Fat White Family

By Ben Doy

Fat White Family kick off their New Zealand tour tomorrow, with a show at the Kings Arms in Auckland before heading to Wellington to perform at Bodega on Saturday night. 

Ahead of their arrival here I had the chance to chat to the band's frontman Lias Kaci Saoudi where I discovered some more about the Fat White Family and just what they have in-store for us. 

Where did the idea for Fat White Family come from? 

It was just a combination of disaffection, boredom, poverty, some amplifiers and a living room. And that was pretty much it!

How did you decide on that name? 

The name came from Saul's (guitarist Saul Adamczewski) old record label manager James Endeacott. He DJ's under the name 'Fat White Duke'. But in a round about way it's a David Bowie reference... but not directly, because I didn't realise that at the time. 

You've recently released your second album 'Songs For Our Mothers', how different was it making this record compared to your debut release? 

The first release was kind of put together in our flat that we were sharing at the time. It was literally for our own amusement; just to make the most kind of offensive thing we could to make ourselves kind of laugh, and maybe do a few gigs on the weekend. So we did that and ended up signing to Trashmouth Records. But there was no money or anything like that. It was really just for fun. We never thought anyone would listen to it, but it became a bit of a thing round here.  

So it was very different when we did the second one. We were kind of locked into a studio and it was like "Right, make an album". Which can be incredibly daunting. Especially when you're  aware people are going to actually hear the thing. So it was a lot more difficult in ways. 

And how does Fat White Family go about creating the songs? 

There are lots of ways they can come about. Sometimes it will start with just one phrase like on 'Whitest Boy On The Beach'. That was me, Saul and Nath on the beach in Barcelona. Saul was playing guitar and I think I started singing the kind of hook and that was it. And the several years later and a few thousand miles we eventually managed to squeeze out a tune (laughs). 

But we've never been a great band for jamming actually. It is something we are doing a bit more of at the moment. 

You've had a few line-up changes over the past few years. Is the band reasonably kind of settled now? 

People are always coming and going. I think I'm probably the only one that has done every single gig... maybe my little brother as well (Nathan), I don't think he's missed anything. But people leave and people come back. It's not the way I like it, but that's the way it is. It's quite an intense experience being on the road and it can drive people a little bit funny. 

You're heading to New Zealand for two shows. Will it be your first time out here? 

Yeah it'll be my first time there. I've been so busy with writing and a techno project that I'm working on, and meetings... all kind of stuff. I haven't really had a chance to take in the fact that I'm going to that part of the world! 

From all accounts your shows can get pretty crazy. What will we be in for? 

I don't know man... I don't really think during the show. I've never seen myself live, and I don't think Youtube does it justice. 

Is there a favourite track you like to perform live? 

The one at the beginning before I'm completely fucking exhausted probably. It gets harder and harder as it goes you know. I need some steroids or something. 

If you weren't part of Fat White Family, what do you reckon you'd be doing? 

It's been so long now that I can't really work it out. I like writing but I tend to write sporadic bits of rubbish that don't really make sense.  I don't know, maybe claiming welfare again. 

After the New Zealand show, what are Fat White Family's plans then? 

Lots of festivals on in Europe, a video to shoot, the Brixton Academy in September. Then I think after that it's America... it just seems to go on and on and on. I think I need a break! (laughs). 

Fat White Family

Friday July 29th: Kings Arms, Auckland

Saturday July 30th: Bodega, Wellington

Tickets via Under The Radar