I spoke to Darragh from Fear Stalks The Land who was kind enough to tell me a little about the band/
How would you best describe Fear Stalks The Land’s sound?
Somewhere between electronic/ laptop music and “post-rock” bands like Mogwai. We really like making beats and using synths as well as guitar and bass.
Congrats on the new EP. What music were you influenced by while writing it?
The main influences were probably bands like Efterklang and Sigur Rós, who helped shape how we developed the songs, particularly with regards to instrumentation. We tried a lot of things like vibraphone, accordion, glockenspiel and double bass as well as brass and string sections that we might not have otherwise used.
Was it a difficult recording process?
It was a little bit tough. We were both very busy for the past year, mainly with college work, so it was quite a drawn out process. The songs started to really take shape 12 months ago when we went to Darragh’s house in Bantry to work on them. But there were just too many breaks in between the sessions to let us build up momentum and get everything done quickly. In a way I suppose we benefited from that, because the songs changed a lot and they’re better now than they were at the start, but there were definitely times where we got a bit sick of it. We did all of the recording and mixing ourselves with some help from some friends and we learned a lot that will definitely stand to us for future projects.
How would you describe the FSTL live experience for the uninitiated?
Well we’re mostly an instrumental band. I think there’s a pretty big variety in terms of how heavy our material is and we like to maintain that contrast in our live sets. We project cut up old movies and videos to accompany our live performances and we think this enhances the experience for the audience. Since we don’t have as many versions of ourselves as we do when we’re recording we have to put some stuff through backing tracks but we’re conscious to preserve a live feel in our performances and we have different live arrangements for many of the songs. Often these can work out better than the “studio” versions. It’s nice to have multiple version of the same song in any case.
Do you think it’s become more difficult for new acts to establish themselves with the advent of downloading, etc?
There are two sides to it really. The main positive is that it’s so simple to get your music out there and reach an audience you might not otherwise be able to. It is more difficult to actually sell music though; once it’s online then it can easily be downloaded illegally, but I suppose if somebody really likes what you do then the chances are they’ll throw a few bob your way if that’s what you want. We might not have started playing FSTL! music live if it hadn’t been so easy to get it to an audience; Ross Gillanders of Horsemen Pass By sent Shaun an e-mail having listened to the first EPs on bandcamp asking him if he’d like to play gigs with them some time. Playing live wasn’t really part of the immediate plan before that.
Thanks a million for taking the time to talk to me and the best of luck with everything, now Lastly what else is in store for FSTL in 2012?
Thanks very much for asking us to do the interview. We’d probably be making music if no one was listening but it’s nice to have people interested in what we’re doing. We’re going to be making a music video for the EP version of Myra on Spike Island as part of the First Cut! Youth film project and festival in Cobh. We have some songs left over from the Myra sessions that we just didn’t have the time to get done. Hopefully we can get a couple finished and throw out a single or something. Apart from that it’d be nice to play more gigs than we have done, it’s always nice going to new places and playing to different people.
Fear Stalks The Land’s New EP- Myra::: Out Now!!