My memories are already fading, all that took place a long time ago and I must admit, I’m really feeling it: The Pan Am Blues. It was so damn cold outside and due to the sun I took some overexposed pictures after the interview. Aah, the interview … we were wearing our tinfoil hats and I guess, that Ciaran, Paul and me were still pissed. But we’re all in a good mood, I had a special doctor by my side and fuck me – I was prepared! Around 13 questions and we were ready to take the walk at Ka Palaho Beach. That record, the demos, the Polaroid pictures. It all kept me busy for such a long time. And the boys as well! The boys? For everyone who still doesn’t know them: Fizzy Blood are still the hottest band from Leeds! And finally, after three EP’s, they are releasing their debut album, Pan Am Blues – oh what a joy! It’s ready and waiting around the corner. So take off your shoes, dig your feet in the sand and join us on our walk and see if you can answer the question: The end is near?
Take a deep breath
Is Rock ‘n’ Roll dead?
Jake: Quite possibly yes.
Paul: I think it’s taking on other forms – I don’t think it’s dead. I just think it’s not alive in a way that people traditionally think what Rock ‘n’ Roll is.
So Tim, what do you think is Rock ‘n’ Roll?
Ciaran: Big riffs!
Tim (laughs): What do I think is Rock ‘n’ Roll? I don’t know! I guess in a traditional sense it was kind of doing what you want. It was a bit more of a statement I suppose. So I think the people who are perhaps making more statements now are like slowthai. It makes me feel bad for writing songs about just myself, ’cause they have a bit of a wider perspective on stuff. So I guess that’s more Rock ‘n’ Roll than people that play guitars and sing about sleeping with sixteen year olds.
You guys changed everything for your debut:
The kind of music you’re doing, your style.
Haven’t you been afraid of breaking with all the expectations?
I mean you were preparing your listeners with stuff like Pink Magic, but it’s a break, isn’t it?
Jake: We got a bit bored, ’cause we’ve been doing it for so long. We don’t really listen to Rock ‘n’ Roll anymore, so we thought maybe less of this rock and let’s concentrate more on the roll… and that’s where we are now.
Paul: I’m kind of looking forward to people’s reaction, even if it’s not a positive one. I mean I think it’s a great album but I’d rather them (the listeners) hate it than be indifferent about it.
Here we are at Ka Palaho Beach.
Tim: This it it.
Benji: It’s fucking freezing.
Paul: The end is near.
What is this beach?
Paul: It’s a fictional beach that embodies a lot of themes from the album. Ka Palaho Beach is like a metaphor, so it’s somewhere that sounds really nice. Ka Palaho is Hawaiian for corruption. So when you really look into it, when you look deeper than the surface, there is more going on there and it’s not all as it seems. I think there is a lot to be said for what’s going on today in certain things, like socially and politically. I think that’s just kind of a nice way of putting it.
So we are all living on this beach, aren’t we?
Paul: Yeah, in one way or another.
Benji: And they have a rum punch dispenser.
That’s the main reason we are there, so …
Jake: That’s the reason (why) I am there.
Famous Planes, Last Orders, Living Online, the Spacey demo, even the Vegas song all these songs are dealing with things ending.
Am I right when I see a concept there – the end is near?
Paul: Yeah, I guess in a way. It’s more like a feeling. It’s not the things are ending. It’s like I feel that way because of you know …
Jake: The current climate. The current climate of the world.
Paul:Just the way things are going, Yeah. I guess the question is: Is the end near? That’s more what the album is asking. It’s not saying the end is near, but it’s asking: Is it?
So we are kind of on the edge?
Paul: Could be!
Referring to your song Last Orders At The Latest Bar On Earth.
Maybe we all need savings from ourselves, sometimes.
Fizzy Blood – Last Orders At The Latest Bar On Earth
That’s one of the best lines I’ve ever heard!
Jake, do you think it’s true?
Jake: Yeah! I mean look at these lot today, the fucking state of them. They could have probably been saved from themselves last night. Paul’s done a great job (of dealing with the hangover) Ciaran not so much.
Ciaran: … I’m on the edge (everyones laughing).
Jake: Ciaran, is the end near?
Ciaran: Of Glory (mimicking Lady Gaga).
Jake: Yes, Yeah I do René. That’s all I‘ve got to say about that.
Ciaran, this record is a very playful one. The range of different styles is immense.
Is this liberating or is it getting harder to get all these ideas under one roof?
Ciaran: It’s been fun! It’s been nice to sort of explore new territories, having the freedom to be able to do it, I guess. I think for us as musicians it’s been challenging but, like I said, it’s been fun. It’s been nice to be able to experiment with things that we didn’t think we’d be able to experiment with. I guess, just having this year off to be able to sort of explore them, it’s been fun. It’s been a lot of exploring.
Jake: I still can’t play some of that songs.
Ciaran: Well, neither can I (laughs)!
