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Fat White Family is a UK-based band unlike any other. They sing about mistakes, arguments, spontaneity, fears, and whatever makes them laugh–all behind a rocking beat that can somehow manage to inspire both dancing and/or finding a dark, retrospective corner to contemplate life’s purpose.
The band consists of singer Lias Saoudi, Saul Adamczewski playing guitar and also going wild on vocals, Nathan Saoudi on keys, Adam J. Harmer also slaying guitar, drummer Severin Black and bassist Taishi Nagasaka.
This past January they released their newest album, “Songs For Our Mothers,” on Fat Possum Records. Saoudi tells BTRtoday that the songs are not only for their own mothers, but also for mothers everywhere.
They’ve got a sound similar to Beck, combined with Swans, and a sprinkle of Sigur Rós for good measure. There are obvious heavy punk influences, but the band’s also not afraid to play around with their instruments and experiment with more unconventional beats and melodies.
Soudi admits that he’s mostly responsible for writing the lyrics. He describes that it’s not a creative process, but it’s simply about making a point to keep your ears open. His list of lyrical inspirations includes conversations, drinking sessions, hallucinogenic drugs, books, and music. However, he admits there are “a whole bunch of different ways to do it.”
He also explains that their music tends to reflect whatever the band members are listening to at the moment.
“We were more into Donna Summer this time around,” Saoudi reveals about creating their latest album. “So it’s just a representation of what stuff we were absorbing during that period, and then we regurgitated it as shamelessly as we possibly could.”
The band has had a busy year. After releasing “Songs For Our Mothers” they embarked on a massive tour that continues today. Saoudi, however, is taking a breather. Fat White Family wasn’t able to attend this past SXSW, but Saoudi was there with his other band, The Moondlandingz, to open up for legendary punk rocker Iggy Pop.
This alternate music project seems to have more of a country music influence, with sounds that could be related to early Violent Femmes or Joy Division. However, just like Fat White Family, The Moonlandingz are unafraid to experiment with their sound.
Though Saoudi expresses extreme delight in having the opportunity, he confesses to now being a little worn out from everything.
“I’m a bit tired, but I’ve had a bit of time off, thank god,” he says with gratitude. “Now I’m having some R&R, so it’s ok.”
When BTRtoday first tried getting in contact with Saoudi he was with the rest of the “Fat Whites,” as he calls them, touring in the UK. A dropped call and several rescheduling attempts later, he was finally able to get a break and take a phone call with us—which just shows how crazy his schedule has been.
Artwork courtesy of the band.
Saoudi’s a wild guy—he ends up singing naked on stage, talks about doing hallucinogenic drugs, and sings songs about being the whitest boy on the beach or how love is the crack.
Not surprisingly, Fat White Family’s live shows cause gossip all throughout the rock and roll circuit. Saoudi states that with enough space on stage the possibilities are endless. However, he does confess to getting extremely nervous before getting on stage.
“I feel very assured once I’m up there, but after that I’m plagued with self-doubt,” he professes. “It’s a weird kind of contradiction I suppose. I feel very nervous before going on stage and hit the toilet like four or five times.”
He has no shame telling BTRtoday about his nervous stomach issues. He claims it’s especially difficult during U.S. tours due to the thousands of miles that serves up solely tacos and burgers.
“There’s nothing to eat on the road except for Wendy’s and Jack-in-the-Box,” he complains. “Not good on the old stomach.”
The band has many stories from on the road. He explains that every crowd is different. City crowds are easier to get in the mood, while in smaller towns it’s difficult to even get people to come out.
One time on tour the band and the audience was covered in a mysterious powder. Saoudi describes that there was woman there whose recently deceased husband had proposed to her at one of their shows in the past.
You guessed it… that powder was her husband’s ashes.
“It turned out she had scattered all his ashes, so everybody was covered in this guy’s corpse,” he recounts. “That was a peculiar one.”
He says as a side note that Fat White Family formed out of the dullness and the monotony of their past lifestyles. They were extremely bored, broke, upset, marginalized, and frustrated in every way. Currently, the band is anything but.
Though their current tour for “Songs For Our Mothers” has been very hectic, it’s gone smoothly so far. The band’s quick vacation comes to an end soon on April 12th when they go on to San Diego to play their next show. Check out their Facebook to see where they’re headed!
To hear the rest of the interview, tune into this week’s episode of the Discovery Corner!