Secret Admirer tracked down Lee Francis, the lead singer of Zola, back when we interviewed him however, his band was called Archives. So this is a blast from the past, please forgive us gracious reader. But then again, nostalgia is IN these days. Even Lee finds himself singing about the past.
How was your band Archives born into the world?
We’re all on a music course at University of Northampton and it basically happened through that. We all knew each other, we wanted to start a band and then we decided to…at first we were in like a, a couple of us were in sort of a, more in like a hardcore band. It kinda didn’t really happen. And then we moved on to something.
So you’re post-hardcore now?
Well, kind of, kinda like 90s emo I guess. With a bit of, sort of, I like to call it noise pop. Yeah
So there was a definite musical direction you wanted to go in with this band?
In a way, yeah. Vocally I’m quite influenced by bands like Cap’n Jazz. But also by, I quite like, I like The Smiths quite a lot. And I quite like, erm, a lot of post-rock like Sigur-Ros. They’re one of my favourite bands. There is a lot more influencing us than comes across I guess.
They are your biggest influences then, Cap’n Jazz and Sigur-Ros…
There is more. I like a lot of what’s called folk music, singer/songwriter. I’m a big fan of Laura Marling and Damien Rice. I guess that doesn’t really show in our music as such. But I guess the biggest influence for me is probably Cap’n Jazz. Yeah I guess so.
Are you creatively influenced by anything other than music?
I haven’t really, well I’ve read obviously. I’ve read books that I think are really good and sort of, maybe indirectly inspired my lyric writing. A lot of my writing is almost like stream of consciousness, which is, apparently, I haven’t actually read any of Jack Kerouac’s stuff but apparently it’s quite similar to that sort of beat poetry kinda thing. As far as I’m aware. As far as I’ve been told. I don’t know.
Rumours. I’ve intended to read like On The Road and some of that kinda stuff. Just to see what’s there. But erm lyric wise, stream of consciousness stuff I really like. Cap’n Jazz do it quite a lot. Mention them again there. I like listening to a lot of post-rock stuff because the lyrics are quite nostalgia based I guess. Like M83, have you heard of them?
I have heard of them, but not heard them.
I really like some of theirs. They are lyrically quite sparse. But I quite like that sometimes. Often, erm, in previous bands I’ve been a bit critical of myself and like over-filling the songs with vocals. Sometimes it’s better to…
Yeah and maybe like leave gaps and leave empty space with just the sound.
I like to like, dance. Like Friendly Fires, if you watch them live. A lot of the time he’s just dancing round. And I just really like that.
The girls love that.
I don’t know about that. Maybe the girls do but it’s good to like. It’s more of an expression. You can shout your head off but you can also just move. It’s another outlet I guess. And er, I quite like Friendly Fires. They’re alright.
Is there a definite goal for the band or a direction you are trying to head in?
Obviously I’d like to do this full time I guess. But it’s not really easy is it. The music industry and all that. In terms of that I’d like to keep it going. I’ve got another year at Uni, so I’d like to see where we go. Keep playing shows and see what comes up.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever played?
Oh I don’t know. The best venue though…we played at Casbah in Coventry. As a venue it’s really nice and it sounds really good. But when we played, it was one of those shows before club nights. So people weren’t really there to see a band and so they sort of like. Well there was a few people round the bar, standing at the sides. So we played there, there wasn’t many. A dozen I guess.
One of Lee’s fans interrupts the interview to say: “Ahhh Lee! I’m going now. I’m going to Lava.” Lee promises to go to Nandos with them the next day and the interview carries on.
What was I saying? The venue is really nice, the sound guy is really good and in terms of sound it was one of the best we’ve played. The sound here (referring to The Labour Club) I really like. It’s alright. I really like playing at the Student’s Union. Mainly because we know everyone. And it’s almost like a safe venue. You can try out new things, you can just go a bit mental.
It seems like you always have a good crowd.
I don’t know what the best gig, erm, we played the S.U like ten days ago-ish and that was really good. You were there. You were there. I just really like that gig you know. That was a fun gig.
Well thanks Lee, cheers.
No more questions? How about erm…
Anything else you want to say?
I like your trousers. You should er, grow your hair a bit more and you’d look a bit like Morrissey. Everyone likes that. Well, I like that. My hair has grown a bit long now. I think I’m being called. I am. Thank you!
Photography By Jack Parker
Photography By Jack Parker