An Interview With…Idle Frets

First, can you pitch your band to people who haven’t heard of you before?

Dave: Imagine if ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon was actually written by Post Malone fuelled by two litres of Monster energy drink. We sound like the opposite of that.

Erin: Get yourself a ticket, come see us live! Of course we love our records and are really proud of them, but I would deffo say – and I think the boys would agree – that we’re all about our live shows. We love performing shows that are lively, all about singing along, and getting your bev and groove on! We’ve got influences from all over the shop, but relatable indie-pop-rock bangers are our thing!

Luke: If you’re a fan of lively performances, slick guitar hooks and good times, then get to know Idle Frets.

What have the highlights of this year been for you?

Dave: We played the main stage at 110 Above Festival, that was insanely good. It feels good to be moving up the ranks.

Luke: For me, playing the main stage on the Saturday on 110 Above Festival was incredible. It was absolutely chucking it down and we had an amazing turnout. We went on our first headline tour in May/June, too, going to so many places for the first time and having people showing is a great feeling.

Which songs do you get most pumped up to play live?

Erin: I love playing ‘Glow’ and ‘Now You’re Back’ live; strong drum game in those songs! They’re big sounding and need a lot of energy to play live, and I think that’s what live shows should be all about.

Dave: My personal favourite to play is ‘Glow’, I think it works the best live, and it means I get to push the magical fuzz button.

Luke: Our new single ‘Talk About You’ is big and ‘Now You’re Back’ always goes off.

What’s your favourite part about performing your songs up in front of people?

Erin: I enjoy it all. Playing live is my favourite part of being in a band. I was never a performer when I was younger, I don’t like public speaking particularly and I get quite nervous. But I enjoy this so much, and when I look up in front of the kit and my three best mates are having the best time too… it’s super cool. Being able to have fun together for that time, and not think about anything else, [that’s my favourite part].

Luke: Seeing people dancing, singing along and enjoying themselves, for sure. We just hope people enjoy our music as much as we do.

What’s your favourite gig memory?

Erin: From our shows, he will be fuming at me for this, but Ben fell over once a few years ago on stage, and it was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. He tried to disguise it as dropping his guitar pick and picking it up again but everyone noticed, and I was howling! As a crowd member, my second Glasto I saw Frank Turner. At my third, I saw Biffy Clyro. They’re both my favourite acts and I will never forget – the happiest I think I’ve ever been, in a field full of dirty and gross, open-minded people, singing my favourite songs in the sun and rain with my best friends! Cheesy, right?

Luke: As a member of the crowd: Arctic Monkeys at Don Valley, Sheffield was spectacular. Even though I lost my shoes.

Is there anything you’d like to change about the music industry?

Erin: So much! I love it dearly but my god, people need to begin to see things differently. Number one for me would be from the perspective of a young artist entering the industry, and a young booker/agent entering the industry. I will never understand how people expect people to work for absolutely nothing in return. I don’t always expect money in return for my work, as I understand experience, gig tickets, contacts etc. are valuable. Favours here and there when arranged are also fine, and all part of having passion for the industry and helping people involved, but how people expect musicians and young graduates to make a living on ‘experience’ is a joke, and it’s a battle I face weekly as a young professional.

Luke: People who are working in the industry just to make money, rather than doing it for the passion.

In terms of feminism, who do you look up to within the music industry?

Erin: P!nk, 100%. I think she is an incredible person. I have always loved P!nk since I was small, and growing up I have come to understand her, her music, and her outlook on life more and more. She has battled a lot in her life, people have tried to take of advantage of her in multiple ways because she is a woman. She has had prejudice thrown at her left, right, and centre, yet she is one of the most open minded, strong, independent womdn at the minute trying to champion change – especially for her little girl!

Luke: Frank Turner, he’s an ambassador for Safe Gigs for Women and he’s doing a stellar job campaigning and raising awareness.

Have you witnessed sexual assault at live music events – that being your own or anyone else’s?

Ben: Not often, but have been to gigs with mates and had to pretend to be the boyfriend to get a girl out of a difficult position. Also been to a gig when girls have been drunk going round squeezing lads asses.

Luke: Unfortunately, I have. I’ve seen people who have a little too much to drink and think that gives them the right to act in an inappropriate and unwarranted manner.

Erin: Of course. I was a 15 year old young gig goer myself, and it happened then and it still happens now. Sexual assault sounds like a very aggressive term, and that’s why I think people don’t believe that it happens. If anyone purposefully touches you inappropriately without your consent that counts. I think this is what people need to be made more aware of. To my knowledge it has never happen at one of our shows but if it did and we as the band knew about it, I really would stop everything and have people removed from the venue before continuing the set. No one should leave a gig with that as their lasting memory.

Do you have a message to those who have had that negative experience?

Erin: Speak up! To a bouncer; bar staff; people in the crowd around you; make sure they don’t get to do that to someone else. And always remember to take something positive from the gig that you enjoyed. Don’t let the perpetrator ruin your fun experience with your friends or family. They don’t deserve that satisfaction!

Do you have a message to the perpetrators?

Ben: Don’t be a dick.

Erin: Gigs are places for people to enjoy themselves, and putting someone in an unwanted negative position for your benefit is selfish and goes against everything that the next generation of the 21st century are working towards. Get out of our happy places.

As a band, what do you think you can do to help combat the issue?

Erin: As a band on our own… speaking up about it is all we can do. The more people that speak up about it, the more perpetrators know that they won’t get away with it.

Luke: Interviews such as this and discussing it to raise awareness will go a long way. And of course, we always make sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time during our shows.

Finally, what’s coming up for Idle Frets?

Luke: We’re currently halfway through our Talk About You Tour! [And] you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon our music video soon.

Erin: So many exciting things! Studio sessions, music videos, gig announcements… all to come!

Idle Frets’ latest single Talk About You is available now: https://soundcloud.com/idle-frets/talkaboutyou

You can follow the band on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Idle_Frets

Interview by Sophia Simon-Bashall