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NAS 10 Questions with Filthy Laugh

This time, we get to know Filthy Laugh. Their track "Grey Sea" is now featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

Band Members: Alex Jackson (guitar/bass/vocals/synth), Adam Collins (drums/bass/sound-effects), Dom Finnegan (bass), Cara Kennedy (backing vocals), Danielle O'Driscoll (strings), Hannah Mallon (strings), Ale Aparicio (piano/keys), Alastair Lutton (clarinet)

𝟭. Where are you from and what is your hobby?

The core band members are Dom, Adam and myself (Alex) who met when we were at uni in London but we're all scattered across the country now so we don't really have a home town or city. It's safe to say our main hobby is music (writing, recording, playing it). As individuals we've always got a few different projects on the go (for example Dom makes music as Yellow Belly, Adam drums in a few other bands and I play solo at open mics locally).

𝟮. How did your get into music?

Dom and I (Alex) formed Filthy Laugh in 2016 and met Adam at one of our first gigs. Each of us (including all the additional musicians who feature on Building This Carpark) have built upon a love of music from a young age and, though we're far from expert musicians, we have enough drive to get satisfaction from performing and contributing to the constantly developing style of Filthy Laugh.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

For Building This Carpark, which Grey Sea is on, the biggest song-writing influence has probably been folk music. From this nucleus or "story" of the song, Adam has experimented with different rhythms and percussive sounds to flesh out the song. Then the other musicians are free to add layers of extra instruments as they see fit and by this point the song could be quite stylistically different from the original vision, which we find to be quite a beautiful thing. Thus, it's quite a complex picture of influences, difficult to say "we sound like X or Y". One thing is true, we do listen to our old music to try and build on what we like and avoid things that didn't really work. Songs tend to fall together without any specific idea of what the end product will be like, which is quite an enjoyable way to make music!

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

We'd like to play live at some point. We didn't have much time when we all lived in or around London to play live (for one thing we all had our uni work and our real lives to sort out) so our music has almost entirely been an online collaboration. Fortunately, we've had space recently to work on our social media and self-producing and releasing an album, so when we do play, we might get some fans looking in who are familiar with some of our stuff. We're not really poised to do music as a career because we're not massively outward-looking, reacting to trends, etc, but we'd like to be able to break even on travel costs and things so we're not creating an unnecessary financial burden for the band members interested in gigging.

5. If you could choose a location to perform at, what would it be?

Wherever really, but a good atmosphere is essential. We're not really interested in playing in unfriendly or lairy places which want us to be something we're not. To give an example from my solo gigs, open mics are wonderfully friendly, relaxed places full of people interested in listening to whatever you have prepared, something like this is preferable for us over a crowd where people like hearing recognisable covers.

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

My gosh, even if I was just answering for myself it'd be so difficult considering how long music has been a part of my life. Sorry to be boring, but I don't feel like I have the affirmative to pick a common Filthy Laugh favourite.

7. Most embarrassing moment?

A close relative of mine (Alex here) asked why we called the band "Filthy Mind" once.. If the others can top this, I'd love to hear it. I hope with a greater scope for gigs in the future, we'll generate more hilarious anecdotes to reel out on the Graham Norton Show. Who knows?

8. Proudest accomplishment?

Building This Carpark is an album which, though it was principally piloted by Adam and I, represents the greatest turning point for Filthy Laugh. The first spotify release, the first time we made physical merch (cassettes and cds sold on bandcamp) and the most work gone into a coherent collage (is that a thing?) of us reflected in our musical ideas.

9. What is something about you that might surprise someone who knows you the best?

We barely know each other in truth. We've met only really a handful of times in real life and most of our chats, had online, are about musical ideas, not about our personal lives. These questions for NAS have actually drawn attention to how little I know of the others. With future gigs I really hope to get to know the other collaborators more. We shared a city for uni but we're all unique and have our own stories to tell.

𝟭𝟬. What is your dream collaboration?

Funnily enough (though this is sort of a cop out of an answer) my dream collaboration is simply a live environment with the members of our own band; something we've had so little of. Maybe in a year's time there'll be more that we can say about where we belong in the landscape; who we feel we belong with and why. Until then, we're happy exploring our own semi-formed collaboration!

Stream "Grey Sea" now

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