From time to time, there are bands like FM that we only discover now, even though they have existed for many years. This was one of my big discoveries of the Hellfest 2019. I had the opportunity to talk about their past but also their news and either one or the other there are things to say!

Hello, how are you? How do you feel to play here, at the Hellfest?

– Steve Overland
Oh It’s amazing. One of the few festivals that we haven’t done before and what a fantastic site ! The size of it : it’s just very impressive.

We will begin with a simple question on your career, is there anything funny or impressive that happened to you or what is the most impressive or funny event?

– Steve Overland
Wow. We’ve been gone for so long.

– Jim KirkPatrick
We supported Heart at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago and, even knows it’s not the biggest gig in the world, the Royal Albert Hall is such a famous iconic venue. So probably to play there was certainly a career highlight.

– Steve Overland
For me, it would probably be when we did the “Slippery When Wet Tour” with Bon Jovi. They were number one all over the world and they got the number one when we were touring with them. So they suddenly became the biggest band in the world when we were on the road with them. It was just such a great experience; it was like being in the Beatles : it was amazing. That would be a highlight for me.

Regarding “Atomic Generation”, what inspired you this album and why did you choose this name?

– Steve Overland
You chose and named it.

– Jim KirkPatrick
Yeah… Good question… Merv wanted the word ‘atomic’ in the title. There was a lot in the news at the time about Iran and North Korea. I came up with the ‘generation’ word. We’re all from the atomic generation. And then we just had a couple of little themes that came around it. So there was no grand plan from the start. But once we got the title we did an instrumental song which … I think is on here (The LP on the table). Somewhere … maybe on the Japanese C.D. On one version, there’s a track called “Three-Minute Warning”….

How was the collaboration with Frontiers Records for the creation of this album?

– Steve Overland
Frontiers have been our label now for a few years. They’re great to work with we’ve got no problems with them at all. They’re very supportive. Sarah Fino, Mario, big supporters and fans of that band, have been here for years even before we work with them so it’s very easy for us to work with Frontiers. They let us get on what we do. We make the records, deliver them. They leave us the complete and total control of everything we do. Fortunately, they seem to like what we give them. It’s a great relationship.

You recorded the live album “the Italian Job” at Milan in April 2018 during the Frontiers Rock Festival, why did you choose this location to record your album?

– Steve Overland
Well we’ve done the festival about two or three years previously. We have a great following in Italy.

– Jim KirkPatrick
The record label suggested it. So they wanted to do it. But as you say we have a good following in Italy.

– Steve Overland
So it seems the right thing to do. It’s a great venue and a great place to record. Italian audiences are very vocal and very loud. So it’s a good country to do a live.

How do you create your setlist for your tour and how do you manage to choose which songs you will play among 11 albums?

– Steve Overland
It’s very difficult ! Especially when you got a set of this length today. We just gonna have to play all the big songs. But we like to try and mix it up but it isn’t easy. I mean when you have 11 albums you’re not gonna please everyone. Somebody can come up to you saying : “why do you play this? Why do you play that ?” We try and change it around so that everybody gets the songs that they want …at some point.

What is your favorite song among those or the one you are really proud of ? and why?

– Steve Overland
I’m proud of all the things we do. We kind of take a lot of time on the records; we probably write 20 songs for each record so I’m pretty proud of all the songs. And the big reward is seeing the audiences love them and sing.

– Jim KirkPatrick
I think the strange thing is, quite often, our favorite songs may be the ones that don’t become that wellknown. So a lot of the time we’ll make a record and go : “That’s the song! That’s the one!” And then, none of the fans really pick up on that and they’ll pick up on other ones. There’s probably been along the way two or three songs that we thought are really going to take off and it’s been otherwise. So it’s quite difficult to judge it.

You will participate to the big 3-0 Tour, what was the idea behind this tour? Why did you choose 1989? Why do you limit this tour to the UK?

– Steve Overland
It’s the anniversary of, probably, our biggest album. Dan Reed Network are friends of ours. We know the band and they came through roughly the same time with their “Slam” album. All of them were sold in New York when I was out there writing. We know Gun too : another British band that came through at the same time and they had the same success with their iconic albums. They came up with the idea that we will do a tour together, do bigger venues and just celebrate our biggest records. That’s how it came about really.

– Jim KirkPatrick
There’s a chance that it may come here next year. We haven’t ruled that out. This is just a stop. It’s just whether we can logistically make that work with the three bands and especially the guys from the States. So that makes it a little bit more complicated for them but we’re looking to do that.

You will play with Skid Row in Germany as special guests. How did this collaboration happen?

– Steve Overland
Once again, through the management. They came up with the idea. We’d done shows with Skid Row in the past in Sweden some years ago. We know each other. Our management know them; they proposed it to them and they wanted to do it. So we’re gonna do a couple of our own shows whilst we’re here: 2 headline shows. We just like touring. Somebody comes up; the managers say : “Do you want to do this ?” More often than not, we will say, if it’s logistically possible, “I’ll love to do it”.

After all those tours, what will be the future for FM? Is there anything you still want to acomplish?

– Steve Overland
The future for FM is to continue doing what we do. I mean the band just seems to be growing. We’re discovering new territories where we have followings that we’ve we never played in. We just love doing it after all these years at this level. It’s fantastic.

– Jim KirkPatrick
A new album will be out normally around April / May.

– Les deux
So then it’ll start again.

We arrive at the end of this interview and as always, we leave you the last words of this one.

– Jim KirkPatrick
Thank you for having us at Hellfest.

– Steve Overland
Thanks for your support through the years. It’s thanks to you that we’re still here and we’re gonna have a great time. So we’ll see you all from the stage.


Photo by John McNally.

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