15 questions with fat white family
After the release of their third album, and ahead of their UK tour this autumn, your fave rock ‘n’ roll band answer some very important questions.
Photography Wanda Martin
Fat White Family are Britain’s most fun, most wild, most strange band around right now, and their third album, Serfs Up!, might just be their most fun and most strange and most wild yet. It mixes weirdo pop and psychedelic nihilism and bruising political satire and comes out surprisingly tender. Three years, a break-up, a couple of drug addictions, a reunion, and a move to Sheffield in the making, it was probably our favourite album of 2019. Ahead of their upcoming tour we sat down with the band to ask them some Very Important And Searching Questions.
What are you doing today?
Lias: I’m driving from Manchester to New Malden with my elder brother Tam, upon arrival I will be rehearsing with my new outfit Decius. For those not in the know (pretty much everyone) Decius are an acid house conglomerate interested in nothing but ‘pump’.
Sam: Same thing I do everyday, try to take over the world.
Alex: I’m playing tonight at the Windmill with Scud FM. It’s Warren from Meatraffle and his wife Ros’s project with Adam Brennan and Nathan. Originally recorded at Champzone Sheffield.
Adam: I’m laughing, poolside.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
Lias: Difficult to answer succinctly. I grew up in Galway, Ayr, Cookstown and Dungannon. It was all alright until I moved to Northern Ireland, then it was shit.
Sam: Kettering Town. Cultural hub of the Midlands.
Alex: Near Newbury next to a forest. It was mostly pleasant.
Adam: I don’t wanna talk about my past, poolside.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Lias: Shitting myself in the main square in Montpellier age nine because my big brother couldn’t pull himself away from Sega’s ‘Daytona’. I was wearing shorts.
Sam: Realising God was a farce.
Alex: Killing and eating chickens.
Adam: My Nan locked me in the shed when I was naughty, so I played with all the tools.
What’s been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Lias: Watching my little brother hurl whiskey into Mark E Smith’s face in retaliation for the Champagne he’d just dashed in his. Manchester 1, Brixton 1.
Sam: Watching Nathan piss on stage.
Alex: From release day up until playing the show at Kentish Town Forum I guess you could say was a proud time for me. I am proud of everyone for doing it and doing it well.
Adam: What career?
Describe yourself in four words.
Lias: Going to die alone.
Sam: Enigmatic, lazy, irritable and cheap.
Alex: What is this mess?
Adam: Actually pretty cool actually.
Describe Serfs Up! in four words.
Lias: Thank god that’s over.
Alex: Songs For Our Mothers.
Adam: It’s album three, innit.
What are you proudest about with Serfs Up! ?
Lias: That it exists at all.
Alex: To have been a part of bringing the songs to life.
Adam: It’s given me a job.
What does heaven look like?
Lias: Walking Street, Pattaya.
Sam: A half-pipe?
Adam: Asda on Rye Lane.
What’s your dream dinner party line-up and what are you cooking?
Lias: Hitler, Mussolini, Quaddaffi and Morissey. It’d have to be vegetarian obviously.
Sam: Gary Lineker, Jerry Seinfeld, Tony Soprano and Bez. Crisps, cereal, pasta and pills.
Alex: Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Lee Perry, Sly Stone and George Clinton. I’d hire Nathan to do the catering. He cooks very well.
Adam: Just me and Nathan, and a passionate Bolognese. He’s cooking.
Where do you see yourself in 2029?
Lias: Walking Street, Pattaya.
Sam: In a better band.
Alex: Still in front of microphones.
How did you sleep last night?
Lias: I used my elder brother's antidepressants to knock myself out on his kitchen floor in Manchester. He’s a hard time of late, he got deported from China for drug abuse and lost everything.
Alex: A sleep of sorrow, a dream of joy.
Adam: Horrible dreams all night, think it’s coz I smoked a bit of hash, but I thought that was supposed to suppress dreams.
What do you think the press get wrong about Fat White Family?
Lias: Most of it.
Sam: I think the press – along with a lot of people – misjudge Fat White Family as being antagonistic but really we’re just having a laugh at the expense of others and ourselves.
Alex: Try as they might, they always end up helping.
Adam: They call us leftists.
Lias: I suppose Serfs Up! was fairly reviewed…
Alex: Five stars… Mozart… That kind of stuff.
Adam: Very little.
How do you think the first two decades of the 2000s will be remembered?
Lias: The era where people finally stopped trying and sank into unfathomable narcissism, nonsense politics and the complete flaccidity of the imagination.
Sam: New rave, twin towers, the metros, hatred, greed and the usual (starvation etc).
Alex: The beginning of the end.
Adam: “Touch my bum, this is life.”
What are you doing tomorrow?
Lias: Picking up Valium and hopefully seeing my goddaughter.
Alex: A five park challenge – five parks and two galleries in one day with no transport. It’s a thing now. Great way to sort the old melon out after a twisting.
Adam: I’m going to meet my brothers new puppy. I can’t wait. You’re a fucking maniac if you don’t like puppies.
Photography and creative direction Wanda Martin
Styling Lucy Isobel Bonner
Hair Emma Tierney
Make-up Anna Inglis Hall
Set Design Phoebe Anne Harris
Photography Assistance Diego Hernandez and Panna Donka
Styling assistance Felix Mackow
Make-up assistance Madeleine Mary Feeney