Meet: Fin Greenall Of Fink As The Band Return With A Brand New Album; Listen To Latest Single ‘One Last Gift’

Tom Young

As a songwriter, Fin Greenall has worked side-by-side with artists like Amy Winehouse and John Legend, been kept waiting for a week in a New York hotel room by D’Angelo and collaborated with Bonobo and Nitin Sawhney. He has contributed tracks to the 12 Years A Slave soundtrack and worked alongside award-winning US filmmaker Ava DuVernay on her screen debut Middle of Nowhere and the Oscar-winning Selma. Add to that writing the OST for smash-hit console game, Prince Of Persia and…well… what a life!

In addition, Greenall has announced the eighth studio album, ‘Beauty In Your Wake, ‘ teaming up with his cohorts Tim Thornton (drums/guitar) and Guy Whittaker (bass). The Album will be released on CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital formats via Greenall’s own R’COUP’D label on Friday, July 5, 2024.

We last interviewed you back in 2015. How have things changed for you since then?

Man, that feels like a long time ago! I suppose everything has changed in a way. My beard is a completely different colour! Sobriety I think is probably the biggest change since then. I had probably just moved to Berlin back then, still here and loving it. But generally feeling more grounded and balanced than back then. At the end of 2015 I took a break after 10 years on the road and I really needed that.

You were critical of the iTunes/streaming music craze back then. What’s your take on the state of the music industry now? Has it gotten worse? Have you noticed any improvements? How has Brexit affected you, if at all?

Brexit is a disaster. I have moved all my of my operations to the EU. I have to. The import/export mess just prices artists out of doing what they do. And don’t get me started on needing an import Carnet to bring a guitar back into the UK to do a session, that shit is crazy! Like, the concept of Brexit, asking the public what they want and them expressing themselves I’m ok with. But the aftermath of that decision has been shocking.

Streaming has developed and I’m ok with it. I actually really like it. The domination of ITunes and downloads was a risky moment, putting artistic expression firmly in the hands of a hardware corporation. I don’t think was a very healthy thing. I’m glad the ITunes domination has waned to be honest and same with CD’s. It is a crappy, unstable format and now I think we can see it for what it was, an excuse for the majors to get a bonus.

The Music industry, as far as I can tell, is in exactly the same position it has always been. Some people are in it for the music, some for the business. The business changes, the music changes but some golden rules still apply as they have always done. One of those is that greatness rises to the top, I’m still convinced of that. A great song can change your life. The speed of consumption is an issue but thankfully not for me. I’m an artist not a content creator.

Is there anyone out now who has inspired you, or whose music do you really love?

I really love the new Rachel Sermanni record, it’s amazing. I am loving The Smile, love the new Ben Howard stuff, still digging pretty hard out there for my vintage vinyl vibe, so still buying a lot of greatness from the past. Lots of reggae and mid 90’s drum and bass. Love myself some War On Drugs and absolutely loved that last James Holden record.

What prompted the return after such a gap from creating under the Fink name? How do you guys write, and what is the mood/atmosphere like in the studio? What led you to Cornwall to record this album?

The return. Indeed, Covid got in the way. We had to cancel a 90-date tour which was brutal. Just like everyone else, I kept busy. I was doing a big soundtrack for Ubisoft and a lot of producing and co-writing. I became a father, so I took a moment to get to know her. This album came together really when I discovered this studio in Cornwall and everything just kind of fell into place. The music, the coast, the studio, the guys. I wrote a load of songs, we jammed them out, and then just rolled down there and played them out, swimming in the sea in the mornings and spending days by the fire. Heaven, really. The mood was tight. Cornwall is where I am from, and where my family is and that made total sense for the vibe of this record.

How would you describe your music to those who may have never heard you?

Alternative acoustic indie, plated with some roasted folk, some blue and soulful oils and a chaser of muscular songwriting.

You have a vast amount of work where you have not been in the spotlight but as a producer, record label owner, and songwriter. What attracted you to that side of the music business as opposed to being the frontman?

I love both sides of the music business. I have always had a foot on the other side of the fence. I feel I have learned a lot over the years on the stage and out front and I really get a kick out of sharing that. Producing I love. Having been on both sides of the glass I love that fact I can understand every angle from artist, producer, label and manager. We all want the same thing and that’s amazing music that does really well. The more amazing the music, the better it will do.

I was first attracted to it all back in the dance days. It was very DIY back then in the 90’s and I wanted to know how it worked on the bigger levels, so I worked for the majors in London for seven years to learn that side of things. Happy artists understand what is happening. Frustration is created from ignorance. I love writing songs and writing for others allows you to express ideas that maybe you wouldn’t express in your own project. I just love it all. A life in music.

What is left on your to-do list when it comes to creating? Have you branched out away from music? 

A true film soundtrack is still on my hit list. I have been blessed to work on some amazing films but a big budget soundtrack would be ace. I am itching to get back to my Blues project. It’s just time that slips away from me on it every time and now I am back on the Fink bus that will have to wait. Right now, my to-do list is simply to get out there and play for everyone who wants to hear me play, wherever in the world that is. I have other hustles happening, mainly to insulate my stress about making money so my art remains pure, and that involves a longer view. But, as always, the next song I’m gonna write will be the one! I’m still hungry for it.

How much do you enjoy playing your songs in the live arena? How does it differ from creating in a studio to you?

The experience is chalk and cheese. Live is a celebration of what you have done and an opportunity to enjoy and explore every night the songs you have written. It’s like covering yourself every night,  you can really take it to new places and I love that. Big, small, difficult, easy… I welcome them all.

Studio is different, that is the sharp end, pulling out performance on cue and pushing yourself right to the edge. Taking your skill level and trying constantly to break it, to vibe harder, to write better, to sing heavier. Studio time is the intense art cauldron that we dream of.

Writing is really inward looking but studio time is the time where you make calls, decisions in the moment that will last for the lifetime of the songs. Or at least until you get on the tour and fix them. Some songs transfer really easily, usually the best songs to be honest, from studio to stage. Some just don’t. The only way to find out is to play ‘em!

Tell us your favourite records that are rocking your headphones/tour bus/car/stereo

Actually, I have a Spotify playlist for that, called “What’s In My Ears”. It’s a rolling playlist of what I’m listening to and what records I’ve bought recently. It’s all vinyl always and always original. This week it a lot of jazz. Jimmy Smith, Grover Washington Jr and Thelonius. The previous instalment was a lot of Lee Perry, 90’s electronic… it really is all over the place. But a juicy slice of reggae is never far away.

Check out the bands new single One Last Gift, below:

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