Bolting from Galway, Ireland. This abrasive hardcore 5 piece, comes fully fitting out a tantrum of kicks and screams to deliver a new 14 track album ” Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts” set for release September 13th. The band Consists of; Daniel – guitar and vocals, Momme – vocals, Conor – guitar and vocals, Benny-drumbeatings and Paul-bass.
The album itself to me is simply filthy. Powerful but remains melodic. It delivers. I have no doubt that this album will see the lads taste new adventures and delve into new accomplishments.
I spoke to guitarist Daniel to find out more about the release of this album, the process, his gear and future plans-
- Firstly, what question are you sick of answering?
The whole “how did the band start” and “tell us about the history of the band” type questions are a bit boring to answer sometimes . There are only so many ways you can tell a quiet boring story…There is a bio on our myspace if you really wanna know but it is not very exciting.
- How did you come about learning to play guitar and taking it to the next level?
I blame Metallica. They were the first heavy band I saw live on stage on TV (Freddie Mercury Tribute in92?) and until then I had only heard metal when my dad put it on. Seeing the band perform live instantly changed the way I thought about this type of music. So much energy from the way they just dug into their guitars and the crowd going nuts. Before that I had always been unconciously listeunconsciouslyl and punk as my dad would have been listening to a lot of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest as well as a lot of prog and the odd bit of punk like GBH too. Even when I was very young and some friends and myself had Michael Jackson tapes it was always the more guitar orientated stuff like Billie Jean, Beat It and Dirty Diana that stood out for me. After my metal phase when I started getting more into punk and hardcore I began to write alot more of my own stuff.
- Whats been the most inspirational gig you’ve witnessed and why?
Refused in Dublin in ’98 always comes to mind. I guess because I had been listening to The Shape of… non stop for months before this. I knew nothing about the band but then a collective put them on and a few of us traveled up to Dublin. It was an afternoon show in a pretty small venue and they just destroyed. I really got into the more DIY side of punk around this time and this show was quite inspiring.
- What are your main influences that you’ve portrayed within the style of your music?
Where to start? I listen to alot of hardcore. Old, new, English, American, Scandinavian. Also lots of d-beat and trash etc. I guess that is the stuff that influences me most in this band. Benny is into much more extreme stuff: death, black, grind and deathcore while Conor is rarely caught listening to anything in the hardcore genre at all. Paul is quiet into melodic hardcore and Momme is pretty partial to gruff and angular stuff like Hot Water Music, Leatherface etc… We do all have a shared love for fast, energetic and melodic (to an extent) hardcore though.
- Tell me OFAC’s process of song writing, who creates the structure, is there a leader or does it fall in place?
There are 2 processes. Usually one of us comes in with a basic 2 or 3 riff idea and we just take it from there. We don’t bring finished songs to the practice space. Generally if I write the basic riffs Conor will write a slightly more lead orientated bit to go with it and Paul (bass) just goes crazy altogether on it then. Benny (drummer) is very easy to work with and picks up everything after one listen. Also, everyone is very open to suggestions from the rest of the band. We are not scared to throw ideas at each other. You’ll often see me jumping around the room “air drumming” when I have an idea…. Paul and Benny have been playing together for a long time (mainly technical death metal) so they completly gel together. We then record the song roughly and send it onto Momme who will work out vocal lines and lyrics in his own time. Songs are finished (backing vocals etc) when we all get together or in the studio. Other times when we have a couple of minutes left at practice we just play random stuff and make stuff up on the spot.
- For those intrigued to see you live but not yet had the chance, What does the live performance capture that your record (S) doesn’t emit
A slightly out of tune, sloppy and drunk version of the recorded material is what you get…. haha. There tends to be a bit more energy in the live show and we do change some bits especially the older material. Songs sometimes run into each other or sometimes we play the intro of one song and then go into something completely different. We used to have a set setlist for a couple of gigs but on our last European tour we made a new one every night. It keeps you focused and on the ball as they say…
- As a guitarist tell me about your preferred rig/set up?
