I had the pleasure of Skyping Tenterhook (aka Archie Faulks) a few days after his song ‘What I Like’ premiered. A 20 year old from Notting Hill; we spoke for about 30 minutes about a wide-range of topics, oddly enough realizing his good friend lives right across the hall from me at BU. Below are his very real, lovely and raw responses and the link to his song ‘What I Like’. If you’re wondering how well this UK singer/songwriter’s sound will do across the pond- after playing it on WTBU radio, I was bombarded with texts and inboxes from friends, DJs and classmates wondering where they could buy the new tune. One play of it and he gained 15 American fans. For Archie, success across the pond won’t be a problem– his genuine nature and honesty will never get lost in translation.
Thanks for doing this!
Thank you for listening to my music.
First off, I love your new song!
It’s a bit different, a bit funkier.
My suitemates and I listen to it on repeat, it’s very original. What artists inspire you?
That’s awesome, I’m so glad. People who come up with those original ideas. Ásgeir, who I supported in November, is still one of my favorite artists. He’s so insanely good. Ryan Adams. I’m a big Ryan Adams fan. Jeff Buckley. Like those kinds of singer/songwriters. I’ve been listening to a lot of Oasis recently. I never used to be an Oasis fan.
Me too! I just recently started listening to their stuff again. I forgot how great Noel’s writing is. I can’t stop playing their stuff. I love it.
Are you at University? Do you have plans to attend?
We’ll see, you know, never say never but at the moment I just enjoy playing music and want to keep it up, so I wouldn’t say no. In my life I want to learn, I want to be more in life than just
a guy who knows about guitar strings and song lyrics. I want to know about the world, about politics – well, not really (laughter). Next question…
What moved you to switch from Rugby to music?
I’ve always had music. Music was like the constant. I only played Rugby because all my friends did it and I was quite good at it, that was the main reason but, I think music was always the thing that I wanted to do.
Let’s talk about ‘Go Easy’, what was your songwriting process like and what’s it really about?
It’s all about the thought that most guys probably have with when they start going out with a girl, particularly a girl who they think is better looking than them. I just had a sort-of relationship- a ‘thing’ I guess, with this girl who was really good-looking and just a bit out of my league, so I was always a bit scared and insecure about her and the song is just saying, you know, go easy on me, I’m a chill guy. It came out really quickly. I wrote it in about a day and a half that song.
Is that usually how long it takes you to write?
It really depends, like some songs I’ll spend two weeks on, just getting back to them. Some days it’s two hours.
Van McCann of Catfish and the Bottlemen told me that it takes him as long as it does for us to listen to a finished song as it does for him to write it. Have you ever written a song that quickly?
Yeah, I’ve definitely been able to- not a finished song, but all the form before coming back to it and tweaking little parts. I wouldn’t say I’ve been hit by divine inspiration and started playing a hit song but, little things, yeah.
How about ‘London Heart’- was the same girl your inspiration?
I don’t know it’s difficult to say what it’s about but it’s obviously about a girl. It was at a stage when I was writing songs where I was always aiming for this cinematic, Hollywood view of romance and that hyperbole. So I think that, while I still really like that song and go back to it – I just think that lyrically I sort of blew the situation up to this huge thing. It was a ‘thing’ for me at the time but looking back I was like 17 and I’m singing this big love song. I don’t know, I like the song.
Do you find that a lot of your writing is inspired by this kind of journey to find what you call that ‘cinematic’ or true love story?
Yeah definitely and in this new song there’s a lyric like, “When they say that I can have it all, they’re telling lies ‘cause I’m never satisfied”. I think I can never settle for like really great things. I’ve been touring and playing like crazy venues, but I finish the show and instead of thinking like, “Wow this was incredible!” I just think, “Now I want to be in a bigger venue”. I think that’s just the nature of who I am – an aspirational person. But yeah, I suppose I’m waiting for this person to sweep me away ‘cause I’m too much of a wimp to do it myself.
Can you tell me some more about ‘What I Like’ since it just came out?
That’s a song that came out in an afternoon. Just jumped on it. I was feeling really ill. I came downstairs with a head cold and just smashed that song out which was cool. It was a fun song; it’s definitely where I am right now in the sense that I spend most of my time thinking about writing songs. It’s about not wanting to be in a relationship because it would distract from my creative process, and then sort of being a bit philosophical in myself at the same time–which is a very pretentious way of looking at it, but I suppose that’s probably what it’s about.
When you wrote ‘London Heart’ did you see love as something that would be the inspiration to your creative process, rather than a distraction?
Yeah, I don’t really know what I want, you know? That’s the problem I don’t really know what I’m thinking.
Do you have any dream festivals you’d want to headline? The Glastonbury line-up came out to much fodder. I’m excited about that!
Yeah! Reach for the stars! Obviously Glastonbury, but I don’t know I’m being realistic I went to the Wilderness Festival last year and that was a really good festival. I really like that place. I think they just released their lineup today and I’m not on it but, fingers crossed!
In due time! I hear Latitude is a cool one to play at.
There’s still time, there’s still time! Oh yeah, Latitude is really good, as well. I like a lot of those festivals. They’re not as big as Glastonbury but still have that feel. I’d love to play those.
When will you feel as though you’ve made it? Is there some goal you have in mind?
I don’t know. You really can’t tell. It’s all about just doing it for as long as possible. I do it because I really enjoy it and if I can make money and travel because of it than that’s amazing. I try to never think more than three years ahead for the moment.
Did you busk around at all when you were younger? How was it? Rough? Fun?
I love busking! It’s awesome. We used to busk on Portobello Road in London. It was really good. We made so much money from it. We started at like 15, me and my guitarist, and we made 65 quid in an hour. We were two little kids singing badly, but because of that, people wanted to help us out.
Do you still busk?
When we were in Berlin in November we went out for the afternoon. It was my birthday and we busked in the park for a couple of hours. So yeah, every now and then.
Do you want to stay in London? Is that where you feel your creative hub is?
I definitely want to go to America. The moment I can leave London I’ll go. I love London as a city but I’ve lived here for the past 20 years and it’s time to spend time elsewhere. I can’t wait to come to Boston, New York, and L.A.. Yeah, L.A. — that would be badass.
Any new music you’re excited to share?
I actually have just finished a song that I’m really excited about. It might be my favorite so far. We’re recording like a trumpet section last week and it’s all sounding really, really good. It’s like a combination of ‘Stereo’ and ‘Go Easy’ in the sense that—well, I’ll leave it at that but it’s a good song, I like it.
Anything you want your Boston fans to know?
Keep it breezy, Boston.
Tenterhook just wrapped up his shows on the Communion Presents: New Faces Tour in the UK. His next show is on June 24, 2015 at The Lexington in London.