Rising from the ashes of My Passion comes Fort Hope, formed by 4 ex-members Jon, Ande, Simon and Jamie (sans vocalist Laurence).
Formed in January of this year, Fort Hope are already causing a stir with their melodic rock and stunning vocals, and have their debut album ‘Courage’ dropping May 11.
We caught up with them in their dressing room before they hit the stage at Camden Underworld for the #EMonemoretime show with Elliot Minor.
HTS: Hi guys! What’s the story behind the name Fort Hope?
Jon (Vocals): Well I was working on a show before we became a band, and I was trying to think of amazing names for the band which is like the hardest thing to do because everyone’s just like “what about this? What about that?” then I stumbled across something without my glasses on and I was like “Fort Hope, that’s a sweet band name!” and then I realised when I put my glasses on it didn’t say Fort Hope at all which is even better because then I didn’t steal the idea!
Simon (Bass) : Wasn’t it do with Elvis?
Ande (Guitar): Yeah when he was in the military; I think it was Fort Hood.
Jon: Also the whole word ‘hope’ fitted well with what we wanted to talk about.
HTS: What prompted the decision to carry on after the split of My Passion?
Jon : Well we didn’t have any kind of break after we split up, we didn’t know what else to do with our lives, we just carried on as if nothing had ever happened, just went straight from one band into another, a bit like a relationship! (laughs) No gap! We didn’t wanna risk not being a band and having to actually make real life choices so we had to stay in a band, it’s all we know!
HTS: Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect from your new album?
Jon: Basically we wrote loads of songs but we can’t put them all on one album, so it’s the best of what we’ve written so far really. So basically our second album’s gonna be awful (laughs) because we’ve saved all our mediocre songs for the second one. Let’s just put all the best ones on the first album.
Ande: After that who cares?! (laughs) But seriously we are still writing!
HTS: What made you decide to start a PledgeMusic project?
Ande: Initially we were looking with LAB Records at how to sell physical copies of our album while making sure that they were chart eligible and we looked at all the options and PledgeMusic turned out to be the most effective one. And we thought well, while we’re doing that why not put together some packages and give the fans some stuff that they wouldn’t normally get, so it just kind of all fell into place really.
HTS: You’re offering an “acoustic house gig” for £300 on the project, what’s the plan for those who buy them?
Jon : Well it’s an acoustic performance so it’ll be pretty chilled out to be fair, some candles, some lavender… But if it was like full on band at a house party that would be sick.
HTS: What if people from other countries buy them; are you going to follow through?
Ande: Oh well yeah! Basically there’s the cost of the thing and they have to pay the travel. We’ll still do it!
Simon: All day.
Ande: If it’s England, India, Australia, we’ll do it! We do require first class though (laughs)
HTS: What are you hoping for from tonight’s show with Elliot Minor?
Jon : It’ll just be really nice to play to a bunch of new people because we got added to the show after it had already sold out so for us we’re so excited about it because we’re hoping 90% of people there won’t have heard of us before so it’s just a good opportunity for us to show people what we’re all about. And also because we’re not headlining the show it means we get to drink beer and then watch Elliot Minor play which is like a dream come true. All in all it’s gonna be a great night!
Ande: And then we’re filming our music video tomorrow!
HTS: Tell us about that!
Ande: It’s a music video for our main single off the album ‘Courage’ which is gonna be ‘The Rapture’, and Jon’s come up with all the ideas.
Jon: Crazy ideas! The treatment is it’s all about this lion. A lot of our artwork is centred around… well our albums called ‘Courage’ so we thought “well let’s not shy away from that and just use a lion”, but why not also incorporate that into the video. So we got one of my really good friends who’s an actor, and I’ve convinced him to dress up in this amazing lion costume, a bit like ‘Cats’ but more black comedy as opposed to stagey show tunes. We’re filming the video in a town called Stevenage which is a nice place… but it’s also a 70s industrial kind of town, so its gonna be a really cool juxtaposition, and we’re filming in a lakeside area and woodlands at dusk, so really arty and pretentious (laughs) so a really cool contrast. The whole story is the lion trying to find his courage, his heart, and figure out the meaning behind life. It’s gonna be an emotional journey.
(The video was released TODAY! Check it out below the interview!)
HTS: What’s the plan for 2014?
Jon: We’ve got a tour with our friends Blitz Kids and I Divide, which starts on the 21st of April. After that we’ve got Sonisphere in the summer which is sick!
Ande: We’re doing a headline show! Our album comes out on the 11th of May so we decided to do a headline show to celebrate that so on the 13th of May we’re doing a headline show at Islington Academy, and its gonna be really good because it’s our first proper headline so we’re gonna make sure to get like a piano on stage and extra drums and stuff.
Jon : There’s lots you can’t do when you’re supporting because there’s just no time and no space so we can’t really do all of our chorography that we have (laughs) it’s very limited. So it’s cool for us to do our headline show and pull out all the stops and make it really special.
Check out Fort Hope on Facebook! And check out their new video ‘The Rapture’ below;