Sounds x Interview: Just Like Fruit

Just Like Fruit are an alternative rock ‘n’ roll band, hailing from South London. The band is made up of Kieran Matthews on rhythm guitar, Dion Mason-Poole on vocals, Ryan Melbourne-Hurley on bass guitar, Erwin Lotasz on drums and Taran Pring on Lead guitar.

Having played dozens of shows across Europe and the UK, the blues-loving five-piece have been chaotically busy since forming in 2016. They released their highly-praised debut EP, On the Door, in December 2016 with QM records. Since then, the alt-rock group have performed regularly for well-known Sofar Sounds London, alongside an impressive two-day residency for Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art.

With the band having a new song out for March 15th – “Steady Eddie” – I wanted to interview them to find out more about the impending release, exciting plans for 2019, and what Just Like Fruit is all about. We’ve met at Camden’s iconic music venue, The Roundhouse. Just Like Fruit arrive with a relaxed and warm welcome. I reach over for cordial handshakes, but the band are down for a friendly hug. I like these guys already. Sat with refreshments in tow, and having had a brief chit-chat about getting lost on route, I begin.

How did Just Like Fruit come together?

Ryan: I guess it started with Kieran and Dion.

Kieran: Yeah, we used to live together.

Ryan: Both of these two lived next door to each other, and somewhere down the line, Taran and Dion met at a festival.

Taran: I’ve known Dion since I was a little kid.

Ryan: We went to Richmond College in Twickenham and met these guys when we had done a music course there. Dion was doing acting. But we started a band because there was a talent show there. So, we won that!

In an interview for Balcony TV, you described your sound as “charismatic,” “rough around the edges.: What music were you guys influenced by when growing up? Has that filtered into Just Like Fruit’s sound?

Ryan: I guess so, I think we are all influenced by different things. We’ve all had different upbringings and genres I guess. It’s different.

Dion: There’s a big collection of things and I think we just like to strip it back a bit.

Your lyricism is really interesting and unconventional, such as in On the Door, a personal favourite. Does the band song write collectively? What is the songwriting process for you?

 Ryan: On the Door was written a while ago…unconventional? That’s good.

Kieran: I mainly write. I try to song write every day. If I get an idea or like something triggers an idea, I just sit there and write a song about it. I tend to write the lyrics on my phone. Or if I don’t write it down, I just record a home demo.

You guys recently shared that your track, “Fun Fair,” is going to be on this year’s Best of Richer Sounds album on Instagram. That’s awesome. If you had to choose, what would be your favourite record of all time?

Erwin: Mines the Brown album by The Band. They’re like an old sixties, seventies band.

Ryan: It’s a hard call, it really is. I tend to just try and not have favourites anymore. A classic would be, for me, There’s a Riot Going On by Sly and the Family Stone. I love that record.

Dion: There are a few things! I quite like Steely Dan Countdown to Ecstasy. That sort of thing.

You guys have been super busy since forming. From releasing On the Door and “Gone Gone Gone” to recording your new release, “Steady Eddie,” it seems like it’s been non-stop! What is the recording, producing, and mixing process for you?

 Ryan: We did it here, at The Roundhouse. We basically get into a room together and just play. We play it live.

Taran: And then we’ll do overdubs. So, we do the main part of the song together.

Ryan: We try and keep what we do to the song to a minimum. Try to keep it as, like you said, as rough around the edges as we can. Here it’s been different. With the new songs that have been done here, they record it and they’ve got producer rooms here. So, we’ve been doing a lot of it ourselves.

Dion: The mix is pretty much us.

Erwin: But we have our guy in Stoke who does the mastering for us!

 It’s noted that you have played “hundreds of gigs across Europe and the UK.” Where has been your favourite gig? What made it your fave?

Taran: Wow, the most fun has definitely been Nice.

Dion: Patterns in Brighton was a good one. Lots of family and friends.

Taran: When we played at the Spice of Life.

Ryan: That was a good gig too. They’re all coming back now, aren’t they? In Scotland, we got a chance to have a residency in the Modern Art Gallery in Glasgow for two days. Kieran put in a petition for it. They picked us to do it so we ended up recording our own EP in there. Set up our things and made it a bit more experimental.

Erwin: We wanted to show people what the course of recording is because you never really see that.

 “Steady Eddie” is a corker, that’s for sure! What is the track about? When will it be released?

Kieran: I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s not really about anything. It was just some fun really. We kept adding more and more to it.

Dion: It could be about when people really get on their feet and they call them “Steady Eddie.”

Ryan: I feel like that would make sense of the song.

Dion: Yeah, just trying to find your feet and do your own thing.

Ryan: It’s going to be released on the 15th of March and we have a release gig in Notting Hill on the same day at Mau Mau Bar.

 Should we be anticipating some more new releases this year?

 Taran: Yes, two or three, I think.

Ryan: We’ve got three or four in the volt. We’re planning them out because, before, in the past, we’ve had them out all in one go. Now we’re releasing them with more of a strategy I guess.

 Do you find you need a social media strategy for sharing new music?

Ryan: Definitely, things move so fast nowadays. Even scrolling is fast. The amount of things people see is crazy. You need to keep the fire burning a lot more. Music is released a lot slower nowadays. There used to be a few albums released per year.

Dion: With it, if you put a video of your song up, it seems better than just a song.

Taran: People will listen to the track and watch at the same time. It’s about their attention span.

 What gigs have you got coming up?

 Erwin: Our Notting Hill gig at the Mau Mau Bar, on the 15th of March, is the main one so far. We are just pushing the gig as much as possible.

 If you had to describe Just Like Fruit in three words, what would they be?

 Taran: I think fun.

Dion: Distinctive. If you listen to us, you know it’s us.

Ryan: Quirky or interesting? Interesting.

 Lastly, a little cliché, but nonetheless, future goals for Just Like Fruit?

Taran: To get signed.

Dion: To play at all the festivals like Glastonbury. That would be a big achievement.

Erwin: A mad tour of the world.

Ryan: There is something, in the near future I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. Because we’re always jamming and playing blues, I’d like to do a 24-hour blues jam. So, there’s getting that together. Getting the funding for it, hopefully. And then keeping us up for it. That’s a goal as well.

 Listen here to Just Like Fruit’s “Gone Gone Gone” here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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