Hitting the music scene in 2017, Fast Car To Florence are due to release their first EP in February and set to take off on a UK headline tour soon after. The three-piece band have already had airtime on BBC Introducing Nottinghamshire on a number of occasions and are planning a busy year in music. Speaking to lead singer Isaac, we find out how the band became Fast Car To Florence, tour plans and what people can expect from their debut EP.
How & when did Fast Car To Florence become a band?
The idea of the band first came about in early 2016. Myself and Chris were playing together in a wedding band at the time, and spent most weekends spending many hours travelling stupid distances in a van together. I’d been writing a few songs on my own – I played them to Chris on a journey once and we decided to meet up and have a play through them. We had a few casual rehearsals that year, but nothing really serious… work and other commitments got in the way. That’s just life, I guess. However a year later we had a burst of inspiration to get things going again properly – Mike quickly got in touch through an ad we posted in a musicians group on Facebook and things were instantly in full swing. It turned out me and him had actually toured together in different bands years before without either of us realising! Weird coincidence.
Can you tell us about each band member?
I’m the singer, guitarist and do a bit of keyboard. Chris plays drums and Mike plays bass and sings backing vocals.
Who came up with the name and is there a meaning behind it?
There’s no real discernible meaning behind the name to be honest. I can only think that the year the band formed was the same year I bought my first car, and I went away to Italy one weekend (not Florence though!) during the midst of our very first rehearsals, so I guess those two things must’ve rubbed off subconsciously to some extent. But we just thought it rolled off the tongue nicely.
Who writes your songs?
I write everything. A lot of our songs existed just on my laptop before the band was even a thing. I never intended to really do anything serious with them but I guess things have a habit of changing…
Can you describe your music for those that haven’t heard it and which of your singles would you say best describes your sound?
I’d say we’re primarily influenced by all the big rock bands that are so prominent in our culture at the moment – Kings of Leon, The Killers, Foo Fighters and the like – but with a touch of the whole noughties emo pop punk stuff (I was raised on American Idiot-era Green Day, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance). We’ve all spent a lot of time playing in covers bands so we’re all also very aware of mainstream pop music – stuff that’s on the radio at the moment, as well as ‘the classics’ – Taylor Swift all the way through to Billy Joel, for example – so I suppose that creeps into our sound a bit as well by default. As for which single best represents us – probably Hypnotise You – it has the whole package, so to speak. But each one out of the four we’ve released so far shows a different side of our collective personality.
What’s the fan response been like to your new music?
Awesome. It’s always a very heart warming and humbling feeling seeing people respond so positively to something that you’ve created. People have really taken to Hypnotise You – you’re always very susceptible to negativity when you mainly use the internet as a means to release music, but we’ve had positive comments from listeners as far away as America, Australia and the Philippines, which has been wicked. Very grateful. It’s a promising start!
What can people expect from your debut EP?
A continuation of the story that we’ve started with the singles. Sonically it digs a bit deeper and shows a few more angles to the band, which I think is exactly the right step for us at this point. The way that we’re releasing it, too – through this online experience we’re running – will be really interesting, by way of seeing how people react. For clarity (or anyone who’s unaware) we’re not putting the EP on Spotify or any other streaming services – the whole record is available as a free, five day package. People not only receive the songs as downloads via email, but also a whole load of context behind them – early demos, voice notes, lyrics and background. It’s a pretty frightening aspect laying your soul so bare, but we want to really forge a connection with people through this band. Anyone interested can sign up now through our website –https://www.fastcartoflorence.com.
Will you have physical copies available on tour?
Yes! There will be physical copies at our shows and online. People who take the experience will get access to a limited edition special edition, too. All will be revealed soon.
What was it like hearing Hypnotise You on the radio, are there any plans to visit BBC radio to do a live performance?
Dean Jackson at BBC Introducing Nottinghamshire has been kind enough to play all four of our singles on his show and we’re extremely grateful for his support. It’s a funny thing hearing yourself on the radio and I don’t think that will ever change! Nothing’s confirmed yet but we’re working on it…
Who designs your artwork?
Our logos and EP artwork were designed by an artist called Brit – http://ohbones.com/
Are you ready for tour and are there plans to add more dates?
Personally I’m never really ready for anything! I’m a perfectionist and I think that extends into our band psyche too… we’re yet to start rehearsals properly but they’ll be gruelling when they do. We can’t wait to get out and visit some new places. And yes, yes, yes a million times yes to more dates. If things go to plan we’re hopefully going to be very busy this year.
If you were to play covers, what would they be and will you be performing any at the shows?
I never want to say never, but the large amount of time we’ve all collectively spent playing in covers bands has made us pretty bored of them, to be blunt. We’ve got a LOT more of our own songs we want to get into the live set before we think about doing other peoples’!
Will there be new tour merchandise?
There will indeed. We’re not sure exactly what yet… but we’re thinking maybe a few new t-shirt designs, and maybe some wristbands and buttons and stuff. Little trinkety things.
What was the experience like at your December shows?
It was brilliant to be honest. I think this band has very much hit the ground running – we jumped straight into headline shows barely a year after we properly formed and it was a bit of a risk, but I think it paid off. They were only tiny shows but they all had a real atmosphere to them. It taught us a lot about what worked and what didn’t and we’re so keen to get back out and repeat, repeat, repeat.
Are there any plans to play festivals this summer?
That would be telling…
Had you always known how you would film your first music video?
Organising the video shoot for Hypnotise You was a bit of a logistical nightmare. We went through several different directors and venues, and also made the mistake of trying to get it all arranged in the lead up to Christmas, which is a crazy time of year anyway… But we’re so glad that it ended up the way it did. It was always going to be just a simple video of us playing the track. That’s what we do best, after all. Will Carman – the director – really understood that, and Filthy’s in Nottingham, the bar where we filmed it, seemed like the obvious choice – it’s SUCH a cool looking room. We loved the end result – it was just right for the song, the release and the moment.
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