Visceral and outrageous, Fat White Family have gained a reputation for their electrifying live shows and thought-provoking videos – see Touch The Leather, if proof is needed.
Four years after releasing their debut album, Champagne Holocaust – having recently signed to Domino Records – the band are still on fine form and their 2016 single, Whitest Boy On The Beach features on the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack, alongside Iggy Pop and Underworld!
Earlier this month, we caught up with Fat White Family’s Nathan Saoudi (keyboards) and Severin Black (drums) for a highly-anticipated masterclass, hosted by BIMM Manchester’s Music Journalism tutor and journalist, JR Moores (the Quietus, Drowned in Sound, Noisey…). Nathan and Severin spoke at length about a variety of subjects, from their early musical influences to the pressures of touring. Newest member Sev, who joined the band a year and a half ago, talked to the audience about playing the role of a ‘councillor’ on tour while trying to stay sane:
“Being on the road is the biggest weight. You spend most of your day in a van, isolated from the rest of the world, and it all leads up to those few hours on stage, and it is all worth it. You spend eight hours every day stuck in a van with your band, it can be tiresome, but you have to find a way to make it work. Sometimes you take on the role of a counsellor – dealing with temptation and keeping sane.”
Nathan, who founded the band with his brother, also spoke of performing as being the biggest high, before addressing the band’s continuously changing line-up and the departure of guitarist Saul Adamczewski.
“The media focused on the tension between Lias and Saul – the band has had its ups and downs, but they are like brothers,” he revealed.
Despite this, Fat White Family have risen up the ranks to become one of the country’s most exciting bands. The biggest moment of their career so far? Playing the iconic Brixton Academy in their native South London.
“That for me was the best moment and the biggest point in my career – we used to dream of playing Brixton Academy, the dream came true, and it really was amazing,” said Nathan.
The pair also shared plenty of invaluable advice with our BIMM students about why artists have a platform to stand up for what they believe in. Nathan and Sev also waxed lyrical about the importance of finding a manager who works for the band, not against them.
Reflecting on the session, Thomas Castrey, a BIMM BA2 Drums student, said: “The masterclass with Fat White Family was quite unique compared to other masterclasses, as they told stories about experiences which were quite tongue-in-cheek but insightful.”
Nathan and Sev were charming and full of great stories. Both inspired our BIMM students to keep plugging away and not to give up. We can’t wait to hear more details of album number three.