South London garage rockers The Fades have been big favourites here at Joyzine since our very earliest days, so we were delighted to hear the news of an imminent (and long overdue) follow-up to their superb 2012 debut album Ragnarok, and equally thrilled and baffled to be invited to take part in its recording at the wonderful Brixton Hill Studios last year – if you listen carefully you’ll hear Joyzine editor Paul Maps’ dulcet tones in the group backing vocals alongside members of Hurtling, Hot Sauce Pony, Dead Patrons and more great bands, and he even added some percussive wooden frog to album closer ‘Wake Up Generation’.
The finished article Night Terrors is everything we’d hoped it would be – blasts of frantic punk rock that would compel even the most stoic of wallflowers into a dancefloor pogoing frenzy, but we weren’t expecting the vintage girl band backing vocals that lift several of the tracks with moments of light-hearted melody or the occasional sunshine bursts of laid-back reggae that bring a completely different dimension to the high energy guitar rampages that pepper the album elsewhere.
We caught up with frontman Dave Lightfoot for a track by track guide to the new record.
Time is Right:
This track came about when we first got back into the rehearsal studio together after being locked down for so long. It’s literally the sound of us gushing with joy at being able to play music live in a room together again. The ‘Time is Right’ to move forward and get on with living life to the full.
You Follow Me Around:
This track is an allegory for a harassing ex-partner. Written about my cat who would follow me from room to room and lurk everywhere I went, whilst also dealing with a very difficult campaign of stalking from an ex-girlfriend.
Going with the theme of the album and the things that come into your mind to haunt and hound you when you can’t sleep late at night, this track describes the loneliness and apathy of a very tired person. Your mind telling you that you can’t do something and resigning to that fact, so you try to convince yourself that you don’t want to do it anyway.
Drives Me On:
This song is about getting overwhelmed with all your thoughts and feelings. Trying to get yourself out of a rut and move forward. Telling someone that they are the person who helps you do that. The lifeblood that drives you on. A love song, an ode to a true friend.
Lost My Job:
Times are tough and seem to only be getting tougher. When you’re tossing and turning at night, money troubles are certainly one of the most prominent worries. This track talks about the pain of having to sell all of your stuff on Ebay after losing your job and trying to get help with finances. Trying to clear debts that are spiralling out of control.
People In General:
This song is a rant about the escalating lunacy and bad news around humankind during this very difficult recent time. Where ultimately you realise that although people in general can be maddening and moronic, they can also be quite wonderful and we’re not all bad.
A tale of two halves, a raucous raging rock track with shouty vocals that evaporates into a more relaxed psychedelic monologue featuring Les ’Fruitbat’ Carter from Carter USM
The culmination of all your fears, hopes and worries – the Night Terrors. A lot of introspection, dwelling on regrets and times gone by, but also hopes and change for the future. Inspired to try and make changes and get the most out of the time you have. We were really enjoying the rolling vibe of the riff and the track bounces along until the end where we wanted to go off into an instrumental, slightly psychedelic climax, like the feeling you get when you finally drift off to sleep and escape your thoughts.
Known It All Along:
This track is about that feeling of anxiety and paranoia when you think everyone is talking about you or conspiring against you. Perhaps there is that one person who is making your life a misery and you’ve known it all along….
We came up with this on the day of recording the album. We wanted to do some sort of long musical focussed jam. The track moves along on a slightly trippy mainly instrumental tip, that grows in dynamics culminating in a big crescendo with a chorus of voices and delay. The message behind the words is that sometimes you must try and let go of all the crap inside your head weighing you down.
Wake Up Generation:
The final track on the album is a light-hearted relief after the madness of the previous track. I think we were subconsciously influenced by the song ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’…. It’s about trying not to keep thinking your life away. Take a pause and wake up and live in the moment. Enjoy your time before it’s too late.
We were lucky to be joined by a load of our friends on this one (and a few other tracks on the album) who provide backing vocals and general merriment on the record. It was a really wonderful experience creating this record and I think it comes across on the album. Thank you to everyone who helped us and everyone who has joined us on this incredible journey.
Find out more on The Fades’ official website
Article by Paul Maps
Photo by Jorge J Delgado