Times Are Changing

24 March 2012 | 9:11 am | Staff Writer

More Cheap Fakes More Cheap Fakes

In some ways, Cheap Fakes seem like a band well and truly of the now – they utilise social media as well as any other modern group, and are proudly sporting a flashy new website, the result of some talented nerd's six-month effort. So it's not like they don't appreciate the future. But equally, if not more, they appreciate the past, having brought their retro-tinged mélange of rock, ska, funk and pop to enthusiastic audiences for years now. This month, they're hitting stages again in support of their second LP Hand Me Downs and, as frontman Hayden Andrews explains, it's pretty much a whole new show.

“With the first album, when I first started recording I didn't have a band to play it so it's pretty much all of my songs and just a whole lot of my friends that I got in to play and be my backing band and stuff,” he says. “Towards the end of the album, I got a few of the guys that I'd met, that are in the band now, to play some horns and stuff on it. But this new album is more of a team effort – it's our whole band so I guess it's more cohesive and the songs flow better into each other and stuff. It's just more of a whole kind of package.”

For album number two, Andrews obviously had to relinquish a chunk of creative control during the composition phase, but the affable singer seems totally comfortable to share the load.

“It's still sort of like, one person will bring the main idea for the song and then everyone fleshes it out,” he says. “But I don't mind – these guys, we're all really good friends and we work really well together. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses, so it's really easy to write music with these guys.”

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This is an unsurprising development – if you've ever seen a live Cheap Fakes show, you'd know there's no shortage of unity circling among the members. That cohesion not only permeates their gigs and their writing process; it's even indirectly manifested itself in their latest's title, the eponymous hand-me-downs more than just a throwaway reference.

“We all wear vintage retro suits when we play, and for the styles for the videos and stuff for this album, it's all vintage, so I wanted to play on hand-me-downs, like, hand-me-down clothes, because we're all wearing hand-me-down suits!” Andrews laughs.

Now, on the eve of their tour, having called upon some long-time friends to provide even more horn-based and percussive flavour, Andrews and his bandmates are prepared for the joys and perils of being on the road.

“We're really excited about it,” he says of the tour. “It's just sort of, y'know, we've played heaps and heaps of gigs all year, but when it comes up to the tour, you just get really excited. Playing different places is always really exciting, even though the reality of tour is that there's lots of waiting around at airports and stuff.

“I guess I'm most looking forward to just letting everyone see and hear the album, really. The band's put their heart and soul into the album, and to actually get it out there and show people the fruits of our labour, it's really rewarding. It's good.

“We do have some really exciting things up our sleeve that we're sort of working on at the moment, so yeah. I can't really say, but yeah. It's good news.”