Getting to know Brighton band Fickle Friends at TRNSMT Festival

Scotland’s newest and biggest music festival TRNSMT commenced in an unforgettable way this weekend, as music fans took to a sun-drenched Glasgow Green to enjoy sets from some of the world’s biggest and newest acts.

We joined Natti and Harry from Brighton based indie-pop band Fickle Friends ahead of their set on King’s Tut for some inside info…

Firstly, we’ve been keeping up with your Instagram story over the past few days and I have to ask, who was naked in the van?!

Natti: Hahaha, that was our tech! The thing is with these vans, we don’t have air con because you know, this is the UK and it doesn’t get hot enough to require air con. But it was sweltering yesterday so he just whipped his top off!
Harry: We had to open all of the windows so it was just incredibly loud. So either, incredibly loud or incredibly hot so you have to make the toss up of which one you want. Or be naked?

Are you excited for TRNSMT festival today?

Harry: Yeah!
Natti: Yep! Intrigued! It’s gonna be good.

You guys formed in Brighton in 2013 – were you already friends? How did the band form?

Natti: We already knew each other, because we were all at uni together. We didn’t know Harry though, Harry was Wilson’s friend so he got him into the band.

So you didn’t do interviews of who would fit into the band?

Natti: No. I put the band together in the first place, it was just me doing my really shit songs, then it was just a mesh of people. Then it ended up being what it is now!

Where did the band name ‘Fickle Friends’ come from?

Natti: Someone else thought of it! And it was going to be a DJ-doer name. But then I needed to write a name on a form for this show that we were playing, and I thought, ah I can’t put it under my name (because that’s super lame), so I ended up putting Fickle Friends, and it’s just stuck.

That’s cool! So where was your first gig as Fickle Friends?

Natti: Big Feastival!
Harry: Big Feastival yeah.
Natti: It’s Jamie Oliver’s festival – on Alex James’ cheese farm.

That’s different!

Natti: Yeah, Jamie was really nice!
Harry: We met him and he was nice, gave us some cheese!
Natti: It was the main stage and we’d never played a big stage before so we were all backstage pacing up and down like ‘Fuck!’, but yeah that was our first gig together.

Was it quite a big crowd for your first gig?

Natti: Yeah it was big, it was like the main stage here at TRNSMT, but it was more family oriented and we were the first band on so it was kind of mellow.
Harry: Yeah, a really chilled festival.

Who are you looking forward to watching this weekend, are you able to stick around?

Natti: We can’t, we literally drove up fifteen hours yesterday from Brighton. Usually we’d stay and get a bit woozy – we’re pretty bummed out we have to take off.

Fifteen hours?! How many stops offs did you do?

Harry: Like three, but it was just traffic the whole way. It’s not supposed to take that long but it took forever!

Who are your favourite bands at the moment, have you got any recommendations for music fans? Who do you usually listen to?

Natti: We listen to all sorts! Yesterday we were listening to LANY’s new album.
Harry: Haim’s new album…
Natti: We got a sneak peak of Dan Croll’s new album, and it’s SO good. So that’s one to look for.
Harry: I like the new Honne track.
Natti: Yeah the new Honne track is a hot piece!

Nice! We’ll look out for them. What’s your favourite festival food?

Natti: I’m vegan, so anyone who really caters for vegans with nice pizza and falafel wraps! It’s not great food for me at festivals. I don’t have a sweet tooth either so I smoke cigarettes for my dessert!
Harry: I like it when they have a great dessert bit! It’s a bit dangerous for me but I could eat it all day.

What can fans expect from your set today?

Harry: Bit of a partay!
Natti: We’re playing 35 minutes, so we’re trying to keep it a bit more upbeat – we’re competing with Stormzy on the main stage – so we can’t be playing any ballads.
Harry: I can imagine us playing something mellow and all you can hear is ‘you’re getting way too big for your boots!!!’ in the background. Haha!

Where in the world would you absolutely love to play a gig?

Natti: We wanna go and play in the Philippines, in Manila specifically.
Harry: We have a lot of tweets from them, there seems to be a lot of fans out there.
Natti: Yeah I wanna play in Asia, Japan and stuff, it would be so sick. We’ve only made it to America once, so we’d love to play there again too.

Sounds good! Were you passionate about any artists in particular when growing up? Who inspired your musical style?

Natti: We all kind of loved the same music, which has then inspired our music – we all loved Pheonix, Two Door Cinema Club, Friendly Fires and Justice. All of those bands that we loved when we were learning to drive, and had the albums blasting in the car. Ellie Goulding’s first album too! Loved it.

Where do the ideas come from for writing your lyrics? Do you all have an input?

Natti: There’s usually three of us that write songs – the inspiration can come from anywhere – we’re big on percussions and we make little loops. That’s how it usually starts, from some sort of beat. The actual lyrical content could be anything. Like getting annoyed about what somebody’s done that day, and then we can write a song about it!
Harry: We make a beat or a loop and then call it something, and then base the lyrics around that.
Natti: Like with Brooklyn, it was because Harry made a loop called Brooklyn.
Harry: I can’t even remember why, but the file was called Brooklyn and we thought it was cool, so it stuck!

What can fans expect from you over the next year?

Natti: Well our EP’s coming out on August the 11th. Everyone’s wondering where the album is, but there’s an EP to keep everyone sweet! Then we’re doing the rest of festival season – so we’re doing Reading & Leeds, Boardmasters, Secret Garden Party and Brighton Pride. Then we’re going on our own tour in October. Everyone keeps complaining we aren’t coming to Scotland – we do actually have a Scottish date, we just can’t announce it until TRNSMT is over! The big reveal is Sunday!

How exciting! We’ll watch out for it. What jobs would you like to do if you weren’t in a band? Is this the dream?

Natti: Yeah. I’d just be horribly miserable if I couldn’t work in the music industry in some way. So if I couldn’t be in a band I’d be… helping other bands probably.
Harry: Definitely! It’s a great job. If I couldn’t do this I’d like to work with animals. Just all animals!

After watching your tour diary, I have to ask, what’s your favourite snack? You get so many free snacks!

Natti: Haha, the catering have a table of stuff to pick from! We love Nakd bars. LOVE them. We like popcorn too.
Harry: We like the lemon meringue pie one. Soooo good. I’ve gone off popcorn a bit, but Nakd bars are the one.

Do you still spend most of your time at home in Brighton, or are you mainly in LA?

Natti: Nooo, we flirted with LA a little bit but now were back in Brighton. We were just there because we recorded some of our album there last year so we were back and forth.

Do you prefer being in the UK compared to LA?

Natti: LA is nice to go for a bit, but it’s no place to live. A month was enough! It was amazing, but I love being able to walk places.
Harry: It’s a nice place, but I don’t think we could of been there for longer than we actually were. We live in Brighton where you can just walk everywhere.
Natti: Everywhere is just fit girls in yoga pants with their tiny dogs. It’s really cool though and it was very beautiful. Famous people everywhere.

Natti, snog/marry/avoid out of the boys?

Harry: You’d marry me!
Natti: Nooo they’re like my brothers
Harry: What? I’d marry you!
Natti: Well, I’d marry Harry, avoid Chris… who would I snog? That’s just grim!
Harry: We can get married but we won’t snog or anything
Natti: It would have to be Valve wouldn’t it, I can’t go snogging Mirish cause he’s got a girlfriend!