Stomping Grounds: Tom Fry and Oscar and Harvey Baker (Fletcher) on Chicago, Illinois
Fletcher began in early 2012 as a basement project between English brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and their Chicagoan friend Tom Fry. Since then, the group has been steadily creating an incredible buzz as one of rock music’s new, relevant acts. The group has developed a brand of new-age British rock with quirky melodies and brain tingling music. Insisting on sticking to a three-piece, Fletcher has created a vigorous and chemistry-driven connection between each member. Fletcher’s second EP, Open Arms, was mixed and mastered by Mike Tholen at RaxTrax Studios and was released on April 9.
But what would make two English boys relocate to Chicago. We caught up with all the dudes from Fletcher to discuss the city’s merits. This is what they told Ghettoblaster about their home…
What’s your town’s nickname?
Windy City. –Tom
What’s your nickname for your town?
Chi-town. – T
Why do you live there?
I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life. It’s a great city and it makes me never want to leave. – T
Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
We were both born in London, England and moved to Chicago 12 years ago in 2001. It was a pretty sudden move but we got accustomed to American life pretty easily – Oscar and Harvey
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
When I first moved to America someone asked me if English people used toilet paper or newspaper in the bathroom… – H
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
I enjoy long walks along the lake; it helps me clear my mind when things seem too murky. – H
What is your favorite local event or festival?
Mayfest and Lollapalooza. -T
What is the best time of year to be there?
May. – T
Who is your favorite local celebrity?
Vince Vaughn because he made me wait at a Taco Bell drive through for 45 minutes. – O
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
DMK (burger bar) all the way!!! Sundays during industry night. The people who work there are incredible nice and it’s become quite a religious experience. -T
Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
I actually haven’t seen a jukebox for a while. I think I saw one in Johnny Rockets about 10 years ago and “Surfin’ Bird” was in there. – H
Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
It’s between Double Door and Lincoln Hall, the sound engineers are incredibly cool and really nice. – T
Does where you live influence your music?
Being able to live in such a big and popular city is great because all of our favorite bands have rolled through at one point or another. It is so easy to see a band you like with all the great venues. Also since we are subjected to a ridiculous fluctuation of weather all the time, it definitely pushes us to new levels of music and warmth. – T
What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
I saw Raconteurs at Voodoo Festival and Jack White’s guitar shredding was phenomenal. -O
My favorite show was Arctic Monkeys and Black Keys. – H
What is your favorite local band?
Wilco started in Chicago and they have always had a strong influence on Chicago bands -H
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
DMK (THE WHOLE MENU) but especially the #1 and #9 burgers. – T
What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Reckless Records and Reggie’s Rock Club record store –H and T
I visited my grandparents who live in Liverpool about four years ago and they told me I could take any vinyls I wanted from the attic. Took back with me the original Thriller album, Lennon Legend and a very rare Beatles compilation consisting of four vinyls from 1964-1967. Was a great day – O
What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
The Deli Magazine. -H
What is your favorite local shop?
Chicago Music Exchange, has a fantastic environment and selection. – H
If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
I would like to live in Colorado because it’s a beautiful place and a very relaxed environment. I would live in a house with multiple puppies and kittens. I’d breed them to create a new species. I would also consider breeding with birds, who doesn’t want a flying puppy? – H
I second that -T
I could see myself on an island in the Caribbean, living off coconuts and rum. I would then build a music studio just so I could have an excuse to record a bunch of reggae music. -O