Throwback to August 2014 when AOR Rockers ‘FM’ sat down with me backstage just before their gig at Warehouse23, Wakefield to have a quick chat about their latest 30th anniversary in music, what’s next for them album wise and how they feel about their audience diversity.

Participants: Steve Overland (Vocals) Jim Kirkpatrick (Guitar)

Hey guys, how are you?

Steve:  ‘We’re good, very good.’

Jim: ‘Alright, yeah.

Are you all ready for tonight’s gig?

Steve: ‘Oh yeah we’re ready, music wise, we’re fine and everything is set’

Jim: ‘I’m going onstage like this, jeans and t-shirt.’ *laughs*

Playing this kind of venue, it’s only a smaller gig and crowd, how does that compare to playing the big arenas? Do you find you can be much more intimate with your fans this way?

Steve: ‘They both have a different appeal’

Jim: ‘I do like playing these venues’

Steve: ‘Yeah, I mean you get the eye contact, but we’ve never played here we didn’t even know this venue was here. It’s a Lovely place.’

So you have your 30th anniversary coming up… How does it make you feel when you see you’ve still got young fans, for example I’m 18, I listen to your music old and new. What’s it like knowing you have that wide variety?

Steve: ‘hmmm, has it been that long *laughs* It’s great because obviously I think what’s happened is a lot of younger people, their parents probably listen to us, and they’ve probably rammed it down their children’s throats and then they’ve kind of got to hear it. We’re now finding when we go out on tour, we’ve got another generation of fans, which you know, is fantastic to see that. And great to know that the music doesn’t sound that dated to the point where we can’t bring younger fans in and so what we’re doing is appreciated by young people, it’s brilliant.’

So, talking about your 30th anniversary, you’re going to be playing a special show at Cambridge Rock Festival. How do the big festival gigs compare to playing the smaller places like Warehouse in terms of festivals being that not all the attending audience are there for you?

Jim: That’s the main difference really. The talent of these shows that hopefully you’ll see or hear about, they’ve got an almost fanatical following. We’ve done some festivals, Download and things like that where there could be thousands of people and you’re thinking “oh they’re not going totally mental for us, maybe they don’t like us” and then actually some would say “oh your show was fantastic”

Steve: ‘You’re converting new fans.’

Jim: ‘They’re there deciding if they like your music or not. A lot of people will never have heard of you or not know anything about you, so it’s definitely an experience where you have to work a bit harder at a festival, even if you’re the headline act.’

Steve: It’s not your show so you’re going out there, you haven’t got your own lights, you haven’t got your own people doing what they normally do for you so, you’ve got to go out on stage where there’s no warm and hot period, you just kick into it and you’re on and that’s it.’

When you’re not touring and making music, what sort of things are you getting up to?

Jim: ‘Well, to be honest we don’t really have time to do anything but that.’

Steve: ‘No, that’s what we do, we tour and make music.’

Jim: ‘But we do like a pint on a Sunday afternoon.*laughs*

You’ve got your new EP ‘Futurama’ with 4 new tracks and 6 live recordings, what is it that’s made you bring out an EP and re-give to the fans these older songs as opposed to just going straight out and making a new album with 10-12 brand new tracks on it?’

Steve: ‘We’ll we’re making a new album, but it’s just been a while since we put out anything else so we put this out because, we’ve kind of been doing tracks mixed but  then the new album is actually nearly full’

Jim: ‘over the last 5 or 6 years when putting albums out  we’ll also place, 2 EP’s in between doing the albums just as a sort of stop gap and let the fans know that we’re still on with making music and this is a taste of what we’re doing. We have so much new material that we can’t get it all on an album.’

Steve: ‘We don’t know whether any of the other songs that are on the EP will go on the new album because there could be at least 20 songs to choose from.’

This EP has a lot of old tracks on it but this time they’re live versions, have you done that purposely with it being your 30th anniversary as ways of maybe ‘re-living’ them?

Steve: ‘These are actually live tracks that have never been put on anything else so I think it was just us liking to give value for money. You put out an EP rather than just having 3-4 songs on because it’s nice to give a mini album.’

Jim: ‘We’re conscious now not to release live stuff that’s been out before so then we don’t end up with 4 live versions of the same song.’

Steve: ‘So again it’s just giving it value for money and makes it an all-round good buy. Also it helps give a taste of what we’re currently on with now and hopefully it goes out and people like it and then when the album comes out they’ll know what to expect.’

So FM fans can expect a lot more new music in the future?

Steve: ‘Oh yeah, there’s plenty of that coming up.’

FM’s EP ‘Futurama’ is available @ http://www.fmofficial.com/fmofficial/2_shop.html