Interview: False Advertising

The Manchester alt. rock trio give us the lowdown on their highly anticipated hometown-based all-day event Falsetival, due to be held in early April

Interview: False Advertising Set to headline the inaugural edition of their very own Falsetival on Saturday April 7th in their hometown, Mancunian noise pop specialists False Advertising have curated an exemplary roster spanning indie pop, alt. rock, post-punk and all points in between.

Due to be held at city centre venue the Soup Kitchen, the kindred spirits include Chester indie-pop mavens Peaness, scabrously melodic post-punks Dead Naked Hippies, West Yorkshire guitar slingers, grunge pop outfit Forever Cult and fuzzed-up London punk duo JOHN. Just announced for the bill fuzzy grunge trio Calva Louise and melodic alt. rock types Darma complete an estimable seven-strong line-up.

A straightforward opening enquiry then, what inspired you to put on the event? ‘Originally I just wanted to put on an all-day gig, but then we decided it should be called ‘Falsetival’’ co-lead singer/guitarist/drummer Jen Hingley explains. ‘Suddenly then everyone began talking about it like it’s a real legitimate festival, despite it not really being a festival’ ‘I was inspired by daytime / all day gigs I’ve been to in the last year like the SXSW day parties, A Carefully Planned Festival, Wrong Festival, The Great Escape etc and just wanted to bring a bit of the fun carefree vibe to Manchester with a load of really great bands’.

Due to be held at bustling Northern Quarter gig mecca The Soup Kitchen, choosing where to hold the all-dayer was an easy choice from the off Jen explains. ‘It’s one of the venues where False Advertising has felt really at home playing. We put on our first ever DIY gig there about a year and a half ago and had a total blast. This is us kinda figuring out how to do a similar thing but take it up a level or two’.

With seven acts due to tread the boards in the subterranean live room at the ‘Kitchen, the action begins at 3pm continuing right through until 11pm. With themselves understandably headlining the event, how did you go about choosing the bands to go on the bill? ‘It was a crazy tough task’ Jen responds. ‘After we announced that we were doing it I immediately had about 20 requests from bands all over the country asking if they could play, which Chris (Warr, co-lead vocals, guitar, drums) Josh (Sellars, bass guitar) and I listened through in detail and deliberated over. Ultimately, we sought out a combination of a few bands that we’ve played with before who blew us away, and bands that we really wanted to play with and haven’t yet gotten around to, which sounds selfish - but we hoped it would translate into a line-up which is both cohesive yet nicely diverse. The UK alternative scene needs more gatherings of fuzzy/alternative/DIY bands in my opinion’.

Across the acts, the groups are drawn from across the England, not just False Advertising’s Mancunian homestead, a city chock-full of bands. Was that a deliberate move or something that transpired as you were putting the line up together? ‘For new bands, it’s sometimes difficult to find opportunities to get around the country and play to receptive audiences’ Jen replies. ‘As a member of a new-ish band, I could name a whole bunch of places, like Glasgow and Edinburgh for example, that we would kill to be invited to play an event like this with likeminded, complementary bands. So it was that feeling that lead me to ask bands from outside of Manchester to play alongside some more local ones. In the hope that it would introduce audiences to bands they might not have heard of that they're probably going to like lots’.

In a nation that hosts innumerable outdoor music festivals, vastly more than anywhere in Europe and Scandinavia, there have been grumblings that the bills for the summer’s big fixtures have served up short weight, with the undercard for Reading and Leeds being a particular bone of contention. Without meaning to go off on a tangent, do you think music fans may be tiring of big corporate festivals? ‘I’ve got nothing against the Reading and Leeds line-up if I’m being objective about it, it looks like they’re booking some more diverse artists and that’s good - so what if it’s pissed off some of the indie/rock aficionados?' the singer responds. 'When I go to a festival I want to discover artists that I’ve never thought about listening to before alongside watching bands that I know I’ll love. Reading will always have my heart having attended so many times over the years, but having finally made it to Glastonbury last year I know that a more diverse and less corporate environment makes for a better experience’.

With so many bands feeling the need to highlight their DIY credentials, including ones signed to well-known indie labels, the term has been cheapened over recent years. The present outfit are the real deal however, issuing all of their own material and booking all of their own tours. How do you find the time to do so many live dates in addition to releasing new material and doing day jobs? ‘Up to this point, we've been mainly DIY in the way that we record and release our music, so although it's been a lot of work, the fact we've been in control has enabled us to work pretty quick’ Jen states. ‘The only way we’ve been able to maintain the amount of activity we have whilst all working full time is due to us all having very understanding and supportive bosses who have long put up with us rationing our holidays out into hours, working remotely and letting us take unpaid leave in order to travel up and down the country playing gigs’ the singer explains. ‘However, I recently left my design job to work freelance on a combination of music and graphic design, so technically I am now my own boss which should help a bit’.

With the Early Bird tickets having already flown the nest, if Falsetival is a success is there a possibility of it returning next year? ‘I think we’ll have to see how well this one goes’ Jen responds. ‘I imagine we’ll always be pretty keen to put our own gigs on though, especially in our hometown. It’s important to gather like-minded people together, you know. Someone’s gotta do it’.

Staying with the subject of live work, Jen, Chris and Josh plugged their wares overseas last year, logging sets in Barcelona and at taste-making industry convention SXSW in Austin, Texas. Have you got any plans to play any dates abroad this year? ‘For sure, but it’s unlikely to be before the second half of the year though’ the guitarist/drummer answers. ‘Firstly, we need to go to Scotland and Ireland, which we’ve never done. We’re hell bent on getting over to Europe properly before stupid Brexit happens, so that’s priority number two. We just got a record deal over in Japan, so going over there to do a run of dates is being discussed with a degree of optimistic realism. Oh, and America again, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that could be on the cards too’.

Switching to recording, False Advertising’s most recent release, the wonderfully titled I Would Be So Much Happier If I Just Stopped Caring, issued last October, parcelled up the group’s tracks released through the year on limited edition cassette. Is there any more material due from the band you later this year? ‘Well, well, well, it might look on the outside like we’re all just chilling out at the moment, playing Nintendo Switch and doing the odd gig here and there, but I can assure you this isn’t actually the case’ Jen states. ‘We’re kinda dying to announce stuff but it’s not quite the right time to yet. Maybe sign up to our mailing list or something? Or buy us a drink at Falsetival and we might let you in on some goss’.

Falsetival, takes place at The Soup Kitchen, The Northern Quarter, Manchester on Sat 7th April

Full line up:

False Advertising
Forever Cult
Dead Naked Hippies
Calva Louise

Saturday April 7th
3pm - 11pm (Doors 3pm)
The Soup Kitchen, Northern Quarter, Manchester
Ages 18+

Tickets are available here