When you are talking about this. One year off, free time. You went to Scotland to work on your songs.
Benji, you want to tell something about the time you spent there?
Any special memories?
Benji: It was good, it was like Glossop 2.0. If you’re not aware, we went to this place, called Glossop, where Tim’s from, for a week, like two years ago, right before we worked on Summer of Luv.
Jake: That was four years ago man!
Benji: Yeah, it was good man, we actually had a proper studio at this time. We’ve got to spend a lot of time just playing with stuff, maybe we spent too much time just fiddling with stuff. I think what we’ve got done is good and we’re better for it.
Jake: Margaritas are my best memory. I don’t think we would have got anything done without the Margaritas.
Tim: It was literally in the middle of nowhere, really. It was just nice to be kind of cut off from stuff for a while.
Jake: Yeah, with Margaritas!
Paul: Especially in context of the themes of the abum. It’s nice to disconnect.
To hide away …
Paul: In a bubble, Yeah.
Ciaran: A very scenic place as well. There was the mountains and a big lake.
Jake: A loch. Loch Fyne.
Ciaran: So one morning, we just went down, skipping stones and … just having a good grand old time with the boys (laughs).
Tim: It was all very romantic.
Ciaran: We just cracked on with writing and getting back into the studio. It was nice to be able to just wake up and work on music. We definitely should do something like that again soon.
Back in 2018 you did your first headline tour. Favourite memory?
Ciaran: Having you with us!
Flattering! Another memory?
The boys are chattering wild, before Ciaran picks it up again:
I think maybe selling out Leeds was a big highlight for us.
Paul: That tour – that was sick. Thinking about the shows, it’s was the first time were you like, go and it’s your gig. The venue is full, and people are going nuts. That was the first time I think I was really convinced that we had any kind of following. I was like people are actually fucking here, this is mental!
Remember the time that guy broke the mic stand in Leeds?
Benji: Not on purpose.
But he did.
Jake: Oh yes! Shit I love that!
Some studies are saying that young people are having less sex because they’re consuming too much porn.
Jake: I think that’s true – yes!
Less sex, because they are watching porn on the Internet:
Living Online – isn’t this ridiculous?
Jake: Yeah, probably, but now you can get like VR porn and stuff can’t you? It’s mental!
Paul: He heard from a friend (everyones laughing loud)!
Jake: It’s fucking mental! Can you imagine? It’s so weird! Like the concept to VR porn. Imagine if you were the girl who was getting Bukkake’d by accident. You clicked on the wrong video and you open your eyes and you’re just surrounded by dicks! And you’re like: Aaaah!
Tim: You can change somebody’s …
Jake: Deep faking you’re on about (changing faces)! You could sleep with Steve Buscemi if you want to.
Paul, you are the one who is responsible for the lyrics.
In my opinion this record is gonna be your masterpiece.
So do you think you can be better than that?
Paul: Oh, I hope so. If this is the best we’re ever gonna get, then what’s the fucking point?
Jake: That’s quite sad, isn’t it?
Paul: I mean it feels like we’re better than we have ever been, which is a really great feeling. I think record on record, if we do this and we make more, the goal is always to chase that feeling – that you’re on top of your game. We’re always trying to outdo ourselves, Yeah.
Tim: It’s more like once that thing has been done to the absolutely best that you can do it, you probably can’t do any better. So you need to do something really different.
Jake: Yeah, you’ve got to keep developing your sound. You know, we might be do an Avantgarde-Jazz record next. Who fucking knows?
Regarding to this – Jake, when we had our first interview, I was asking you about the most amazing act in England. Back then you said Tigercub.
Do you think Fizzy Blood are going to be one of the most interesting bands in the UK when you release your record?
Jake: Interesting, maybe not the best (laughs). Who knows, I mean it’s hard to say, isn’t it?
Ciaran: It’s hard to predict that kind of stuff.
Jake: So, what do you think? I’m going to interview you!
So I’m trying to express what’s on my mind:
Hmm. It’s difficult! Because, I don’t think that Rock ‘n’ Roll is dead, but it’s not true Rock ‘n’ Roll …
Jake: It’s gonna come back in a bit of a different manner. It always does. What people classically say Rock ‘n’ Roll is will probably gonna come back around in a few years in a different guise.
Back in April, when we were talking about Viva Lost Vegas, we came to the conclusion that it’s like your own Hotel California.
It’s like an explosion: Tims shouting out ‘Fuck me’ and everyone is blurting into wild and loud laughter.
Paul: I think what René means is we were talking about it in a context about it being this place …
I’m helping out: … where you are getting lost.
Paul: I didn’t say it was as good as Hotel California. I said there are parallels in it with the lyrics.
Jake: Thinking about that. We need to finish that song. Maybe we can put a fucking massive guitar solo right in the middle of it.
Tim: With harmonies and shit. Four parts. We’ve got three guitars, let’s do three-part harmony. Scan can do a fourth on bass.
