The UK has traditionally been a healthy breeding ground for young, up and coming bands. Ipswich pop punk outfit A Fate Untold may not be a household name yet, but with an honest and reliable work ethic the band are well positioned going forward. Having just released a new single, the group’s drummer, Todd caught up with Killyourstereo recently to discuss music, drunken hotel shenanigans and plans for the future.
G’day mate, just to get the formalities out of the way could you please state your name, role in the band, and the most embarrassing album in your CD collection?
Hey I’m Todd, I play drums and sing a little in A Fate Untold. I reckon the most embarrassing CD in my collection would be The Greatest Hits Of Tom Jones, but who doesn’t like a bit of Tommy J?
You have just unveiled your new single ‘No Government Rules’, which from all reports seems to be your most polished effort yet, how are things going with the band at the moment?
Yeah, really well. ‘No Government Rules’ has gone down a treat and the video for it should be up soon. We’re recording another single at the back end of this year before going on tour for winter. Then we’ll finish off writing the rest of our next record which is coming along nicely. All being well we’re looking to hit the studio early 2011.
I know it is a tough one to try to articulate, but for those in Australia that may be unfamiliar with A Fate Untold could you give us a brief rundown of your band and its sound.
We’re a 4-piece pop-punk band from a town called Ipswich in the UK. We’ve been together for almost two years now, in that time we’ve played over 100 shows around the country and released our debut EP. We basically just drink a lot, hang out with our friends, write songs and then play shows wherever we can. It’s a pretty old-school pop-punk sound but with some really fresh elements to it. It’s just solid, fun music that we enjoy playing, you’ll either love it or you won’t give a shit.
What’s the Ipswich music scene like at the moment? In Australia presently, a lot of bands are receiving healthy support from the local music crowd. Is Ipswich similar in the sense that there is opportunity for an up and coming band like yourselves?
The scene down here is very D.I.Y. If you put on your own gigs and get big out of town bands to come down, promote them as much possible then you‘ll get a decent turn out. The opportunities are there if you make them, but it’s not a case of if you play then kids will come down regardless. There’s not really much of a local scene in that respect, but you get out what you put in. There’s some great bands down here who we are fortunate enough to call our friends, but the world is bigger than Ipswich and we intend to see as much of it as possible.
I know it might be plucking at straws slightly, but does coming from the UK have any added affect on you as a band? The country essentially has been a Mecca for rock music for quite a while now, from the Beatles and Zeppelin to the Sex Pistols and the subsequent punk movement.
There are some incredible British bands who were true innovators of music, but to be honest the genre of music we play was solely born in the US. There are some ridiculously good British pop-punk bands that we’ve had the luck of sharing a stage with, and we definitely take influence from some of the local lads but the majority of the stuff we listen to is from America. However, I think if we were ever to go to a different country then being British may give us some sort of quirky appeal, as other than You Me At Six, no ones really made it out of the UK doing this kind of thing.
Speaking of influence, what bands (past and/or present) does A Fate Untold derive most of their inspiration from?
We take major influence from the old-school Drive-Thru Records roster around the 2002 era. The Starting Line, Home Grown, New Found Glory, etc. but there’s also a touch from the new era of Pop-Punk with bands like This Time Next Year and early Hit The Lights. We all have different preferences and I think that comes across pretty clearly in the songs.
Correct me if I am wrong but you guys are currently unsigned. Are there negotiations or plans underway with any labels recently?
Yeah we’re unsigned, we recorded our latest single and our last EP, ‘Win By Default’ with an independent London based label called ‘The Animal Farm’ who have helped us out a lot, but we’re not looking for anything right now. The nature of music today, there’s not a lot that a label can offer you that you can’t do yourself with hard work. However, we would be interested in getting management and it’s definitely something we’ll look into next year.
As mentioned before you have just released your new single, which I believe is available on iTunes. How much has the advent of online and digital forms helped a band like A Fate Untold? It seems most independent bands are favourable to this rise in technology because it means you can get more exposure and on a larger geographical scale.
Yeah the internet definitely helps a lot in terms of networking and promotion. It allows us to market our music on a far wider scale than we’d ever be able to cover in a van. We’ve had people from America download the latest single and that just wouldn’t be possible if we were limited to selling CD’s at our shows. Speaking of which, fans can purchase our latest EP off our bigcartel site (www.afateuntold.bigcartel.com), download our first EP off our pure volume site (www.purevolume.com/afateuntold) and download our latest single ‘No Government Rules’ off iTunes (http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/no-government-rules/id387624059). Shameless plug.
Speaking to a lot of seasoned bands, most seem to have interesting tales to tell from touring or just being a band in general. It seems they either have a tale similar to a Spinal Tap or Flight of the Conchords situation etc. What has been the most interesting story (good or bad) so far in A Fate Untold’s career?
Oh dear, where to begin. A lot goes on behind the scenes with us, mostly drunken stories. One example I can give you is when we were recording in London, we got given three rooms in a hotel for free, which usually cost £250 a night so we invited some of our friends to come and hang out with us. There were all these highflying business execs and then this bunch of kids with tattoos, piercings and long hair. Long story short, a lot of drink was consumed, people fell asleep at the bar, someone pissed themselves in the lounge, we broke a bed, terrorised each other and were hands down the most hated people in the hotel. We ended up getting about 2 hours sleep before heading down for a complimentary breakfast much to the disgust of the staff, and going in to the studio to record the vocals on our debut EP whilst still drunk.
Just some easy ones to finish off with,
Favourite album(s) of the year so far?
I’m loving ‘Ups and Downsizing’ by The Swellers, (a) really rad pop punk band. The Wonder Years’ latest album ‘Upsides’ has to be up there as well.
Favourite band(s) you have seen play live?
I saw Brand New at Wembley this year, best gig of my life.
The three most essential albums on your IPod?
‘Deja Entendu’ – Brand New, ‘Enema Of The State’ – Blink 182 and ‘Say It Like You Mean It’ – The Starting Line.
Are there any up and coming bands that you would like to give a shout out to that people down under should check out?
Our good friends in Rules of Romance, This Sudden Injury, Count Your Friends, The Easy Life, and Mallory Knox. All local dudes doing sick stuff but on a further scale there’s also Save Your Breath, All Or Nothing, Me Vs Hero and Make Out Kids who are probably the four best bands in the country.
Any websites, social networking pages etc. that you would like to mention for those readers who would like to find out more about A Fate Untold?
What are the band’s plans for the rest of 2010?
Play as much shows as possible, another tour, finish up the new record and push out the new single before the end of the year. Hopefully on top of having the best times with our best friends. We also have a video coming out for ‘No Government Rules’ in a week or two so keep your eyes open for that. We had the funniest time filming it; it is going to be groundbreaking. And people said Inception was good…
Any final words for the Killyourstereo readers?
We’re just four guys who love summer, hanging out with our friends and partying. We write songs about the positive things in life rather than dwelling on the negative aspects. Think of us as the soundtrack to your party. Thanks for reading this, please check out the band, come chat to us and tell us what you think, and whilst you’re at it start a charity to get us over to Oz Land (laughs).
Thanks for the interview mate.