Following on from their set at Reading Festival we had a chat with The LaFontaines frontman Kerr Okan about their upcoming album Common Problem, the festival weekend and what’s next on the cards in 2017.

Earlier today you played the Radio 1Xtra stage at Reading, how was it for you?

Amazing, we were a bit apprehensive about the crowd we were going to get because we were the first on stage but we got a really good turn out so obviously we paid the right people to come. It was really really good and it’s been a lovely day so I’m happy.

Which did you prefer Reading or Leeds Festival?

I preferred how I felt at Leeds because we were fresh and last night we stayed here so we’re absolutely hanging today. So I prefer that in that sense but I actually think we had a better show today.

Your new album Common Problem is released in October, can you tell us about the recording process?

We went and recorded with a guy called Joe Cross who’s the bass player in The Courteeners which is totally different music from what we make but he’s a great producer. We were down in Manchester for like three weeks recording it and we’re really happy with how it’s come out. It feels like the songs have been given a new twist on them and I’m excited to let people hear it.

How has the sound changed since debut album Class?

We’re kind of gifted because there’s nobody else that sounds like our bands, we’re the original.

[Both laughing] Modest as well aren’t you?

I don’t mean that in that way I mean it like it’s just a different type of music man.

We understand as really there’s nobody else to compare you to!

I think we’re just a bit older now and we’ve seen more of the world and the crazy things that are happening in the world and there’s loads to say. So it’s just an evolution of that.

You have a hometown show at The Barrowlands but how does it feel to be going back to such a prestigious venue time and time again?

Barras is my favourite venue in the world and obviously, we’re from Glasgow so it’s always going to mean something. But it’s different because it’s a hometown show. As far as Barras go we’ve been fortunate enough to play a lot of places in Europe, UK and America and stuff but I just think it’s very hard to match the atmosphere you get in the east end of Glasgow. You ask any touring band and they’ll say it’s one of their favourite venues you know?

Can you sum up Common Problem in five words?

[Counting on his fingers] A very good piece. Ahhhhh. Er, yeah man. Five words? Good music original sound fun.

What would be your favourite/most relatable lyric of your own which you’ve written?

That’s a really good question. From the old album probably, I like the “I Am Glasgow” line as I am Glasgow. I reckon I represent Glasgow pretty well. I like King, “fuck your popularity speak with total clarity. The only thing which matters is peace and solidarity” that’s a pretty nice sentiment.

For people who want to know a bit more about the album, could you tell us a skip to track?

A skip to track? Probably the biggest song on it will be a track called Too Late. Common Problem is like a summary song on the album. I think it’s a song that like it will only be enjoyed if it’s sunny. If people listen to it when it’s not sunny they’ll think it’s shit. Genuinely. There’s another song called Asleep which we put out that I think might be one of the best songs.

What would be your festival anthem?


Finally aside from the new album and touring what else is coming up?

We’re going to Venice in two days time to record a video. World exclusive right there.

That’s pretty snazzy for a video and holiday!

It was because it was the cheapest flights but I’ve just found out it’s the most expensive place so we’ll see what happens!

Interview By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar