Incoming: A Quick Chat With A.S. Fanning

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Berlin-based, Dublin-raised, singer/songwriter A.S. Fanning will be bringing his Irish tour to BRÚ House, Newbridge on Saturday, October 14 – and the tour coincides with the release of Fanning’s debut solo album Second Life.

This is the first in a series of collaborative shows between Broken Home & I, bringing some of our favourite musicians and artist to Newbridge – of which Fanning fits the bill for us both.

Previously the frontman and chief songwriter of Dublin bands The Last Tycoons and Porn Trauma, Fanning’s songs are often lyrically driven, taking inspiration from Irish literary tradition and folk music as well as from ‘60s psychedelia and gothic rock n roll. Fanning’s finest attribute is his profoundly brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities, and observational eye, which enable him to depict vivid tales such as his meaty debut single ‘Carmelita’.

As a multi-instrumentalist he has played with acts such as Dublin troubadour The Mighty Stef, Berlin Industrial Electro outfit Suzies Ashes, and Irish songstress Candice Gordon, most recently producing and playing on Gordon’s debut LP, Garden of Beasts.

Support on the night comes from the equally wonderful Appo & the Disappointments & Rory Hughes – Doors @ 8.30pm | Tickets €5/€7.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with A.S. Fanning, to chat about the project, touring and all things music.

Tell us a little bit about A.S. Fanning. How did it come about? And what is the essence/inspiration behind the new project?

When I moved to Berlin I was working on my my own a lot. The Last Tycoons were still going at that point but we weren’t playing very often except for the occasional tour in Germany so I just started working on stuff on a laptop. That combined with being surrounded by electronic music in Berlin led to the songs taking on a kind of electro incarnation for a while.

I eventually stripped that back quite a bit, but I never really wanted to be a solo guy with an acoustic guitar. I always heard the songs having quite a full sound and having a kind of intensity in them, so I started building the songs around an acoustic guitar and vocal and adding in bits of synthesizers and organ and other atmospheric stuff to fill out the sound.

You’ve just returned from some shows in Ireland – how does it feel to go back after relocating to Berlin and starting a life there?

It feels kind of strange to be honest. Just because I haven’t played here very much in the last 5 years or so, and it’s a strange feeling to come on tour to somewhere I’m so familiar with, but which has obviously changed a lot in the last 5 years as well. But I feel like this album is largely about moving away from here so it’s nice to be able to come back to launch it, it feels like a sort of closing of the circle.

And on that, what are the biggest differences in being a musician in Berlin compared to Dublin? (i.e. audiences, opportunities etc.)

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Incoming: A Quick Chat With The Burning Hell

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THE BURNING HELL is the alter-ego of Canadian songwriter Mathias Kom, and the band has been on the road in one form or another since 2007, playing everywhere from the chaos of Glastonbury to the loneliness of the Arctic Circle, popping up in bars, festival tents, living rooms, abandoned bunkers, and a mental asylum in rural France along the way.

Musically, the lineup and sound of the Burning Hell has been ever-changing, running the gamut from introspective folk to hyperactive rock and roll; meaning no two Burning Hell records sound alike.

In the company of incredibly witty, humorous lyrics and a real knack for storytelling, listeners are treated to a vivid adventure through hooky, upbeat pop songs, dark ballads about pet euthanasia, and anthems for barbarians, economic conferences, and love.

As The Burning Hell prepare to release studio album #8, they have embarked on a ferocious tour across Europe & N. America, and this Saturday, September 23, they roll into Newbridge town, for an intimate and special Broken Home show, with support from local indie merchants Fresco Future.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with The Burning Hell’s Mathias Kom, to chat about the project, touring and all things music.

Tell us a little bit about The Burning Hell. How did it come about? Where did the name come from?

“Ages ago, some lunatic religious zealot handed me a tract with a shitty-looking devil on the front that said “The Burning Hell” on it in fiery letters, and it was all about how good deeds won’t save you from Satan’s jaws, et cetera. At that exact moment I had been wondering what to call this new folky recording project I had started; the name seemed perfectly inappropriate, and it’s been that way ever since.”

Your lyrics are all incredibly witty, humorous and you’ve a real knack for storytelling? Is that something that’s particularly important for you to get across when writing the songs?

“Thank you, and yes—I find it amazing how many songwriters treat lyrics as an afterthought, since to me there’s not a lot of point in singing intelligible words if they’re not going to be compelling or at least not completely asinine. To paraphrase Thumper the cartoon rabbit: if you can’t sing anything interesting, don’t sing anything at all.”

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Incoming: A Quick Chat With Count Vaseline | Plays Broken Home This Saturday

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Count Vaseline is the new project from Stefan Murphy, formerly of Dublin rock ‘n roll miscreants The Mighty Stef, and The Count is bringing genre-warped garage sounds to Newbridge, for an intimate and special Broken Home show.

It was a dark day for Irish music back in May, when time was called on The Might Stef. Always a prolific tunesmith, it wasn’t long before Murphy introduced his new guise Count Vaseline. Falling somewhere between raw garage rock and crooning fuzz-pop – sonically a different being – the new project remains draped in his unique and intuitive storytelling ability. There’s already a debut LP, Yo No Soy Marinero – a genre-warped record that fizzes with energy, invention and brimming with weird and wondrous ideas, and full of heart – with album number two, Cascade to follow in December.

