Exposure: Gong Fei
Gong Fei are a trio from Dundee: a city fast adapting to an accelerating musical culture, at least in terms of that which buries it's head beneath the mainstream. Along with bands like Thews, Spyamp, and Popolo to name but a few, Gong Fei are slowly poking their heads outwith the city of discovery, and with an equal grasp on hard hits and raucous melody, their songs will surely stand a good chance of claiming bodies across the nation and beyond, starting with their assault on T in The Park next month.
To give you a brief introduction before that though, here's some words from all three members:
How did you all meet/form the band?
Matt Long, drums: When Dan and I first met we hated each other.
Dan Faichney, guitar/vocals: Not much has changed in the intervening 14 years, although now we've managed to work out an arrangement whereby we can cohabit.
Mike Lennie, bass/vocals: I met the fellas about 3 years ago. They were standing on a street corner giving me, and each other, abuse. I went with the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' school of thought.
Dan: In all seriousness, we met Mike in Dundee and bonded through a mutual appreciation of all things good as opposed to all things shite.
Where exactly did the name come from?
Mike: It's an ancient Chinese secret
Had any of you been in any other bands before this?
Mike: I've been playing in bands with varying degrees of extremely minor success for most of the 'noughties', through which i learned some pearls of wisdom which I applied to this band.
Dan: Matt and i've been playing together for longer than propriety would logically allow.
What would consider to be your biggest musical influences/inspirations? Do you all have similar tastes?
Matt: My mum.
Dan and Mike (together): Yeah, Matt's mum.
Did you have any set idea on what kind of music you wanted to make from the onset or was it just a good old fashioned case of trial and error?
Mike: The three of us had tried to get a band together a few times in the past but it never seemed to properly crystalise until we put any kind of idea of a musical plan to the side and just jammed.The songs pretty much wrote themselves.
Dan: I guess we had to adopt some kind of a work ethic and forcably drag each other down to the practice room every Friday.
How would you rate the music scene in Dundee?
Matt: There's a lot going on that isn't getting the attention it deserves, a lot more than the jangly guitar pop that the wider music press acknowledges.
Mike: There's been a problem of late with venues closing down and suchlike, but there are many fine, fine musical acts doing their thing such as Spyamp, Thews, Popolo, Pensioner, Avast!, The Hazey Janes blah blah blah
Do you have a favourite place to play yet?
Matt: Still looking, any offers?
Mike: The Balcony bar is really good and Kage nightclub has come into its own as a venue recently. We played at a house party in February, that was the most fun venue i've ever experienced. That is both a statement of fact and an invitation to offers.
Dan: I'm a fan of both The Balcony and Drouthies. I like 'em small and sweaty.
Are there plans for any releases in the pipeline?
Matt: Well i'm glad you asked, at the moment we're working on our Greatest Hits collection.
Dan: We've assembled the cream of our early output into the shape of an LP with the help of our good friend Ross Middlemiss.
Mike: We're in the process of getting artwork together, with the help of our good friend Ali Smith, and should have physical copies ready in the not too distant future.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Mike: We're still a very new band and we're definitely still finding our feet in many ways. I think the plan is to work on some more accomplished material and pretty much gig whenever and wherever. Like the Shakira song.
Dan: Right now finishing the album is pressing on my mind, and we hope to tour come the autumn
Matt: In the immediate future, preparing and optimising for T in the Park is our priority. And gaining some more mad skillz.
Drouthies (with Cha Cha Heels) Dundee, Tue 16 Jun; Drouthies (supporting Ildessyen Call), Dundee Thu 18 Jun; Mucky Mulligans w/Versaille, Perth, Sat 20 Jun, Drouthies Dundee, Tue 30 Jun.