False Advertising: The 2000 Trees 2019 Interview

Manchester three-piece False Advertising are just gearing up for a busy summer of festivals and fun. After a run of dates with the mighty Jamie Lenman, they played at 2000 Trees festival as part of Jamie Lenman’s Lenmania II. We sat down with them after their set to chat all things recording, inspiration, and what’s next for the three.

Hey guys! How was the set that you just played?

Josh Sellers (bass): Awh man, it was unbelievable.

Chris Warr (drums/vocals): Yeah, it was wicked!

Josh: We’ve been looking forward to this for months and months.

Jen Hingley (vocals/guitar): We found out in November, so it’s been a while…

Nice! Isn't this the first time you guys have played here at Trees?

Chris: Yeah, it’s the first time we’ve been here! It’s a lovely festival.

It really is. Can you guys talk me through the process you use to build your sets?

Jen: We’re trying out a few different ways of doing it at the moment, we’re looking at all of the configurations we can play in. Sometimes Chris and I swap places as we write different songs with different voices and things like that. This time around we decided we’d try and just do it one way round, which is interesting. It’s quite new to us actually.

Josh: Yeah, usually there’s a little bit of a swap halfway through. We’ll do a Chris sandwich, so it’s Jen to start, Chris in the middle, and Jen to finish.

Jen: I think the way that I personally want to look at it is, we’ll do the right thing for the occasion and I think playing this way around, knowing what it’s like when we swap… I think when we do longer shows we’ll look at what it’s like and figure out the vibe.

Chris: Today was like half an hour which is about eight songs for us.

Josh: It’s about serving the cause really, more than anything. We dropped quite a few new things as well which are going to be released in the future, trying them out.

Nice. So what’s the biggest influence on your live shows at the moment? We personally can see a lot of Marmozets or Milk Teeth in you guys.

Chris: They’re great live bands, so thank you! To be honest with you, we’ve been trying to have less gaps between songs and have it a bit more slick. We’ve been a bit like “stop”, and then the crowd will stop and there’s an awkward silence, then we go for the next song. We’re trying to eradicate awkward silences at all costs.

Jen: That’s probably what, as a band, you do in practice.

Chris: That’s what you’re supposed to do, we’ve just figured that out!

It’s all about learning stuff though! Jamie Lenman picked you guys to play The Axiom, how did that feel?

Chris: it’s literally Jen’s favourite band of all time! Not to say that me and Josh aren’t fans, we are, but Jen’s a superfan!

Jen: Jamie’s my favourite songwriter in the world, so it’s like, I can’t believe this. It’s insane. Ridiculous.

Chris: Yeah, if the band were to end now, we’d be quite happy. Contented. All of the things that have happened culminating in this, it’s fantastic.

Josh: I wouldn’t be happy, but it would be a good point to end it.

Chris: But we’re not going to! We’re not ending! We have something to release soon.

That’s exciting! You guys played some shows before Trees with Jamie Lenman?

Jen: Yeah, the Road to Lenmania II.

How was it, what sort of stuff did you learn on that tour?

Jen: It was kind of cool, I firstly got to do a duet with Jamie at each of those shows on a track called ‘Good Luck’. That’s an incredible experience: going on stage with all of those people in the crowd singing the song, the words that you’re singing, it’s quite something. I guess watching him talk to the crowd and obviously he’s a legend, they’re all here to see him and we could never command that kind of respect without earning it. It’s very, very inspiring.

Chris: Yeah, he’s so charismatic. His in between song chat is just hilarious – it’s a comedy show as well as a rock show, he’s just brilliant.

Josh: Yeah, he’s a good entertainer. I think we’ve also learnt, to answer your question a bit, how good support bands are. Frauds and Orchards – big shout out to those guys, they’re really good.

Chris: Yeah, they’ve been a lot of fun to be on tour with and hang out with, they’re really nice people.

They’re both here at the festival this weekend, aren’t they?

Josh: Yeah, we’ve just seen Frauds play and I think Orchards are about to play…

Chris: They’ve just finished, but it’s alright – we’ve seen them several times!

You mentioned releasing new music – what have you got planned for the rest of this year?

