A chat with Hayden from Cheap Fakes at Red Deer Festival
Cheap Fakes have been super busy this year with armfuls of tour dates, support acts, and an upcoming album to boot. The summery six-piece graced Red Deer Festival this year with a ska-infused good time, and I got to catch up with vocalist and guitarist, Hayden, about the band’s past, present, and future.
Anna: You’ve got such a summery, chilled-out vibe. Is the songwriting process as chilled?
Hayden: I don’t really have a particular songwriting process. Sometimes songs will come to when I’m just driving to work or late at night when I’m in bed, and hopefully I can just write it down. Sometimes songs come really fast, like in 20 minutes I can write a whole song, and other times I’ll slave over songs for months or even years. I’ve got this one song that I’ve written that I still haven’t written lyrics to and I wrote it about eight years ago. It’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written and I can’t finish it! Hopefully it will come to fruition eventually.
Sometimes songs come really fast, like in 20 minutes I can write a whole song, and other times I’ll slave over songs for months or even years.
Anna: Do you think you would have done anything differently?
Hayden: I think when you’re younger you just dive into things and take less precautions. More experimental in the early days, but possibly a better musician these days. It’s always cool to be able to go back to those songs I wrote ages ago and bring something to them, because it has the vibe of a young me with the maturity of the old me.
Anna: You’ve taken John Merchant on board for the upcoming album, Modern Vintage. How’s it been working with him?
Hayden: It was unbelievable. He’s just an absolute pro in the studio and his knowledge of the sounds and his experience was invaluable. The way he makes you feel at ease and relaxed in the studio brings out the best performance in the band.
Anna: And what should we expect from the album?
Hayden: It’s definitely rock-ier than our previous two albums. It’s more intense; there’re really big buildups and big breakdowns. I guess just really good performances — we were really happy with it.
Anna: How do you guys gel together as a group? Does everyone bring something different to the sound?
Hayden: Normally, I bring the skeleton of the song and I give it to the horn boys and our other guitarist and bass player and they put their own flavours on top. It works really well and we’re always open to each other’s ideas — we’re not afraid to criticise and give constructive feedback on stuff.
Anna: You’ve done a bunch of tours and national supports. Is performing/touring a big part of your musical identity?
Hayden: Yeah, definitely. We just love performing live. Playing in front of a crowd, it’s just the biggest buzz. Once you win over a crowd and you see them vibing from your music, it gives us heaps more energy and we feed off them and they feed off us and it’s sort of a never-ending cycle. It’s awesome.
That’s what music is all about – that sort of magic that comes from everyone being on the same wavelength and just locking in.
Anna: Some of your tracks go for quite a few minutes and have that jam-session vibe. Is that something that you incorporate into the music-making process?
Hayden: Yeah, it’s a really weird thing with live performance, because sometimes you’re so in the moment and you feel all six musicians lock in and to me, that’s what music is all about – that sort of magic that comes from everyone being on the same wavelength and just locking in. It’s a weird feeling; it’s like being high but without any drugs.
Anna: What’s your BYO drink of choice at Red Deer?
Hayden: I guess premium beer. I really like Japanese sake, ice cold.