Earning the respect from their peers such as Funeral For A Friend and Taking Back Sunday, Fightstar are set to unleash one of the most widely anticipated albums of 2006 on March 6th. Produced by Colin Richardson who'd previously worked with Machinehead the album should put the nail in the coffin of any of the doubters that have more often than not converted to fans on the bands live shows and festival appearances. Designer Magazine caught up with Charlie, Omar, Al and Dan backstage at the Manchester Academy 2 show earlier in the year to chat about the albums progress, why they weren't prepared to spoof Cradle Of Filth and the difference of playing to 800 people instead of 20000.

Q: This is your second full tour of the UK and it must be a different experience where people have had chance to listen to the music rather go along to watch Fightstar because of your previous life?
Charlie: It's been really good out on the road with Armor. It's cool man getting out to these bigger venues and even though they're bigger venues they're still small venues if you know what I mean. You've still got that intimate crowd, but it's a much better sound system.

Alex: We're still proving ourselves on this tour because a lot of people still haven't heard us.

Charlie: The cool thing is a people have heard the record now so people actually know the songs. A lot of people come to our shows not want to like it and by the end of it they're loving it. It's almost like they're pissed off for liking it (laughs)

Q: It must be weird for you Charlie, from going to playing to 20,000 people a night to being about this far from the crowd?
Charlie: Its good man. It's what I prefer because I can see everyone's face. We did Give It A Name at Alexandra Palace and you feel quite disconnected from the crowd because your so far away, when you're doing these smaller clubs you're right up in their faces.

Q: You're lined up to play all the festivals this summer. Are you playing outside the UK at all?
Charlie: We've got Summer Sonic in Japan and then we're going to America in September cos we're releasing through an independent called Deep Elm Records, they're my favourite record company.

Q: Do you guys wanna introduce yourself and what you've done previous to Fightstar?
Omar: I'm the drummer in Fightstar and i've been in quite a few bands, but nothing that's kicked off quite like Fightstar. Just generally playing the circuit in London and a couple of toilet tours in a back of a transit. I've also produced a lot of bands as well prior to Fightstar.

Alex: Basically I went to Uni and dropped out after a year.

Charlie: Al does some cool solo stuff man like Jeff Buckley style. That's how I first heard of Al

Alex: How did I go from Jeff Buckley to this? I've always loved this style of music and wanted to be in a band rather than doing it solo.

Dan: Same as Omar really. I've played in a lot of bands since I was about 11, we did a few EPs and demos with death metal and nu-metal bands. Then I gave it up to do the video games programming for a few years and somehow got into video production which I ended up doing for a few bands

Q: How did you from playing in bands to just sitting at a computer?
Dan: It's all the same vibe - just pure creativity. It's the same mechanism and the same part of your brain that does it all. It's the same with filming as well except there's a bit more interaction

Q: If Fightstar put together their own festival, who would be on the line-up?
Charlie: I'd really want this festival to be a dream festival where you'd have Mono and Explosions In The Sky and you'd get to sit in a massage chair while you watch it. It would be so soothing while you listen to stuff like Explosions In The Sky....If it wasn't just post rock, Nirvana and Deftones on the same bill would be awesome

Q: The video and artwork for "Paint Your Target" caused some someone who's seen both we have to ask why?
Omar: We knew what we were doing with the video. We knew it was going to be on the borderline, but we made sure it was on the borderline, not beyond the borderline. A certain company, that I won't go into but they own most of the music channels, decided they weren't going to play it which basically put us in the predicament that we weren't getting the airplay we should potentially be getting.

What we had to was record another video and the videos cool. It's a performance video. But the original concept was all of our babies and we were really really proud of it, so it was a bit of a knock back.

Charlie: What does piss me off is they played Green Day's video and it's got tanks, guns, bullets being fired in it.

Omar: I mean where do you draw the line. Our video hasn't got guns in it, that was one thing we were adamant about cos it wasn't about guns or gun crime. It was about a childs mind and innocence and where does war come from? Were showing that side of it and Green Day are showing the complete other side of it which is much more harrowing.

Alex: It's a sign of the times. Rock n roll is no longer the platform for revolution that it used to be and that power that rock bands used to have in the 60s and 70s and the spirit of revolution is essentially being crushed by capitalism in its various forms. But if you wanna be successful in this business you have to play by certain rules.

Q: Perhaps you should have gone out there and done a spoof of a Cradle Of Filth video?
Omar: Exactly. The thing is there are videos that go out to go get that. At the end of the day it was just one guy that didn't like it, but that one guy owns the majority of the stations. It's amazing how one guy can f**k so much up

Charlie: Our record label have been like a big indie to us. We said can we go up to Al's place and write the album, we came back with us, they asked us who we wanted as producer and we said Colin Richardson so they put the call in. The thing is if you respect your record label they'll respect you.

Omar: It doesn't have to be oh my god the major label are f**king me over all the time. It's not always like that

Charlie: I think a lot of bands go into major labels with this thing we've got to say no to everything. What the most important part is making the music you wanna make, everything else is just stuff that comes with being in a band.

Q: Who been the best band you've toured with?
Charlie: Taking Back Sunday and Armor For Sleep have been awesome. My brothers band Brigade and also Laruso. Touring with friends is so good because you're just partying all the time. We get to choose every band we tour with when we're headlining

Q: And what can we expect from the album?
Charlie: If you listen to the EP, "Paint Your Target" is not really a representation of the sound of the album. On the album there's really heavy stuff and completely chilled out stuff.

Omar: People have said we sound like Biffy Clyro and there is elements of that, but I don't think it's a straight comparison.

Charlie: So many different people say so many bands sound like us and some bands get pissed off when you say you're this genre or whatever, but music is open to anybody else's interpretation. At the end of the day all the tags emo or hardcore just mean rock, it's a form of music. The ultimate aim is to make your own band your favourite band because you can write the music that you love.

Q: Do you think when the album comes out, you'll get comparisons like this band sounds like Fightstar
Omar: That would be very strange for bands to be compared to Fightstar

Charlie: People do say imitation is the biggest form of flattery. If we influence another band to write songs that would be f**king awesome.

Words: Alex McCann
Backstage Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

Fightstar's debut album is out in March
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