A mix of surf-pop harmonies, rock ‘n’ roll rhythms and just good old fashioned jangly guitar goodness, Squarehead bring their show to The Pavilion in Cork on friday night as part of the FMC tour, I managed to catch up with guitarist Roy for a few words
Hiya, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. You’re back on the road with the FMC tour this week, how useful are tours like the FMC for connecting with a new audience?
The FMC tours are a great way for bands to connect with a new audience because people go to the gigs for a couple of different reasons, they might be going because they already know one band on the bill or they attended a previous FMC tour gig and know that they make it worth the money! So in that way we hope to play to people we never have before. This being our first one we’re very excited to see how it goes!
You’re just back from the states where you played the CMJ festival. How was the whole experience?
8 gigs in 7 days. It was the most fun ever! We had some official and non official gigs throughout the week and met so many nice people and great bands, and a few celebrities. We may have had a little too much fun each night but we were always back on form by gig time!
Sadly the Richter Collective label who you released your debut album “Yeah Nothing” are going to be no more as of December. Is it a blow to the Irish music scene to see an innovative label like this shut their doors?
It’s definitely not the happiest of outcomes but I think what they’ve done is truly impressive. Everyone involved really made it their life and it showed with the consistent quality for which they became known (not tooting my own horn) So when they asked us to work with them we were naturally delighted. Being in a band and involved with a label though you see how extremely hard it is to make any money and unless hard working people become as freely available as music is it’s very hard to sustain. But I think they shone pretty brightly for their short life and I’m excited to see what everyone does next.
For those that havn’t experienced Squarehead live before, what can they expect from your live show ?
This is always a tough one because we don’t put to much thought into what we do. We prefer to let everything happen naturally, especially when it comes to the live show. That being said I can say our new stuff is going in a slightly heavier direction with myself rediscovering some of the screamier vocals of my youth, Every time we play its like getting something out of our system but in a fun and healthy(ish) way.
Celebrity endorsements don’t come any bigger than Morrissey showing upto one of your live shows. How much of a thrill was it to have Mozzer show up in the Audience?
Yup that was pretty mad alright. We don’t knock round to his for a cuppa tea or anything but he did ask to say hello to us after the gig and he was very nice and complimentary. Being a huge Smiths fan and having seeing Mozza solo a few times I was naturally a bit starstruck. Thankfully I need glasses so I couldn’t see him from the stage when we we’re playing!
You’ve had a really busy 2012, playing the festival circuit, travelling to the states, etc, whats been the highlight of the year so far?
It’s only towards the end of the year you really start to think about how busy you’ve been. When you’re in it you just want to keep going and this year there have been so many highs for us. Playing festivals like Electric Picnic that we went to as fans is surreal, we slowed down on the amount of Dublin gigs we would normally play this year so that made each one a little more special. But going to the states back in March for SXSW and for CMJ in October we’re some of the biggest achievements for us.
Who would you describe as your influences?
We have a lot of influences and we all listen to some very different stuff but there is a blurry kind of music that I think we can all agree on that falls somewhere in between the power/pop/rock kind of genres. For me personally artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan who just consistently did good work even if not everyone agrees are the ones I’m most attracted to. I’m also a huge Nirvana fan and have been digesting their stuff since I was about 10. There’s also a lot of newer stuff that really effects me. Lower Dens would be one.
Out of Season, a split LP between yourself and So Cow is released in Novemeber, ‘More Quickly’ which I’ve already heard is a very strong track. How was it doubling up on an LP and how did it come about?
After SXSW and CMW in March we flew down to Boston and New York for a few gigs. At our last show in Brooklyn in a venue called Shea Stadium (the DIY venue not THAT Shea Stadium) we met a lovely gentleman called Dan Donnelly. He runs a label called Inflated Records who have done some great stuff with bands like Ducktails and Ava Luna. He mentioned he’d seen So Cow before and asked would we be interested in a split. Originally it was just gonna be a split single but it really impressed us when he said he wanted to make it an album. We’ve known the So Cow lads for a while now and get on really well and always have a laugh playing together so it seemed more than natural.
Lastly what does the rest of 2012 hold for Squarehead ?
After the FMC tour I think we’re gonna put our feet up for a little bit. But knowing us this probably wont go so well. The split will be out on November 13th and we’re all very excited to see what people think. We might do one or two shows to wrap up the year but you can always find us slogging away in our practice space trying to one up ourselves.
Squarehead’s debut Album ‘Yeah Nothing’ is out now. You can see them play as part of the FMC tour with We Cut Corners and The Lost Brothers
Thursday November 1 – Galway, Roisin Dubh (local support: The Depravations)
Friday November 2 – Cork, The Pavillion (local support: Superblondes)
Saturday November 3 – Limerick, Dolans