Having spent the last few months building up their repertoire of bright and soaring psych-rock-inspired releases, London-based outfit Frances And The Majesties recently returned with their latest breezy offering 'Three Dogs'.
With its strong and retro vibes, 'Three Dogs' makes for a wonderfully bold and captivating return for the seven-piece troupe. Filled with sweeping melodies, groove-filled rhythms, and some brilliantly shimmering vocals throughout, this new delight looks to perfectly encapsulate the sound first popularised by the likes of Jefferson Airplane.
So with their new single out and about, we sat down with them to find out more about their background and what has inspired them most over the years.
What were the first instruments you fell in love with?
Nicky : The first instrument I started playing was guitar, but I’ve always been lucky enough to have a lot of instruments around the house and that allowed me to experiment a lot.
Frances: Since I was kid, I’ve always wanted to play the drums, but my parents wouldn’t let me because we were living in a small flat and - you know - drum kits are large and noisy. I had to go for my second choice, which was the saxophone (still quite loud and annoying, especially at the beginning).
What has been the most prominent inspiration behind your music so far?
Alberto : There’s certainly a vibe coming from the sixties, but we like to think about that as way to pick a wider range of sounds to combine with more modern and contemporary ones.
What kind of music did you love as teenagers?
Dan: We all come from a completely different background. I grew up with all the classic rock that my brothers were listening to, like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. I then got into alternative and indie rock band like The Maccabees and Arctic Monkeys.
Roberto: Probably I’d better not answer this question, ahah! I was crazy for Rage Against The Machine, Nirvana and Alice in Chains.
Can you remember the first song that made you want to pursue a life in music?
Amine: Syd Barrett’s always had a special place in my heart, and when I first listened to Opel, way before I could speak any English, it was myself I saw on stage when I closed my eyes, not him. His abstract lyrical approach and takes on psychedelia seduced me from the early beginnings.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Alberto: Lately, I’m obsessed with the Italian songwriter Franco Battiato and his vanguardist sounds, especially the first few of EPs, “Fetus", “Clic” and “Sulle corde di Aries”. As a direct consequence, I’ve been listening a lot to Pierre Schaeffer, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
How many of your songs have you written about people you’d rather forget?
Sarah: Well I think the very act of writing a song about someone means you don’t want to forget them, even if it’s painful. I personally don’t want to forget anyone that’s been in my life, but I’ve certainly written a fair few songs about people and my feelings towards them. It can be very cathartic.
What has been the most unusual moment in your career so far?
Frances: The strangest night we had was probably the night of our second gig ever, in Hackney. We were all super drunk and happy after the gig, celebrating life, music and friendship (there was also a real monk with us for some reason, and he was giving us exceptional advices on the meaning of our existences). So, we were supposed to collect some instruments from our friend’s house and find a cab to get home. I tried to book a cab (that took literally two hours to arrive) and while we waited we decided to sit on a bench in front of our friend’s place. At that point, all we could see was a red light coming from the window of a nice apartment opposite the bench, and some people having fun inside. After a couple of minutes, a woman came out of the window shouting at us “If you’re musicians, play something for me!” and so we did, and she decided to come down. She walked in my direction, she hugged me and thanked me for the beautiful moment we made her live with our music. She asked me to wait for her because she wanted to give me a present, went back upstairs and came down with a brand new big book. It was a Jean-Michel Basquiat book. She said she was keeping that book for “the right person” and told me we were lucky to have the passion we had for music and to never stop playing. Then she went back inside. It was almost 3am and I think that night was “Magia”.
Outside of music, what are your biggest passions?
Alberto: When I’m not playing and composing music, I spend most of the time watching movies, so I would say cinematography is one of my biggest passion. I also studied Art and Design and they’re both extremely important in my life.
Frances: I love photography and video making. I studied Art and Design and now Fine Arts at Uni… I’m really into video art.
If you weren’t musicians, what other path do you think you might have taken?
Roberto: I cannot even image myself taking a different path. I can see myself putting all my energy and passion in music, I can’t say the same for other things.
Sarah: I’m so glad to be a musician. It suits me perfectly! But if I was to have gone on another path, maybe something to do with anthropology. Or some research or investigative job. Like a film researcher. Something to satisfy my curious soul basically!
And what advice would you give to other musicians looking to start a career in music?
Amine: You’re up a good start if you believe in it, because no one is gonna believe in it for you. Classic Trial and Error until you get where you want to be, and practice as much as you can.
Frances And The Majesties' new single 'Three Dogs' is available to stream and download now. Have a listen to it in the player below.