Interview : General Fiasco’s Owen Strathern

Questions: Peter McLoughlin @PeterGownArts

P: At what point did you realise that the urge to create was the most vital urge on the planet?

Owen: I guess it was when I started playing guitar; I was probably 15 or so and as soon as I started I was writing my own stuff.   A lot of my friends were learning to play at the same time, but the main focus for them was to see who could play the fastest or who knew the solo from “Sweet Child of Mine” or whatever, but I didn’t care much about that.  It took a couple of years before I could put anything sort of half decent together.  Eventually people started listening to what I was writing and they were a big encouragement too.

P: Not many people will know this, but you’re also a damn good footballer. Do you feel as composed on stage as you are in front of goal?

O: Being on stage has become pretty easy, it took a little while to get used to it, and occasionally a gig will still come up where I will feel really nervous before I play, but, mostly, I don’t think about it too much.  Football, on the other hand, is a little more inconsistent: some days you are really into it, and other days you blast the ball over an open net from 2 yards out.  I haven’t quite figured that out yet.

P: How does the creative process work within General Fiasco – and how long did it take to put together Unfaithfully Yours?

O: Unfaithfully Yours took quite a while to put together.  I’m not quite sure but I’d say about a year and half. During that time we will write so many songs, maybe 80 or so.  Eventually the songs that feel right come to the front and we have a clear idea of what the record is going to sound like. With Unfaithfully Yours, we wanted to make sure that what we released was the best record it could be.  We wanted the record to sound new and interesting, without completely dismissing what we had achieved to date as a band.

P: Bon Iver said that he needs exercise to ‘grow and sustain’. Do you feel exercise helps re-enforce the necessary drive to keep on creating?

O: For me it’s a case of waking me up and getting my brain working.  Some mornings I’ll get up, laze about drinking coffee, and sit with a guitar or keyboard and not really do anything because I haven’t really snapped out of sleep.  If I get up and run, my body starts to work and eventually my brain too. I’m always more productive when I’ve been exercising.

P: If you had the choice between having £5,000,000, or having the opportunity to have consequence-free sex with every woman you met, which would you choose?

O: Probably the money, as pleasant as consequence free sex with every woman you meet sounds (I’m assuming you don’t have to sleep with everyone; it’s more a case of having the choice too). I can only imagine it would get a little dull. You would end up over-dosing on intercourse, then impotence probably wouldn’t be too far around the corner and you would be left with nothing. Take the money and buy a jet ski.


Unfaithfully Yours is available now from iTunes.  You can follow General Fiasco on Facebook.

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