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Fossil Collective - Interview

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 29 / 4 / 2013

Fossil Collective - Interview


Dave Goodwin talks to Jonny Hooker, one of the multi-instrumentalists with rising new acoustic band Fossil Collective about their career to date and musical influences

Fossil Collective are a two-piece, consisting of multi-instrumentalists David Fendick and Jonny Hooker. The Leeds-based boys first got together in 2004, creating first of all Vib Gyor a band named after the initial letters of the rainbow and who performed at Glastonbury before breaking up in 2009 a few months after releasing their debut album, ‘We Are Not an Island’. Fossil Collective’s first recordings saw them taking inspiration from classic albums by Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel, and their music has drawn comparisons with more contemporary artists such as Fleet Foxes, Midlake and Bon Iver. But in truth their exquisitely structured songs and glorious, rich harmonies owe as much, if not more, to a solid English song tradition, and their material holds that distinct English quality that many North American artists hanker after. They recently played a lengthy tour of Britain and Ireland to promote the release of their debut album, ‘Tell Where I Lie’, and will shortly be flying out to the States and Canada to tour for a month there. Pennyblackmusic caught up with Jonny for a quick chat before they gigged at The Bodega in Nottingham, their second outing of the tour.... PB: Info about you boys is rare, but according to Facebook Dave and yourself are quoted as being the 'Fossil Collective', a two-piece from Leeds. Where do the rest of the band and Sean Gannon, Antonio Mucedero and Zane Keenan come in then? JH: Well, Dave and I are very lucky to work with some great musicians live. We always wanted it to be a collective of like-minded people. We've got Zane on keyboards, Antonio is on bass and Sean on guitar. PB : What were all the members doing before Fossil Collective? JH: Well, Dave and I were in Vib Gyor. We had a great time with the band and travelled the world, but we found it was coming to a natural end, and we were starting to write more acoustic melody-based ideas. It was a conscious decision. Fossil Collective came from nowhere really. PB: On the subject of Vib Gyor, you are quoted about saying about the final moments that “We had a fantastic five years but we all fancied doing something new.” What was it you were not enjoying and what were you wanting to do that was different? JH: We wanted to go back to doing great songs with solid melodies. We were desperate to get back to the timeless music we had enjoyed as children and when we were growing up. We'd had enough of the indie darlings’ approach and all that went along with that. PB: Do you see ‘Tell Where I Lie’ as having a theme to it or it just being an introduction to the band and its music? JH: It is an introduction to us really. And it is a collection of songs from the last year as well. I suppose a theme could be the British countryside, but we like to leave it a bit ambiguous. PB: Who decided on the four tracks for the free download EP - ‘On and On’, ‘River’s Edge’, ‘Silent Alarm’ and ‘Fog’ – that you have also released? JH: We both did. We felt that they went together well and it flowed. PB: Is there a writer in the band or is it a joint effort? JH: Every song is on it is different. Sometimes it can start out on an acoustic ,and sometimes it can be a beat or a groove. We always try to make the songs work as just an acoustic and a vocal - that's the most important aspect of our writing. PB: It has been said that you draw influences from the likes of Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Simon and Garfunkel. Who were you listening to individually as you were growing up? JH: For me certainly all of the above really! I get a lot out of John Martyn and James Taylor also. Carole King is one of my favourite singer-songwriters of all time. ‘Tapestry ‘is pretty faultless as an album. PB: What sort of reaction have you had so far to live shows? JH: We played York last night and it was great. It was really busy, and it was good to finally get going with the tour. No-ones fallen out with each other yet. PB: How does it feel to get your single 'Let It Go' straight into the iTunes charts at 26? JH: It feels amazing. We really didn't expect it at all. PB: You're packing a few places in on the tour. What do you get up to on the nights off? JH: Most of the time we sleep. We have a tour that takes in Ireland and the USA straight after so we need to conserve our energy. PB: How excited are you to be going to the States? JH: Yeah, it will be great fun. There will be a lot of traveling so it will be hard work also. PB: Have you been before? JH: We went over there for a six week tour in the Vib Gyor days, but this will be our first outing as Fossil Collective. PB: Which gigs are you looking forward to the most? JH: I can't speak for the other members of the band, but The Fillmore in San Francisco is the one I'm looking forward to the most. That venue has a magnificent history. PB: What are your worst traits? Errm, I am trying to ask what is wrong with you? JH: Ha ha! Hmm, I suppose it has got to be over analyzing and perfectionism in everything we do, especially in the studio and on the road. Everything has to be perfect. PB: If you had to be in a department of the government, what would you be doing and why? JH: You would never catch me working for the government. They're all liars and crooks! PB: Thank you.

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live reviews

Bodega, Nottingham, 11/4/2013
At the Bodega in Nottingham, Dave Goodwin watches rising Leeds-based multi-instrumental group Fossil Collective play a meticulous, but somewhat cautious set



Tell Where I Lie (2013)
Hard-to-define but harmonic and melodic debut album from Leeds-based acoustic duo, Fossil Collective

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