Photo credit @njcollinsimages
What led to you guys forming “Fortnight in Florida”?
Andrew – I wasn’t there from the very beginning so I leave this one up to the other two.
Eamonn – The band had been through a few different set-ups with members etc so once we were a bit more settled, we decided it was time to give the band a new name, Fortnight in Florida is what we decided on.
Simon – As Eamonn said, we spent a couple of years trying to work out our line up and style of music, once we;d done that it seemed right to relaunch with a new name.
How did you guys all meet & become a band?
Eamonn – I answered an ad on Gumtree. This was back when the outfit was called Gare d’ici, looked them up online, learned all the bass parts meticulously in preparation for an audition. Turned out I was the only bassist who answered the ad anyway!
Andrew – I met the guys also through gumtree. I was looking for some new and interesting projects to work on. When I first found them I thought they had a really good visual presence and great songs. I sent them some videos and recordings of me playing and then after that we met in a pub in Soho.
Simon – I’m the last to write these answers so I can see what the other two have written, but basically I put an ad out in the lonely hearts section of gumtree and these two popped up persistently – i guess I swiped right!
What’s the meaning of the name “Fortnight in Florida”?
Eamonn – It’s a little known Alan Partridge Quote. When Alan meets ‘Tex’ (Peter Serafinowicz) at the petrol garage he boasts about his travels in America saying ‘yeah, I’ve been around the states’. ‘Oh really?’ Tex replies, and asks ‘where have you been?’.
Alan – ‘Florida, mainly, yeah, Fortnight in Florida’
Simon – Spot on Eamonn, although we tend not to tell that story so readily – we’ve tried to crobar the idea that a Fortnight in Florida symbolises the escape from the daily grind, the one thing people look forward to all year round – often the anticipation of the holiday is better than the holiday itself – especially if Thomas Cook are involved.
What’s the difference from your band and all bands that are currently doing well?
Simon – I guess a pretty well funded ad campaign with our release in every bus shelter or tube billboard across the UK. We definitely strive for this.
Eamonn – I think we’re very much like them but just bubbling under the surface, ready for that lucky break that will springboard us into the mainstream. I’m thinking it could be having a track used on a car ad, or maybe we could be featured as the hold music for a utilities company customer service call centre?
Andrew – We’re well organised from within, we are all good at different aspects of what it takes to keep the machine moving. I take care of a lot of the admin side of things like booking gigs, emails, promotional, organising. Eamonn takes care of the social media side and Simon does a lot of the writing. We’re in a place now where we’ve been getting a lot more help on the promotional side of things too; like PR (Lost In The Manor) and help with releases JPM Recordings who have got some amazing remixes both for our last single and ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’ ready to be released in the near future. So we’re still very DIY which has its pros and cons but so does everything.
Can you tell us a little something about each of you?
Simon – apart from making music I also make websites and have a weekly residency as a DJ in Dalston – I play alot of alternative Brooklyn inspired Disco and House.
Eamonn – I have started a new moisturising regime and now my elbows smell like bergamot & black pepper
Andrew – One of my favorite breakfasts is croissants with a thick layer of nutella.
What inspired you guys to pursue music?
Simon – I had an affinity for it from a young age, my mother is a piano teacher and my Dad an opera singer, but I never enjoyed the grade system so pretty much gave up music in my teens – I rediscovered singing at uni at pub karaoke, and after a few actual contest triumphs I was hooked – I now prefer writing my own songs though than singing Don’t let the sun go down on me – that was used to be my party piece!
Eamonn – I thought it would be easier than doing a real job, turns out it’s much harder. But seriously, writing music is very rewarding and you end up with something that you can look back on in years to come and feel a sense of pride/achievement, that’s good for the soul.
Andrew – Looking back at school I never really enjoyed it that much, but I was always playing music. I started out in Percussion ensembles, brass band, orchestras and jazz bands before starting to join bands. My first band was a grunge band called Feral Chile. Then after my A-levels I took the leap and moved to the big smoke of London to study drums in more depth.
How would you describe your musical style as a band?
Eamonn – Party music for introverts
Andrew – Well, we’re yet to release the album In-flight Entertainment which has more of a live vibe to it. And we’ve already been working on new material for a second one. Which is a lot dryer and produced and even electronic. But in our current state I would say we are on the lines synth-pop, synth-wave sprinkled with some 80s nostalgia in there.
What artists do you guys look up to right now?
Simon – Big fan of Rufus Du Sol at the moment, gonna try seeming them at Ally Pally this month – also Metronomy, almost every act on DFA records and Boxed In.
Eamonn – There’s a cool London band I discovered recently called Zkeletonz, they’re doing a similar thing to us, but to a much more fantastical extra degree. Think Simon in a sparkling sequined waistcoat and you’re about there. Their music rocks, check them out! Apart from that I’ve been listening to Kiasmos, The Motet & Dorian Concept.
