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In conversation with Jon Fratelli: 'Bristol is always a good one'

Layla Link chats with Jon Fratelli, the frontman of well known UK band The Fratellis, ahead of their new album titled 'In Your Own Sweet Time', due to be released on the 12th March. Here's what went down.

“I’ve always written on my own” says Jon Fratelli, chatting to me just before the band’s new tour begins.

The Fratellis are delivering a new album, ln Your Own Sweet Time. The band have again teamed up with six-time Grammy and Mercury nominated American producer Tony Hoffer to produce something with 'some similarities but it’s quite different to (Jon’s) ears at least. It’s a little bit more playful than the last record.'

Watch the official video for 'Stand up Tragedy' below:

I made the phone call from Link Room 1 in Woodland Road . It was personally a particularly thrilling experience because I got to speak to Jon and hear one of my favourite artists talk about his music. Hearing an accomplished artist talk about their inspiration is great - 'To this point I’ve still never written a song with anyone, at least not one where you sit in the same room together and write something. So I’ve always just worked that way and really I just do it for fun. I do it in the same way that anyone does whatever it is that brings them the most amount of pleasure and for me that's always been that. I’m always working on music, just because thats how I spend all my time and I always have, so even though this record isn’t out yet I’m sort of working away on the next one.'

It’s like watching a director on set or a master negotiator talk someone off a ledge. He is part genius, part musician, and part record maker.

It seems Jon is constantly making music, always on the cusp of something new, and he agrees - 'We went to China in the summer. The record was done by then and we were in and out in a day so I almost couldn’t tell anyone anything about it, because I was kind of half asleep for most of it but if I ever have time music will always come out of that. My favourite track to play is the next one, the one you haven’t written yet. Really for me that’s where all the joy is.'

Listen to their latest single 'Starcrossed Lovers' below:

The Fratellis are touring in both the UK and the US, but the UK has their heart. Even our beloved Bristol is special to them.

'Bristol is always a good one. Bristol was maybe even the first place we played outside of Scotland. We also spent some time recording there before we made our first record so we are quite familiar with it.'

Jon’s influences, a word which he supposedly hates, seem to be pretty stationary. If a musician should move with the times, Jon defies that.

'I guess I’m what you would call a traditionalist, so sort of bare bones rock and roll for me is really where its at and always has been. I mean I’m sort of notorious with people who know me for not having the first clue for what's going on out there musically. I don’t have a radio and I’m never in any scenario where I hear anything new and thats just always been that way. So really my dads record collection that I stumbled upon at 16 is still really the thing that excites me and I’ve always figured those artists have so much music.'

Watch the offical video for 'Chelsea Dagger' below:

So, do the band ever get bored of playing their old tunes? 'I’m always sort of orientated towards what’s next. I wouldn’t say we get bored of the old songs but as time goes on and the way you play changes it might not necessarily suit the way you play now. But I’ll never get bored of seeing peoples enthusiasm for it, that’s why we play those songs. I get a lot of fun from playing live because that’s something that’s kind of spontaneous and that involves a sort of exchange between you and an audience but for me all the joy is in not knowing what song might pop up next. We play them because people buy tickets for a show and they have absolute right to demand the music that they want to hear. I would do the same, so I never get bored of seeing reactions.'

Featured Image: Practise Music PR / Nicky Sims

In Your Own Sweet Time, the new album by The Fratellis is out on March 9th via Cooking Vinyl.

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