Samuel Ward chats with Alex Westaway about the future of Fightstar
Sniggering aside, Fightstar have had quite the journey: From the inevitably shakey post-Busted beginnings to the mature and composed album Be Human—you could even say Fightstar have moved from strength to strength.
“We’re planning on playing some festivals this summer,” says Alex Westaway, “and we should have a single by summer.” After an ample hiatus, the band seem keen to get straight back into the fray, with a slot booked for Download festival as well as an impromptu UK tour which saw them headline Manchester Academy 1. “Well we’re writing plenty of new stuff between now and the festival period—we always try and evolve every record so who knows what it could sound like.” Furthermore, Alex points out their aims to “pull on the heartstrings”—who could expect any less?
Personally, I feel Fightstar’s main attraction is their inclusion of a more orchestral-type sound, one which builds on the pop influence of Charlie and combines well structured arrangements with orchestras and choirs all whilst retaining the punch. “Hmm, we’re not sure if we’ll use many strings again; we could even add more synths actually. I mean I’ve always been on the less heavy side anyway, more post-rock. This is unlike Dan, who has the heavier background, and Charlie kind of meets in the middle.”
“As for songs, we just kinda pitch it to each other. One of the songs I wrote back in the day, when I was 16, was ‘Amethyst’. I pitched that to Charlie and we wrote a new chorus melody and that’s one of the first songs we wrote. It’s very very simple and I really like that, think we might try and bring some of that back into it—just guitars and vocals. Sometimes I think when you get too complicated, you can miss a little bit of the raw human emotion.” Of course, one couldn’t imagine Fightstar without it. “I mean one of my favourites is probably War Machine—it’s such a tense track, probably because we spent ages arguing whether the lyrics should be ‘I am a war machine’ or ‘I’m not a war machine’. Either way, we managed to sneak ‘I’m not a war machine’ in there at some point.”
With music covering death and rebirth to the apocalypse, the band have always had the grander topics in their sights and, if their individual efforts during the hiatus—Alex and Dan’s Gunship and Charlie’s solo albums—have something to hint towards, it’s something that could be utterly unique and completely new.