The Fat Face Band
Interview by Daniel Coston
From the April 2017 issue of Tangents Magazine
The Fat Face Band defies convention, and an easy description. Formed in 2011, this three-piece outfit can play everything from avant-garde jazz, to New Orleans-influenced stompers, and Radiohead covers, all in the matter of a few songs. Whether they were playing the Democratic National Convention in 2012, playing across the UK in 2014, or playing at Snug Harbor, the Fat Face Band is a group that you will always give more than a glancing look and listen to. Trumpet and melodica player Matt Postle discussed all of this, and more recently via email.
Tangents Magazine: How did the Fat Face Band come together?
Matthew Postile: Troy (guitar) and I (trumpet) began duo sessions in 2011. Mutual friends introduced us to Molly (tuba), and we decided to put it together for the first time at Common Market,then were asked to play a Fat Tuesday gig at Snug. They needed a name, Molly said Fat Face Band.
Tangents: How would you describe the Fat Face Band’s sound?
Postile: Chamber Jazz, I guess would be fitting. It's not quite straight ahead jazz because any given set we can play music spanning several decades, or centuries in some cases, and across several genres alongside our own compositions and free improvisation.
Tangents: Are audiences surprised to see an all-instrumental group, dominated by horns?
Postile: I think we get a few double-takes from some folks, but that's about it. Some people seemed to be most surprised by a female tubist, which is sexist, others sometimes can't understand where the bass line comes from. A little secret, it comes from our bassist, Molly.
Tangents: Do your audiences come to listen, or dance?
Postile: Mostly listen. Certain gigs there is some dancing, but Fat Face is pretty unique so it intrigues people to sit and listen.
Tangents: How do you all choose songs to play?
Postile: We all bring stuff to the table. The three of us are arrangers (of sorts), so we can cook up just about any tune for the trio. We also have a tongue-in-cheek approach to pop tunes which is entertaining, to us, at least.
Tangents: How did your land the DNC gig in 2012? And what was that like?
Postile: Hope Nicholls asked us to play as part of an ASC venture (Random Acts of Culture), I believe. We approached it as a musical flash mob and were questioned by the police once. That aside, it was a positive experience.
Tangents: Any plans for recording?
Postile: Yes. But our plans are secret and cannot be disclosed at this time.
Tangents: Describe the Charlotte music scene, in 2017.
Postile: The music scene seems to be evolving. With several music venues closed and others planning to close, musicians are having to find alternative places to perform. There aren't many places in Charlotte that have an actual stage these days, but the creativity of musicians in the different scenes around town seems to flourishing quite well. As long as people go out and support shows, wherever they may be be, the scene will be alright.
Tangents: What has been some of your favorite gigs to date, or most memorable?
Postile: One of my favorite gigs was in the UK in Robin Hood's Bay at a small pub called the Dolphin. It was for a folk music festival and people would sing old folk tunes unaccompanied. It was one of the most sincere musical performances that I have seen. That energy carried over to our set and it felt like we were really playing more connected than ever.
Tangents: Finish this sentence. At the end of the day, the Fat Face Band is….
Postile: Still getting along.