Editor Allison Shaw gives an LVBX Magazine exclusive look into Freedom Fry.
How would you describe your music, and who inspired your style:
Bruce: The easiest thing to say is “alt-folk,” but we’re not ones who like to be pigeonholed, so I think that label doesn’t necessarily apply to everything we do or that we’ve done. The songs we write mostly tend to have organic, non-electronic elements, and sound right on an acoustic guitar, so those things make for a folk though-line. We mostly write on the guitar, which can maybe be considered old-fashioned today.
I think The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Smiths taught me most of what I learned about songwriting. I learned guitar by sitting with their records and figuring them out. When I write and sing some of that influence gets through.
Marie: Our sound is kind of a big mash up of things we like – Surf guitars, tribal percussion, funky basslines, catchy melodies. We always go where the song wants to take us. If a song we write wants to be more synthetic or grandiose, we’ll go that way too. That’s why we also have one foot in the indie-pop world. We also remix ourselves sometimes and imagine the songs with a completely different, dance feel.
My biggest musical influences are 70s American-Rock bands and French artists like Serge Gainsbourg.
What are you working on now in regards to new music? Any one song stand out that has a great story behind it:
Marie: We released a song called “Yeah You” on October 5th. That song has an interesting origin. We’re married, in case anyone reading didn’t know, and our Save The Date for our wedding was a stop motion animation video we made. We made a mini forest filled with origami animals that all sang songs and danced while our bride and groom cake toppers wandered amongst them and discovered each other, culminating in a kiss. This song began as the music we wrote for that. The chorus has an “ooo” melody that almost sounds like a chant, and that melody was the seed for this entire song.
Bruce: We had put this song on Soundcloud back in 2015 and it did well on Hype Machine (#3) but we thought we’d save the release for our album. It didn’t make it on our album in the end, but we’re happy to finally release it now. We’re also excited about the b-side, “Zombie Love,” it’s a love song for Halloween. We both love Halloween.
What is the most interesting way you have been inspired to write lyrics:
Bruce: When we first met, we did a cross-country road trip. New York to Los Angeles. We stopped along the way in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, at the grave of Billy The Kid. For some reason it really inspired the hell out of us and we wrote an EP called Outlaws and a song named after him.
Who do you envision working with, so many great writers and producers out there. If you could cherry pick a few, who would they be and why:
Marie: Charlotte Gainsbourg would be inspiring to work with. Also, the guys from Phoenix – they’re production geniuses or also do something in French with Juliette Armanet.
Bruce: Lana Del Rey and The Weeknd would be two people near the top of my list. I would love Rihanna to sing one of our songs. We always thought she’d sound amazing singing “Wild Child” from our album.
What would you say, so far, has been the biggest ups and down in your career:
Marie: One of the biggest ups we’ve had was touring as direct support for Stromae. Watching him perform night after night and playing to sold out rooms on our first tour was something we’ll never forget.
Bruce: The downs are a lot of expectation versus reality type situations you frequently find yourself in as a band. For instance, you get into business with a new label and have certain expectations of how that will go and sometimes it’s not the way you think. In music you frequently have to manage your expectations, take a step back and look from an outsider’s perspective at your career to remember that you’re actually doing well. And also remember that it’s human to always want more. If you’re surviving solely off your music, you’re already doing better than most and you’re blessed.
What’s on the horizon for you:
Marie: Having our debut album behind us feels good. It took a year of our lives to conceptualize it, release it, and promote it. Now we feel like we can release songs as we feel like it and move at our own speed. Go wherever the wind takes us. We have so much unreleased music written and recorded and we’re constantly writing, so expect lots of new music going forward.
Bruce: We have a few shows coming up. November 3rd in San Diego at Soda Bar with our friend’s band, Dresage – who is very worth listening to. Keep an eye on our website (www.freedomfrymusic.com) or on Instagram (@freedomfrymusic) for shows and new releases.
What’s currently on your playlist:
Marie: I’ve been loving Bedouine, Shock Machine, Cigarettes After Sex, Toro y Moi, and the album Rest by Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Bruce: Lately, a lot of Halloween music. That creepy song Mia Farrow sings from Rosemary’s Baby. “Thriller” always feels good this time of year. We make a lot of playlists on Spotify. We’ve even got a Guilty Pleasures one that is heavily cheesed out. Our live-bassist, Jonny, has a great band called Lost Beach that we’ve been listening to a lot.
You’re stuck on a beach, you only have five albums, what are they:
Bruce: This is SO hard. I think my five would be…
The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead
Molly Nilsson, These Things Take Time
Pet Shop Boys, Behaviour
Tom Petty, Full Moon Fever
Bob Dylan, Nashville Skyline
Marie: Yes, quite difficult. Maybe…
Serge Gainsbourg, Bonnie And Clyde
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River
Portugal. The Man, In The Mountain In The Cloud
Tame Impala, Currents
Zero 7, When It Falls
Allison got her big break in the music industry by writing for MTV/Vh1 where she interviewed everyone from Prince, to Elton John, Lenny Kravitz, Blink 182 and many more. From there she started Hyperactive Music Magazine that went national. Shaw then produced several big festivals and went to work for Rachael Ray’s Entertainment company. Shaw started Manic Monkee MGMT which manages bands and does brand strategy for all kinds of brands in music/tech/consumer products and aligns brands with events. The company also produces events. Shaw is also on the Board Of Directors for non-profit music charity Sweet Relief. Follow her on Twitter at @manicmonkee.