Josh: Um, we’re going to be putting out something towards the end of the year, most probably an album which we’ve finished. We’ve been working on that since the beginning of last year, kind of chipping away at it with our friend who’s called Luke, a producer at a studio in London. It’s been a long time coming but we’re really, really excited to put it out. We’ve been playing a lot of the tracks from our record, as Chris was saying before, at shows so it’s going to be really good to do the recordings justice. The opportunity that we got to record them is mind-blowing. Getting to work in a studio… We’ve never done that before. We’ve done a couple of things here and there but we’ve mostly been self-recording.

Chris: In quite ramshackle spaces! We used to set up vocal booths with duvets underneath stairs. Whereas this body of work was recorded on a mixing desk which was used for Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here album, amongst many other things. But just to show you the kind of jump in… Progression there

Jen: Mumford and Sons…

Chris: Stormzy has been in there. Madonna was in there just before us.

Which studio was it?

Jen & Chris: The Church.

Josh: He’s called Luke Pickering as well, if anyone’s interested.

Jen: He’s a legend.

Chris: He’s at Crouch End in London.

Nice! Are you guys doing many more festivals this summer?

Jen: We’ve got Truck in two weeks, which is going to be very good time.

Ah sweet, so you’ll see Idles?

Jen: They’re on the Sunday, I think that’s when Idles will play so we’ll hopefully catch them… But we’re really excited for that.

Chris: We’ve got a stand-in drummer for that though because I’m having a kid. So we’ve got Lorna from The Hyena Kill who’s going to be standing in for me. That should be good because she’s a cracking drummer.

Josh: Yeah, we used to rehearse in their practice room when we originally started so it’s… They just keep doing us favours really, don’t they?

Jen: Then we’ve got another festival in Cardiff in August and we’ll be back as normal from September onwards.

Are you guys still writing?

Jen: Yeah, totally! Chris: Our producer was listening to our new demos just the other day and we were discussing what we might go and record next, so we’ve always got something in the can ready. For whatever opportunities may come.

Josh: You’ve got to make sure that you’re a step ahead of whatever you need to work on.

Chris: Like a game of chess!

Josh: It does sometimes feel like you’re putting the track down immediately before you roll over it, like in Wallace & Gromit.

Jen: That is a good analogy.

What sort of processes are going into the writing stuff you’re doing at the moment? Has it changed at all?

Chris: I’d say we kind of have our thing now, we kind of know how we do it and it’s largely me and Jen go away – and Josh – individually to do our own thing until we’re ready to bring something to show the others. Then we’ll go through a process of jamming it out, recording it as a half-decent demo you know, and then if we get a date booked into the studio it’s a case of “right, let’s start rehearsing the nuts out of it and working towards that date”. Then when we get in the studio, inevitably we’re still very underprepared still! And we really have to pull out all the stops to get a good recording out of us. But if it was easy, we wouldn’t do it. It’s good because it’s challenging and it’s fun.

Josh: But the thing is, if we’ve got everything absolutely written perfectly then we’d be able to do it. But we do change things, we’ll adapt so we’re on the fly a lot of the time.

Jen: Always add a lot of shaker – that’s our new thing! Lots of tambourine, lots of shaker.

Josh: Secret hi-hat no one knows about! That’s what it is.

Jen: I don’t know. I think some of our stuff, most recently, has actually come out of a lot of the jamming that we’ve been doing. Things have just come up that someone just puts their phone out and records a snippet of it. Then one of us will go through and listen to our ideas and it’ll inspire you to write a song. There’s all sorts of different ways of doing it.

Chris: Yeah there’s no rules really but we have a production line of sorts.

Sweet, well that’s all I’ve got. Is there anything else happening in False Advertising’s world right now?

Josh: Not really, no.

Chris: We’ve got to film a music video…

Jen: I think this is the most exciting thing we’ve ever done.

Josh: We went to America, that was pretty good. Went to Korea, that was pretty good. We’ve done a lot of things. This is up there though.

Chris: We recorded at Abbey Road, that was pretty good.

Jen: We’re just boasting now! Nah, this is definitely near the top for me.

Nice, cool! Thank you so much for your time!

False Advertising play Truck Festival on 28th July and Hub Festival in Cardiff on 24th August