Charlie Simpson | Gitarre, Gesang
Alex Westaway | Gitarre, Gesang
Dan Haigh | Bass
Omar Abidi | Schlagzeug
Grand Unification (2006)
One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours (2007)
Alternate Endings (2006)
Be Human (2009)
They Liked You Better When You Were Dead (2005)
"Be Human", das dritte Album der Alternative-Rocker, erscheint auf dem von der Band selbst gegründeten Label Search And Destroy. Die neu entdeckte künstlerische Autonomie wird in jedem Song hörbar. Produziert vom Laruso-Gitarristen und Bandfreund Carl Bown klingt "Be Human" so, wie Fightstar klingen wollen. "This is our biggest sounding record and we’ve done it with our bare hands", beschwört Sänger und Gitarrist Charlie Simpson das neue Gemeinschaftsgefühl. Außerdem sind auf "Be Human" ein 16-köpfiges Orchester sowie ein imposanter Kinderchor ("War Machine") zu hören. "Eine beeindruckende Verschmelzung von Biffy Clyros Popgespür und dem Walparadensound von Mastodon", schrieb der "NME".
· “…convincing evidence they are due for a reappraisal…impressive melding of Biffy Clyro’s pop sense and Mastodon’s whales-on-parade sound” NME
· “Fightstar..have serious rock credentials” Guitarist
· "Fightstar are bursting with ideas and on an upward trajectory” Rock Sound
· “…a band hitting their stride with a scary amount of talent” Big Cheese
“Right now feels like the beginning of a new era. It feels like there’s this great blank space ahead of us that we can move into and explore. It feels like a new start, one where we don’t know what’s going to happen, where we don’t know where we’re heading. That’s such an exciting feeling.” So speaks Charlie Simpson, Fightstar vocalist and guitarist. He’s talking about their band’s new album ‘One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours’, released on September 24 through Gut / Institute records. Frankly he may as well be speaking about his life, his band, and how the world views them because Fightstar have been through a lot of late.
It was over the summer of 2006 that Fightstar began working on the songs that would shape their second album. “We sent our ex-label the least heavy songs we had written,” says bassist Dan Haigh. “But they said they wanted a more pop record. I think they wanted us to be a more commercial prospect. That was the last we ever wanted to do. Having fought such a long battle to be viewed as a band in our own right, can you imagine how it felt to be told to go in a more pop direction? Did they really want us to go through that war again?”
So ex-label Universal’s desire for Simpson to head into territory he had left behind meant a split was inevitable, allowing the band to sign with new label Gut records who, “couldn’t have been more encouraging,” says drummer Omar Abidi. “Suddenly we felt wanted. Suddenly we felt like we were in it together with the label. The pressure was off - we could just concentrate on the music.” And it’s music that’s been wrought from the heart, far more so than the majestic sci-fi panorama of debut album ‘Grand Unification’. “This record is much, much more personal,” says Simpson. “Most of the first album was written in the third person and intended as social commentary. This one is about what has been going on in our lives.
“This record is really fucking close to the bone. I’ve just been through a pretty horrendous break-up after a seven year relationship. I had a lot I needed to say about that, so the record came at a very good time for me. It was almost therapeutic to vent it all on the album. I much prefer it to be personal - the record means so much more to me that way. In fact some of the vocal tracks on the album are actually demo takes because I sung those when my feelings were still very raw. I wanted those initial, blunt sentiments on there. Sometimes you do something and you know it’s as honest as you’ll ever get.” It means that the album, at times, is built on occasionally uncomfortably open wounds - of songs that edge into deep, dark and heavy territory, both musically and emotionally. But also, crucially to the band, there’s also music that’s tender, sensitive and melodically driven.
“It’s almost split into two halves,” says guitarist and vocalist Al Westaway. “There’s a lighter happier side and a really dark side. Some of it is the heaviest stuff we’ve ever done but, elsewhere, there are some very delicate moments.” “That blend of aggression and tenderness is the most important thing to us,” adds Simpson. “If anyone asks what Fightstar is about, then it’s that.”
One of the most brutal songs on the album is ‘Deathcar’, a song inspired by a harrowing news item on Chinese human meat wagons - as well as the end of Simpson’s relationship. “Deathcars are these vans the Chinese have and, if they need an organ donor for someone, then they execute death-row prisoners in the vans and bring the organs to accident victims,” explains Simpson. “I heard about them on the news at the same time as I heard that my ex-girlfriend was going out with someone new. I’ve sort of merged him and the deathcar together. I’m driving and he’s in the back…”
Helping them to realise this music was producer Matt Wallace (Faith No More). Over a six-week session in Los Angeles’ Pass Studio and in Wallace’s own studio in LA’s Sound City complex, the producer used his songwriting experience to force Fightstar to sharpen the music they brought him. “We went in only 60% prepared,” says Haigh. “There was a shitload of pressure because we only had six weeks. It was do or die. The pressure made the album sound really visceral and real.”
“And it was pressure we needed,” explains Simpson. “We thrived on it. We butted heads with Matt a few times but, because he’s primarily a songwriter, his experience really helped us. We flew back from LA so full of confidence and optimism because we knew we had made an album we could be deeply proud of. That’s really the only benchmark you need.”
Omar Abidi: drums
Dan Haigh: bass
Charlie Simpson: vocals and guitar
Al Westaway: vocals and guitar