Following on from Fudge’s first headline show for over two years, at The Lending Room in Leeds, it seemed appropriate to find out a bit more about what’s been going on in Fudge-Land and what the future might hold for the band. I catch up with lead singer, Cam.
Photo copyright : Chris Kidd, used with permission
Tell me briefly about about the origins of the band and how you got together
Otto and I started the OG Fudge a long time ago. However, we were utterly and diabolically shite. We had two separate members of the band who’s legends will live on but we had to part ways. We then got Bangus in on drums and have been through countless bass players. Eventually something clicked and we just became fucking well good and writing sick tunes.
And what about songwriting – what’s the process and how did the spoken word intros come about?
Spoken word came about because I’m a fucking genius. It adds emotion and something a bit extra to a live set. In regards to the song writing it most often happens with Otto pissing about with his riff ideas and coming up with a song structure and making a song out of it with the rest of the boys. I will then come in and put some lyrics and vocal melodies over the top and big up we have a lethal song.
What’s the one most important message you want to get across from your songwriting ?
Different songs vary but I think from a lyric point of view I like the outlook that life isn’t all that its made out to be. There’s a lot of shit going on and its not all necessarily good but we’re lucky to be here and we have to keep going and have as much fun as possible. Coming to a Fudge gig and performing a Fudge gig is like momentary bliss. I like to feel everyone’s in the moment having a sick time.
You did a Rage Against The Machine / Beastie Boys mash-up at The Lending Room. What else have you covered or would like to.
Oooo that’s a hard question and each member of the band would be different and for me personally it would differ every day. If you were to ask me right now what I would like to cover, it would probably be something pretty indie and melodic, maybe some Sam Fender or something as I’ve been listening to a lot of him recently. Whether I’d be able to pull it off is a different thing haha. Maybe in the future we might vary it up.
As a band we have performed a lot of covers that fit in with the Fudge gig vibe and get a hype going. We like covering RATM as its simple, powerful and effective.
We’ve done a load of mash-ups just to add that little bit of extra buzz in the past. We’ve done Testify X Drum and Bass Father. Smoko X Paranoid. Invaders Must Die X That’s Not Me X Bonkers. Bulls on Parade X Sabotage.
In a couple of years you’d really gained momentum, playing Reading and Leeds festivals in 2019, then Covid hit. How did you get through that as a band?
Not gonna lie, I was depressed as fuck. It got me proper down to a point I couldn’t sleep. I was so stressed because during Covid a lot of bad shit happened and just wrote me off for a while. We were always gonna come back swinging though, regardless of what gets thrown our way.
How does it feel to be back on a stage again and specifically what did you make of tonight’s gig (Lending Room) ?
It was madness. Obviously if you’ve not played for 2 years, you’re wondering if the streets will remember and it turns out they did. Bare heads came through for us and it was insane and a succulent headline to come back for. Big up to everyone that came to watch us.
It was bedlam from start to finish. Your fans haven’t gone away in the last two years. It’s the first time I’ve seen you and I’ve got to say it was immense. A proper immersive experience between band and audience. I know it’s been said before but my closest reference point is Idles live. Do you get the comparison and is it flattering to you?
We have had that a lot. Personally I have never seen them live nor do I take massive inspiration from them. They are a very good band none the less but I like to think we are more technical than Idles music at least from what I’ve heard, but then again I don’t know a right lot about that stuff.
Who are your biggest influences and reference points?
As a band there has been a few big influences such as RATM, Royal Blood, Slaves, Arctic Monkeys. But it differs through time and we also just like to do our own shit too and just what comes out and what we mould is what we are.
Personally I take a lot of influence from Oasis and Frank Carter, as well as old shit like Springsteen etc.. Also modern grime and loads of stuff I can’t even explain. I have a west music taste.
Tonight’s gig was part of Independent Venue Week. What do those venues mean to you, particularly the Leeds ones ?
Yeah we’ve gigged a fair few of the Leeds venues multiple times, they deffo mean a lot. Even once we’ve taken over the world we’ll be back to play some intimate gigs in the IVW venues.
Leeds has got some amazing bands at the moment and always has had a great music scene. It does seem very difficult for bands to climb out of that local soup though – to start getting a bigger national and international following. Yard Act look set to be the ones to make it the biggest out of Leeds in recent times. What do you make of them and how are Fudge gonna climb out of the pack?
I’ve heard them mentioned a few times but not really listened to them, but they are well on their way aren’t they. We will continue to play as many gigs as we can, write phat tunes and be the little pricks we are. It’s gonna be a big graft and getting in with the right people but if anything, the gigs are definitely there and I think a Fudge gig is a good USP.
What other Leeds bands should we look out for ?
9/10 was recorded at Leeds Town Hall. For me, that’s probably the most amazing venue in Leeds. How did the Town Hall Session come about and what would it mean to you to play a gig there and fill it?
We recorded some decent live sessions there and videoed them too. Check them out, everyone reading this !!
Otto arranged it all, if I remember correctly. He’s very good on the organising side of things. It would be mega to play there to a crowd, It’s such an amazing building.
So what’s up for the rest of 2020 ?
Play phat gigs and get bare people to embrace the madness.
A few quick questions to finish off…
Who invented Rock ‘n’ Roll ?
Lead Belly and Elvis were the OG pioneers from my knowledge and there’s been other legends along the way. To one day be big enough to become a full time musician would be insane. But that’s what the phat tunes are for, the lethal gigs and fun times.
The charts and Radio 1 are full of shite formulaic pop bands. There’s no angry young men shaking up the mainstream any more. Can it ever happen again ?
Yes it can, every now and again there’s hype around some punky British bands and we hope to be soon and to stay there.
Do aliens listen to rock ‘n’ roll ?
I dunno lad but if you find out, get them listening to the boys.
Photo copyright : Fergus Hatton, used with permission
Let’s see how far the Fudge lads can take this madness. I suspect a long way !!
The Lending Room gig launched new single 9/10, recorded pre-Covid as part of the 3-song session at Leeds Town Hall, described by the band as “One of the most enjoyable things we’ve done as a band. An absolute pain in the arse to execute but we got there!” …
OTTO | guitar: “In contrast to the previous song, this is what happens when I get complete free rein and have no parameters when I write. This song has groove, hip hop influences, heavy yet melodic bits and an awkward feel at times. The ending is essentially Angus and I sat in a room going, ‘Let’s make this song really fucking hard to play and really hard for people to try and learn’. So, I dare you to try and learn it and send us a video. I bet you’ll get it wrong!”
ANGUS | drums: “This one is stupid. It’s mostly in 4/4 but we think we’re being clever by making it sound anything but. In fact, it’s all by accident and we just wanted to write a nonsensical show- off song. This is the result. Cam impressively managed to put vocals to it but there is more space for instrumental limelight here. In my opinion, it has the potential to be something more, or something totally different to what we played in this version. There is so much space instrumentally that anyone could take it, put their own spin on it and make something totally new without destroying it. To put it simply, I have great fun playing this one, it makes me clench my teeth.”