Introducing Interview: Fat Goth

Following the success of three previous albums, Dundee’s Fat Goth are back with a collection of explosive, no-holds-barred, politically-charged offerings to blast into our eardrums next month. Filled with an intense power and raw energy, Enorme! is not only rich in musicality, but lyrically astute – putting a voice to the frustration we’re all feeling with the world right now.

We caught up with Fraser from the band to talk new music, influences and otters…

Hi Fat Goth, welcome to Gigslutz! How are you today?
Hello Gigslutz! I’m doing just grand, thank you. I’m not long back from spending the afternoon at a wildlife centre where my associates and I had the pleasure of meeting a great variety of wonderful animals. It was ‘cute’ wherever you chose to look, although judging by our observations it would appear Asian Small-Clawed Otters are an extremely liberal bunch and have no qualms about giving repetitive demonstrations of their preferred foreplay positions while in the full view of small children.

What would you say makes you stand out from other bands these days?
When it comes to bands comprised of men in their mid 30s who are uncomfortable with acknowledging and accepting the responsibility and stereotypical social practices associated with such an age – opting instead to invest a significant degree of their time and energy in creating abrasive rock music that most people find unpalatable in an attempt to keep increasingly unrealistic teenage dreams alive, and to keep the wolf of harsh reality away from their respective doors – Fat Goth is truly outstanding in its chosen field!

Your new album Enorme! is out next month, can you tell us about it? Are there any ongoing themes running throughout the album?
It certainly is and we’re very much looking forward to letting people hear it! Musically it’s a continuation of the sound we’ve explored on our previous efforts, but we made a conscious decision to be quite direct with the new arrangements and refrain from taking too many unpredictable turns. As a result, Enorme! is Fat Goth’s most focused record and perhaps its most accessible.
I’d go as far as to describe it as our most pissed-off collection of songs, too. Thematically the album very much reflects and comments upon the current social and political instability found throughout the world, and is particularly damning in its assessment. All that said, I’m certain there will be no shortage of those who consider our new album to be just as shit as the rest of our stuff. You’re never going to please everyone, but then again not everyone has impeccable taste.

You’ve been around as a band for a while now, how did you all first meet?
Mark and I attended the same school here in Dundee and have played together in numerous bands and projects over the years. Kevin used to play with one of our favourite local bands, Laeto, and we quickly became chums with those guys from attending their shows. We were chuffed to bits when Kevin joined the fold after Allan, Fat Goth’s original bass player, immigrated to Australia back in 2011, and we feel we’ve gone from strength to strength as a band ever since.

The current lineup has been together for six years now and in that time we’ve achieved a lot for a strictly part-time musical entity operating on a minuscule budget. We may well be the only people who feel this way, but we’re very proud of our wee band and the din we create together.

After taking a little break from the band before recording Enorme!, how would you say the band has changed and developed?
Our previous album, One Hundred Percent Suave was written, recorded and released in little over a year from its predecessor, Stud. I think it’s one of our better recordings and I’m glad it came into existence, but we did put a lot of unnecessary pressure upon ourselves to deliver it in such a short time frame, and it certainly caused tension and problems within the ranks on numerous occasions.

Taking our time writing the new material has undoubtedly benefited both the music and the way we interact with each other. Being in a band is tricky as you’re more often than not dealing with a combination of strong, stubborn and opinionated personalities, which is especially true in the case of Fat Goth! However, providing you’re all willing to make an effort to work towards a common goal and you’re prepared to show a bit of tolerance and acceptance whenever things don’t go to plan or the way you’d prefer, there’s no reason why a group of friends can’t enjoy significant levels of fun playing music together. Having fun is undoubtedly the main reason for doing this, otherwise what’s the point?

You’ve been compared to the likes of Mike Patton and NoMeansNo, but who are your main musical influences?
Those two names have certainly played a huge role in influencing Fat Goth’s sound over the years, particularly the latter with regards to the new material, but we collectively listen to a wide variety of music and I like to think it all has a positive effect upon what we do. In addition to NoMeansNo, I listened extensively to the likes of the Melvins, Harvey Milk’s The Pleaser, Sex Pistols’ Nevermind The Bollocks and a lot of ’70s era ZZ-Top during the writing of Enorme!, all of which had considerable impact in shaping my own contributions.

Can you describe your sound in three words?
Unfortunately, I cannot.

As we’re a site focused on new music, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists around at the moment who you’d recommend checking out?
There is an embarrassing wealth of bands and artists from our native Scotland who we totally love and are fully deserving of a wider audience! The list would be horrendously long if I went to the extent of naming everyone I can think of, but off the top of my head I’d recommend folk investigate fellow Dundee-based bands The Sparrowhawk OrKesteral, Kaddish, Bed of Wasps, Indica, Vladimir and Kevin’s new band, Holy Snakes. Elsewhere in Scotland you have Britney, Outblinker, Damn Teeth, Mondegreen, Hagana, Vasa and Civil Elegies along with countless others!

And what else does 2017 have in store for Fat Goth?
We currently have some Scottish shows lined up in June to celebrate the release of Enorme!, which we’re very much looking forward to:
Friday June 23rd – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Saturday June 24th – Dundee Conroy’s
Friday June 30th – Glasgow Hug & Pint
Sunday August 13th – Carnival 56 Festival (Dundee Camperdown Park)

Venturing further afield has always been problematic for us due to work commitments, but thankfully there has been some positive changes in that regard of late, so hopefully Fat Goth will manage to do a bit more in the way of touring in the future!

In the meantime, we would collectively like to thank Gigslutz for showing us a bit of interest and to everyone who goes out their way to listen to our music. We’re always massively appreciative of those who support what we do and we hope Enorme! entertains many pairs of ears upon its eventual release. Cheers!

And huge thanks to the marvellous Fat Goth for answering our questions! 

Enorme! is out 5 May via Hefty Dafty Records.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.