For most fans, touring is the ultimate dream: hitting the road with music under your wings, your close friends at your side.
Fenech-Soler took off on a short Stateside venture a few weeks back, ostensibly to promote new album 'ZILLA'.
Embarking on a journey across the continent, Fenech-Soler took these behind the scenes snaps...
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1. After a year of writing and recording, we're leaving London and heading for America to begin promotion of our new album ZILLA. It's always an exciting prospect, not just the travelling but being at the start of an album campaign. This music has existed for months between the four walls of our studio and inside our heads but it's time to let go of it and for it to be judged. Excitement, relief and nerves all mixed into one.
2. First stop New York where we have two days of interviews and sessions. It's also our first time sampling the delights of the famous Katz Deli near the venue we're playing. We heard New York was getting expensive so when we were charged $52 for 2 sandwiches they either saw us coming or sandwich inflation has been on the up in NY. Other notable food recommendations we should mention - Sweet Chicks in Brooklyn; fried chicken, rosemary and thyme waffles with maple syrup, all on the one plate. Incredible scenes. Or Fette Sau for BBQ food. This is equally amazing.
3. Backstage in Manhattan for the first show of the ZILLA tour. Also the first time we've sold out a show in America which for us as a band is a big deal. We've been playing music for a few years now and we've always done things ourselves which has sometimes cost us time and required unwavering hard work but to start seeing people understanding who we are as a band and the music we make is truly a humbling experience. The show happened to be one of our favourites and a new chapter started for Fenech-Soler in America.
4. After a reserved discipline of going to bed early and being tempered by underestimating the strength of New York coffee, we spent the next day talking to lots of lovely people about our new record and also dropped by Billboard to do a stripped back live session. Sporting classic Brittish colds, my throat was not having any of it which never works well with a live performance streamed on the internet. It really is the new platform; live online videos where there isn't any escape from mistakes. Luckily we did okay. I think!
5. This album has been different for Ross and I as it's now just the two of us. We grew up in a musical family with our dad and uncle being a bluegrass duo who toured around the world with the likes of Tammy Wynette, Charlie Pride and Dolly Parton. All of our cousins are involved in music in some capacity so it only felt right enlisting the help of Chris, our cousin, to play drums. Here are Ross and Chris being tourists in Venice.
6. Limbering up for our second US show at the bootleg theatre in Los Angeles. Again, a nice feeling to know the show is sold out. We decided to drop in a new cover we've been working on - Janet Jackson's 'Control'. We recently covered David Bowie, Robin S and Prince so a Janet Jackson cover felt like the right next attempt. We're influenced by all these artists and it's always nice getting the opportunity to have a go doing our own version. This is us playing that cover at the Bootleg Theatre which got a good response.
7. Here's us having an absolutely moment on top of the Capitol Records building. Big thank you to the lovely people at our label for taking us up there. Massive musical and childhood tick for us and the day before the album comes out so good feelings all around. Apparently they used to throw parties up there back in the day. Amazing 360 views of Los Angeles and an experience we'll never forget.
8. Finishing this gruelling and painful tour of two SHOWS! with a live session for KCRW. As I mentioned, we've been a band for a while and it's things like this that make everything worthwhile. To get the opportunity to make music, travel all the way across the world and then perform on radio stations and play shows is an absolute privilege. Touring is not hard. It's fun and every minute should be enjoyed. That's what ZILLA is to us. It's a colourful pop record that's there to be enjoyed and this two week run has been the perfect kick off.
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'ZILLA' is out now.