Fontaines D.C. on debut album Dogrel, Ireland and poetry


I think the reason that we were drawn to eachother
was because we all felt a bit disconnected with… ..was going on around us musically and in
terms of the poetry and stuff like that. We wanted really good mates to talk to.
When we found that we’re all interested in… …poetry and sixties garagerock and stuff like that,
that was the reason for us to come together and talk. We kinda pass around a notebook and we
encourage eachother to write a line or two. And we drink a lot of beers and cocktails and stuff
like that. We drink cocktails untill we realize that we are… …spending to much money and then we drink beers.
It was that sort of sense of revolution. Which was totally in our heads.
– It made us feel like we were doing something. Yeah, it felt important, it felt significant.
– It put a curtain over the fact that we were drinking… …and made it seem like we were enriching
eachother’s lifes. In hindsight, maybe we were. – We were, man. We are all into people like Yeats and Patrick Kavanagh,
where Curley is from. Curley likes Patrick Kavanagh a lot,
he got a book by him for christmas, didn’t you? I did actually got it for Christmas of my girlfirend.
Patrick Kavanagh will probably be the biggest one for me… …because I enjoy his flaws in his earlier stuff
and whenever you see his progression in his poetry… …and you end up on Raglan Road, which ended up
being a song that the Dubliners start singing. I think that whole scene back then was so interesting.
To think at one stage in a bar in Dublin was Patrick Kavanagh… …and Luke Kelly sitting there and Patrick Kavanagh
was sitting there, being like: ‘I have the song for you.’ Flann O’Brien and Brendan Behan,
they were all sitting around the same bars together. We started out really with Beat poetry
and that was the scene where we were like: This is so cool, that this collection of writers can
get together and inspire eachother with the way… …that they were living. And each of them,
Jack Kerouac. Allan Ginsberg, Burrows… …all of them have works that stand to themselves,
but the fact that there is a scene of writers is very interesting. When we found out that there was one in Ireland,
it was just very inspiring. The song Liberty Belle, when it was written?
I can’t really tell you the answer to that in a succinct way. I only know that it was written when we lived in The Liberties,
which is a part of Dublin with a lot of character. It’s on the edge of the gentrification strip and it becomes
more and more Irish and more old and traditional. There is just so many things there that you see
along the street. There is a pub there called The Liberty Belle… …and there was a shop there as well called The Liberty Belle.
The pub itself is a very traditional place. It’s a great bar. And then the other place, the shop,
was a total outlaw. It was really strange and had a… …spiderweb feel to it. People that were selling
the clothes were trying to eat you. But it was written about trying to process
all the crazy stuff we saw on a day to day basis. I defenitly feel like there is a bit of incestuous
behaviour, creativily, in Dublin at the moment. There is great bands coming out, like the Murder Capital,
and Just Mustard and Melts. I think there is a bit of a catalyst in the form or Girl Band
a few years back, and it took particularly local people… …to digest it because it was so incredibly different
from what we perceive to be Irish culture. But at the same time it was very intrinsicly Irish
because of its language, but it was a very modern… …approach to Irishness. To us, it was like a modernist Pogues.
We took a lot of influence from The Pogues and we… …took a lot of influence from Girl Band.
All these bands that are coming around in Dublin… …I think we are all kind of reacting similarly to Girl Band.
It’s great when you’re influenced by your friends… …and family as well. Just people that are
actually in your day to day life. It’s much more exciting to be influenced by things like
that then be straight up influenced by other bands… …from the sixties and seventees.
It’s nice to be influenced by your neighbour. Curley wrote the lyrics to that song. I want to say
it was written at a very poignant time in our lives… …but it’s only made poignant by the person who is
living it really, and Curley made it poignant by capturing it The video ended up being something, to me anyway,
really special. I feel like it captured the idea of the song… …in a way that I could never really have imagined it.
The guy who directed the video, Liam Papadachi… …did an amazing job. The idea of the song was a loss
of hope and a loss of innocence and his angle with that… …in the video just like, he really did do an amazing job.
That video will always be so important to me. It was filmed in a place that’s near where I’m from
and also a bar that’s right down the road where I live now. Nevermind about Fontaines D.C., I feel like that video will go
a lot further, just because it’s an amazing piece of art. Where I come from is a place called Monaghan in Ireland.
It’s a realy small town on the border between… …the north and the south of Ireland, so it’s kind of like a
no man’s land. The north doesn’t really want to claim it… …people in the south wouldn’t really think it’s in the south.
It’s just that kind of place. It’s probably reflected in the song, that kind of feeling
of being in a no man’s land, not knowing in which… …direction to turn and kind of be insuficated by that.
– I don’t want to talk too much, but that sort of feeling… …is very present on the whole album, because it was
written mostly from a place where there was no sense… …of beginning or end. No one really
knew where they were standing. It was kind of influenced by The Dubliners, by James Joyce
in the sense that there was that theme of inertia… …and entrapment and kind of like realizing.
Deego explained this to me, that the general theme through… …that collection of stories is that the characters involved
realize that they are in a particular situation… …and simultaniously realizing
that there is no way out of them. That combination of hope and entrapment is the
most dangerous. Entrapment on it’s one, with no hope… …that’s fine, that’s just denial. But entrapment
with hope, that’s a lot more tragic. Dogrel is a type of poetry. It’s a word used for old
Irish poetry that would use a lot of repetition… …and not be afraid of using humour.
Usually associated with working class. But it’s also used in a way to describe things
that are really bad. Things that are really bad are described as a piece of dogrel.
That’s why when Deego proposed that we used that name… …it seemed perfect, because we didn’t want to take ourselves
too seriously at this album and shove it up people… …being like: ‘This is the best piece of art.’
It’s just music you know. You take from it what you can and what you want.
That’s why Dogrel describes this first album pretty perfectly.

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