PUSHING the reset button, going back to their roots… whichever way you put it, Fake Lips are not holding back anymore as they prepare to unleash some firey new tunes.

While their more radio-friendly releases, Fame Whore and Rise, may have helped turn a few heads when released in 2020, the duo were keen to take things a shade more authentic with their 2021 follow-ups.

A few months ago, the Livingston band unveiled Sucker – a much more raw presentation of the Fake Lips sound – and things felt right for singer Gary Mclean and drummer Michael Cameron.

Indeed, the vibe resonated a little more with what they were trying to achieve as a live band and the positive reaction to the track also gave them a feeling that they really were on the right track.

"I suppose we've had a little bit of a liberation of thought," Cameron tells The Weekender. "We have found ourselves less concerned with the growth of the band as a brand. The punk-ier sound is definitely more true to who we are and the kind of band we want to be – in that sense we are playing to our strengths more

"The first two songs have quite a different feel to them. We just wanted to change the dynamic and wanted our new songs to be a bit more raw and not as commercial. That earlier sound – the more commercial sound – was great at the time, but we felt like going for a more punk-ier sound.

"Sucker really embodied that and it seems to have gone down really well. In fact, a lot of people who heard Sucker have said it was our best song yet. And we definitely feel that we've turned a corner musically."

The duo's conscious decision to take things up a notch has already been vindicated and the plan to continue in the same vein is already in motion. Within the next few weeks, the band will release another new tune in the form of Community which takes aim at the collapse of courteous social interactions over the last few years.

But they will not be stopping there and have one eye on kicking off 2022 with an EP release and some more live shows – their reinvigoration continuing to bear fruit.

"I think when Community lands, there will be a big push for us," Cameron continued. "It's darker, and more dynamic. We love playing it live; it's a great way to showcase the musical relationship we have – it's got that back and forth, that 'question and answer', and has those large walls of noise mixed in with quiet, intricate parts.

"Lyrically, it is about the collapse of good discourse over the past few years – the polarisation of opinion; people not being kind to each other, and just not caring for each other.

"We're aiming for Community to come out sometime in December and the EP to follow in January. We have a gig in January with our friends Static Satellites and Grant Kilpatrick at Sneaky Pete's in Edinburgh."

Their current approach is much different to their original process – a wholesale change to just about everything a modern-day band is expected to do. On paper, changing the way in which they write, record and promote is a massive risk, but it was a product of the lesson they had picked up in recent times.

"We had two really good releases," Cameron reflects. "They came out in 2020, but they were prepared in the year before that. We released the tracks anyway and did the best we could.

"We hoped 2020 would be our year to really get going for the band, though things did not go that way, of course. I think we ran out of steam, to be honest, and found we couldn't quite keep up our energy when we couldn't play shows.

"It was an odd time – we were able to rehearse and stay tight as a live band after the travel ban was lifted. But then there was the second lockdown in the winter and it did feel like another barrier had gone up and things started to go really slowly again.

"Gary thrives on things happening to feel inspired and so he didn't really feel it at the time. He just wasn't feeling inspired in terms of songwriting. So, it wasn't until we were starting to play again that the real creativity started to flow.

"Sucker was a 'demo' and we didn't really have the money to promote it in the same way as the previous two songs. But then I feel we've changed our priorities as well. We don't want to worry too much about the promoting side, because we are musicians and that's who we are.

"I think we were trying to tick every box – but it was taking us too long and spending time and money on things that may or may not work. I think that's just the way forward for us at the moment."

While the past year or so has been one to forget for many bands, it has been a period of re-awakening for Fake Lips who have found their stride once again.

An EP of 'demos' is on the cards, with more live shows on the horizon. It is a far cry from this time last year when the duo were drawing upon every ounce of their energy just to make sure the band still had a future to come back to.

Indeed, the seeds of late 2020 are beginning to blossom and pave the way for a very productive few months to come.

Cameron concludes: "We went from feeling like we were just doing what had to in order to keep things going, to really enjoying a bounce-back of creativity. It's a bit of a reset. We are trying to see it as starting again."

Community will be released later this month.