FISTS: “ramshackle-y, lo-fi pop music”

I first heard of the band FISTS in early 2009 when James Finlay wrote asking for permission to use one of my photos to cover a single they were releasing. They’ve used a couple more images since and we’ve stayed in touch by email.

Yesterday we had a nice chat covered lots of topics. I asked them about their infuences, aspirations, etc. They asked me about The Basement Diaries.

I rambled on a bit and the conversation stretched to about 30 minutes, so I put it on YouTube in three parts. [Part 2 | Part 3]

My interviewing skills were never very sharp and have only gotten rustier over the years, but that’s okay. It was fun to talk with the band (Pete Conway, Angie Fletcher, Theresa Wrigley, James Finley and David Bigg).

If we’d had the internet in 1963 or ’64, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles would have been doing chats like this and making videos and all the rest. What a treasure that would have been.

Who knows if FISTS will soar to such hights, or be one of thousands of “bedroom bands” who make their music for the sheer joy of it.

UPDATE: To call my Skype visit with James and his friends an interview was reaching a bit. Fortunately, they’ve been kind enough to provide some of the information I failed to get:

Fists are myself and Angi (long term partners), Theresa is our old friend who we’ve known forever. Angi, Theresa and myself all live together. Our bassist Dave is our most recent addition replacing our old bassist Joe Wrigley who is Theresa’s brother. Dave lives practically next door on the same street with his girlfriend Kiri. We have a fifth member Peter Conway but he was sadly unable to be there for the interview and we neglected to tell you this!? Sorry about that. Pete lives in a co-operative with his wife and two children about 10 minutes walk away.

Our jobs are pretty wide ranging. Angi is currently working as a freelance graphic designer for a software company called Serif, she’s also a lecturer and tutor at the local university teaching Design and Visual Culture amongst other stuff to undergraduates. Theresa also works at Nottingham Trent University as an administrator for the Fine Art Department. Dave is a postman for The Royal Mail. This was a major headache when we recently went on tour and Dave didn’t book the time off work. He was getting to bed at 3-4am after the shows and getting up at around 6:30am for work for the whole week. He was very tired! Pete runs and owns an ethical screenprinting business with his wife Hannah called I Dress Myself. They source their t-shirts from ethical fair trade suppliers. They are made from biodegradable bamboo and their inks are all waterbased. They are one of the very few companies doing this in the UK at the moment. His business is pretty handy for our own band T-shirts! I’m a PA to a Professor of Gastroenterology called Chris Hawkey at the local hospital (Queen’s Medical Centre).

This is where we rehearse.

This is a little video of us performing at the record launch party for our first single which had the gorilla boxer on the front.

Here we are at the Glastonbury Festival last year.

Here we are performing at our second record launch party for the EP with the cool group shot on the front. There’s a whole series of videos from this show on Youtube.

This is a video our friend Dan Toporowski did for us for the first single. Dan is a genius who makes these beautiful animations at home on his battered, old, PC. Dan’s day job was working in a factory until he got made redundant. I’m pretty sure there’s an excellent job out there for Dan doing this stuff professionally but he refuses to do it as a job! It’s also worth checking out his excellent Franklin’s Haunted House.

And there you have it!

Once again, massive thanks for all your support and kindness over the past couple of years. You have always been a very positive, enthusiastic and useful ally of the band and we are very grateful indeed.

Regards

James and all of Fists x