Artist Interviews

Q&A: Fun Lovin Criminals

By | Published on Tuesday 9 March 2010

Fun Lovin Criminals

Formed in New York way back in 1993, the Fun Lovin musical style is fairly eclectic, covering hip hop, rock, funk, blues and jazz; but you knew that already. The band released their first album ‘Come Find Yourself’ in 1996, which included the seminal hit ‘Scooby Snacks’, and secured them a considerable following internationally. Fourteen years on, and having gone through some nasty legal wranglings with management in recent years, they have just released their sixth album ‘Classic Fantastic’, via label Kilohertz. We spoke to all three members of the band, frontman Huey Morgan, bassist Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser and drummer Frank Benbini, to find out more and ask the Same Six.

Q1 How did you start our making music?
Huey: Me personally, I started playing when I was a young kid, a little bit of guitar. I didn’t really stick with it until I met Fast. I was in a band for a while before I met him, but once me and him started to get in the limelight a little, then I began to take it more seriously. I was never forced to play music, but always wanted to play in a band.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Huey: Survival. I mean mental survival, really. I think coming out of that big lawsuit we had, it just seemed like if we didn’t make a record they would have won. It’s a little clichéd if a band breaks up after big legal dispute. Fast had been writing tunes during the whole dispute, but it was over the last year and half or so that we put the lyrics to the songs, and really tried to make them a little bit more uplifting. It helped us get into the funk a little bit, if you know what I mean!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Huey: Well, if Fast has an idea, he puts it down and then we will bastardise it!
Fast: I get the foundation of the groove, and then try and get the melody mapped, whether that’s in a keyboard line, or something on another instrument.
Huey: I’m told what to do. They write most of my lyrics for me, too. I’m an empty shell – the pretty face!

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Huey: We listen to a lot of classic music, and really like to know where our music has come from. We listened to a lot of different music growing up, and that influenced us in the way in that we are unique, and bring a lot of different sounds to our mix. It confuses the hell out of a lot of music journalists!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Frank: People should buy our record if they want ten different styles of music in one place. You will get a bit of hip hop, a bit of rock, a bit of blues… a love song.
Fast: And comedy, too. We always like to incorporate humour into what we do, some people don’t get it and think that if you’re in a band you should be serious. Hell, some bands act like they’re building rockets or something – it’s like, no, you’re in a fucking band, know your role!

Q6 What are your ambitions for the latest album, and for the future?
Fast: Playing a whole bunch of places
Huey: We haven’t really played America, and we would like to visit South America, Japan and Australia. And the rest!
Frank: We have also set ourselves a bit of an agenda on this tour to mix more in the shows a lot more than we normally would. Every night we will be playing different tunes and we want to walk away, all three of us and our crew, knowing that we have dropped a really good show!