The Band Explains: Suggested Friends - 'Turtle Taxi'
Queer DIY punk Suggested Friends are due to drop their second album ‘Turtle Taxi’ next month via Fika Recordings. They took a moment to talk use through the visuals for their most recent single and the plans for their November headline tour.
Your single ‘Turtle Taxi’ is out now, what is the track about?
Faith: The song is about being able to chill when you're in nourishing and supportive relationships. It takes aim at the ways that capitalism tries to subject us all to this milestone culture of over-productivity, and instead celebrates the work that goes into relationships that make room for recreation. It's also kind of about splashing around in a swimming pool like a turtle.
The video for the track was homemade, what made you decide to make it yourselves? Any behind the scenes stories?
Christabel: Speaking on behalf of the rest of the band, we did embark on an exciting quest to find a place where we could pet some turtles for the video. Unfortunately, the turtle sanctuaries in the UK are located in hard to reach locations for a band with a limited budget. Luckily, we have a very good friend in Uxbridge who homes some tortoises (amongst other animals) and so we had an incredibly pleasant time annoying these majestic tortoises and the various dogs living there. In the heat and commotion of filming the TT video we did indeed lose sight of the tortoises a couple of times, as they have a nifty way of sprinting off into the long grass and under fences. Luckily, at least one of us at all times was able to spot them before they dashed under, into the neighbours' gardens. Please note, no tortoises were harmed during the making of this video.
Faith: We would like to apologise to anyone who was misled by the discrepancy between the song title and the number of tortoises featured.
It features a couple of turtles in the video, who do they belong to and what are their names?
Christabel: As aforementioned, the turtles were in fact tortoises belonging to our friend Zoe, and their names are: Gary (the big one), Patti and Esiotrot. All stars.
Your album is out soon, what can we expect from it? What did you draw on for inspiration?
Faith: This album is softer in some ways than our debut, mostly thanks to the greater presence of pop, soft-rock and alt-country influences. In some ways it's also more serious and sincere lyrically, reaching into memory and trying to bridge it to ways of moving forward in a complex present world - there are songs about recovery and adolescent pain, songs about shame and sexuality, there's some stuff about complicated family relationships in there, and lots about the overwhelming crises that surround our current moment on a wider scale. At the same time, you can still expect a layer of deadpan humour, because sometimes all you can do is laugh!
This October, you are also heading out on tour around the UK, what show are you looking forward to the most? And how do you keep yourselves occupied while on the road.
Christabel: I think we are looking forward to all of the shows equally as we haven't been on tour for a while! We love playing live shows and getting to see all the different sights and hot-spots of the UK. This year, we have been waiting on tenterhooks to be able to announce and tour the album so we are very excited for people to finally be able to hear it, and for us to play it! We keep ourselves amused on the road by compiling Spotify playlists surrounding a chosen theme, for example: questions, numbers, countries... it can cause many arguments but it is all worth it! Perhaps our most nerve-racking show will be the album launch party on Wednesday 9th October at the Shacklewell Arms in London as that will be the first time we can officially release the album from its little turtle egg!
Faith: I'm really looking forward to playing in Scotland. The last time (and only time) we played in Glasgow was back in 2017, and we've been looking forward to returning ever since. Touring as a DIY band is an incredible way to feel connected to many different cities and regions in the UK, you really realise that there's this huge community of people who are doing so much work to make space for art and music. Suggested Friends tour vehicles are usually constant chatter and laughs, it can get pretty raucous. We owe a lot to Jack who does 90% of the driving, often at ridiculous hours of the morning. This time around we're hoping a friend will be able to step into the driving seat to give Jack a rest
Suggested Friends live:
26.09.19 - Nottingham - Metronome (w/ Camp Cope)
09.10.19 - London - The Shacklewell Arms (album launch show)
12.10.19 - Nottingham - The Old Cold Store (2019 Nottingham Pop All-Dayer)
25.10.19 - London - DIY Space For London (Weenfest 2019)
09.11.19 - Bristol - The Exchange
10.11.19 - Cardiff - The Moon
11.11.19 - Oxford - The Library
12.11.19 - Sheffield - Cafe Totem
13.11.19 - Leeds - CHUNK
14.11.19 - Liverpool - Craft Taproom
15.11.19 - Bradford - 1in12 Club
16.11.19 - Edinburgh - Brig Below
17.11.19 - Glasgow - Glad Cafe