In our latest Band Spotlight, we chat to Nicholas Broten and Simon Stone, of legendary Hull alternative pop act, Fonda 500.
S] How does the band define success?
SS] I really think success for Fonda 500 is still to come, we have successfully shielded ourselves from success for nearly 20 years. We have made some music that people seem to like and we have done this on our own terms. With each release we have not had any external control and we have maintained our own level of what we feel is adequate for our music, sometimes I surprise myself that I am even in a band.
I am pretty pants at the casiotone mini keyboard – I call myself a chord former yet with the little I know about song writing I have amassed quite a back-catalogue of tunes, I think what I mean to say, is that this is success to me the songs have afforded us the chance to play some great shows, however big or small to some wonderful people. We have a long lasting friendship with Publisher Mutesong, and we are super lucky. We have travelled to Europe and seen the passion that our brothers and sisters across the channel hold for creativity. We’ve been treated so kindly, made friends with other artists who have the same desire as we do, to me that – along with the continued friendship within the fonda 500 band and the friend circle around it is success to me.
NB] Success is a tricky thing to define. I think we’re successful in that we make the music we want to make and no-one stops us, in fact some encourage us to do it. I always wanted to be on Top of the Pops.
S] How would you say the Fonda mission statement has changed over the years?
SS] It remains the same – to sparkle, to be the band that we ourselves would wish to see play or listen to, to be effortlessly effortless- to show that this is for anyone willing to join in, to let go and to wonder.
S] What do you think of the Hull music scene right now?
SS] As we have never been part of the Hull music scene, it would be nonsensical for me to offer my thoughts but I will say this If we can ensure that the Adelphi lives on and soars so that more visiting artists can inspire wider musical openness into the Hull bands supporting and watching then that can only be a good thing. As a junior I used to absorb all live music and I think that is apparent in the blend of styles that Fonda 500 occupy.
NB] I live and breath Hull, but I’m kind of a recluse. I know that the Hull scene is and has always been vibrant and interesting. There’s too many good ones to name though, so I can’t as I’ll miss someone out and that will lead to tears.
S] What are the biggest challenges you face as a band right now?
SS] To be honest – just getting together! time has been kind to us as we have grown larger through relationships and children and with this as Peter Parker’s uncle says something about…with responsibility comes great power, or something like that
NB] That and that we’re really sh*t at promoting ourselves. We’ve got an amazing new record and I just want people to hear it!
S] How would you advise younger musicians from the area to approach the music industry?
SS] Do it yourself
S] How does the new record challenge you in new ways as artists?
SS] This new record is seeping into the live set nicely I tried and failed to make my songs a little more straightforward but in trying to make them straightforward I made them exactly the same as I always do – to be about nothing and everything all at the same time, the sounds of wildlife and nature are on this record because they were on my demos as I wandered the local woodland with my tape machine in one hand and my dog in the other, tunes to make people smile and wonder , how does he do this – is he a magician? – No he is not – he is surrounded by magicians, I am siMon and I am just the chord former, with the Beard, the belly, the beat box, the Casio styles and the bear hat.
NB] I had to buy a lot of new stuff just to try to get some of the sounds, and feelings on the new record across in a live setting. It’s a really great record and we’re just starting to get it working live.