From the beginning, Fangclub have excelled at making the raw music that they themselves want to make. Their loud, grungy style is something that garnered attention early on and saw well-deserved support slots with the likes of The Cribs and Twin Atlantic come their way.
Signing to Universal Records where they released their debut album 'Fangclub' last August could have been an area of concern for their creativity going forward, but the lads assure us otherwise:
"We get asked this question a lot and people expect to hear that they changed this and that and were constantly battling against them but it’s been extremely easy with them. We had the album finished before we signed and they changed nothing about it."
"They loved it the way it was which was such a relief 'cause you do hear about the horror stories. The biggest change has been we’ve been given a bigger platform to get our music out to the listeners and to make us a more focused band going forward."
Their debut album, which was met with critical acclaim across the board, reaffirmed the trio's status as one of Ireland's most promising rock bands.
When Fangclub were featured in our Plec Picks feature in 2017, frontman Steven King spoke about the process of them recording everything themselves in a defunct studio in Kerry, which had made them quite protective over their music.
"We are a very lucky band in that we exist in our own bubble. The label and everyone we work with fully support us in any direction we take. I will forever be “too protective” over my own songs and writing. That's just me."
"Some bands need producers to “produce” their sound and their songs. We know what we want already so there’s no need for a big producer. Some bands just don’t know how to work with labels and they crash and burn with expectations."
We are a very lucky band in that we exist in our own bubble
"Colour and the Shape is our bible, Dave Grohl is God, Taylor is Jesus and Nate, Pat and Chris collectively make up the Grohly Spirit."
Influences are always something spoken about in depth when a band emerges with such vigour as Fangclub. Last year saw them support the iconic Pixies, with Frank Black commending Kevin Keane on his bass sound. We talked achievements and how it feels to be making waves this big so early in their career.
"I’d say for me it’s between sending our debut album out into the world, which was a massive achievement and milestone for us, or Frank Black telling me he liked my bass sound after we played at the Pixies show. All of this could be over tomorrow and I could die happy getting Frank Black's blessing. "
The advent of an era of social media is something that many musicians have opinions about. Making money from music is far more difficult than it once was with streaming services like Spotify meaning you don't need to buy individual music. Add that to the pressure of keeping your social media profiles updated to keep fans engaged and things become far less black and white.
The reach of social media is something that can be very personal with fans, with King recalling a hospital visit to one fan while on tour; "We had someone reach out to us on tour that a fan of ours in Limerick was in the hospital. So we were able to plan a visit to him while on tour."
"It’s kind of a double edged sword really. On one hand its great to promote your music and shows and show off another side of the band that people might not get to see while you’re on tour for example or recording." says Keane
"But they don’t make it easy to promote things either no matter how many fans you have because they make you pay to reach all your fans which is kinda bullshit so I guess you gotta be kinda strategic with it. In terms of content we tend to not take ourselves too seriously and try to have fun with it. We did a series of holy manger blockbuster movie dub Instagram stories over the Christmas period that I was particularly proud of. "
We had someone reach out to us on tour that a fan of ours in Limerick was in the hospital. So we were able to plan a visit to him while on tour.
After covering so much ground since their formation, their aspirations as a band seem to overlap. "We'd love to play the Olympia at some point soon, it's such a prestigious venue in Dublin. Brixton Academy in London would be sick too."
It's been a massive 12 months for the trio from North County Dublin. Keane feels that in the next 12, Fangclub will be "gearing up for a summer of festivals and making the world a better place."
King is more humble, stating that they'll be "married, parents and a plot of land we can call home." They'll just have to make sure that Frank Black has his own key.
Fangclub play Whelan's tomorrow night, Thursday 26th April - Limited tickets still available at Ticketmaster