Fastlane

author PP date 09/08/06

Guildford's own pop punk act Fastlane has steadily been increasing their fanbase through extensive touring across the UK. They've supported the likes of New Found Glory, and [Spunge], and played in front of thousands at the Taste Of Chaos tour. Their album "New Start" is one of the best pop punk records released this year, and it has received great reviews everywere on the net, so we decided to send our questionnaire their way to get some answers to the questions that have been circulating around our minds for some time now. Matt, the lead guitarist, took some of his precious time off to answer our questions after a presumably rough time the night before. Read on to know what he had to say about touring, copy protections and major labels.

Please describe your sound to those readers who do not already know it.

Hard to describe really!! Its a mixture of loads of rock based genres so just have a listen!

Who are your favorite bands?

Children of Bodom, The Beach Boys, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Loads...

Is Fastlane your full time commitment yet, or do you still work/study?

Full time.

I've heard some rumours that before landing a deal with Suckapunch records, you were approached by several major labels. Is this true? If so, why did you choose Suckapunch over the majors, and which labels approached you?

We had A bunch of labels come watch us, pretty much all the majors, and the general conclusion was they didnt have a clue how to market us because they saw as a cross between a rock band and a boy band. One of them (Mushroom fuckin idiots!!) thought we were manufactured, had our songs written for us and had stylists and stuff....thats what majors are like!

What were your main influences or inspirations for "New Start"?

I dont know really we all listen to such a wide range of musical styles and stuff its hard to put down influences as such.

What's your favorite song on the album?

Comfortable Silence

"New Start" has received great reviews everywhere. However, the mainstream media like Kerrang! failed to rate the album as high as most of the online magazines (KKK). Are Kerrang! just a bunch of twats, or why do you think you only received three K's?

Nah theyre not its just were not american and were not on a major label that pays the magazine hundreds of thousands of pounds in advertizing and surprise surprise their bands get wicked reviews.

Your sound is, in my opinion, perfect for The Starting Line/Fall Out Boy-loving Americans. Have you released "New Start" in the US yet?

No not yet were still in talks with licencing deals over there. Were british tho so its gonna be tricky...

Do you think it's harder to make it big when you're a British band as opposed to being American?

Haha Jackpot!!!! Yeah its a fuckin nightmare

I understand you've finished writing for your new album. How long did it take you to compose it?

Have we? lol nah weve got a few ideas and stuff floating around but we have no plans as to when or where were gonna record it yet.

Does it have a title yet?

Nope

When can we expect it to hit the stores?

Maybe late next year i guess ish.....

What about samples/streams/mp3s of it? When can we expect to get the first new song up to Myspace?

Not for a while yet!!!

What has been your favorite Fastlane gig to date, and why?

Ummm fuck i dunno theyre have been a few...The New Found Glory shows were awesome, Playing at the Astoria was wicked....Taste of Chaos was a stupid amount of people but i personally didnt enjoy it that much...lots!!

What about the worst?

Fuck i dont know there have been a shitload of those over the years...

Describe the craziest thing happened to you on stage:

Umm top of my head....dont know!! Lol i had some bloke a few weeks back at the front undoing my shoelaces everytime i put my foot on the moniter and then his girlfriend would do them back up again, that happened like 6 times it was a bit fuckin wierd!

You've played the Brixton Windmill which barely fitted 40 people, and you've played in front of thousands at the Taste Of Chaos tour. What size of venue do you prefer?

Its totally depends on the crowd. You can have massive shows that are really good or really shit and the same with more intimate shows.

Surely it must feel like 'stepping down' to go from playing in front of thousands of people to playing in front of a few handfuls?

Nah not really you cant expect to play to 8000 people ever night!!

What's the best gig you have seen live, and why?

Brain Wilson band because it makes you feel embarrased to say that any other band is good live after youve seen that show.

You guys have built quite a big fan following here in Denmark without even releasing "New Start" over here. Can we expect Fastlane to tour any of the Scandinavian countries in the foreseeable future? Or the rest of the Europe for that matter? We get so few punk bands over here...

Maybe! Were seeing about getting the record licenced to other parts of europe at the mo so we'll see how it goes!!!

What about Australia or the USA?

Again British but we shall try!!

I heard you guys sold over 5,000 copies of "New Start" in Japan just in a few days. How have the Japanese heard about you, since you haven't even toured over there yet?

One word 'Promotion'!!! Thats all it takes and we had a bit of it over there.

I've heard some wild rumours you might be touring Japan in January, in support of a huge band. Any truth to this?

Maybe.....

What is your opinion on the commercial "punk" bands like Good Charlotte?

Some are good some are shit!!

What about bands like Blink 182? Do you think it's acceptable to tone down your sound to sell more records?

No comment

How do you feel about people downloading music on the internet?

Yeah whatever its cool, its wicked promotion for small bands, and the bigger bands bitch about it because its costing them money, but the bigger bands usually do alright on that side of things anyway so whatever

What do you think of the "try before you buy" policy?

Touche!!

I don't know if you've heard, but recently it was published that Sony BMG's newest CDs include a copy protection mechanism that installs itself on the users computer without asking a permission, and hides it self. If tried to remove, it will disable your CD-ROM drive. What's your opinion of this?

Sounds a bit cuntish to me, and what a surprise its SONY BMG thats doing it too!!! Wow!!!!

What about copy protection in general? Do you think that a music fan should be able to transfer his new CD into his iPod?

Yeah sure

What are your plans for 2006?

Weve got a headline Tour in February/March to coincide with our first single 'Eyes Closed' which we shot a video for the other day, then i dont know, more touring i guess, then we'll think about the new album.

And finally, do you have any last words for your fans?

Yeah i apologise for blabbering a load of shit in this interview as weve been touring for a month straight and i only got in at 4am this morning and im tired as fuck so sorry!!

Thanks for the interview.

Thank you!!! Matty xx

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