Now on their 3rd album, Fat Goth are a modern British rock band with an irreverent approach to making a lot of noise. The new album, ‘One Hundred Percent Suave’ is out now – and here’s frontman Fraser to talk about it:
1. Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?
Hello. My name is Fraser Stewart and I play Guitar and sing in Fat Goth. My earliest memory of having any real interest in music was when a friend at primary school gave me cassette copies of the two Guns ‘n’ Roses ‘Use Your Illusion’ records. We shared an incredibly juvenile sense of humour and we thought Axl Roses’ profanity-laden lyrics were the funniest thing ever. That said, I never heard anything like it before so the sound of a rock band was really exciting and new to my ears. Not long after that I asked for an advance on my pocket money and made my first musical purchase by picking up a copy of ‘Appetite For Destruction’ while on a shopping trip with Mum in the supermarket. It blew me away and I still think it’s one of the best rock records ever.
However, it wasn’t until I was around 16 and heard Nirvana for the first time that music suddenly became a major part of my life. I’m no different from countless others in regarding Nirvana’s music as a catalyst for pursuing my own musical creativity, so I won’t bore you or your readers with my own experiences and admiration. Sufficed to say, I seriously doubt I would be making music if I never heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and the rest of their back catalogue.
2. What are your main ambitions in the industry?
The members of Fat Goth are currently either in their late twenties or early thirties, in full-time employment and have rent/bills to pay every month. All three of us have pursued the well-worn path of trying to land a profitable record deal and done all the things possible to increase our chances of achieving such a goal with previous bands and projects. We had a lot of fun in the process but playing that game can be quite a difficult, frustrating and soul-destroying experience, especially when you consider the current collapse of the old record industry model and the chances of getting signed with proper collateral behind you are even more remote than before.
Fat Goth has always been about having fun writing, recording and performing our music for ourselves and those who want to hear it. We’re well aware our own particular brand of rock music is not tailor made for daytime radio playlists so it makes no sense for us to waste our time, energy and money trying to reverse trends and become the next big thing. Instead we focus our attention on writing the best music we can, play live whenever possible, work with promoters/bands/recording engineers we like and generally try to have a great time. Ultimately, I believe the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and make the most of what’s currently available to you. That and not being a dick!
3. When did you start writing your own songs/music?
As my Nirvana obsession started to manifest itself, so did my desire for a guitar. My folks bought me an acoustic and after about a year or so of lessons I started writing my own songs. I didn’t get an opportunity to join a band until I was 21 so I had to make do as a solo performer at first. It wasn’t ideal but I learned a lot about songcraft during those intervening years and I think it made me a better musician as a result. Around 2007 or so I started writing music I wanted to perform in the context of a rock band and started looking for folk to rehearse with in order to eventually record an album’s worth of material. I had known Mark Keiller since school and had been playing in bands with him for years. After he agreed we enlisted our mutual pal Allan Mitchell on bass duties and Fat Goth was born – mankind rejoiced! We released our first record “Mindless Crap’ in May 2010, played our first show a couple of weeks later and released a couple of EP’s before Allan immigrated to Australia in 2011. At this point we asked Kevin Black of one of our favourite local bands, Laeto to join and we quickly started work on what became our second record, ‘Stud’ which we released in January 2013.
4. What would you say is your music career highlight to date?
Fat Goth been ridiculously fortunate! Last year was the busiest 12 months we’ve experienced as musicians and I’m still amazed when I consider the opportunities and exposure we were lucky enough to receive. London-based PR company A Badge of Friendship did an incredible job in bringing media attention to ‘Stud’ so we really owe our good fortune to them. It’s impossible for me to pick one specific highlight but certainly appearing twice in Kerrang! Magazine’s long-running ‘Pandora’ comic strip, supporting DIY punk legends NoMeansNo, a short UK tour with feel-good sludge merchants Torche, appearing on the bill for numerous summer festivals and more recently getting David Yow to create the artwork for our new album are all definitive ‘YEY!’ moments and never fail to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
5. Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?
Melvins, The Jesus Lizard, Mike Patton and I suppose Mastodon have all had a significant influence on what we do along with various other noisy/abrasive/heavy types, but we’re big fans of music in general and listen to a wide variety. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel; we’re a basic three-piece rock band but we try to create interesting, engaging and unpredictable music by maintaining a philosophy of ‘anything goes just as long as it’s good’. That’s what I look for and appreciate in other artists.
6. What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?
It’s the best Fat Goth recording to date and those who listen will experience a notable increase in their own sexual appeal. You’re welcome.
7. Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?
There’s currently no shortage of talent in our hometown of Dundee! We encourage people to check out the likes of The Hazey Janes, Scary People, The Sparrowhawk OrKesterel, Vladimir, The Shithawks. There are numerous others but I’ll be here all day!
8. Any gigs coming up?
Thursday May 29th – Edinburgh Electric Circus
Friday May 30th – Inverness Madhatters
Saturday May 31st – Dundee Buskers
Saturday July 5th – Glasgow King Tuts
9. Where can we find/follow you online?