Free Money epitomise Indie though they barely have any tunes out, yet. With their infectious riffs, effervescent rhythms and slight recklessness they are definitely a band to look out for. Upbeat, joyful and well played, doesn’t only cover the soundscape of these guys; it also describes the dynamic between the personalities in the band.
This interview was done over the phone on a Sunday night, and after trying and failing to distinguish between (not so) various voices on the crackly line, I’ve decided to let them tell you how it was, regardless of which Free Moneyperson was talking at the time.
“Me, Harry and Charlie met at art school a few years ago. We lived together and were doing different random stuff and playing music. And then, as a weird turn of events we met Mark. We all needed a drummer and then just like, met Mark in a really weird way.”
Harry was in Cardiff with some friends where Mark studied at the time, and somehow they were introduced. And then: “Well, what happened was, I was out in Cardiff, really drunk, dancing on a table. At the time, Mark and I had really similar hair.”
“Back then they used to look really similar! And now they don’t.”
“So I was out really drunk, dancing on a table, and some of Mark’s friends saw me, and then in the lecture the next day they were like: fuck dude, you were wasted last night! You were dancing on tables, kicking glasses. And he was just like: What are you talking about I was studying, what are you on about?”
A few days later I was walking down the road and Mark sees me and his friend says: that’s the guy! That’s fake you! And Mark is like: holy shit, I know that guy! And he goes “Harry”, and we said hello and we had a kiss, and then Mark finished uni, and he moved to London and we were all like, “why don’t you be the drummer in our trio? That’s basically the story.”
Who wouldn’t want ‘Free Money’. But choosing a name proved difficult.
“We thought it’s be funny and be like junk mail. In fact, when we started the band in may our email was FreeMoney and it backfired really bad. we were like, why the fuck is no one answering? We didn’t realise that with firstname.lastname@example.org all our emails would go to peoples spam folders and they weren’t getting them. Se we just felt really unloved.”
Last time I caught up with these guys was after their tumultuous set at Flying Vinyl’s Oxjam. They compared their sound to the way the bass player, Charlie, dresses, adding: “When I’m writing songs with my boys I like to think that ‘if my grandma was hearing this now, what would she think?’ – and that’s always in the back of my mind.”
Time flies and going back to the same question, the answer has moved on:
“It’s pop music with guitar, like, energetic and fast. We want people to be able to dance to it.”
“We didn’t want to sound like a particular genre. That’s why we sound like we sound, cause we haven’t modelled our sound on anyone else.”
That is, except Charlie: “The way Charlie plays his bass guitar, I think that has a big influence on our sound. The rhythm section is really important in our band.”
The London scene is certainly flourishing with new bands popping up all the time, and this also makes for a highly competitive environment. “One of the pros of being a band in London is that there are lots of really fucking good bands around. And it makes you want to be better than them.”
When I previously spoke to Free Money last October we discussed the different aspects of the East London music scene. “It is cliché as fuck. I love it. It’s great fun, people are fun, loving the cliché.” And though the cliché still seems to be in place, there have been changes.
“I don’t really feel like there’s a huge East London scene at the moment. There’s that whole thing going on in south London and that’s really cool. The east London thing just kind of feels like it’s dwindling a bit.”
Though Free Money doesn’t have heaps of tunes out, they definitely seem to get the hang on their social media content. With a stream of consciousness approach, the guys shares an almost unfiltered insight to their escapades. And though they tried, they admit to not taking it all that seriously.
“I don’t think we have social media as a thing on our agenda, it kind of just happens. It’s good, it’s very good, it’s fun.”
“From a fan point of view you wanna see behind the scenes. Depending on the band it’s good to have some kind of mystery, but we’re just a group of lads having a laugh. We’re too silly.”
For the future we can expect the four piece toi finally release some tunes, though no dates have been set as yet.
Here are their quick answers to a final round of questions on a phone connection going from bad to worse.
Stoked and broke or rich and miserable?
We are pretty stoked and broke so we already have one side.
Guitar riffs or bass lines?
Bass lines, but guitar riffs as well.
Vinyl or streaming?
Vinyl! It’s nice to have a tangible object of art. Or, maybe streaming? It’s modern. It’s all great.
Late nights or early mornings?
Late nights! Or, can we do both? I’m not a huge fan of sleeping.
Drake or Rihanna?
Drake’s a wanker!
Rihanna ft. Drake though?
We’re half and half there.
What have you done!
And finally, after almost breaking up Free Money.
East London or West London?
East London! East is the best. Or, I prefer North London but.