Fifth Quarter focus on storytelling through music and art. They have a genuinely unique approach to music which can also be seen in their DIY-inspired visuals!
They recently released an EP and a Video called ‘Eternal Recurrence.’
Here’s what happened when sat down to discuss their music.
How did you all meet?
Syf – Ermm, at work. Well Henny was my manager at the time and we was working for some time before actually doing anything musically. I recently at the time found out about ‘Run the Jewels’ and I liked the dynamic that they sort of had and around that time Henny, started making music and we worked on one song and then from there we was off to the races.
Henny – Work! We’ve all worked for the same company and department at some point over the years, and we all just became friends over time. Musically speaking, I had just started to record a personal project at home with the interest of introducing Syf to one of the songs. We made ‘Stage Lights,’ which prompted reworking the whole project and the birth of Fifth Quarter!
Describe your typical writing process
Syf – Typical writing process, well usually Henny gets into a zone where he will make a quite a few songs at a time and have ideas on how the song came about. At the same time, we are always having discussion about things for hours and in that scenario, ideas will be getting thrown about. Henny would then show me the music at stage where he thinks I would be able to write to it. With me, I am a bit weird sometimes because Henny could show me the song in studio and I can write to the whole song there and then but other times I need to take the song away first and fully get invested in the song and ‘story’ per say. Because we have so many discussions and thoughts that go into our songs, I sometimes need the time away with my thoughts and just doing nothing to come up with the flow and then once I got the flow and sort of feel, I then write the lyrics. But at the core it is very much a group effort
Henny – We’re very expressionist, so our projects often start with personal thoughts or feelings which we develop into a concept. At this point I usually submerge myself in various types of art that portray similar moods or themes, and let that sit with me while I approach the music. We build everything at once, a little bit at a time – there’ll be a lot of discussion involved and back and forth with the music while Syf writes the lyrics, so it’s very much a group effort.
Let’s talk about the eternal recurrence, what was the inspiration behind the EP?
Syf – Well like I said, we have many discussions in general about things and also I was listening and reading some self help books at this particular time. We was very much against working a 9-5. Like, I personally couldn’t understand why we as people get stuck in that system even though we are not happy with that system. Like our parents did this, so are we just going to do the same thing? Obviously, you need a job to get money, but the focus should be getting out of it unless it makes you happy and it is what you want to do. We always complain about not having enough time to do things we want or just having time for ourselves. Also, what was annoying, was people that would complain about a situation but not do anything to get out of that situation or take steps towards it (this is very much me talking to myself as well because us as humans are all guilty of this).
So these was conversations that we was having and then the songs Rogue and Machine were made from this. Henny has an amazing (wild at times lol) imagination and he reads a lot of books and after these songs was made, the idea started to come together a lot more as he started to piece together the different conversations and feelings we had towards the subject and it spread from there.
Henny – The story is an allegory for the feeling of disenchantment with the routine of day to day life; a desire to break free, to do or to have done. The soundtrack to an unwritten comic within an unwritten graphic novel, Eternal Recurrence is an alternative view on Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World.
Set in a technology driven future, this project follows a man in a dream world. In real life he is subject to a different kind of prison system where the prisoners are drained of energy to support new waves of automation technology.
This project questions the ethics of the modern day workforce, the need for and effect of the infinite growth we strive for, and what this actually means for the day to day life of the average person.
What does success look like to you? Where do you guys see yourself in 5 years?
Syf – Consistency…if I could say it in one word. To me, if you can earn an amount that you could live your life from what you love or your chosen career, then that is successful. Because once your at that stage, nothing should seem like a chore as you are doing what you love to and you are able to live from it. But obviously, we want to be the biggest group ever as well lool.
In 5 years I see us being a force in the creative industry. What we are doing is trying to create something a little different to what people may be use to We have big plans and ideas, it doesn’t just stop at music. We also, are going to be doing exhibitions, filmmaking, writing scripts, acting. There is a lot we want to do but it is about focusing on things at steady rate rather than trying to do everything at once.
Henny – The ability to maintain what we do, develop, work with others and reach out to people who’ll like our stuff! We collectively have a lot of interests, and it’s important that we’re able to explore these avenues. In addition to music releases, we hope to branch into other areas like art exhibitions, filmmaking and acting, to name a few!
Where can people check out your music –
We can be found oooooon:
Do you have any upcoming gigs?
You may hear us on Vibe 107.6FM soon, and we’re currently looking at setting up an art exhibition in London or Watford. Sign up to our mailing list at www.actoftelling.com and we’ll keep you updated!
How would you like to be remembered by your fans/supporters?
Syf – I would like us to be remembered as a band that told great stories in whatever way we wanted to showcase the stories, whether that is in the music, artwork, films, etc.
Henny – I’d like us to be remembered as interesting – we want to constantly move forward, never becoming stagnant and always exploring new things.
Any last shoutouts or plugs?
Syf – Yeah, let me shout out Antonia first of all, my don, Tooraretodie (dope collective), Kish, Purp, Raysh, Benny Ben, Wiz, Stripez & skullZ.
Henny – MA13 & SamXVI – always big inspirations!