IntheMiddle with Francobollo

Francobollo (translating to postage stamp in Italian) are the London via Sweden four-piece that put
the weird and wonderful in indie music.

Francobollo released their debut album Long Live Life in July, collaborating with the mercury and brit
award winning producer Charlie Andrew. A favourite of BBC Radio 6 music’s Lauren Laverne and Tom
Ravenscroft, the singles ‘Good Times’, ‘Kinky Lola’ and ‘Worried Times’ encapsulate a playful blend
of self-deprecating, witty lyrics with a uniquely pop-punk sound. When asked if the band have a
favourite song from the album, bassist Sam Bailey told me “I really like ‘Now’, its one we never really
play and it’s the last song on the album”. However the band are keen to get back in the studio,
saying that after you finish an album “you want to move onto the next.”

Living in both Sweden and London has helped Francobollo define their sound. Both Simon Nilsson
(vocals/guitar) and Sean Bean (drums) agree that “there’s definitely a Scandi thing” before Simon
elaborates that “a lot of English pop music has this weird folky undertone”, although “in Sweden it’s
the same” in terms of a stereotypical sound. Sam Bailey (bass) continues that “Everything in the UK
is really homogenised but in Scandinavia everything is so specific, it’s so unique and original
sounding- its quality not quantity.”

There’s no denying that Francobollo are both unique and original, especially when it comes to their
music videos, ranging from featuring a pregnant man to an angry ball of pubic hair. The band
elaborate that when it comes to videos “no one stops us we just think what would tickle us and what
we would like to see. Too much is censored, it’s nice to kind of go blueerggh and make people ask
‘what are they gonna do? What are they gonna say?’” On whether there is any ideas for future music
videos Sam explains that “the idea is a rudderless cruise ship, so we have the freedom to do all the
big numbers but with an old school titanic feel to it.”


Even the album artwork is impressive as Sam explains its inspiration; “We released a little EP a long
time ago and we put all blank cd covers on the floor in a square and then drew a massive mural with
crayons and then sold them all. And the front cover is all of them on the cd and this one is a better
version of that.”

The band also joke that “slowly the Francobollo musical is coming to life, mixed with enormous
social anxiety and panicky music. It would be fun to work on a musical together, that’s the plan. No
more music videos just musicals per single.”

As well as embarking on tour, Francobollo played a string of festivals over the summer. Simon
explains that in comparison to a gig, at a festival “it’s not as nerve racking as when it’s your own
show and people turn up to see you. At festivals it’s not really on you if people show up”. Sam
continues that its’ great at a festival “when you can physically see a room fill up and you are trying to
net people in”.

Francobollo have toured with The Big Moon and Marika Hackman, saying how great it is to just
“have fun and warm up the audience”. When playing such an energetic set you would expect there
to be some weird things that happen on tour, but as Simon explains “the one thing that keeps re-
occurring is I have to go to the toilet a lot, that’s my biggest fear as well as drinking too much and then
having to get in a van and stop off.” After the band joke that Simon should get a catheter, Sam says
that “it’s a hard question because everyone thinks it’s crazy on tour but actually its quiet, it all
happens on stage”.

On what’s next in store for Francobollo both Simon and Sean tell me how they are going to get their
drivers licenses, but after that Simon explains “we are going to try and record our second album, it’s done and written, we just need to record it.” Sam continues how the band are also looking forward
to playing at SXSW “which is really exciting”.

Following their blistering set at Brudenell Social Club, it’s exciting to hear of the band’s plans for the
future. If you haven’t already heard of Francobollo, then at least make sure to check out some of
their music videos.