If you read our review of Friday at Wilkestock you will have seen that one of the best performances of the day (or technically of Saturday morning), was from Fiende Fatale. This glorious bunch of lunatics from London are Matthew Magee (Vox & Guitar), James Bowman (Bass), Rolph Angelucci-Edwards (Guitar) and Dom Bowman (Drums). After they and we had recovered, we caught up with them and asked a few pertinent questions. They in turn gave us a glimpse into their weird and wonderful world.
That was a great set and performance at Wilkestock Festival, but more of that later. How and when did you meet and form the band?
“We met at an all-boys Catholic comprehensive in Finchley. We’ve been playing with ourselves and each other for years (with some notable gaps in the CV while Matt and Rolph were backpacking in Hades) but the current line up formed in 2018, with the new and vital addition of the Bourbon kid James Bowman on bass.”
Fiende Fatale is a great name, where did it come from and is there a meaning behind it?
“Fiende Fatale, the name is a phrase used to described British dandies in the late 19th Century, with connotation of duplicity and double-dealing, as in: ‘He’s a charming fellow, but something of a Fiende Fatale’. It was suggested to us by a one-legged medium in Lambeth during a reading back in 1924.”
Who would you say influenced you and your sound?
“Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Warren Zevon, The Waterboys, Marilyn Manson, Nick Cave, Scott Walker and, obviously, Jesus Christ, the canonical Gospels and David Bowie.”
You are not easy to pigeon hole, and I guess that is the point. How would you describe your music?
You have assembled some pretty good numbers. Are there new ones in the pipeline, and are you planning an EP/LP?
“Yes, we are sitting on five newly recorded tracks at the moment, and many more currently being tested on animals or undergoing clinical trials. Next single is out January, which will be followed by an EP in the Spring.”
Your live sets are pretty impressive. Do you find it hard to maintain that dynamic in the studio?
“That is a very good question. It is hard. We keep it simple, we stay open to suggestions, and we let loose. There is never any shortage of energy (although Dom usually has a kip as soon as the drumming’s done because he doesn’t get much sleep). Shout out to producer Paul Tipler for his sonic midwifery.”
As I said at the start, your set at Wilkestock was epic, and Matt ended up bloodier than Sid Vicious at the Dallas Longhorn Ballroom. Was that a typical Fiende Fatale gig? Please let people know what to expect from one of your gigs.
“Every Fiende Fatale gig is a typical Fiende Fatale gig. Lots of different things happen. Who knows — sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Halloween show 2nd November at Dublin Castle will be one to watch, that will be a treat.”
What was your best gig and why?
“We played to 500 recovering drug addicts in an aircraft hanger in Poland. I don’t think that even needs an explanation why.”
What famous person, real life, or fictional would you each like in the band and why?
Rolph: “Francis Bacon for artwork and relationship counselling”
Matt: “Oscar Wilde for PR and social media management”
James: “Mr Blobby because he’s had a hell of a career and is an all-out rockstar”
Dom: “Pat Butcher with a fag hanging out her mouth on the merch stand”
What is next for Fiende Fatale?
“To stay on the right side of the Revolution, make a fortune in the aftermath once all the capitalists have been beheaded, buy an island and turn it into a gigantic studio complex, pioneer some kind of new anti-anti-movement. Otherwise if none of that works out we are looking for an old fart to throw an enormous amount of money at us so we can buy lots of new toys and have our own studio, with more creative freedom from the Man, etc. So really next is just keep on the journey, keep working on the next song, the next video, the next idea. The next thing is always the most important. All we want is to be able to keep doing what we’re doing and share it with as many people (and animals) as possible.”
And finally, I was mightily impressed by all of your acting skills in the video for Mr Smith, but I have to say, Matt you don’t look like the maternal type. What would be your advice to all the mothers out there?
“As a mother myself I know what it’s like. Watch out for the signs, strange markings, unusual behaviour. Regular holy water applications, Mass every Sunday for at least the first 16 years, all the appropriate sacraments, a solid foundation in scripture (although not too much detailed knowledge because that’s for Protestants).
If it’s a boy force him to play football. If it’s a girl make sure she knows how to make herself look presentable. If there is any indication of a predilection for sodomy, turn a blind eye — there is always confession, and mortal sins are always much more delicious behind closed doors.
A comprehensive understanding of ancient cultures and practices is essential for having a proper footing in the modern world. If your child expresses an interest in pagan/heathen religions or the dark arts, do not discourage them. Always remember the parable of the Prodigal Son. They will come back, and you will greet them with open arms.”
Having experienced the Fiende Fatale experience I would highly recommend seeing them live. If you do, just check to see if Pat is there with a fag on at the merch stand. If she is pick up whatever you can, dust the ash off and expect the unexpected. Keep an eye out for this band, they are going places and may be appearing in a Polish aircraft hanger near you.
You can see them a little closer to home at the following venues;
Nov 2nd – Live Circuit: Castle Of Horrors All Dayer at Dublin Castle, Camden, London
Nov 14th – Appearing with LIFE at The Horn, St Albans
Interview with Fiende Fatale by Tony Creek with Photography by Paul Lyme September 2019