Irish grungers sink their teeth into life
i saved all my money and went to new york for a month... it just kicked me into action
The only benefit of a dead-end job is that it forces you to find another way forward – or rot. Aged 9, Fangclub frontman Steven King had a punk rock conversion thanks to the revelatory discovery of The Offspring’s Americana, but years later he found himself hoisting white goods around a warehouse, slowly derailing. “I hated my job. I was a scrawny little punk rocker who wasn’t able to lift the washing machines as well as the other guys,” laughs Steven. “But they would ask me to play them my demos and they were always really supportive. They’d say, ‘Man, you need to do something…’”
‘Something’ came in a flight to New York. “I just wanted to get out,” says Steven. “My girlfriend and I saved up all the money we had and we went to New York and did this Airbnb for a month in the East Village. It just kicked me into action. I went to see loads of local punk rock shows and all of these DIY artists on the street. Like punk rock, it was this inspiration that you could do whatever you want.”
The songs poured out. Tracks like BadWords and
Follow combined explosive calls to action and taut melodic lines into palmmuted grunge paeans. On his return, Steven had 25 tracks crying out for a home and the momentum started working in his favour. Two weeks in the studio saw all of the tracks recorded and mixed, a deal with Universal followed, a headline tour and a support slot with heroes The Pixies.
“We did our first big headline show a few months ago and there were teenagers screaming Dreamcatcher and Bullethead back at us,” reflects Steven. “It felt like it had come full circle. I just needed to do it and it worked.”
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