Andrew – I’ve just discovered a really cool London band called Deep Deep Water who’ve just released a new EP called Something In The Water, they’ve just sold out a gig at the Pickle Factory in London which is pretty cool. So hopefully we can get a gig with them in the New Year and get something going. Other artists on my radar/playlists at the moment are people like Four Set, The Shins, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, ALASKAALASKA, FONTAINES D.C., Maribou State are the ones I can think of right now.
You guys just released a brand new video/track called ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’ and it’s awesomely animated. Can you guys tell us about how this song + video came about?
Eamonn – Ed Micu is a very talented guy, he made us a very basic animated lyric video for our previous single and we could tell that he had some mad skills. We just gave him a bit of background about the inspiration for ‘I can’t Wait forever” and set him loose. I’m still blown away by the amount of detail, atmosphere and cinematic moments that he’s managed to produce in the video, and would like to thank him personally for the sheer amount of effort that went into it. Thanks Ed!
Andrew – Simple, good ideas are very hard to execute well. That’s what we were struggling to come up with when we were first thinking of making a music video for ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’. Then I remembered that Eduard Micu had made us a lyric video for a remix of the first single we released earlier this year ‘Easier To Lose’. It was super simple, almost retro arcade game style. Ed has some more detailed animations on his youtube channel. That’s where I saw his short animation about Donald Trump. I asked him if he could do one about ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’, gave him the back story and showed him the Edward Hopper painting with some more details on how the guys wrote the song. He was really keen and then we left him to it.
Simon – The other guys have pretty much covered the video aspect, thanks again Ed, but the song was originally inspired by the painting. The painting itself was thrown into the mix to start with as Eamonn and I were trying to write some lyrics for this track we’d started but couldn’t think of any inspiration for lyrics, so we decided to write about a topic from a third party perspective and tell our interpretation of someone else’s story.
Watch/Share ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’ via YouTube
What do you hope your supporters will think of the new music?
Simon – We hope they will like it enough that they like and share, like and share, then turn up to every gig and put all our tracks on shuffle and repeat when they go to bed at night!
Eamonn – It’s catchy, hopefully they’ll be singing it in the shower
Andrew – I think this is the strongest song we’ve released to date on the same catchiness level as Cameo. It seems to be going down really well with radio shows, blogs and on our social medias.
Are there any other projects in the works you can tell us about?
Andrew – We’ve got, I think, 3 remixes ready and waiting to be released for ‘I Can’t Wait Forever’. Other than that we’ll probably start working on the next single release, so we’ll have to pick a song for that next.
Simon – Album 2 is brewing in the wings steadily – recording in summer 2020 would be the ideal scenario…
Eamonn – Album 2, watch this space!
Why do you think social media is so important for singers today?
Simon – Hmm, well I technically don’t have a dedicated social media profile as a singer, I like being in a band and very much see the whole project as a team effort – the only diva moment I have are when there aren’t any fresh lemons during a recording session 😉
How do you want your relationship to be with your fans?
Simon – we definitely want to engage and form a close friendship – it’s amazing after a gig when a couple of people are genuinely into the music to the point they will tell their friends, start engaging on social media and actively seek out the next show. Music is so saturated, especially in London, and its so easy to dismiss things online or just like a post for likes sakes, but when someone sees you live and keeps coming without us prompting or pestering, that speaks volumes to us and literally is the fuel the makes us realise we must be doing something worth pursuing.
Eamonn – Great, it’s always nice to see some familiar faces at our gigs around London and also great to meet new fans, like our friends who we’ll be seeing down at the Priory soon, you know who you are!
Andrew – Our relationship with our fans is becoming quite personal. It’s really easy to connect with people over social media and we’ve started to make some really committed fans from being so open with them. IDELS have an amazing active community set up via their facebook page where there’s over 22,000 members from around the world who all help and support each others on a daily basis. All kinds of issues and events from their personal mental health problems to meeting up to see gigs or hanging out. I like to think that we’re about letting people leave their stressful days behind them and take a minute to relax and escape from their daily routine on the grind. It would be nice to setup a similar community for our fans too.
How has this whole music career experience been?
Eamonn – I’m lovin it
Simon – It’s like strikes and gutters, good days and bad – it sounds corny but music is it’s own reward – just having a new track in progress can be enough to get out of bed in the morning – but every now and then you get moments of sheer magic on stage and that’s a feeling that is pretty hard to beat. Sometimes people even pay us!
Andrew – I’m actually a full time musician and I love it. It can be a bit stressful at times if it’s quiet or a bit slow but that’s the life of a creative. I’m actually writing my part in this interview whilst on a 3 month European tour with an Australian folk rock band called The Wishing Well. So it’s going to be great getting back to London and gigging with the lads again.