We talked to Fin Greenall Aka Fink about the new album ‘Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet’, working with Lamont Dozier and Amy Winehouse and quite a few other interesting things. Fink’s new album is now available on Ninja Tune.
NT: Your new album ‘Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet’ is a live release, what made you want to release this type of record?
FG: I think in Europe we have quite a reputation as a live band. The studio releases are much different then the live show. We’ve toured every one of our albums so far, so many of our fans were asking where they could get a hold of the live versions. We thought about it for a while, then we decided to record every show we did on the tour. Each song on the album comes from a different gig. I think we were also inspired by great other live albums from the past. We also made a real effort to offer a nice package with the album. There is an eighty-four book that comes with loads of pictures taken by friends and fans, really talented people, who came to all the shows and shot everything. We really wanted to give something back to the fans.
NT: You added a couple of new members for your upcoming tour. You added string player Erica Nockalls and Rae Morris on keys.
FG: Yes, for the forthcoming European tour. We got really inspired by strings, we did a gig with The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Holland celebrating Queen’s Day. So we really wanted a string player and someone on keys. It was really insane hearing a one hundred person orchestra playing your songs, just nuts. There’s a bit on Youtube, it’s kind of cool. Erica is immensely talented, we asked her. Then I asked Rae, who was already playing in the support act if she might be interested in making some extra pocket money. She agreed, we were quite excited.
NT: This tour will be comprised of the material from ‘Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet’, can we expect to hear any new material?
FG: We haven’t even had time to think, we have been touring since June of last year. Any new suff we have written has been in the van or backstage, so it’s quite embryonic at this stage. We might pull out a couple of covers, we might even be quite good at them, by the time we reach North America. We do reinterpret the songs for the tours, so it’s enough to keep us pretty busy as well. We’re quite excited to be playing the live versions as they were recorded, it should be an awesome time.
NT: Tell me about working with the late Amy Winehouse.
FG: We worked together for a couple of months before she was signed to Island. We wrote about four or five songs together, it was really loads of fun. It was really fantastic, an amazing experience. She was incredibly prolific for a teenager, so much talent. She was really aware of her talent, she knew how to use it and apply it to her singing. When ‘Back To Black’ was released, I was so happy for her, it really showed how good she could be. I don’t think her first album revealed how good she could be. It’s a totally sad and tragic story. I’m really proud to have worked with her. It’s kind of strange when a label (Island) would release something posthumously. Amy was always in control of what she wanted to be released.
NT: I wanted to ask as well, about working with Motown legend Lamont Dozier.
FG: Oh my God, Lamont is a legend, a legend mate! He has had seventy-two American top five singles. He can write a song! I went to his house for a couple of days, we were supposed to write some X-Factor shit or something like that. They wanted some Motown type stuff. When I got there he asked “so are we going to write this stuff”? I said to him let’s not waste our time on this X -Factor stuff, let’s write the best song we can. So we wrote an awesome track together, the guy is truly brilliant, truly inspiring. The songs seem to pour right out, I mean, he wrote ‘Back to my roots’, ‘Baby love’. I mean his was wasn’t like a typical Beverly Hills glimmering home, I didn’t see a single award on the walls. It was just a normal place. Ok, maybe he did have two Grand Pianos in his living room, but non of the glitz, glamour, or bullshit. He was just a regular cool guy, the song he wrote was so awesome. The guy truly is a legend.
NT: So how did you end up working with him?
FG: I do quite a bit of songwriting for other people. So ya, we were supposed to do this X-Factor thing. My agents were like, “Do you want to write with Lamont Dozier? I was like of course, but I’m not gonna write some piece of crap for some TV show. We’re gonna try and come up with a ‘Baby Love’. He was really surprised at how familiar I was with him. He was really shocked, I sang him an obscure track from one of his solo albums, he couldn’t believe that I sung it note for note. I learnt to play it so I could sing it to him, and he was like “how the hell did you learn that?