One of The 405’s favourite new bands Fair Ohs are putting their album out soon, and it’s a winner. Having received their LP early after they rewarded the preorderers of their LP with the album a week early (complete with a note telling me how quite sexy I probably am), I’ve been spinning it nonstop. I can confirm now it’s as good, if not better than, their previous output and easily an early contender for album of the year.

We decided therefore to get an interview with the guys about how they came to make something that sounds more than just “Paul Simon, but, y’know, punk” and more like a classic modern day guitar album, full of beautiful hooks and the most summery vibes out there at the moment.

The 405: Did you set out from the start to make summery sounds or did it develop?

Fair Ohs: Nah, at the start we were a hardcore band, so sounding "summery" wasnt really at the root of who we are. The common thread between what we were and what we are though is the intention to make positive music - we got together as friends, to have fun and to party, nothing more. We didnt want to make miserable music, we wanted to make music to dance to and enjoy. That idea of Posi Hardcore carried through into how we make music now, we just got tired of playing so noisily. We're just a hardcore band who like Paul Simon, ya dig?

What was it like working with Rory Attwell?

Lovely. He is up for trying absolutely anything and makes us feel super comfortable which is the most important part of the process for us - he never dismisses any of our stupid ideas and always just goes "yeah, orrite, let’s try it fella." He's a cockney prince. It's particularly special because he's not just someone we work with but a genuinely close friend.

What do you think of the current London scene? Who do you recommend?

It's changed a lot, it’s definitely a lot less "scene-y" than it was which is both a positive and a negative. I'm not sure it was ever that much of a scene, but bands have grown and things have evolved - there are a great bunch of people making music and hanging out right now though. We can heartily and warmly recommend our amazing buddies in Sauna Youth and of course Cold Pumas. Neither one of whom are from London.

A lot of great tracks didn't make it to the album - what was your selection process

We said "let’s put 10 tracks on the album" and chose the best. BOOM. That, my friend, is how you make a masterpiece.

Why did you include the noise part at the end of Almost Island?

Why not?

What's next now?

Well the album is coming out in loads of different territories on loads of labels. Even though we're taking care of the UK and Europe ourselves through Honey High, Rallye Klee Records is releasing it in Japan and Lefse Records are releasing it in the USA. We're working on some other territories too. We are international businessmen, like Rupert Murdoch or some shit. All of that is going to take a while, then I think we'll release a flexidisc 7" at some point and then start recording the second album which we're already more than halfway through writing. And it is rad.

Also, it's about time we toured America, Japan and Australia.

You've set up your own label for this release - is there a reason behind that? Why not Italian Beach Babes or Marshall Teller, for example?

It's a question of control I guess, and not wanting to rely on anyone. There were some bigger labels who we were talking to, but we realised that we wanted to make sure that everything was done exactly how we wanted it. Working with other people involves compromise, and we just weren't ready to do that. I'm sure we could work with another UK label at some point in the future, but we're very protective and very head strong - and it couldn’t really be going better than it is right now, so high five. It has definitely taught us that you should always do exactly what you fucking want, and as long as you are confident and happy with what you're doing, other people will probably think it's neat too.

You've all got so much going on besides Fair Ohs - do you think this influences your sound? I can hear some guitar on there that sounds like it should be on Dreamy beach, is that deliberate?

African music is a huge influence on us, so yeah it’s deliberate in so far as we've let African guitar music impact how we sound. And I think us all being so busy with other stuff really just says a lot about our attitude to the band, we're proactive dudes who like to make shit happen. Being bored sucks.

Now you've got Honey High, what's the future for Suplex cassettes?

Nothings gonna change, Matt is gonna keep busting out sweet noisey cassette vibes. Honey High, right now, is just for Fair Ohs.

Paul Simon aside, who else influences you?

We all come from a hardcore/punk/grind background but have a huge amount of influences. Everything from 60s Garage and Psychedelic music, to Eritrean Guayla music and West African Funk or Indian Ragas has an impact on who we are. That and Fleetwood Mac, obviously.

Are there more records already in the pipeline with Dream Beach?

You bet your fuckin butt. It just takes a long long time - working with people who live very very far away and have only sporadic internet access and a loose grasp of English is a laborious process, but I got plans. Expect amazing sounds from Eastern Turkey, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and more equally awesome places.

The record ‘Everything Is Dancing’ is out now on LP on Honey High Records and will be released on CD July 7th. To buy the album, click here.

http://fairohs.com/