Following the release of their debut album Long Live Life, Francobollo are touring the UK and Europe. The Swedish band merge punk and indie rock to create a fresh sound which doesn’t stray too far from pop. The album is intense, youthful and energetic yet layered with sensitivity. Galaxy Media spoke to them before their performance at The Cookie, Leicester, on 23 October.
The band collaborated with producer Charlie Andrew who has worked with artists such as Marika Hackman, Alt-J, Block party and Rae Morris. When asked whether working with Charlie was daunting, Simon (vocalist) clarifies, “We’re very good friends, he’s our homeboy really. I think he’s more scared of us than we are of him. It was his idea to record the whole album live. We went into his studio full of expensive gear, rehearse in the day and then do a set at night. We’d bring friends and drink beer, essentially the whole album is like a gig. That was all his idea, he’s very good to work with. He understands what we’re about.”
Reaching the one-week milestone for their hefty tour, Sam (bassist) explains, “We’re learning loads more this time round, I think, in terms of looking after yourself – it’s all pastoral care. The day goes really quickly so we just make sure to sleep and be boring, man! We went for a really lovely long walk in the countryside today which was really good. A bit of fresh air! You don’t get it in London so it was really nice. I’m saying all the wrong things – erm, we burnt a brothel down, you know… went after the RSPCA – slashed their tires.”
After laughing about how un-rock and roll they are, Sean (drummer) says, “We moved to London about eight years ago and met this old fella [pointing to Sam] six years ago.” Before meeting Sam, the band studied music together in Lund, Sweden. Simon describes the city as “kind of like the Oxford of Sweden… an old university town.”
They have noticed a change in crowds which show up to their gigs. “It’s been quite different for us,” Simon explains, “this is the first time we’ve played to crowds that have never seen us before. It feels a bit more serious all of a sudden.” Sean elaborates, “It’s a bit more special because you have no connection to them. Just them hearing a song on the radio and then coming to see us.” Sam then adds, “It’s really nice meeting them all as well. Hearing people driving miles you suddenly feel a sense of responsibility. After the show you’re like, I hope that was good enough for the three hour drive you’ve got ahead of you to get home.”
The band are known for their bizarre music videos, ranging from an adventure of an animated ball of pubic hair to an antenatal class which ends with the band members popping out of the womb. They explain how most of the videos are their own concepts which they’ve let grow into deeply immature yet hilarious sketches. “Each one can be summed up in one phrase,” Sam jokes, “like that’s the one with the insert horrible body fluid or parts. The lovely ones are always done by someone else.”
Francobollo’s spritely attitude is infectious. Despite not pulling in the largest of crowds, their performance later that evening was bold and full of energy. There were peaks and troughs in levels of intensity with occasional intimate and mellow moments. At the end of the set, Simon exclaimed, “This is definitely the sweatiest gig we’ve ever done,” a testament to the effort the band puts into their shows.
Francobollo’s newest album, Long Live Life, is available to download and stream. For more information go to www.francobolloband.com