Q & A: Felix Champion
This Saturday sees Felix Champion launch their album This Lateral Life at Bloc+. Their debut album This Lateral Life is our next label release on Bloc+Music.
The Glasgow 4-piece have been fervently working in the run up to the album release and with praise from Rock Sound and The Herald to name only two, their release promises to secure scores of new fans.
We recently did a Q & A with Felix guitarist David Rees, sometimes it is nice to know some of the personality behind the music!
How did you get together and how long have you been together?
The band started a few years ago, but went through a few line up changes before settling on Ross (guitar and vocals), Andy (drums and vocals) and Michael (Bass and vocals). They did a few cool shows, like opening for Paws and Lightguides, as a 3 piece. Then they started working on the 1st EP, that’s when I joined. We recorded our first EP in our old flat, with Owen Waldron who recorded Bear Arms and Brace which came out September last year. It wasn’t long after that we hooked up with Bloc+Music. We had played there a bunch of times and the guys involved really dug our kind of Post Hardcore with hooks/Math Rock. We spent the best part of 6/7 months working on the album demos and then went down to record the album with James Kenosha (Pulled Apart By Horses, Dinosaur Pileup, Marmozets). In the time since I joined we got the chance to open for amazing bands like He Is Legend, Marmozets, More Than Conquerors and Axis Of and play festivals like Wickerman, goNorth and TweedFest in Northern Ireland. A lot of cool stuff!
What are the best and worst things about being in a band?
I have to admit, the best part is getting to write the music you love with your best friends. We’ve all been friends and in bands since high school, so getting to do this with old friends that you love is pretty special. Plus, playing amazing shows, tours and festivals! We’ve made a lot of friends locally and abroad through playing shows and loved every minute!
We take the band very seriously which means we’ve had to make the sacrifices to facilitate the band The usual problems, working minimum wage flexible jobs, ‘real-life’ being put on the back burner. We all went to university and got degrees, but the band started to take off when we were all finishing up uni so we’ve devoted ourselves to it. We’ve fortunately got understanding people around us who know how much we want the band to do well. Our friends, families and girlfriends are all really supportive so we can get through the shitty bits.
What stereotypes do you hate when people talk about your band?
I think its very easy to get lumped in with other bands, kinda quick comparisons without much thought are common. Playing the kind of music we do makes it kind of hard to pinpoint that eternal head scratcher – “what does your band sound like?” so a lot of people kinda sum up our band, which leads to the stereotype of the genre they tag us with.
We love heavy music and we’re quite intense live, but some people kinda get this idea that we’re inaccessibly heavy which can be annoying. We’re a band that love hooks, but we love the heavier side of what we do too. On a van journey we can go from listening to John Mayer to Converge, we draw from everything. Sometimes people can forget what you do as whole because of an element.
How many times have you thought about giving up and why?
I think everyone gets those moments of “maybe I should get a big boy job”, but to be honest we’re tight as a unit and more importantly as friends so when we get down we pick each other up. We get through issues. I think the only time we’d give up doing this is when it stops being fun, but we’re all very creative people so we’d all probably end up starting a band again haha!
Why has Bloc+Music been good for you as a band?
Everyone at Bloc+Music has really helped educate us in the ways of the world. As a young band, you can easily be dicked over by people, they really opened our eyes and made us very savvy with our choices. Also, giving us the means to get our record outside of our local scene has been amazing and Bloc has really helped us do that. There are people all over the UK who know us and our music has reached people in Europe, America and beyond!
How difficult was it to get on a bigger platform to showcase your music prior to you joining the label?
There are a lot of young bands who are all fighting for a voice and a place in a scene. It can be pretty hard to get yourself heard on your own. We sent a lot of emails to promoters, magazines, blogs etc. to get on the radar, but it sometimes can be daunting and you don’t know where to look. The guidance and help they’ve given us really has got us to a platform that we can get our music to the right people. Bloc is an established and respected institution in Scotland, so their support has made a big difference. There is a lot of weight behind them supporting us.
Gearporn: what piece of gear could you not do without?
We all love Andy’s china cymbal. I would definitely say I’m the nerd in the band of gear (being a guitar tech will do that). As far as gear we couldn’t live without, Andy’s double kick is pretty integral to his drumming, it allows him to be very creative and back some of the heavier parts with insane precision. For Ross, Mike and I, we all love our guitars. Mike loves his Fender Dimension bass, Ross loves his Ampeg guitar and I find it hard to see a guitar past my Jazzmaster. Then we all have a couple of pedals we need to function, we all need our overdrives. We have them set in a way that if we’re borrowing backline, they are tone is consistent. I do a lot of soundscape stuff so I’d be sad if i couldn’t have my Electro Harmonic POG2 or my M13 multi-effects which has all my delays and reverbs. We’ve got everything down to a tee for what we need to reproduce the record, we kinda need it all!
If one of the band left, who would you replace them with if you could?
I think everyone in the band is vital to making Felix Champion what it is, but if we had to replace anyone in the band and we could get ANYONE, we’d probably replace them with the equivalent member from Between The Buried and Me or Tool!
If you could score a film which one would it be?
Probably The Raid. I think our music would fit the intensity and carnage, or we could easily write something that could match it!
Is there something that collectively brings out the geek in the band?
We all have our things in the band which we nerd out about, video games and films are probably the most shared interest outside of music. We also get pretty nerdy about music too, we’re all pretty opinionated dudes.
This Lateral Life is out Monday 24th November via Bloc+Music. It will be available on CD and digitally. The band launch the album at Bloc+ Saturday 22nd November with United Fruit DJs.