With a graceful bow to the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre, the North London collective have seen the wood for the trees as they seek to re-write the avant-garde handbook in graphic detail.
In an industry landscape cloaked in genericism, the definition of originality is somewhat ambiguous. What does it mean to be innovative? The incessant cries of ingenuity smacks of an ‘emperor’s new clothes‘ scenario, dampening the potency of true novelty and invention, I mean everyone and their dog seems to claim they’ve found the latest dernier cri.
Hyperbole aside, Fake Turins put me in the mood to throw caution to wind in my devil may care assertion that they boast all of the aforementioned qualities. Imagine the sonic eclecticism of Bowie’s ‘Hunkydory‘ woven into the emotional detachment of Talking Heads. The diaristic narrative of frontman Dominic Rose bearing an uncanny resemblance to David Byrnes preacher-esque delivery.
Their latest instalment ‘Evergrown‘ fans the flames of their vehemently cult-like following, where the ostentation of psychedelia embroils itself with the raw simplicity of post punk. Sprinkles of seductive clarinet puncture nuances of New Orleans jazz into a sparkling body of work that refuses to conform to the interpretation of genre; to label it as refreshing wouldn’t even begin touch the sides.
Rose‘s bohemian-like persona is the antithesis of a clandestine superficiality that has imbued into modern music. It’s not often an outfit excites me as much as these lot, and as the call from their brooding crescendo states – ‘stop, don’t think, move fast’; so we had to oblige…
Fake Turins are a self proclaimed ‘audiovisual collective’, it’s an intriguing albeit unconventional concept, could you explain what this means in a little more detail?
Fake Turins as an ’audiovisual collective’ allows us to put equal emphasis on both our musical & visual output & promotes our intent to consider all angles of the project. Although the term itself is slightly limiting, I find it acknowledges the fact that we have artists from all sorts of disciplines working inside our musical community.
You’re a bubbling cauldron of different influences, foraying into the world of post punk with splashes of the alternative. How would you describe your sound?
I’ve taken to calling us a nomadic disco ensemble, but I’m not sure that quite captures the entire scope of what we aim for. We’ve drawn a lot of sound from psychedelic & electronic music recently, with structures built on small repeated phrases & dense patterns. Anything with upwards of 10 members requires discipline in the arrangement – a feature I’ve always admired about electronic composition. Overall the impetus to get people moving dictates our musical direction.
Some of the 10-strong members work & perform in other projects, does this breadth of musical styles affect your end product and do you see your eclecticism as a bonus?
Our creative eclecticism is something I’ve always held as sacred to our project. Bringing in many different voices that will each interpret the material in their own way is key to fighting off our own inertia. Equally, the songs work in such a way that removing any one element is more of a stylistic redecoration rather than a loss.
Turins were born from the north London warehouse scene, has the industrial aesthetic of your birth affected the music you make?
It’s certainly affected our outlook, and perhaps subconsciously our output. It’s impossible not to feel the imprint of the community around us — something also reflected in our ensemble size — alongside the starkness of the industrial architecture. Towering blocks & sprawling estates really offer an oppressive scope that cottages & a semi- detached cannot.
Previous singles Legs and False Sympathies tackle the issue of mental health. Do you use music as a cathartic release or is it a matter of trying to help others?
Mental health has always been a huge part of my personal drive to write — both aiding my own & attempting to provide solace for others who suffer similarly. The more resonance we can find in the world around us the less alone we’ll feel, and I love the possibility that even just one person would be moved enough to reach out to those around them. After all, we all struggle sometimes — and the more we can talk about it the easier it might eventually become.
So Evergrown is the new single, what’s it about and how was it constructed?
To me, Evergrown is a story about stories. The dreams we cling onto in our youth that can disrupt our futures — and yet the intimacy that those dreams also provide. The more grandeur we commit to when building an image of ourselves, the more we’ll have to wrestle with the realities as they dawn.
In the nicest possible way, i’d put you lot down as the antithesis of so called ‘popular music’, what’s your view on what goes on in the mainstream?
Honestly, i’d agree with that view as well & popular music is a label all musicians have to contend with. But there’s a certain liberty that’s offered when writing for less extrinsic means. ‘Popular music’ is only negotiable by those who form the ideas of the world — not to say there isn’t real artistry & value in it too, but the agendas of so much so-called “commercial” music make it hard to appreciate them at face value. Saying that, I do think a move towards more earnest representation is taking place, it’s just still playing catch up with the social world somewhat.
Now that gigs are looking increasingly likely over the summer, do you have anything booked in?
We’ve got a series of dates penned [covid permitting] including a sold out date at the 100 club & a support of Talk Show, a band that we’re all fans of. More to be released, of course — but i’m hoping for a busy summer.
Watching your videos induces an almost transcendent experience. If you could work with one director to construct a new instalment, who would it be and why?
First off, thank you! Very happy to hear we can act as inter-dimensional thoroughfare. As for directors, we currently work with our team’s visual director Mars Washington on all output & he’s very much still my blue sky choice — so an easy answer!
Now for the final generic inquiry. What’s next for Fake Turins?
Probably lunch. We’ve been working hard the past few weekends on a lot of upcoming content for summer — gotta keep ourselves fed. Does it work to say that someone’s “in the lunch of their career”?