Fontaines D.C. have said that the future of the band could see them moving away from using guitars completely.
Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, vocalist Grian Chatten and drummer Tom Coll discussed the creation of the band’s new album ‘Skinty Fia’, which was recorded live to tape over a two-week period.
“Whenever I have an idea for a tune, it doesn’t necessarily exist in a world of guitars and drums, even though those are the tools that we have to express ourselves with,” Chatten said. “I’m getting increasingly bored and unsatisfied with writing for just a bassline and a drum kit.”
Coll added that the band “aren’t listening to much guitar music, if at all” at the moment, with Chatten citing ‘ATLiens’-era OutKast and Kanye West‘s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ as his current favourites.
Chatten continued: “I’d like to unlearn the sounds of ‘Dogrel’; otherwise we’ll have the same ideas coming into our music again and again. We could probably throw away the guitars eventually, and the music will still sound like us. I don’t think people would be that mad if we decided to do that, either.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the band discussed their Irish identity with regards to presently living in London. Coll noted: “When Irish people move to London, they definitely wear their identities on their sleeves more. It’s difficult trying to stay in touch with the culture while you’re not there. You find yourself grappling with so much guilt because you want to make the country better while you’re away.”
Chatten added that living and working in the city has left him in “in a better place mentally and emotionally; I’ve got routines in my life and I am now more mature, confident and thick-skinned”.
‘Skinty Fia’ comes after the band’s 2019 Mercury Prize-nominated ‘Dogrel’ and its follow-up, the sprawling ‘A Hero’s Death’, released a year later.
Chatten also told NME that writing the track ‘I Love You’ was like “getting rid of the elephant in the room”.
“I felt like I was physically standing in the middle of a storm, where all of these issues – things that have happened in my own life, plus the tensions in Ireland – were all spinning around me,” he said. “Sonically, when the song calms down, it represents how I was able to take a breath after I’d addressed everything that I needed to. I’m ready for the discussion and to fight our corner.”
In a five-star review, NME said of the new album: “No matter how tormented this album gets, you can feel ‘Skinty Fia’’s wounded heart beating throughout. The fight for a better Ireland deserves songs that mirror the depth of the crisis, and in its endlessly captivating glory, ‘Skinty Fia’ rises triumphantly to the task.”
Last month, the group bagged the award for Best Band In The World at the BandLab NME Awards 2022, beating Amyl & The Sniffers, Ben&Ben, Bring Me The Horizon, CHVRCHES, Glass Animals, HAIM, Måneskin, Nova Twins and Wolf Alice to the gong.
Fontaines D.C. recently added further dates to their upcoming 2022 UK and Ireland tour, which kicks off at Hull Bonus Arena on November 7. You can buy tickets here.