Jon Fratelli invites us into his home where he talks candidly about the realities of trying to ‘find the flash of an idea’, as part of the Vype Routes of Inspiration series.
The Fratellis have released their new track, ‘Strangers in the Street’ and a version in collaboration with legendary U.S. soul singer P.P Arnold. The track was launched on the Vype instagram page and The Fratellis will donate 100% of their share of the proceeds from sales to charity and to provide support to the music community during these challenging times, Vype is included a link for individuals to donate through the Spotify Covid-19 Relief Fund.
WWS spoke with Jon Fratelli about what inspired the new songs and where inspiration comes from, especially in times where outside stimulus and interactions are limited.
The feeling of an idea
Artists have always spoken about the search for elusive ideas and how sparks come from unexpected places at unpredictable times. Fratelli was asked where he finds inspiration for new music his answer was honest, “I won’t even try and use a word because none of them are adequate to describe that flash of an idea that gets you out of bed at 4 in the morning. I can have lots of instruments set up, one in every room just in case I walk by and have a flash. And then you’re gone, you are nowhere to be found because you get rid of yourself, and getting rid of yourself in that moment is the most pleasant experience there is.”
A full interview with Jon Fratelli, in anticipation of the release of the band’s new tracks provides a revealing peek inside his sources of creativity. The interview is part of the music series called Routes of Inspiration Inside created by Vype which allows us to connect with musicians in a new, inspiring way. This series is part of a mission to bring adult consumers around the world together with a little inspiration. Watch the full interview here:
We are not all songwriters, but each of could use a little inspiration. WWS asked Fratelli to create a playlist of things that have profound meaning to him; things that have helped him through challenging times; things that he keeps returning to.
“Pink Floyd are my first love. I really did fall in love with that music; there was an intensity in the reaction I had to it. Hearing that music now almost always has the ability just for a second to transport me back to that period, if someone could bottle that feeling…”
“I watch movies, but I can’t grab hold of them. If I like them, I’ll watch them again. I seem to have watched a lot of Woody Allen films: Manhattan and Midnight in Paris are particular favourites.”
“I did though watch a video the other day of an Elephant painting a picture which just rooted me to the spot, I was inspired right then to just be alive.”
A piece of writing
“I don’t tend to notice something written on a page. I can’t really connect with the written word in the same way as I can to sound. Though I’ve spent a lot of time reading everything by people like Charles Bukowski and Nick Tosches.”
“Your imagination. For the last couple of years, the narrative in quite a lot of my lyrics has taken place in an imaginary cityscape. It’s basically created from places I’ve spent time in at one point or another. Being that it’s my dream I’ve changed a few things to suit my taste. It’s quieter and has a trip like quality but mostly it resembles cities like New York and Tokyo at dusk. Writing songs has always had the ability to make me happier than anything else and I try to do it as much as possible so that means I travel to my DreamCity©️ quite a lot.”
“When I see photographs of recording studios from the fifties and sixties I feel a warm glow. When I first started playing music the idea of being able to record music was the thing that excited me more than anything. Having been lucky enough to record music to my heart’s content and at times losing some of my idealistic notions surrounding the whole endeavour; those old photographs have the power to spark something in me. I think seeing an empty, old studio is a reminder of songs yet to be written and music waiting to be heard.