Interview: Fangclub – ‘Coma Happy’ EP

If you haven’t heard of Fangclub by now you’re either living in a hole or listening to the wrong music. With sounds that echo grunge legends Nirvana and Weezer, the rock trio from Dublin have just released their latest single “Dreamcatcher” which is getting plenty of plays across the country, alongside their previous EP track “Bullet Head”.

Fangclub

Having just announced their very own headline show in Whelans on February 4th 2017 after some very succesful touring in the UK, there’s just no stopping these lads! We caught up with Steve (guitar), Kevin (bass) and Dara (drums) at Universal HQ ahead of their new EP release Coma Happy later this week;

How was your Pretty Vicious tour?

Insane! Really great but wild – as wild as they are. It was also really refreshing to be on tour with a rock band with a similar sound… except for the fact that they’re 19! (the drummer was 17!) Their fans are really into that scene as well, real rockers, so that was really refreshing too. We saw the most mosh pits in a two week period ever!

How is your Twin Atlantic tour going? (Playing Dublin Dec 10th)

Incredible! It’s been been mind blowing to go from clubs to playing bigger venues of over 3,000 people. That first night walking into that first venue we were all huddled in the corner thinking “Whoa this is a bit big”! We were all a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. But even before we played, Twin Atlantic came into our dressing room and just reassured us about everything. They would watch the show, watch our set – it’s the dream tour to be on. We love the band anyway and for them to be so humble and cool and help us out so much it was just so good. It made it even more cool that they wanted us to be there as we were picked by Twin Atlantic from various recommendations after they heard “Bullet Head” to support them, great feeling.

Do you notice any differences between playing here and in the UK/elsewhere?

If you’re the support band, the place is jammed. It doesn’t really happen here – we were like “Are we going to go over and play to about 5 people in a 2,000 capacity place??” – but from the first night it was just jammed! And we were on half an hour after the doors opened! That was both tours too…

People were actually queuing outside before the doors open which was cool! I suppose a lot of the gigs were on in university and college campuses which really helped but even then, it was just the dream tour to hit all those hot spots and to do it with some amazing bands too was insane.

Do you think there’s anything you’ve learned from the Irish music scene that you feel you brought over with you? Or might you help when touring?

[Steven] Maybe our complete naivety?! We were just arriving at the shows going “Ok cool, let’s just walk up and play in front of two and half thousand people”, not speaking between songs, just doing the show – and it worked! No one really knew who we were and then we had people coming up to us after the show being like “Yeah you guys are great!” but for us, I was kind of glad that we went over not knowing instead of possibly freaking out! Because looking back on it now, I’m freaking out about what we just did.

[Dara] The accents went a long way too! It just wasn’t something that registered with me before going over because the UK is so close so I didn’t think it would be a thing! A lot of people thought we were American too… I get it with the music and stuff but with our accents, I don’t really hear it at all.

During the summer “Psycho” seemed to be the biggest hit with the Irish festival scenes – which song gets the best reaction in the UK?

“Psycho” kinda did it again! That and the new one… we brought this new one along with us called “Best Fake Friend” and every night people were singing it, even if it was the first time they’d heard it! Any reviews we got, thats been the song that they’ve usually picked out from the set – and its the only song we don’t have recorded! That and “Psycho” really did it.

What can we expect with the upcoming EP?

More of the same but more evolved we think. Bullet Head was kind of a random selection of songs really based around the song “Bullet Head”. “Bullet Head” and “Loner” were really the tracks that we wanted for the first EP to show people who we were, and then the other songs were added to give a bit of a broader palette. But this one is a very focused EP. “Dreamcatcher” is a bigger song, lyrically anyway. This EP will just be a bigger version of what’s come before. fangclub-coma-happy-ep-packshot

Do you have a favourite track on Coma Happy?

[Kev] I think “Inside Joke” is my favourite… “Inside Joke” was the second song we played live…

[Dara] Yeah that’s a song that’s good live! When we were trying to gauge where songs were that song, for me, was a ‘b-side’ track. But then we gave it its chance live and people really react to it! And, for us, the way we play it live I think brings out the best in our live shows.

[Kev] There’s just a tonne of energy in it! I came back from that Twin tour black and blue from just smashing into things – and its just from “Inside Joke”!

[Steve] Yeah you can really throw yourself around with that song!

We’re really just looking forward to seeing what people think of all the new songs. Like “Coma Happy” is a very different song for us… its the last song on it and its kinda, I dunno, a very overwhelming vibe to it. I also like Dreamcatcher!

Who produced your “Loner” music video – it’s mental!

Finn Keenan! He’s a genius.. he did Bullet Head as well, and he’ll be doing the new one too. It was his concept first and we threw some ideas at him which he didn’t listen to at all so it was all him really. He always says it was a collaborative thing but really, this “Loner” from the mind of Finn.

I think the only input we had was that we wanted a bit of a performance element to it, and the red curtain. But it just worked out so well. We trust Finn when it comes to music videos, its his art form. Like, doing a music video for a song called ‘Loner’ could have been a very cheesy, dangerous video to do – even though the song’s not cheesy but we could have ended up with anything!

[Kev] I think it was his idea to just make it as ‘un-cool’ as possible… most of the time I’m corpsing, during the bread bit in particular! So many times we just had to cut, it was pretty fun.

Do you have a headline tour planned for yourselves?

Yeah it’s kind of in the works, being talked about anyway. We thought we’d just be doing more support tours but it’s looking more and more like we’re gonna be doing our own headline tour. We can’t say when or where yet because its not been confirmed but I think February is when we’ll kick off touring next year regardless, it’s gonna be great.

 

So what’s up next?

Yeah we’re doing the “Dreamcatcher” music video with Finn, which is a crazy video that we can’t talk about yet… it’s gonna be all Finn again! Which is due out a little after the EP – you’re gonna love it, it’s gonna be great!

Then the last Twin Atlantic shows here in Dublin at The Academy, Limelight (Belfast) and then three nights in Barrowlands (Glasgow) which is going to be amazing. Glasgow is Twin Atlantic‘s hometown show so it’s going to be insane – all three shows are already sold out! We only heard about it when we were first asked to do the tour but apparently Barrowlands is a kind of ‘bucket list’ venue. When Nirvana did their In Utero tour they stopped off there, and just hearing all the bands that have played there, it’s going to be nuts! Can’t wait!


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Fangclub support Twin Atlantic at The Academy on Dec 10th, and play Whelans next February 4th 2017 – tickets available here.

New EP Coma Happy out this Friday 18th November – pre-order now!

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