Behind The Scenes With Freddie Long
© Freddie Long - Photography by Jake Hargreaves
It’s not every day you get to speak to an artist ahead of their sold-out show. “We are full guns blazing,” Freddie Long tells me, buzzing with excitement and energy. The Brighton-born musician always gives his all, whether it’s live shows, clothing lines, or other creative projects.
Freddie Long has been working tirelessly towards his last show of 2022. Since we spoke to him in our last interview in August, Freddie has been playing at Lollapalooza festival in Germany and worked on multiple other creative projects. Ahead of his last gig on Thursday, 24 November 2022, INJECTION met with Freddie for a pre-concert chat. He was still in his hometown Brighton, busy programming lighting for the show in London. We spoke to the charismatic singer about his new album, being signed by Sony Germany, and what we can expect from him in 2023.
Congratulations on your EP Motion and your most recent single, Sober. Sober has arena vibes and a force that gets under your skin. What does it feel like to perform a song like this?
It’s really nice to be able to play these new songs! This is a different chapter; the first single of the album has come out, and it feels great! I've teamed up with my partner on stage and drummer Kieran, and that was a shift in the band. It happened very organically, and since we met, everything sort of just fell into place. We share the stage together. The songs are personal; they come from within and from quite a dark place in my life. I just like to express how I feel, and the music sort of takes over at the end. It’s great to be able to finally play these songs, and I love performing. There’s no other thing like it, to be honest with you.
You've been incredibly busy with preparations for your show on Thursday. Is there ever a moment when you have time to just sit and reflect?
I definitely have the time. I'd love to say that I'm busy nine to five all the time, but a musician’s life isn't like that. There are very dark moments where you gotta make it work, but no, it's very intense, but in a good way. Personally, I need the intensity; I need to have that thing I'm working towards, and having Kieran part of the project now is great! We're very much the same people; we text each other daily with new ideas on how we can improve the live shows. It’ll be very intense on Thursday, but on Friday, I’ll be like: “Shit, I wanna do it all over again!” And I think that’s when the reflection comes in.
© Photography by Alice Ferrante / In frame Freddie Long
Touring and being on stage is one of your biggest joys, and your performances are full of energy. How do you prepare for shows? How do you look after yourself?
I would say I’ve got youth on my side, but I'm running out of that [laughs]. I don't really think about it. I enjoy it, but I think there's definitely no limit now. I mean, I would play a show every day if I could! And I genuinely mean that! I know Kieran is the same. We both love what we do, and until there comes a point when playing live shows all the time becomes a reality, I won’t be having any downtime. Basically, we want to play all the time, so I don't think it's so much like physical exhaustion; I think it's more mental. It's a lot to deal with. I've been doing this for five years now, and I think I've sort of come to understand the highs and the lows and the middle grounds and just learn to deal with it and sort of embrace it. What I found is that the lower times in my career actually really helped me to motivate myself to get forward, if that's writing or just what the next step is, cause we’re unmanaged at the moment as well, we're doing everything ourselves which has been a lot of work, but it's been great because there's a good team around us and support is key.
We’ve got the second single coming out from the album on Friday. The rest of the album is lined up to drop, so there are 12 songs, which means we have got quite a heavy release plan coming up, so I’m looking forward to getting all of those releases out.
Your new single I can’t say no is out a day after your concert, 25 November. Can you tell us a bit more about this song?
It’s the most electronic-sounding sonically song in the album, probably. My influences come from Hans Zimmer to Linkin Park, so very diverse when it comes to the different scales of instruments. I think that, looking at Hans Zimmer, he always uses very dark, very aggressive violins and all that stuff. I wanted to push this song to its limits. It's a wicked song to play live!
Have you got a favourite song when you’re on stage?
Kieran and I have only been doing this together for six months. We played Lollapalooza which was our first show, which was mad! Thursday is really only our third show with all these new songs, so it's quite hard to say. At our live sets, we’re taking our listeners and viewers on a bit of a journey, so there’s an intro, and there are weird voices introducing the songs. I want to take this theatrical Hanz Zimmer approach and use it for live shows.
After the last song at the show, we’ve got a bit of a surprise happening at the end, so it's going to be crazy, and it's all about that song, so right now, I’m definitely very much looking forward to playing that! And also, it’ll be the end of the set, so I can go a bit crazy then!
© Photography by Alice Ferrante / In frame Freddie Long
You’ve conquered the hearts of German fans and are signed by Sony Germany. Will you be spending more time in Berlin?
The guys over in Germany have always been amazing! Every time we get there, we are received with love, so it's always such a joy going over there. So we’ll definitely be spending more time over there. We’re planning on playing in late January or early February in Berlin and hopefully other places in Germany as well, but for now, we have got our eyes set on a date for a headline show in Berlin at some point early next year, which would be really cool. Berlin is where everything started for me.
This is going to be your last show for this year. Can you share with us and your fans what we can expect from you next year?
I would love to tell you that we’ve got loads of festivals planned and loads of gigs, but the reality of it is that we've been grafting on this project, and we've now found our way, we’ve found our line, and it feels right at the moment. So we've got lots of interesting things happening, but I can assure you that we’ll definitely be playing more shows; we are full guns blazing now! We've got the album that comes out next year, which has been pushed back slightly, and we’ve got lots of new music!
How will you be spending your time away from the stage for the rest of this year? I definitely will take some time out to chill for a couple of days, but we're working on some exciting stuff for the album Love/Hate. We’re also currently working on a podcast which we’re planning on filming in December. Then we have a clothing line that is being released on Thursday, and we're going to have some more development on that for early next year. So there's lots of stuff to do! I will definitely be enjoying a few Christmas drinks here and there, no doubt, but there's some stuff to be done in the meantime.
We want to share music with everyone, and we want to showcase what our project is all about. So if anyone’s got the chance to come to our shows, we’re very much open people; we have drinks with people afterwards, and we don't run away! We enjoy everything around it - shows are always good fun!
© Photography by Alice Ferrante
Freddie Long has only just started. His enthusiasm and passion for music and shows are infectious. The artist pours all he has into his creative projects and works tirelessly to give his fans the best experience. His energy and drive know no limits, and no doubt, his last show of the year will be so epic that his fans will talk about it for years to come.