If Ellie Rowsell from Wolf Alice is DJ-ing at your gig and Juliette from The Big Moon is ordering a drink at the bar; chances are you’re in a pretty solid band in one of the most exciting musical circles in London right now. Well, FISH are just that.
I saw them support Tacocat at The Lexington earlier in the year and I was hooked by Asha’s deceptively calm, anarchic vocals. They sat perfectly next to the noisy cathartic sound of Louis’ guitar, Lincoln’s steady percussion, and Patrick’s heavy bass.
The grunge/post-punk four-piece recently headlined Electrowerkz on the 26th of July, packing out the downstairs space with friends and fans (including their support acts Shark Dentist and Lice).
I managed to catch up with them pre-gig to talk about DIY recordings, festival dates, and bands, bands, bands…
Hello FISH! You’re about to headline a show at Electrowerkz. How are you feeling? Excited? Anxious?
Louis: Err, a bit nervous yeah…
Lincoln: Great! Wide awake man, I’ve had too much Red Bull…
Louis: Lincoln drank four Red Bulls…
Asha: And we’ve been eating a lot of falafel and peanuts…
Patrick: Yeah we’re excited, there’s loads of people coming, we sold most of the tickets. Before any of our friends bought tickets there were other people buying them, so that’s pretty cool.
Louis & Asha, you’ve known each other for 6 years and started the band in 2014. What inspired you to start FISH? Where did you play your first gig?
Asha: Well me and Louis just used to jam at school.
Louis: We were in a covers band…
Asha: Yeah, we were called Lads On Tour, and then when we finished school we just started making songs together really, and decided to make a band and then Lincoln joined.
Lincoln: I live on Asha’s road. She found me in the street – I used to busk in Camden quite a lot – and she came and took me away from that life, thankfully…
Asha: You make me sound like Mother Theresa..
Louis: Then we found Patrick in a coffee shop.
Lincoln: We played our first gig at a pub in Kendal Rise.
Louis: It was a pub called Paradise and we played with Girli (Louis gestures towards the pink cap he’s wearing, which is adorned with Girli’s logo).
Lincoln: Yeah which was weird because it was one of her first gigs as well!
Patrick: Wait, wasn’t our first gig at that night our friend put on at this rave type thing?
The band also discuss another gig at a comedy club which may have actually been their first gig together, and mention supporting Dead Pretties.
So you’re fans of Girli, but who are your biggest musical influences (old and new)?
Louis: Dead Pretties, Shame, Shark Dentist, Meat Raffle…
Asha: And we like Alex G, Elliot Smith…
Louis: James Blake…
Asha: Jeff Buckley, Nirvana…
Patrick: I like Nails…I tend to listen to heavier, metal music.
Lincoln: I like jazz, I really like the different time signatures. I’m trying to get some jazz drumming in to FISH’s music (laughs as Louis shouts “Nooo!”) I’ve tried many times…
You’ve supported Wolf Alice, Misty Miller and Tacocat on some of their London tour dates, and Ellie Rowsell is here DJing for you tonight. What’s it like sharing the bill with some of the most exciting new bands on the scene, and do you have any memorable moments you can share with us?
Asha: The Forum was fun, when we played with Wolf Alice that was really fun. Erm, we didn’t really get to chill with Tacocat.
Louis: Yeah, Tacocat was quite last minute.
Patrick: We had a bit funny moment during the first song when Louis’ strap broke, and he literally ran around like a mad man…
We all laugh, and I reassure Louis that when I was watching them for that gig; he handled the incident fine.
Lincoln: I got to hang backstage with Tacocat for a bit and they were hilarious. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but there was something about sex lives in Japan? Because they love Japan and they really want to go (laughs). We were chatting about how awful your sex life must be in Tokyo (laughs). They’re really cool people.
You’re also good friends with Shark Dentist who we’ve featured on Gigslutz, and you’ve played several gigs with them. What is it you like most about their music?
Louis: Their song-writing’s really sick, the way they put songs together is crazy.
Asha: Yeah, and Jamie is such a good drummer.
Patrick: They have really catchy lines, and then that kind of like ‘nice singing but bored talking’ sound too…
Asha: And they’re quite DIY.
Lincoln: Yeah they do everything themselves, all their own merch and stuff like that.
Louis: and Campbell knows everyone, literally everyone…
Lincoln: They’re good people. If you can stay out for three nights with somebody then they can hang (laughs).
Louis: Yeah we were at Truck Festival with them, and Shame…
Patrick: They were so much fun. Good men, that we love!
You have a few songs in circulation at the moment, ‘Daily Routine’ and ‘Wished Cassette’. Can you tell us a little bit about the recording process for each track?
Asha: A while back we got offered the chance to go in to Universal and use their studio, so we did ‘Daily Routine’ and some other demos, but we didn’t really like them that much because we kind of rushed it. And then ‘Wished Cassette’ was just made at my house.
So like Shark Dentist, you’re quite DIY as well then?
Louis: Oh we are so much more DIY (the band laugh)
It’s not a competition guys…
Louis: If it was, we’d win… (the band laugh again)
If you had to describe your music in three words, what would they be?
Louis: DIY (laughs)
Louis: Do It Yourself…
Patrick: Angelic grunge…
Lincoln: Someone once said something like “nouveaux dream grunge” or some shit like that (laughs)
Asha: …and there was another who was like “innocent kids drenched in sin”
Patrick: Shall we go for “clawing, sickly and melodic?”
The band laugh, then Asha burps in approval after swigging her can of Red Stripe.
Do you have any information about EPs/albums/tour dates that you can share with us?
Asha: We just cancelled our UK tour which is a shame, but we haven’t got a lot of music out at the moment .
Patrick: We realised we were getting a bit ahead of ourselves by planning the tour so quickly.
But you’ve built up quite a following, so I’m sure people would still come to see you play?
Lincoln: Yeah which is nice, but it’s mainly just in London at the moment. So we just needed more time to set more stuff up.
Louis: Yeah, we’re playing loads of gigs and then we’ll probably do some more recording.
Asha: We’re trying to get a single out in the next two months, and then put an EP together.
Lincoln: Also, It takes a lot more to impress the North. (laughs)
Louis: We’re playing Green Man Festival (18th-21st August) in Wales. We’re on the Rising Stage at 6:15pm. And then we’re playing at Lock Tavern with Misty Miller and Happy Meal Ltd.
Patrick Happy Meal Ltd are insane.
Louis: Yeah, Happy Meal Ltd and Goat Girl are two amazing bands.
Asha: And Goat Girl are playing at Green Man too.
Finally, if you weren’t in a band; what would you be doing with your time?
Lincoln: Well I’m a bouncer, but I don’t really want to do that for the rest of my life (laughs)
Patrick: I’d be drinking coffee…
Asha: Yeah, you’d probably be a barista, and then wank to some metal music… (the band laugh)
Louis hesitates before Asha says he’d be a “part-time model, full-time babe”
Louis: Erm, a gardener? Or a chef? Asha would be a yoga teacher (laughs) or a spiritual leader? (the band laugh)
Asha: I’d probably start a cult…
It’s “offishal”: FISH are very fucking cool, and you’ll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Photo Credit: Phoebe Fox