Having just released their new album, Modern Vintage, Brisbane’s Cheap Fakes are about to embark on a national tour. We caught up with them before it kicked off to discuss their experiences producing the new record, and how best to capture the energy of a live performance. Check out the interview below!
Well, we’re here to talk about a new record. Let’s jump straight in and talk about Modern Vintage. Firstly, congratulations on the record, it comes out in a little over the week. Tell me a little bit about the production of the record. When did you start working and recording Modern Vintage?
I guess we actually started recording the album January of – not the January been, but the January before, so it’s been almost 2 years in production, this one. We did sort of a whirlwind session with our producer, John Merchant. We had him over for about twelve days, and we did the twelves days straight up at Heliport Studios in Buderim and then after that, we spent about six to eight months doing all the overdubs and all the backing vocals and extra instrumentation. In the time between then, me and my wife had a baby and our drummer had a baby as well, so it all got pushed back a little bit but it’s finally coming out, we’re happy.
You must be excited to finally get it out in the world after such a long time sitting there ready to go.
Absolutely, it’s been a love-hate relationship with this album. Some weeks I love it, some weeks I hate it. But we’re really proud of the finished product. It sounds like a really cool collection of songs, and we’re really happy with it.
What was it like working with John Merchant?
It was unbelievable, just the privilege of working with him. The knowledge and experience and expertise that John brought to the project was just incredible. You know, his ability to make you feel completely at ease in the studio was so valuable. It allowed us to give the best performance possible and I think that really shows on the album. It’s really captured the energy and the excitement of our band.
I guess that’s one thing I wanted to talk about as well- the idea of capturing the live performance, which I always imagine was going to be the hardest part of the production side of things. How did you approach that? How did you take, ‘hey, we want to feel on this record what you experience live’. What was that approach like?
The way that John produced the album was, we all go into the studio and we played together as a group, and then we sort of go back in and overdub the bits that we weren’t completely happy with, so I guess his approach… it does lean a lot towards that live feel, so you do capture the energy. So I think that the way that he does it, and the way he makes you feel comfortable in the studio, the best performance comes out of the musicians that he works with.
You’re about to hit the road next month for a few dates to give us all a taste of the record, although I imagine in shows in the last year or so, we’ve heard a lot of these songs already live – this isn’t going to be a totally new experience for you guys.
We have been saving a lot of songs for the album launch tour, and the last month or so, we’ve been rehearsing those news tunes really hard out. So we’re really excited about the new tunes and I guess it’s a new thing for us to be bringing these songs that have been in the making for so long. They’re coming to fruition, and we’re sort of expanding on them and making them more exciting. It’s going to be good.
That should be pretty fun for you guys to be able to play those songs and know that ‘hey, people have probably heard them now’, we’re not sitting on them anymore.
When it comes to your live shows, what are some of the live bands that you guys look towards for inspiration? In the last few years, you’ve gotten to play with so many incredible artists, there must be quite a lot of inspiration- not only from the history of music, but from just people that you surround yourself with as well.
Yeah. We were lucky enough to play with Cody Chesnutt and he’s been one of my favourite artists for many years, and his live act is just cooking. So that was really exciting for us, and just seeing what he does live was just very inspirational and one of my life goals ticked.
Also Melbourne Ska Orchestra, we played with them, and their unbelievable energy on stage was just mind-blowing. A lot of the bands I look up to are like, I really love… the Beatles, and bands that can play any kind of genre they want. I just like taking inspiration from them, I mean, I’m never going to write songs as good as John Lennon or Paul McCartney but those are the bands that I look up to and that give me inspiration.
Well, congratulations again on the record and looking forward to seeing you back on the road very soon. Thanks very much for your time today.
No worries. Thank you!
Friday 16th October | Solbar | Sunshine Coast
Thursday 29th October | Tokio Hotel | Sydney
Saturday 31st October | Granite Town Festival
Saturday 7th November | Originals Festival
Thursday 12th November | Yah Yahs | Melbourne
Friday 13th November | Sooki Lounge | Melbourne
Sunday 15th November | Bulimba Festival
Friday 20th November – 22nd November | Mullum Music Festival
Cheap Fakes’ new album, Modern Vintage is out now! For more information and upcoming tour dates, check them out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes