Fat White Family have been using John Lennon’s old Beatles equipment while working on their second album at his son Sean Lennon’s recording studio in New York City.
The south London band’s new album is being co-produced by Lennon after the band met him at a performance at SXSW last year. Work on the record is currently taking place at Lennon’s state-of-the-art studio in a remote upstate mansion owned by Yoko Ono.
In NME’s 50 New Bands For 2015 issue, which is on newsstands now and available digitally, Fat White Family discussed using John Lennon’s old gear on the album as well as their relationship with Sean. “Almost everything we pick up, Sean’ll be like, ‘Oh that was my dad’s’,” guitarist Saul Adamczewski said. “We’ve been using this old mellotron of his – I don’t know if it’s the one on ‘Strawberry Fields…’, but for the sake of the story, let’s just say it is.”
Adamczewski added that the band didn’t know who Lennon was when they first met and were more interested in his girlfriend. “She’s in his band and she’s stunning, so we were all staring at her going, ‘Oh my god, who’s that girl?'” he recalled. “Joe [Pancucci, bassist] kept trying to chat her up; he kept approaching her, and she kept moving away. It was our old drummer who approached Sean, kissing his arse, basically, so they hit it off and he took us all out for dinner. He’s a cool bloke. A strange bloke.”
Lennon, meanwhile, described the band as “chaotic and out of control” with “very extreme personalities”. “When they first came over to stay, things got… messy,” he said. “My roommates are Nels Cline from Wilco and Yuka Honda from Cibo Matto, and they’re an older generation; they weren’t used to the house being a den of iniquity. [Fat Whites] sort of remind me of the Wu-Tang Clan, because they all have very extreme personalities and it feels like a miracle when you get them in the same room together. But they can be a lot nicer than they appear. The reputation is real, but at the same time, it isn’t.”
Fat White Family’s debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’ was released in 2013. The band are on the line-up for the NME Awards Tour 2015 with Austin Texas, alongside Palma Violets, The Amazing Snakeheads and Slaves.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, the annual tour will begin in Sheffield on February 19, stopping off in Leeds, Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham, Manchester, Oxford, Birmingham, Bristol and Portsmouth before a final gig on March 4 at The Forum in Kentish Town, north London.
Sheffield Leadmill (February 19)
Leeds O2 Academy (2)
Newcastle O2 Academy (21)
Glasgow O2 ABC (22)
Nottingham Rock City (24)
Manchester Ritz (26)
Oxford O2 Academy (27)
Birmingham Institute (28)
Bristol O2 Academy (March 2)
Portsmouth, Pyramids (3)
London Forum (4)
NME’s annual Radar issue features the best new bands set to dominate 2015. Listen to a playlist of NME’s top 50 picks here.