While not quite a home-coming for Fear of Men when they headline Dials Days – the band are based in Brighton – its members would often come to gigs in Portsmouth when they were growing up.
Guitarist Daniel Falvey tells WOW247: ‘We’re all excited for this, me and our singer Jess grew up quite near Portsmouth.
‘My first gig was at the Pyramids – I’ll never be ashamed, but it was New Found Glory.
‘Jess went to see a lot better bands than me around that time, a lot of indie stuff when she was really quite young. I took my younger brother to his first gig at the Wedgewood Rooms, but we’ve never played there before.’
The trio are bringing their electronic-tinged dark pop to the day-long event, which takes over both The Wedgewood Rooms and The Edge of The Wedge tomorrow. The bill also feature up-and-coming talents like Champs, Estrons, Femme, Wyldest, Is Bliss, Melt Dunes, The Boy I Used To Be and many more.
Fear of Men are preparing to release their second album, Fall Forever, in June.
On the last album there were a lot of layers, all these recording sessions went into hundreds of tracks, and this time we wanted to cut it right down to the boneDaniel Falvey
The band wrote the album in an outbuilding next to a disused abattoir on the farm of bassist Michael Miles’ parents.
‘This outbuilding is permanently cold – it’s really cut off and really horrible. Even in the summer it’s cold, but in the winter it’s freezing. We all got those fingerless gloves so we could still play guitar.
‘And then we recorded it in Brighton which was basically a practice space, but it’s got this great recording desk and really good equipment. It’s the total opposite there because you’re surrounded by all this noise and people, so we kind of went from one extreme to the other – from isolation to mayhem.’
Do you think your surroundings influenced the final sound of the album?
‘I think so, it always does for us.
‘We were going for those cold, metallic textures. On the last album there were a lot of layers, all these recording sessions went into hundreds of tracks, and this time we wanted to cut it right down to the bone.
‘The seeds of how I wanted this album to be produced and how it should sound were actually on the tour for the album before, Loom.
‘Loom was a very introspective album and this one is too – we’re still the same band – but we recorded Loom underground and at night-time and it had that feel to it when we went out and play it. I wanted this next album to really cut through, I want the drums to be hard and the bass to really rattle to get across what we’re feeling.’
‘I think the way that album was recorded made us sound a bit softer than we are live. It’s about getting that aggression across, making it a bit more extreme between the quiet and loud.’
Frontwoman Jessica Weiss writes all the band’s lyrics – lyrics which often probe deep into the human condition.
‘Jess’s lyrics are very personal,’ explains Daniel. ‘She takes herself away and goes on these little writing retreats, but she’s always working on the lyrics up until the very last moment, even when we were doing the mixing, the day before we did the mastering – and that means game over – she was adding in little words.
‘She’s very particular, they’re very personal to her.’
Given the nature of some of those lyrics, are you ever worried about Jess?
‘Sometimes you worry about her a little bit, she was going through quite a difficult time on this album, but first and foremost we’re friends and she’s our fellow band member – we’re a little family.
‘You kind of know not to read too much into it, because sometimes she means totally different things to what you think – and Mike always gets the lyrics wrong anyway,’ he laughs.
They’ve recently been joined live by Helen Ganya Brown of fellow Brighton act, Dog in The Snow.
‘We write and record us just as three, but live we’ve introduced much more keys, we need a fourth member, so we’ve had a bit of a revolving cast up until now.
‘Helen is really fantastic though – Dog in The Snow are amazing and we really like her as a person so it’s great that’s able to come on tour with us.’
The Wedgewood Rooms
Saturday, April 23