Multi-instrumentalists Dave Fendick and Jonny Hooker first played together in a band called Vib Gyor, an acronym for ‘Violet, indigo, blue. Green, yellow, orange, red’ – the colours of the rainbow in order of wavelength. Their new group also has an interesting name; Fossil Collective. What does that mean?
“Nothing really. Fossil’s just a good word”.
Dave, through a thick Leeds accent, explains that ‘collective’ is the important term “it’s more of a project than a band. It’s a collective of musicians rather than the conventional thing of bass, guitar, drums, whatever. We can get people in to play stuff like harps and trumpets, this way we don’t have to limit ourselves.”
Dave left Vib Gyor in 2010 along with the drummer Jonny who traded in his sticks for a ukulele and guitar. Their new creation, Fossil Collective, is a decidedly more mellow affair, the only hints of the duo’s experimental-rock past to be found is the muted wailing of slide-guitar straining through on tracks like Everything But You Was Facing North.
“We did some great things with Vib, we got an iTunes single of the week and got to tour America, but we didn’t have as much creative freedom. We’d be playing this post-rock music and then coming home and listening to Neil Young and Bob Dylan. We also were getting very interested in three and four part harmonies from bands like Fleetwood Mac and Stills and Nash and even Bon Iver. It sort of came to a natural conclusion where we had to break away. But it’s paid off in the long term, Fossil Collective is just a more honest representation of what we want to be.”
The duo have a huge internet presence, regularly interacting with their fans through Twitter and Reddit. When one YouTube commenter mentioned how they had trouble figuring out the chords to their song, they replied by telling them it was easier with a capo and transcribed the chord progression. When on tour, they turn to their Facebook followers to find out where the best local places to get veggie breakfasts are.
“One of the things that frustrates me about a lot of bands is that they don’t break down that fourth wall and interact with fans. It’s really important and so easy with today’s technology, but still so few seem to do it.”
And the veggie breakfasts?
“Ha. We’re both vegetarians. It’s nothing to do with the band, it’s just something that we feel quite strongly about. When we’re on tour our bass player Antonio is sort of a vegetarian by default because we always eat at the same places. When he went home, he ate some meat and threw up. Our guitarist Sean though, he’d eat at McDonald’s four times a day.”
First Published by VenueOne.ie in June 2012
It can be found online at: http://venueone.com/#!/blog/interview-fossil-collective/