FUR’s blissful new single Grow Up is set to further cement their place as one of the UK’s most exciting breakthrough guitar bands.
The Brighton four-piece introduced the production wizardry of The Coral’s James Skelly on the 60s pop-tinged track; a 2 minute 50 wonder layered in nostalgia with classic guitar melodies and dreamy vocal harmonies.
Its accompanying video is equally sentimental, using footage pieced together in lockdown of them as children and now.
It follows the major success of sepia-toned breakout track If You Know That I’m Lonely, which has hit a staggering 30 million plays between Spotify and YouTube so far.
Last year they topped the bill at London’s historic Scala as part of their biggest headline tour on the back of their self-titled EP, released via taste-maker label Nice Swan Records.
They’re particularly huge in Indonesia, too, after headlining a 5,000-capacity event in the capital Jakarta.
And although the Covid-19 pandemic has put live music on hold for now, FUR have announced headline tour dates in March 2021, which will see them play at a raft of venues including Southampton’s Heartbreakers, Oslo in London and The Deaf Institute in Manchester.
FUR are a band firmly on the ascent. Daily Star Online’s Rory McKeown caught up with Murray from FUR to talk about new single Grow Up, working with James Skelly, their career so far and their hopes ahead.
How has lockdown been for you? Has it given you time to work on material?
“Lockdown hasn’t been too testing for us I don’t think, well, speaking for myself on this one.
“Flynn and Josh are both back home with family in Portsmouth and London, Tav and I are in Brighton. I’ve gone through phases of creativity and boredom, some more enjoyable than others. We’ve got a load of new stuff recorded at home that we’re really happy with and that’s shaped the direction of the band which is something we’re all very excited by.”
You’ve returned with your new single Grow Up – what was the writing process like for it? Were you influenced by anything when writing it?
“It was written about 3 years ago in its earliest, simplest form and has since going through various arrangements before we landed on one that we felt was strong enough to release.
“It was written at a time where I was heading into my second year of living away from home and I felt like I hadn’t even lived the first year and I felt like it was all going by too quickly, and that shapes the whole theme of the lyrics of not wanting to grow up but accepting its inevitability.”
You worked with The Coral’s James Skelly. What did he bring to the table in terms of its production?
“Working with James was great fun and was a good experience, but despite him being a great producer, it made me realise that I wanted to play the role of producer and that I’m not great at other people telling me how they think something should sound when I’ve got how I know it should sound already in my head.
“We had a great time and we’re happy with the results but from now on Josh and I are going to produce the music ourselves which is an exciting prospect.”
Its video was created during lockdown featuring footage of yourselves as children. What was it like getting creative during challenging times?
“It was exciting! We’ve had a load of footage and been sitting on it for a while and so when we gave it to Kris Rimmer to create something from it we then decided to use all these old photos and videos of when we were kids.
“My mum sent through a bunch of VHS tapes of skiing holidays and Christmases so to sit in my flat and watch through all of those really made the nostalgia element to the release very real. Kris did a great job and we are so happy with how the video turned out.”
You enjoyed a breakthrough 2019 – how would you describe the past 12 months for FUR?
“The last 12 months have been great, we’ve played in parts of the world I thought I’d never visit and played to more people than we could have imagined this year. It’s been such a great time. It’s just a shame that a global pandemic has kinda put a big pause on all of it but we’ve got plenty of time to travel the world and when we do, the shows will be even bigger and better. It’s exciting times despite the COVID mayhem.”
The single If You Know That I’m Lonely has hit a staggering 30 million plays between Spotify and YouTube – did you ever think it would blow up the way it has? How has it changed the band?
“It’s fair to say that we had absolutely no expectation for the video and song to blow up the way it did. It wasn’t immediate which made it even more unexpected. I think it has sort of cemented the idea in our heads that it wasn’t just us that believed in what we were doing and that helped us drive towards everything since.”
You embarked on a headline tour which included London’s Scala – what were the shows like and what have you learned from them?
“The shows on that tour were special. We all love playing small venues and then to finish with Scala was incredible, it was an aim of ours since the year before and so to achieve it felt really rewarding.
“Since then I think we’ve looked way more at honing in the songwriting and the sound live. Can’t wait to get back out on the road in 2021, it’s what we live for.”
You’ve also got your eyes on your first US trip. Is that a dream for an emerging band like yourselves?
“Tav and I have always dreamed of taking the band to LA, and that would have happened had there not been issues with our visas. We would have been flying from Asia to LA and then to New York to play a show and fly back to Asia, which would have had taken its toll I’m sure, so that’s one part we’re glad to have missed! But we’re aiming to get out to the States next year and finally play the shows we had planned. Can’t wait.”
You’ve been writing towards your debut album. How far along are you towards reaching that goal?
“We have been writing a lot. I think Josh and I over the last 5 months have recorded around 40 (!) demos and are constantly updating and crafting the sound of the album and I think that’s another reason why it’s so important to us that we produce it as we already know exactly how we want it to sound.
“We don’t have a date set in mind, we just know that we want it to tick all of the boxes we have set for ourselves.”
How has Brighton influenced the band? Has it moulded you in any way?
“I love Brighton, it’s a small place with a big city mentality and to me, that’s the perfect combo. I’m not so much of a fan of the big city vibe but equally don’t wanna be holed up in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.
“I think the sea creates such a calm environment – the summer’s definitely give me a lot of inspiration, I always find ideas flow best after a day spent down on Brighton beach soaking up the sun.”
You’ve announced a headline tour for March 2021. With so many tours and festivals cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, how eager are you to get back out there and play again?
“As I said earlier we’re raring to go, all we talk about is how excited we are to get back in the van and play those shows, especially now that we should have already played them. It’s where we feel at home and all of us give it everything in every single aspect of a tour, I’m sure our managers wish we eased off on some aspects but… oh well! Excited for everyone to hear the new songs and for us to visit some new places with new faces!”