2017 is on course to be one of the best years for festivals and another new face on the summer schedule is Community Festival. Celebrating the best of new and well established alternative and rock talent, Catfish and the Bottlemen will be headlining the one day concert at Finsbury Park, and performing alongside them will be The Wombats, Slaves, Nothing but Thieves, The Hunna, Darlia, Fickle Friends, and RedFaces. We spoke with RedFaces’ frontman Harry Lyon the morning of their Manchester Dot to Dot festival performance, and talked about their upcoming appearance at Community, their brand new single ‘Wise Up’, and much more.
Q: Would you like to give the readers of The Indiependent a quick introduction of who RedFaces are?
Harry: We’re a band from Sheffield, made up of school mates. We played some gigs whilst we were still at school, and this led to RedFaces breaking out in Sheffield. Our second single ‘Kerosene’ came out at the beginning of this year, and then we were asked to play Community. We’ve actually been going for a long time, but everything has taken off recently, with releasing proper singles and music videos.
Q: Tell me more about your music video…
Harry: We brought out a music video for Kerosene, and we filmed scenes for it around Sheffield, and the Peak District, which is just a few miles outside of the city.
Q: What was it that made you want to pursue a career in music, especially in a band?
Harry: I didn’t intend to be in a band and have a career in music, I just fell into it. I didn’t start creating music as a job, I just did it as I enjoy making music, and I met people at school who had a similar sort of music taste to me. I don’t view being in RedFaces as a job either; when I record music or perform live I don’t think of it as that, as I am doing something which I love and enjoy.
Q: How did you react when you found out RedFaces would be playing at Community this summer?
Harry: So we found out we would be at Community after we had done a gig in Glasgow – it was a really dingy place, on a Monday night, and it was one of those shows where we played to around three people. We got put up for it, and then after the show our manager told us that we’d been asked to play the festival! It will easily be the biggest thing that we’ve ever done, playing Community – we’ll be playing with bands that we grew up listening to, such as The Wombats. Catfish and the Bottlemen are also great; although we didn’t necessarily grow up listening to them as they’re more recent, we have really enjoyed their music. We played our local music festival (Y Not, which is based in Matlock) for three years running, first when we were only 13-14 years old, and one year Catfish and the Bottlemen played when they were a much smaller band. It will be cool being on the same line-up as them again, although I don’t think Van will recognise us.
Q: Which song from when you’ve written/recorded so far are you most excited to play live at Community, and why?
Harry: I’d say probably our latest single ‘Wise Up’ – we released it last Friday (19th May) and by the time we play it at Community, it should have peaked. The song will have reached its peak level and hopefully it’ll get a good reception from the crowd; 2 people will be singing along to it!
Q: I’m sure you’ll have more than 2 people in the crowd who know the words! I guess this has already been covered a little in the previous questions; which band from the rest of the line-up announced are you most excited to see perform?
Harry: Last week we played The Great Escape festival down in Brighton, and Fickle Friends headlined the stage which we performed on. I’ve also seen Catfish and the Bottlemen a few times live as well as Slaves who I watched up in Newcastle, and they (Slaves) always put on a good show live. So I’ll say The Wombats, because I haven’t seen them live yet.
Q: As you mentioned earlier, RedFaces have just released their latest single ‘Wise Up’ – what is the story/meaning behind the track?
Harry: It’s about grabbing someone by the shoulders and telling them to snap out of it – it also has your boy/girl romance story to it; that’s the song’s literal meaning anyway. The song could mean many other things, and keeping that in mind helps with the creativity of the writing process.
Q: So, would you say that there has been an evolution in your band’s sound between your previous singles and ‘Wise Up’?
Harry: Yes – we’ve got three songs on Spotify, including a demo called ‘Katie Come Home’, which was recorded in 2015. I’d say ‘Wise Up’ is the halfway point between ‘Katie Come Home’ and ‘Kerosene’ – whilst ‘Kerosene’ has a punchier alternative rock feel, ‘Wise Up’ is more poppy with a catchy chorus. ‘Wise Up’ is a good slice of pop indie rock, and follows on from ‘Kerosene’ which did really well.
Q: Have you got a busy summer festival schedule this year?
Harry: Reasonably – we can’t do too much as we’ll be busy with other aspects of the band. We’ve already played Live at Leeds and the Great Escape, and we’re starting off our appearances at the Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester today. Later on we’ll be playing Isle of Wright and that’s somewhere I’ve never been to before, as well as Kendal Calling and Hardwick Live. It changes every year – we’re not doing Glastonbury this year, whilst we played Leeds and Reading a few years ago.
Q: Finally, do you have any goals or aims that you’d have liked to have achieved by the end of 2017?
Harry: Just to keep doing what we are doing already – releasing new music, and keep playing live. We really enjoy performing – the other day when we played Great Escape, we literally stayed in a van with the gear in the back, ate Maltesers and didn’t get back to Sheffield until 5am!
RedFaces are excited to get on stage and perform in front of a massive crowd at Finsbury Park on the 1st July, and you still have chance to be part of that huge crowd and watch them, as well as seven other new and established bands, tipped to be successful over the next few years. Tickets are £35 with a booking fee, and can be bought here.