THE duo, made up of members of Fat White Family and Childhood, tell EDWIN GILSON about overcoming adversity and recording with John Lennon’s son

SAUL Adamczewski knows better than most how intense the life of a touring musician can be.

The songwriter’s time in raucous London mob Fat White Family – heralded as today’s most important rock and roll band – has been incident-packed and, at times, turbulent.

After being told to leave the group in the mire of his heroin addiction in 2016, Saul spent time in rehab before revisiting the songs that would eventually make up the debut album of his side-project Insecure Men.

“It was about getting my life together a bit,” he says. “Initially it was all bitter feelings and then it dawned on me they were kicking me out for my own good, that they were doing it because they cared about the state I was in. It wasn’t because they wanted to hurt me, which is what I first thought.”

Saul admits his closeness to the other FWF members, and especially frontman Lias Saoudi, can be a blessing and a curse – especially on the road.

“When you spend that much time close to people living dysfunctional lives, there is always going to be damage,” says Saul, adding that the balance is often better in Insecure Men because there is a “bit more distance” between members and “not everyone is a wreckhead.”

In contrast, Saul says that previous tours with FWF have left him with two week-long hangovers.

The other songwriting member of Insecure Men is Ben Romans-Hopcraft, Saul’s former schoolmate and singer of indie band Childhood. Moving in the same artistic social circle in South London, the pair gravitated to each other. When they had enough fully-fleshed songs they went to record them in Sean Lennon’s studio in New York, where Saul had worked before on FWF material.

“We’ve developed a working relationship with Sean now where everyone understands how each other works,” says Saul. “I was going to say we don’t let our egos get in the way but that’s complete *******.

“But still, there were times when I left the studio and let Ben and Sean take over, and they did it better than I would have done.”

The Insecure Men album is a markedly different beast to anything FWF or Childhood have released. In some ways it’s more of a pop record, albeit a very off-kilter one. For Saul, the main contrast between Insecure Men and FWF is that being in the latter band sometimes feels like “method acting – playing a character”.

“With the Fat Whites it’s more of a celebration of the darker side of everything, but obviously there is more to anyone than just that.”

If there is some crossover between the two groups, though, it’s in the lyrics – and with good reason. Lias co-wrote over half the words on the album, contributing to tracks about Gary Glitter and Whitney Houston to name a few.

“It’s a collective effort,” says Saul. “I don’t want to pass this off as my solo project – it’s still the same people doing it with the same humour and interests.”

A new FWF album is slated for release this year, produced by Ben, and is apparently heavily influenced by George Michael of all people. “It’s as far away from rock and roll as we’ve ever gone,” says Saul.

Despite starting the Insecure Men project merely because he “didn’t have much else to do”, it’s growing into a thriving animal in its own right.

But as Saul heads out on tour to cater for ever-increasing fan demand, is he wary of reliving the peaks of troughs of life on the road?

“I’d rather not do it but it’s the only way to make a living out of music,” he says. “As long as I’m doing it in a sensible way it’ll be alright.”

Insecure Men
Patterns, Brighton, 
Friday, March 16,