Interview: The LaFontaines

Owen Bell: What were the main sources of inspiration for your musical style? Or did you just start messing around in the recording studio and it came to life?

Kerr Okan (vocals): A bit of both to be honest. First and foremost, we are a rock band. I just so happen to rap over it. I think it’s influenced by lots of things, maybe The Streets, Beastie Boys, The Roots, bit of Rage Against the Machine. But it’s not overly influenced by any of them, it’s quite a unique sound. Especially with myself rapping in a Scottish accent! I suppose we are what we are.

Owen Bell: You put a big emphasis on your live shows. Compared with performing, is spending hours in the recording studio a bit boring?

Kerr Okan: If you put us on paper, people don’t quite get it. But if you see us live, you understand us completely. We’re a really good live band. You have to see us live to understand us. Our favourite thing to do in the world is playing live. We love touring so much. I like a lack of sleep, I like all these things. I like places I’ve never been – it’s the first time I’ve been to Exeter.

Owen Bell: But does touring ever get tiring at all? Do you miss home?

Kerr Okan: No I don’t really miss home too much. Touring is what we want to do. It’s a huge opportunity we don’t take for granted. We’re building up a fan base.

Owen Bell: You’re playing at Edinburgh Summer Sessions this August. Are you nervous about playing alongside the likes of Tom Jones and Kasabian?

Kerr Okan: We’re supporting Rag’N’Bone man. Definitely not nervous about that! No offence to Rag’N’Bone man. But I think our show is a bit more exciting. And again, it’s just an opportunity. Supporting a band is a bit like being a goalkeeper when someone’s taking a penalty. You’re not expected to make a save. But when you do it’s a bonus. It’s the same with being a supporting band. You’re not meant to do anything other than warm up the crowd. So, if you get any fans from supporting, then it’s huge. It’s a no-lose situation.

Owen Bell: In the song, ‘Explosion,’ you talk about the need to fight the power and the corner boys. Do you see yourself as an explicitly political band?

Kerr Okan: No not at all. It’s just I write about what I’m affected by. And I cannot avoid Brexit and Trump, and everything that’s going on in the world. So that just comes out in my writing. It’s quite cathartic to express your feelings in music. ‘Explosion’ and ‘Asleep’ are quite political records. But in the rest of the songs, there’s other things.


Owen Bell: Where next? Is there another album in the pipeline?

Kerr Okan: We’re going to Europe with Don Broco in two weeks’ time. We’re super excited to go back to Europe. We’ve then got our own headline tour in September, which we’ll do the UK and Ireland. And then we’ll go back to Europe after that. We just want to keep going. They’ll be more new music from us this year.

Owen Bell: Is anyone going to be accompanying you on your own tour?

Kerr Okan: Definitely, we just need to figure out who. Don Broco are welcome if they want.

Owen Bell: I know you released an album quite recently, but have you got any ideas for what might be in the new one?

Kerr Okan: The way album cycles work is so quick. You don’t get your two-year album cycle anymore, it feels like two months almost. We will be back in the studio, writing new music soon. We’re really excited to record some of our latest ideas.

– by Owen Bell

*Images courtesy of Warren Chuff Media

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