“A year ago we were in Dublin, drinking and playing songs” remembers Grian Chatten, the man who fronts Dublin quintet Fontaines DC in a style which is equal parts street messiah and dead eyed social experimenter.
Those last twelve months for the group have been a lesson to others in building what marketing folks call momentum, one which almost assured that when their debut album Dogrel was released last month it met with a wave of critical acclaim. A distillation of the anger and disaffection the five residents all feel towards the gentrification of their adopted home city, Dublin stands at the shoulder of Dogrel, but appears only in flashes; this is not a record about a city per se, more one about a city that’s representative of ourselves.
One of the main reasons for such a rapid ascent has been a workrate beyond most others, encapsulated by their stint at this year’s South by South West grindathon with nine showcase gigs in a mere six days. A punishing schedule with the whip of label bosses at your heels? Chatten describes it as merely “A walk in the park”.
Where they will be in another three hundred and sixty five days is anyone’s guess, but in the full length interview, the band collectively talk about their un rock and roll beginnings, some surprising influences from the past and holding onto an identity when everyone around them is losing theirs.
Photo: Fontaines DC @ SWSW, April 2019. Credit: Paul Bachmann, Live4Ever Media LLC.