"I think i'm more influenced by the people i know, what's going on in my life really"
© Laura Lewis
Nathan Fake grew up near Norwich attending a school where being into music made you an outsider. With early interest in the electronic scene coming from the likes of Aphex Twin and Orbital, Fake began to acquire his own gear to experiment with and released his first material on James Holden’s Border Community label. Since then Fake had a steady stream of releases. He has just released his 5th studio album: "Blizzards", returning to his own Cambria Instruments label. We had the opportunity to talk to him, so enjoy your reading and see his next projects.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
I was introduced to electronic music by hearing it on the radio and tv when i was a kid basically... stuff like The Prodigy, Orbital, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin etc. very mainstream stuff really as i grew up in a rural part of England so mainstream media was pretty much all there was.
DJs and producers often mention their musical education came through their family’s record collection. Was this the case for you? Can you pick out any pivotal records from your upbringing that informed your musical journey?
I got into Orbital when my brother borrowed one of their albums off a friend of his and i ended up listening to it also.. but other than that no, i discovered stuff really independantly mostly.
When was it when you first decided that you wanted to become a professional musician?
Hard to say when that moment is really... i mean if you get into making music at whatever age, you probably dream of doing it professionally at some point but it might just be a pipe dream or whatever, depending on where your ambition lies, some people just want to make music without thinking about it as a profession or something. i spent most my teens making stuff but it wasn't until i got interest from labels that i realistically started thinking "oh i could do this professionally", or at least make some money from it etc.
Were artists such as Boards of Canada and the Warp back catalogue influential in the development of your personal music taste?
Yes totally, i think a lot of people of my generation who are into electronic music probably reference Warp as a big influence. I got into BOC in the late 90s but i didn't explore the rest of Warp til later really
What is upcoming in the world of Nathan Fake?
Well i've just released an album, i'm hoping after coronavirus dies down i'll be able to go on tour with it as planned.
Which artists have your interest these days?
Lately i've been listening to afrodeutsche a lot, weird now as we actually have the same mananger now but i was listening to her stuff before that, hahah. also my friend Petter aka Pedrodollar is making amazing stuff right now. i mean he's been making stuff for years and it's always been super good but the stuff he's making right now is pretty unique and special.
Tell us about your affinity and history with Norwich?
I was born there and i grew up there... not sure what else to say really haha!
‘The Sky Was Pink’ is that a reference to Norwich?
Not really... well not at all. That was just a kind of psychedelic abstract kinda thing. I guess i like fantastical kind of imagery in my music.
What influenced the album title 'Drowning In A Sea Of Love’?
It's a fleetwood mac lyric. But lord knows why i actually chose it as the album title actually. It just came to me and sort of totally felt right for the album. I think i kind of meant it ironically. But it's also a good title in itself i guess. haha.
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it influence your live? and producing?
I don't know if i am really... I mean i lived in London for years, and i wouldn't say the music i made there was particularly "urban" sounding or whatever for example. as long as i have a comfortable living and working space i can just make whatever really, i think i'm more influenced by the people i know, what's going on in my life really.
When it comes to producing what are you using, analogue or digital?
Both! i think most people use both these days. Well i think they always have really, since the 80s etc.
How would you define your sound?
Haha, never ask a musician that, you'll get a very vague and very long boring answer. it's just electronic music. i don't know how to describe it.
Any labels that you are enjoying at the moment?
I really like LIES, Hospital Productions, Apron and Cambria Instruments, haha
There used to be a lot of visuals used for your shows - is this the same now and do you have much of an input into this?
The last few years i had visuals but the "Blizzards" tour will be just minimal lighting and darkness.
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work?
I work at home anyway so the work side of things is basically completely unaffected in terms of the studio. i'm obv highly affected with touring though like every other musician at the moment..
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
Yes it's a very strange time socially, i'm fortunate enough that i or no-one i know has been directly affected by the disease but there's definitely a lot of anxiety around at this time and i'm find it quite hard to carry on as normal to be honest. I imagine the music/entertainment industry will be really hit hard by this and may take quite some time to recover...