Ciaran: That sounds like a great idea!
Paul (to René): That was just a statement, or …?
I just wanted to talk about it.
Tim: I think they say it’s like … they got loads of opinions from fans trying to work out this mystery that obviously somebody in the band has died or somebody has killed somebody. And they were just like: “Well it’s just an anti-drug song really.” I think there is quite a lot in that; Even though it means that to The Eagles it can take on different meanings to the fans. I think just because you’ve written something doesn’t mean that you have ownership of people’s perception of it.
Jake: That’s why it’s cool though isn’t it? People thought it was a satanic ritual song, didn’t they? It was crazy! There was so much (discussion) around it.
Tim: So, maybe that’s something to be said about this stuff. You can kind of just …
Jake: Make your own opinion.
Tim: Yeah and I think the conclusions that you draw will tell you a lot about yourself.
Jake: My favourite music is like that as well. It’s funny isn’t it for you speak to someone about it and they just have a completely different idea of what the song is to you. That’s why it’s good though, ‘cause your own imagination is always gonna be more important to you than what somebody else is telling you it’s about. It’s the same when people say that books are way better than films. They’re always gonna be, because when you read a book, you are inside your own head and no one else is gonna tell a story better than you can tell it to yourself.
What was on your mind Paul, when you wrote the lyrics for Viva Lost Vegas?
Paul: Benji wrote the lyrics for this song.
Oh, I’m sorry! Benji, what was on your mind?
Benji: It was a small snippet. I had an idea, ages ago that I just kind of never did anything with, and then Paul wrote Ka Palaho Beach about being, you know, Ka Palaho Beach. “It’s a nice place” you know? I just wanted to do a bit of an opposite thing. So similar imagery, but just the opposite.
Paul: Yeah, the two songs kind of go together and they were written around the same time. But Ka Palaho Beach was mine and Lost Vegas was Benji’s, so it was kind of a response to it I guess.
One last glance …
In Centre Of Nowhere you are singing about this wasting time stuff. I remember the shirt you were wearing at the Reeperbahnfestival saying ‘I’m Wasting My Life’.
Benji: Yeah, that shirt I wore literally for about a year straight.
Tim: I love that shirt!
So Fizzy Blood, do you guys think …
Jake: Do we think we are wasting our time?
Paul: Time will tell! I don’t know. I don’t think we’re wasting our time. Even if nothing ever happens or comes of this, I’ve already had so many experiences that no one will ever have, and it’s made me who I am. It’s not a waste of time, it’s not been a waste of time.
Tim: This is a question I’ve reflected on a lot.
Ciaran: I think it’s is a question we all reflected on!
Jake: Jesus René! You’re gonna start depressing Grandad over here (referring to Tim).
Tim: No, I was gonna… Well the conclusion is you get to do stuff that people will never have the chance to do. I think you have to realize how kind of lucky you are. It’s really easy to get bogged down thinking “I’m not playing at Wembley and selling out like the O2 or whatever.”
Jake: But normal people never had to steal sandwiches from a service station before and normal people haven’t had to think about taking a shit on the side of the Autobahn.
Paul: They also never walked on stage to 2000 people and had the whole room in the palm of their hands, even if only for half an hour.
So how many people were you playing for when you were opening for Enter Shikari?
Paul: It’s 2500 I think.
Jake: That was a good gig.
Ciaran: It was a rocking gig (Tim laughs)!
Jake: Yeah, that was fun!
Tim: They made their own synths, that was pretty crazy.
Paul: That gig as well was funny because we were kind of like in the backstage area and we were looking for the smoking area. The security was like: ‘Ah, you’re probably gonna have to go out there and deal with the fans and things. Sorry about that.’ And I was like: ‘Pfft. Alright mate’
(We do all need to laugh …)
‘I don’t think you have to worry about that at all.’ Pretty much not far after finishing the sentence, we walked out. Some guys came over to us and they were like: “You guys are Fizzy Blood!”
Jake: Ah, I remember that! And I was just like: “What the fuck!” I just walked off. I just left Paul and Scan, I was just like: “Naa, I’m going for a cig.” (laughs).
Paul: Yeah it was pretty weird.
Jake: They bought us all the beer, didn’t they? That’s the highlight of our career, people buying me beers. Oh! We had some really good Thai food in Cologne once.
Tim: Vietnamese actually.
So I think we’re done
Jake: Very reflective.
To get back to Jakes question: I believe in that record, Pan Am Blues, elsewhise I wouldn’t have spent that much time on this project. The interview, the journey, the pictures, the paintings. Besides: Exploring Leeds, meeting friends and to party through some crazy nights – everything has been worth doing it! So Fizzy Blood is already the most interesting band in the UK!
Thanks to the boys in the band and every other person who’s been part of this adventure. Meet you at the beach!
Fizzy Bloods debut album Pan Am Blues is out on 13th January 2023.