Back when the weather was still treating the country well, I got the opportunity to chat to one of my favourite current artists. With the July sun beating down on my window, I was locked away in my room on a zoom call to Red Rum Club frontman Fran Doran. Fran, on the other hand, had made his way onto a local football pitch with his friends to take advantage of the beautiful day. Despite this, he took time out to talk to me in what was a hugely enjoyable and uplifting chat about the importance of hard work and good tunes. As a musician from Liverpool, I always get inspired by seeing others from my area doing well, and Red Rum Club are a perfect example of this. Our call was blighted by my terrible internet connection, but Fran was patient and gave me some fascinating insight into Red Rum Clubs’ writing process and their upcoming album The Hollow Of Humdrum.
From the outside looking in, it seems as though Red Rum Club blew up very suddenly last year, but a lot of hard work goes into these things that we don’t get to see. What can you tell me about the journey up to this point?
Fran: It got serious as soon as we started taking ourselves seriously to be honest. At first we just wanted to play tunes, get out there and impress people, but about three years ago we properly got serious and we just locked ourselves away in a room and started writing songs. We had some good advice off people on the importance of song writing, and if you get the songs first everything else will fall into place, whether that’s style or whatever. But playing live well and writing good songs became a priority for us, and we spent 2 or 3 years doing that, and through that, we ended up getting a record deal. That makes it sound sort of easy but it was a building process, once we signed the deal and recorded the songs it went from there. Listening to advice, working hard, and not saying no to anything were all really important in getting here. We played every pub and boozer we could.
With songwriting being key, what is the writing process within the band itself?
Fran: A lot of the time it’s Tom. He’s an absolute space cadet but he just pulls out these gems. Every time he comes in with something we’re all blown away. It could just be a riff or a melody and we all build around it, but sometimes he comes in with a full song and goes “there you go”. Other times, one of us comes in with something and the others absolutely break it down and say its shit, or we all think its good and build on it.
I’ve noticed a few new sounds on the material from your upcoming album, was that a conscious decision or did it just happen?
Fran: It just happened. When we made the songs that eventually became Matador, if we were in a room playing we were either gigging or practicing, so we all knew our parts and it came about organically. With the new stuff, we hadn’t played them as much so there were a lot of holes to fill in. That situation gives you a lot of freedom to go “well, we could just add this or that”. We also felt a little bit more confident this time, thinking “we could play the main stage at a festival, the songs are worthy of that”, so we weren’t scared of making them a bit grand.
I think Red Rum Club are perfect for festivals, so that must be disappointing with the current COVID-19 situation.
Fran: It has been disappointing to an extent as we had a few big things planned, but it’s all “what could have been”. We don’t know what would have happened, but have we made progress during lockdown? The answer is still yeah, so we try not to get too hung up on it. I think bands have been able to show a different side, but we’ve got an album coming out at the end of this year and things are still going well.
Shortly after this, I wrapped up the interview due to my Wi-Fi causing serious communication issues. Curse you Sky. I felt lucky to have been able to pick Fran’s brain for a little while, and I came away with a greater appreciation for the journey that has lead Red Rum Club to this point. Hot on the heels of the announcement that they’re headling Sound City next year, The Hollow Of Humdrum comes out on October 2nd. If the last few singles are anything to go by, it’s going to be an absolute belter.