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Interview with Factory

Introduce yourself and tell us what you do in the band.

My name is Andy Qunta. I play keyboards and electric 12-string guitar. I do lead vocals on about a third of the songs, and backing vocals on the others. I also write a good percentage of the songs.

Tell us a little about your band, how you got together and the story behind the name if there is one.

A. We are a four-piece band, originally formed in 1970 as teenagers in Hastings, UK., from various local bands. My brother Tony (lead guitar, electric violin, lead & backing vocals) & I were in one band, drummer/vocalist Laurie Cooksey was in another, and bassist/vocalist Jaffa Peckham was in another. We were kind of a mutual appreciation society from afar, until Laurie suggested to the rest of us that we get together. We have similar eclectic musical tastes, and we could or write and sing, so we bonded immediately, and apart from a brief 38-year hiatus, have been together ever since! Over the next 6 years we built up a loyal following and a great reputation as a live band, playing all over the UK, Germany & the Netherlands. We supported many well-known bands of the day, including Status Quo, Fleetwood Mac, UFO, The Scorpions, Spencer Davis Group, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band & Suzi Quatro. We were also chosen to be the test band for Roger Daltrey’s home studio. We called it a day at the end of 1976, as the punk era made it difficult for a band like ours to get a record deal. In 2014 we decided to get back together, mainly to finally make an album. We have now made two. As far as the name, none of us can really remember what inspired the name, but probably something to do we us being a factory manufacturing music.

Tell us a bit about your latest single, what’s the story behind the song?

A. Our latest single, Angel From The Sky, was written by Tony. It tells the story of a universal nurse, who has the ability to heal anyone who calls on them.

What is your writing process like? Do you start with lyrics and then come up with a melody or is it the other way round?

As I said earlier, we all write songs, and very rarely collaborate on the actual writing. Presumably we all have our own ways. In my case I usually have the music first, which most of the time comes from noodling around on an instrument until an interesting idea is stumbled on. Then I just keep messing with it and adding and changing things till it feels right. Then the lyrics are somehow inspired by the sound and feel of the music. Other times I might hear or think of a phrase that sounds like a good title, so that can inspire a song.

What bands were you listening to when you were writing this release? Do you think it had an effect on the end sound?

We listened to all the bands from that “classic rock” era, some well-known, some more underground/cult bands. For this song, the main influences would have been The Who & Queen, with a smidge of Focus, Deep Purple & Uriah Heep. It definitely had a huge effect on the end sound, as those influences are evident.

You have a music video to go with this single, what’s the story about that, was it fun to make?

The video was made by Dean Stockings, who is Boy George’s official photographer/videographer. He made it like a comic book, telling the story of Factory’s earlier career and subsequent return to action. As I live in California and the rest of the band are in the UK, Teresa Qunta, Factory’s official photographer/videographer filmed my contribution over here on green screen, and Dean put it all together so it looks like we were all in the same place. It was a lot of fun to do, especially for the UK three, as it’s always a blast when we get together!

What can you tell us about the album that the song has come from?

The album is called Back In The Time Machine. The title is inspired by one of the tracks, Time Machine, which is our best-known song at live gigs, and the fact that we returned after so many years, seemingly in a time machine. It was originally recorded in 2015, but not properly released at that time. In 2020 we signed with Rock Avenue Records USA and recorded another album, called Aiming High, which got plenty of attention and great reviews. The label decided they wanted to re-release the original album, now that we had PR machinery behind us. Our producer, Harvey Summers, subsequently did a radical remix of the album, now that we had the resources to spend the proper amount of time on it. We are really excited about how it has turned out. It is full of different styles, showing our versatility - melodic rock, Prog rock, folk rock, hard rock & Irish jigs! The album is due for release in mid-February.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

Among other things I co-wrote John Farnham’s worldwide hit song You’re The Voice. I played with Hazel O’Connor in her heyday. I played with Australian band Icehouse for six years, touring all over the world, with hits Electric Blue & Crazy, which I also co-wrote. I’m a lifelong fan of Everton FC.

Do you have any shows coming up that we should get ourselves along to?

We are currently putting together a UK mini-tour for August. So far, the confirmed dates are Thursday 3rd of August at Blues Bar Tring, Hertfordshire, and Saturday 5th of August at The Piper, Hastings, East Sussex. Hoping to confirm more soon. We look forward to seeing you at one of our shows!

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