For a while if you googled “sleazy moustache” this picture of Fred Macpherson was the sixteenth result. Sadly his moustachioed visage has now been usurped by others with more questionable facial furniture.
I had breakfast with Macpherson recently and realized I’d seen him in all his musical endeavors thus far. First there was Adventure Playground, a party hip-pop troupe which included his cousin, actor Henry Lloyd-Hughes and Charlie Fink, now the frontman of Noah and the Whale. Then there was the fall-about jangle of Les Incompétents which he followed with the glowering, sonorous Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man. After that things went a bit quiet on the Fred front in terms of music. He ventured into the world of presenting, working for MTV2 and getting punched in the face for money. Now he’s 24, and performing with his Les Incompétents cohort Chris Burman as Spector. Think big, shimmery hooks. It’s insta-indie-pop. Download a mix of Spector’s recent favorites and catch up with Macpherson, below.
Download: Spector’s Never FADER Away Mix
Drake, “Marvin’s Room”
Frank Sinatra, “Where or When”
The Rapture, “How Deep Is Your Love”
Tinchy Stryder, Giggs, Professor Green, Tinie Tempah, Devlin, Example, Chipmunk, “Game Over”
Caravan, “Magic Man”
Liza Minelli and The Pet Shop Boys, “Losing My Mind”
The Vines, “Homesick”
Roxy Music, “Psalm”
The launch for your debut single “Never Fade Away” at Efes snooker club in Dalston (with Blood Orange opening) was very sweaty and well attended. Were you pleased about the turn out? I was pleased. Genuinely I felt the next morning that I could quit. We only had one song out and people always say it, but really I thought people might not turn up. At those early shows you rely on friends, but there were people there who weren’t friends—people who I look up to.
Like? Influences. Tom Vek, Ed Larrikin [of Larrikin Love], Davo from Pull Tiger Tail, Vincent Vincent [of Vincent Vincent and the Villains], Charlie Rumble Strips, Dan From Black Wire, Rory Phillips [who started Trash with Erol Alkan. Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine was also present]. True British indie lineage. It’s funny when you’re very young you feel quite competitive with each other and as you get older your realize you want everyone to do well.
Was there an artist that made you want to play music? The Strokes made me want to be in a band, but Frank Sinatra first inspired me to want to be an entertainer. What do you call those people who do lots of things?
A renaissance man. I wouldn’t go that far.
Are you not a renaissance man? Absolutely not! I’m still waiting for you to buy me breakfast so I can eat. Doesn’t sound like particularly good renaissance to me. Anything I’ve been doing is just to avoid getting a job.
Everything you do makes you the center of attention. That’s a bit of an accusation. As you know from television presenting, you cease to exist. You’re connecting the audience at home with the thing they’re interested in. It’s just two tin cans and some string. You’re the string doing your best to communicate from one channel to another. Getting punched in the face was a low moment. I needed the money and I spent it going to Coachella which inspired me doubly to come back and make a proper go of things with Spector.
Had you ever been punched in the face before? No which is another reason I wanted to do it. Now I’m not scared.