In support of his new endeavour, Count Vaseline has been playing shows across the US and Ireland, and this Saturday, December 3, he rolls into Newbridge town, for an intimate and special Broken Home show, with support from the Tallaght folk machine We Went Down.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with Count Vaseline, to chat about the new project, touring and all things music. Check the album below too!

You can find further details on The Broken Home Series here, more info on the show here and you can purchase your ticket from Eventbright.

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Incoming: A Quick Chat With Freedom Fry

Freedom Fry Tour 2015

LA based indie pop duo Freedom Fry have been charming us with breezy, cheery indie-pop treats for sometime now – it has really been a case of charming single after single – this blogging malarkey is a real chore sometimes.

Fresh from playing SXSW the Franco-American duo, Marie Seyrat and Bruce Driscoll, embark on a short West Coast tour throughout early April with Stromae (including Vancouver on April 5th), and a date with Lilly Wood and the Prick. To accompany this news the pair have released a brand new single, ‘Break Into A Musical’. Instilled with a typically woozy, breezy and warm vibe that has marked Freedom Fry’s previous output, although imbued with a certain sense of nostalgic wistfulness. ‘Break Into A Musical’ is an undeniably endearing, lovable and pretty irresistible folk pop delight.

With Freedom Fry’s aforementioned visit to Vancouver happening this coming Sunday (April 5th in The Orpheum  w/ Stromae), it’s high time we had a chat with the duo. ‘Break Into A Musical’ is wonderful and alluring as always – check it & the Q&A below.

Tell us a little about the band. How did you both meet? And how did Freedom Fry come about?

Bruce: I have this inexplicable urge to make music with everyone I meet. I think it’s how I connect with people. So one day we were getting ready to film a video for another band I have with my sister, Blondfire, and the stylist was this French girl, Marie. We hit it off and somewhere on the set she played me a song on her phone. It was her singing in French. Doubled vocal and a ukulele. It was really charming. I thought it would be cool to write songs with her and have her sing them in French.

Marie: It was exactly four years ago. In April of 2011. And it was a Sylvie Vartan cover that I played for him. We just started dating and making music together for fun. It all seemed really natural. We were going to put out the first few songs we wrote as an EP and we needed a name.

Bruce: We wanted something memorable that summed up the French girl and American guy collaboration. Freedom Fry just seemed appropriate.

How best would you describe your sound/band?

Bruce: We’re constantly trying to change it up but in general I would use words like west coast, upbeat, percussive, organic, surfy, sing-a-long, reverb soaked, californian, and bittersweet.

Marie: We try to always write things people can move to. Even at slower tempos. I also love the 70s vibes.

You just recently played SXSW, what we’re your highlights?

Bruce: Getting to see all our friends play and spending the week indulging in all things music was what it’s all about. I think I saw more shows there in that week than I typically see in a year, which was cool. We were thankful for everyone who made it out to our shows and sang a long. When you’re up against 2,000 other bands and people decide to put you on their schedule that means a lot.

Marie: We got to see Stromae’s set at Stubbs which was a big highlight. We connected with those guys and now we’re fortunate enough to be heading out on tour with him.

What’s it really like touring?

Bruce: Honestly, most of it is waiting around for that 30-45 minutes per night where you really get to do your thing. A lot of green room and van time. Hummus, pitas and Pabst are the three main food groups. All that waiting around is why you’ve really got to love who you’re traveling with. I’m happy to be married to my bandmate.

Marie: It’s really like camping with friends except instead of singing around a fire at the end of the day you sing on a stage in front of an audience. But other than that we sometimes all sleep in the same room so we can laugh and say dumb things before we fall asleep.

What should we expect from your upcoming show(s)?

Bruce: We’re doing something much more stripped down and raw, but still high on the energy for these opening sets with Stromae. There’s no drummer this time around. Instead we’re incorporating more live tracks with Jonny Perdue who plays bass and I’m also playing a kick drum that I’ve been having fun stomping on during the choruses. The whole set is also mostly our more recent songs. Nothing from the first EP.

Who is your favourite current artist(s)?

Bruce: I’ve been liking Father John Misty and Beach House a lot. I always get excited to hear what they’ve created.

Marie: Tame Impala, Alt J and Of Montreal.

Aside from the tour, what does the not so distant future hold for Freedom Fry?

Bruce: We have more shows in LA and San Francisco after the tour that we’re really looking forward to. We’re also constantly writing and have a few fun collaborations that we’re waiting for the right time to release. Maybe down the road we’ll have another EP, or maybe even an album. We’ve got enough songs for one but I’d like to try to make it really something special if we go there.

Marie: There’s also a new music video that we shot ourselves and are really excited about.

Tour Dates:

April 5th – Vancouver, BC @ The Orpheum w/ Stromae
April 6th – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo w/ Stromae
April 7th – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex w/ Lilly Wood and the Prick
April 9th – Oakland, CA @ The Fox Theater w/ Stromae
April 10th – Oakland, CA @ The Fox Theater w/ Stromae
April 16th – Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan w/ Stromae