Foreign TV

There are always those early morning hours at the end of an evening where we just need a little reflective musical pick up; nothing too busy or banging but something fairly gentle, flowing and lacy intricate delicate. South London Epsom based Foreign TV are turning this early hours need into a niche with their second quality single Magnets.

There’s a nice late night jazzy feel and soft sandy drum feel to Magnets, and this vibe is mixed with the rather low key slightly hang dog vocals. The song offers an equally intricate subject matter and offers a series of short stories and observations about the people you might meet during those very disorienting first months thrust into a new life at University. Those into the gently hypnotic beats of the likes of Tame Impala, but with a wish for something a little more understated will definitely appreciate this new single. 

Foreign TV are a band new to me, and I couldn’t resist using the powers vested in me as a long time contributor to the very best Yorkshire based music blog to approach the band to find out a little more.

Tell us who plays what for the band, who writes the lyrics and the music?

Jay (Franks) carefully writes the lyrics in his own time (always having his notebook on him everywhere to jot down ideas), although we all chip in occasionally. Likewise, we are all part of the creative process when it comes to writing music, bringing ideas to the chalet where we practice.

Typically Max (Caulfield) will strut in with a right groove and that gets quickly slated by the other members and the rest of the band pen a new better sounding tune. The formula works. We definitely work best together like a four headed chimp: like our primate friends, we sometimes get distracted by the loud noises our instruments can make but we do have thumbs. Tim (Murphy) on the sticks, Rob (Mutch) on the black guitar Max on the white guitar, Jay on the 4 string and lead vocals. Got Rob and Tim backing him up too.

Three of the four band members used to be part of local band Chalet Noir who had a very different heavier and looser indie style. I asked the guys what prompted the change to their sweet spot in pysch-pop.

Jay, Tim, and Rob and another beloved ex-member were in a band called Chalet Noir. The boys learnt a lot from their time in that group, and had a ball playing gigs and writing tunes, but the decision to move on came as Rob Jay and Tim wanted to mature and take the sound more seriously. It was a big decision to start the new project, but with a kiss goodbye and a tight hug Chalet Noir has been left in a comfy chair, smiling, watching its successor march on.

Making music is only part of the business, are there any parts you particularly like or dislike?

One thing that gets us nervy is the trekking to gigs and back in a 20 year old Suziki Swift that was uncovered from a forest and a 25 year old Toyota Rav4 that hit 100k miles last weekend. We await the joyous day that we break down on the way to a gig!

We all love the game though don’t get me wrong. It’s the buzz on creating something from scratch and putting it out there for people, who say ‘Yeah. This ain’t bad’. That feeling of just making something is unrivaled. We care a lot about what we make, and we spend hours making sure things are as good as they can be, and when something comes off tight: perfectenschlag. 

Do you have any plans for 2019? Any chance of a gig or two in Manchester/Yorkshire this year?

Make no mistake we have penned some big projects in 2019, and our 6 month plan is looking really exciting. We’ve got a good string on gigs set up or being set up, available to peruse on our Facebook page.

Don’t want to give too much away but we’re planning to release a single as we hit summer as well as an EP in the middle of the year. We want to give our listeners a better idea of what we’re about as, if you haven’t been to one of our shows you might be under the impression that we’ve only got two songs but we’ve actually got more. Probably about 14 tracks that have come out of the oven nice and golden on top, and a few more tracks that still a bit wet in the middle and need an extra 6/7 minutes at 180.

We’ve played up north in Manchester and Liverpool over one amazing weekend already, but we’d love to venture up again we love it there. We’re looking to play at Live at Leeds, that would be big.

So it’s time for the killer question and really discover what makes these quality guys in Foreign TV really kick. Here goes:

You make it big, get invited onto Sunday Brunch and have to cook your signature dish. So, what’s cooking?         

We’d have to turn to Jay for that one. There’s two veggies in the band (Jay being one of them) although Max is a pescetarian so only counts as half a veggie.

Jay’s ‘Franks Fry-Up’ is a toasted bagel with a quorn sausage patty on the bottom slice. On that goes a fried egg. Not too runny or you’ll get it all over your nice jumper. On that goes two sliced quorn sausages cut in half and placed side by side. Dice and fry some green pepper, on that goes.  With that comes mushrooms for that chewy texture. Sauce to choice.

Having said that the other day Tim, and this was quality, he cooked for some of the lucky fans that came to our Boileroom gig. He’s been interested in Mariachi Music recently and with that comes the flavours of Mexico. As the saying goes you can’t hear Mexico without tasting it. He pulled off a hell of a dish. It might be something we keep up, you know, cooking for fans.

Chris R

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