Furr are an explosive 4 piece, Leeds-based alternative rock band who I had the pleasure of seeing 01/06/16 at the Brudenell Social Club along with Fizzy Blood whilst they supported Vukovi.
Furr began the night with a bang. With their heavy and hypnotic sound accompanied by their radiating stage presence, it wasn’t long before they got the crowd going. From their powerful and crunching guitar riffs complimented by equally compelling bass lines to the incessant sound of potent drums, Furr have mastered an incredibly raw and angsty 90s sound.
After their release of new single ‘Think Sharp Kid’, Furr have received recognition from Classic Rock Magazine who chose it as one of their tracks of the week as well as being played on Radio X as part of Phil Clifton’s ‘Shock of the new’ show, so it’s pretty clear that it’s only the beginning for them.
Check out my interview with Jack, Sam, Guy and John!
I’ve noticed that you’ve changed your name from ‘Humans as Ornaments’ to ‘Furr’, is there any particular reason as to why you did that?
JOHN: Well, the fact that you had to look down at ‘Humans as Ornaments’ is kind of (begins to laugh)…exactly the point. When you’re at a busy gig and they ask what the name of your band is and you’re like “Humans as ornaments”, they’d always be struggling and say something like “Humans as cats?”. For example, we had a band poster and it said “Gig coming up… Hummus as ornaments!”. It was also quite a difficult name to remember and we’ve had people say “and thanks to that band we can never remember the name of”.
Your artwork for “Think Sharp Kid” is a fairly bright and glittery design with zig-zags. What’s the inspiration for that?
GUY: It ties in with the music video which is still yet to be released. So yeah, our upcoming video for new single ‘Think Sharp Kid’ compliments the blue, green and pink colour scheme of the artwork.
( Furr have now infact released their music video. You can find it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG6IDS583Mg#action=share)
Of all the names, why “Furr”?
JACK: Well, I think that “Furr” is quite a tactile name.
GUY: Like you want to stroke it in the same way you want to stroke Jack (starts laughing) .
JACK: The double R is more or less arbitrary as I think there might be another band also named Furr.
JOHN: Plus when you tell people double R, it’s like an additional thing to remember.
GUY: When it got played on Radio 1, Hugh was like “Furr. DOUBLE R.” and I quite like that because people were hash tagging ‘double r’.
The video to your song “Hangman” is almost entirely made of cardboard cut outs and is quite a bizarre idea. Again, what was the inspiration behind that?
SAM: A lack of budget!
EVERYONE: Yeah 100% haha
JOHN: Nah, we thought it would also have a good visual effect so decided to be inventive visually without spending a lot of money or spending money at all.
GUY: With that video we actually took ages drawing around our actual instruments.
Yeah, because literally everything was cardboard right?
JOHN: Yeah so that meant our instruments such as guitars and even the drum kit had to be made
So you did it all yourselves?
GUY: I remember my partner was a bit annoyed because she thought I was inviting everyone around for dinner haha but we spent the entire evening cutting out cardboard guitars so it didn’t really have the dinner party vibe that we were going for.
So what made you want to be in a band?
JOHN: Well that’s going a long way back ain’t it?
SAM: I listened to ‘Rage Against The Machine’ and that was about it. I mean that energy!
JOHN: For me, it was the fact that I found out at school that you could get out of lesson (laughing) to play guitar and once I was in there, I just didn’t come out. I mean, I started playing music and realised that it’s absolutely awesome and regular life sucks so playing music is almost more real than life.
So like escapism?
JOHN: Yeah exactly
SAM: Well when I’m on stage it’s like I’m a different person. All that matters is the songs and getting really into it rather than everyday life which can be incredibly ‘samey’ and mundane after a few days of going to work and constantly doing the same thing.
JOHN: I like the challenge as well of trying not to mess up because that tempo’s always going. I’ve got to keep up with it. Playing drums is way harder than my ordinary job.
Who would you say that your biggest influences are?