On stage at the moment my set up is pretty much as basic as it gets. My main amp is the Laney 50l. Beautiful distortion and nice clarity off it. I’m thinking of going back to my JCM 900 for the next couple of months though. I’ve been neglecting it a bit lately and it has served me well so I think I’ll give another run. Ideally, I’d be using both amps together on stage but I’ve only had time on a couple of occasions to do this. In the studio I also use my Peavey 5150II. Conor (other guitarist) uses this live at the moment but he is looking into getting a Laney 100l so I might even start using the 5150 again myself. We are currently working on some new material and we have decided to reinvent ourselves sound wise for the next recording (as a one off probably) and I’m using my Marshall JMP1 (1979) and I have Conor going through my Orange (1976). We are messing about banged up and modified Telecasters and randon overdrive pedals. I use a Marshall 1960A cab or an old Peavey cab from the 80’s which has some serious heft off it. Currently I’m playing a cherry red ESP EC1000 which is pretty standard for hardcore I guess. Nice and light with active EMGs. As back up’s I’d been using a Gibson Nighthawk but that is gonna get a rest now and I’m gonna bring along my Epiphone Gibson Custom (with active EMG) instead. I don’t use any effects live. I plug into a Boss tuner and Boss noise suppressor and then straight to amp. On recordings I have used various delays etc for dub bits and some other barely audible things but live I just let the fingers do the talking. Also hook up a boss eq pedal the odd time for that extra bit of boost. I’m pretty happy with all that but I’m always on the look out for bargains so things can change any day really.
- Whats the one pedal or amp etc that has changed your life?
As boring and un-punk it sounds I’m gonna have to say the Boss NS-2 noise suppressor. No feedback, hiss or unwanted noise between songs or during stoppy starty bits if I don’t want it.
- Was there a defining point to which you were like “shit lets get this album done”
We never came to that point thankfully. Songs are just coming to us really easily now. We try out everything that comes to mind and use the bits that we all agree on. Out of the 15 songs that we recorded 10 or so were written in the 7 months prior to that. This included a month long break over christmas and also loads of gigs. Everything just fell into place. We already have plenty of material for our next release too.
- Tell me about the bands approach to recording the new album Who Really Cares, What Really Lasts
Once we finished writing the music I recorded all the songs with a little portable desk and vocals and other ideas were added in the lead up to going into the studio. In the studio we recorded all the music live and then just went over any mistakes and added second guitar tracks etc. The first lot of vocals were done and then we took a week or so break to come up with some other ideas and work on backing vocals etc. Once everything was recorded two of us went back to the studio to do the mixing and rough mastering and the lads in The Hive Studio finished everything off. The album was the first recording we did with the new line-up so we never knew exactly what to expect but we are delighted with the end result and look forward to going back and toping this one.
- Sell the new album to me in 5 words
Honest trend ignoring passionate hardcore.
I had sent them a copy of our previous EP which they really liked and when the time came to record the full lenght I got back in touch with them. We were in the middle of a European tour when we got word back Lockjaw that they were interested in working with us which was a great feeling. Having someone else’s confidence in your music is the ultimate compliment and I don’t think we could have found a better label to work with.
- What adventures do you wish to see with OFAC over the next 12 months?
Really looking forward to the new album getting out there and people listening to it. I’m really proud of the songs on it and want to give them a chance to get heard. Also excited about hopefully playing some towns in Ireland that we have previously ignored and of course getting back over to the UK in the Winter. Hopefully some festival appearences next summer and there will also be some more new music from us in the next months.
- Whats been stuck on your turntable/ipod/stereo for far too long?
Kylesa-Static Tensions, Comeback Kid- Symptoms+Cures and Madame Germen- Discografia. Can’t get enough of all of these. Also some older stuff that I always tend to go back to are Tragedy- Tragedy, Endstand- Never Fall Into Silence and The Dagda- Threefold
To listen to Only Fumes and Corpes hit up their myspace here.
From September 13th of this year you can get the 12″ vinyl release of the album including D/L card here.
The CD will be re-released with more tracks and different artwork through Lockjaw Records, to see this and find out more on the band and the label just click here.