There’s a lot going on within the musical alchemy of North London dream pop outfit Faux Chateau and it has proven difficult for listeners to categorize the band’s sound. Judging by their brand new single “Betty” there is a distinct 80s vibe, with a funky-jazz groove and perhaps some art-pop thrown in for good measure. All the same, it makes for a pretty catchy and earnest first single and we can look forward to future releases. The band themselves bring in influences from all over the spectrum (Black Uhuru, Radiohead, Fela Kuti) and since Faux Chateau are a young band – they’ve been together for a little over a year – their sound will only evolve from here. The sky’s the limit.
People say we sound like:
WILL: More recently people have told us that we remind them of a blend of Talking Heads, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead. Currently the songs in our live set are either quite funky or have a consistent groove and so I can understand why we’ve been linked to Talking Heads a few times, especially since the release of our first single Betty.
JAKE: It appears that people are finding it difficult to compare us to one band in particular, which is fine with me because I would prefer not to be. It’s inevitable, but sometimes it can be quite lazy.
XAVIER: I’ve heard from early Bloc Party to Radiohead. But what people claim we sound like has never affected my perception of who we are. We sound like us to me.
Jake Constable: Vocals, Lyrics, Rhythm Guitar
Will Alexander: Lead guitar
Xavier Langlais: Bass guitar
Josh Myers: Percussion/Keys
We are originally from:
WILL: We’re from different places. I’ve lived in Hertfordshire which is on the tip of North London.
XAVIER: I’ve spent most of my life in North London.
JAKE: I was born in Brighton but I left there when I was quite young. I’ve lived in a few different places since then but now I’m settled.
Who are some that have an influence on your sound?
WILL: I can recognise that Black Uhuru, believe it or not, have definitely influenced some of the material that I’ve brought forward for this band. My brain melts with pleasure every time I listen to a Black Uhuru bass line.
XAVIER: I’d be lying if I said Radiohead wasn’t my biggest influence. Everything from song structure to flair of songs, Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood are amongst my greatest inspirations. I feel that , especially ‘In Rainbows’, has affected my writing thus affecting us as a whole.
JAKE: I wouldn’t say that the way I sing in this band is influenced by anyone in particular. I don’t think I would sing the way I do if it wasn’t for this band and the music we write. Growing up, my favourite singers were people like Michael Stipe, Morrissey, and Brandon Flowers.
JOSH: I have a variety of influences when it comes to writing/playing! Collectively though i think we have our own sound but i hear Radiohead, Fela Kuti and Tame Impala.
The first time we all decided to get together and make some music…
JAKE: I met Will and Josh for the first time in the summer of 2012, and then the following summer we found Xav. Will found me online and plucked me from obscurity.
Books we recommend …
WILL: For anybody else who is enthusiastic about sound, I recommend The Auditory Culture Reader. It delves into the ways in which we could use our ears more effectively in society instead of relying so much on sight, the predominant and favoured sense. A big chunk of it explores the hierarchy of the senses – something that interests me a lot. Pouring all of this goodness into my dissertation. Probably not everybody’s cup of tea though.
JAKE: Anything written by Douglas Coupland.
Our most memorable gig ever was….
JAKE: We recently played a gig at the Horn in St Albans, opening for JAWS. That was a really great night.
WILL: I’ll probably go with that as well. It’s a local venue for us, so it was nice to see a big crowd willing to stick around and watch us before JAWS came on.
JOSH: It was nice headlining the barfly, a great venue with excellent sound! But the JAWS gig in St.Albans at the horn was great.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
XAVIER: Without a doubt, the eighties.
WILL: Late nineties. Aged 4 or 5 enjoying Blur.
JAKE: Possibly the mid to late eighties. There are many bands from that era that I wish I could have had the chance to see.
JOSH: Such a difficult question! I would love to travel back to many of the era’s that music has gone through! Though early 70’s certainly has charm.
Growing up at home we listened to…..
WILL: It was Pink Floyd, The Beatles or Bowie because that’s what my Dad used to play me in the house.
XAVIER: For me, it’s quite a blur. I don’t really recall taking music itself seriously until i was a teenager and even then, what I listened to is way too embarrassing to say!
JAKE: I didn’t have the same luxury growing up. I listened to whatever my parents listened to. Some of it was great. Most of it was not. I liked it when I was younger, but I can’t say the same thing now.
JOSH: My mum listened to Led Zeppelin, My Dad used to put on alot of Eric Clapton, The Beatles, Quincy Jones, Sting/The Police and Stevie Wonder all of which are Bands/Artists i still listen to alot today!
What tunes are on heavy rotation for you…
WILL: Loving a track from Blaue Blume called ‘Jealousy’. A Danish friend of mine showed me a couple of their songs and they are ridiculously good, I instantly got into it. These guys should be huge, seriously.
JAKE: ‘I Can’t Pretend’ by the Drums. It’s a really good song. It’s such a departure from what they did on their first album. It’s hard to believe it’s the same band that wrote songs like ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ and ‘Best Friend’ a few years ago, which I feel were quite immature.
XAVIER: It has to be ‘Orval’ by Dutch Uncles. Will showed me them a while back and i just cannot get this song out of my head. Once you listen to it, you’ll understand. Also by White Denim, ‘At Night In Dreams’ is very different to what I’m used to hearing so I’m really enjoying that song at the moment.
JOSH: ‘Kid Charlemagne’ By Steely Dan, i first heard the chorus on Kanye West’s ‘Champion’ and instantly fell in love! A group of excellent musicians writing some incredible Jazz/Funk inspired rock and perhaps Never Going Back Again by Fleetwood Mac, another band from my childhood with a very distinctive folk sounding song.
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
WILL: The Horrors, maybe. They’re a very special band to see live.
JAKE: Everything Everything. They’re such great musicians, and their lyrics are out of this world.
XAVIER: Arcade Fire, their stage presence is on another level and I’d love the chance to share the stage with them.
JOSH: Maybe the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, when i saw them a few years ago they had a very varied support plus their stage presence is second to none.
When you are touring and have some time off , where could we find you…
JAKE: Somewhere quiet where I can read and write.
XAVIER: Playing video games.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to us..
WILL: We’re four guys making music for the sake of loving making music together.
JAKE: I would like for people to remember that we care about what we do, and that what we do is as natural to us as breathing.
JOSH: We will have more songs coming out soon!