SAM: Well, we are a bit all over the place really. Like at the moment, for me, I’m really into ‘Weezer’ and some hip hop like ‘Skepta’. Is it cool to say ‘Skepta’ yet? But before that it was tons of ‘Dinosaur Pile-up’, ‘Pulled apart by horses’, ‘Foo Fighters’, ‘Nirvana’, ‘Queens of the Stone Age’ etc.
Yeah well you have quite a 90s sound going on
JACK: Well yeah, a lot of stuff that’s going on in Leeds. There’s a great noise scene particularly at small venues.
SAM: Go on; name 3 noise bands from Leeds!
JACK: 1) ‘Cattle’ 2) Can I count ‘Pink Rick?’ 3) Well I would consider ‘Zozo’ on the verge of noise, well that’s all I can think of right now.
So for each of you, what would you say your favourite song that you’ve written is?
JACK: I really like ‘Padlocks’. It’s about my wife and that’s pretty cool. ‘Padlocks’ is a reference to the bridges in Paris. But then they cut them all down making the song pretty much invalid which is kinda sad.
GUY: I really like the bridge of ‘My Head’, the ‘don’t find me out’ bit. I think that part in particular really speaks to me. It’s kind of shows the whole ‘I’ve no idea what I’m doing but I don’t want anyone else to realise that’.
JOHN: I like ‘My Head’ because it just illustrates those feelings that nearly everybody goes through but they remain unspoken, making it a good thing to hear in a song. But I also like ‘Back around’ and we have a bunch of new songs which are mental. To be honest, I don’t usually know the lyrics until we’ve actually recorded a song because all I’m hearing is symbol.
SAM: It’s got to be ‘Another Fable’. We just get given so much shit about celebrities every single day so it’s about that. It’s also one of the few songs that I’ve actually written the lyrics to, so that makes it a bit more personal to me. It’s fun and playful.
So who writes most of the lyrics then?
EVERYONE: Mostly Jack
JACK: That’s probably because I’m the one singing them but I write the basics and then everyone takes it to pieces and we go from there. Yeah, we all get an input and add parts.
SAM: Well the way we write music is a very collaborative effort anyway. Typically, me or Jack will have a guitar riff or something and we’ll start jamming out and dissecting until everyone’s happy with what it is I guess. If I’ve got an idea for a drum part, we’ll just try it out.
GUY: But trust me, you haven’t seen something as ridiculous as someone trying to speak drums. Like ‘dum dum drum tttsssssss’.
JOHN: You know that bit where you’re like ‘snarekit snare snare then kapow’ but can you make it like ‘kupookapalow and budumbalor’.
SAM: But on the flipside of that John basically wrote the bridge to ‘Stretch Thin’. Yeah a lot of the times we work things out by voice.
What would you say is the craziest moment you’ve experienced at a gig?
JACK: Well there was a guy who pushed into a gig at the Packhorse, Leeds wearing silver hot pants and lipstick in order to dance onstage. That was certainly…interesting.
If you could listen to only one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
-Long pause and sighs-
SAM: ‘Rage against the machine (Self-titled’). I’ve listened to that album at least 100 times and every time I do, I always hear something that I hadn’t heard before.
JOHN: I would go for ‘Doggystyle’ by ‘Snoop Dogg’ because I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ve always thought I could listen to that a lot. I would just chill on a beach and listen to it. Well another common question is if you were trapped on a desert island so yeah.
GUY: I’d probably go for ‘Manthology’ by ‘Gay for Johnny Depp’ because there’s like 21-30 songs on it. It’s a bit ridiculous so by the time you get to the end of it, you’re happy to start it again. Fun to listen to.
JACK: There’s a lot I could listen to but they would probably annoy me over time so I’ll go with ‘Dudes vs Bad dudes’ by ‘Cowtown’, who are a local band. Just because I find it impossible to listen to anything on that without feeling a sense of immense joy. Yeah go see ‘Cowtown’. They’re awesome.