In this edition we are introducing the band Portico, a trio consisting of Jack Wyllie, Duncan Bellamy and Milo Fitzpatrick. The band first caught our attention back in 2014 with their track “Living Fields (Feat. Jono McCleery)”. Their catchy, dubby sound creates something completely new, falling somewhere between pop and ambient. But it is especially their latest single “101” featuring none other than Alt-J’s Joe Newman, is in a class of its own.
Portico have just released their album “Living Fields”, which includes the above track, on Ninja Tunes. Their tender sounds had us mesmerized, so we wanted to know more about these three guys from London, who seem to be taking over the music scene this year. Read on for the HUGO Tracks interview with band member Milo Fitzpatrick.
thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions. We are very happy to feature you on HUGO Tracks.
The first thing I’d like to know is what inspired you to call your band Portico? Is the name inspired by architectural elements or does it have a totally different story?
Before we had a real name and before we were a proper band, we were invited to play at a festival in a village in northern Italy just outside Bologna. We were playing at night in a piazza and it started to rain, so someone told us to go play under the ‘portico’ and we did. It was an intimate and memorable moment and the word portico just had a nice ring to it, so that's why we decided to make it the name of our band.
Why did you choose music as the best way to express your artistic ideas? When did you decide to take this route?
It's hard to say that we had a choice and we picked music. It kinda happens naturally I guess, and you just find, for whatever mystical reason, that music just so happens to work for us individually and collectively.
What are the major influences on your music now? What inspired you to write your upcoming album “Living Fields”?
Life experiences (ours and beyond), and the stories of the challenges that humans face understanding some of the biggest universal questions.
What can we expect from your album? How would you describe your own music on this release in just one sentence?
From this album you can expect something completely different to our previous work as the Portico Quartet. This record is like a debut album that looks into ideas of loss, change and rebirth.
You feature singers like Alt-J’s Joe Newman and Jamie Woon. How do you choose the artists with whom you work?
All the singers we work with have been friends of the band for some time. It took a while to choose this combination through experimentation and trial and error, but in the end we’ve found that it’s always easier to work with people you know and like.
Can you name one of your favorite tracks at the moment?
One of our favorites at the moment is Luke Abbott’s “Modern Driveway”.
When you’re on stage, what kind of outfit do you feel the most comfortable in?
Comfy footwear is essential and nothing too restrictive. A shirt like the “Erren” slim-fit casual shirt with a numbers pattern by HUGO, for example, will do nicely!
You are on tour right now. How do you prepare for concerts? Do you have any kind of ritual before going on stage?
Yoga, ginseng tea, and some super high fives.
And last but not least, a personal question. You are all musicians now. But as a kid everybody wanted to be a fireman, a vet, etc. What did you want to be when you were younger?
At first a paleontologist, and then at the age of three, I decided I wanted to go into music.
Thank you very much Milo, and all the best for your tour!