Following on from my mildly successful chat with Robbie i thought id follow up with Famine's other axe man/driver/grunge icon Mr.Lee.I got to know Lee from when he was playing in Dublin hardcore legends Barntown Water Tastes Like Blood.Their myspace has definitely gone to shit for obvious reasons and why the fuck they are telling you to check out Lindsay Slowhand is fucking beyond me.They must have been high.
I toured with Barntown/FF so i would like to think i know these guys a bit.I definitely know Lee is a stand up dude and i appreciate the time he took to answer my dumb questions.
What brought you to hardcore and what keeps you here?
I only really started listening to hardcore properly back in like 2005/2006. Nelly asked me to start a hardcore band with him and that’s how I first met Iano. I guess that was my first introduction to the hardcore scene.
There’s so many things about it though that keep me here. Playing shows and getting to tour have to be the main things. Because of this band I’ve gotten to go see tonnes of mad shit in Europe and play some great shows along the way. The people are incredible too. I’ve met such great people through hardcore and 90% of the friends I’ve got have been made at shows.
The music’s ok too :-p.
When you started what was your goal for Forging Friendships?
I don’t think we had any big plans. Robbie, Cruise and Iano just wanted to get a band together and I was lucky enough to be asked. At first we just wanted to write and record some songs and get to playing shows. Like any band, I guess. But I don’t think we had any more foresight than that at the time.
The first show you guys played was in your house and it was killer. What do you remember about it?
Praying that my kitchen ceiling didn’t cave in. That and being way too drunk. Oh yeah, I also remember you, Lee Brown and Robb were wearing the same Only Fumes and Corpses shirt, haha. Such a good night though. I love house shows.
Fucked floor.Too much mosh.
Did your family ever know there was a party?
Oh yeah, I told them all about it. Nothing broke - except for my sitting room floor, but I was able to fix that - so they were grand.
I am told you’re responsible for writing the parts that are perfect for circle pitting to. I owe you a handshake and a beer.
Haha, really? I never really noticed but I’ll try write more just for you.
Famine tour a lot. What do you notice in the difference between shows at home and on the mainland?
I think shows in Ireland and the on the mainland are kind of similar. You see bigger attendances on the mainland but that’s obviously a lot to do with the fact that Ireland is a small and somewhat isolated country. I think the mentality and atmosphere at shows though is fairly similar on the whole. Touring bands are treated really well on the mainland, which I think is true of Ireland too. There’s definitely a big difference though between how bands are treated there as opposed to in the UK. There are a lot of solid promoters in the UK but there have also been many times we’ve played there and left with no payment, food or a place to stay afterwards. I’m pretty sure that’s never happened to us on the mainland, which is really cool.
Also what differences do you notice in hardcore in general between the two?
There’s a lot more dedicated venues and shows in youth centres, squats and art spaces on the mainland which I think is really cool. Shows are almost always in bars in Ireland which sucks because of age restrictions and the difficulty and cost involved in setting up all ages shows. We’ve got the Exchange now, which does all ages gigs, but we really need more places like it that are run for young people and whose primary concern isn‘t to make money from alcohol.
When you started to play the songs off ERLBH I noticed such a difference in your playing. I dunno it seemed more technical. I could be wrong, i have little or no knowledge music wise like that. Did you feel you had more scope to play around with the new songs you were writing?
Yeah, I think that by the time we came to start writing for an album we had become more confident in our writing and had started to develop more of our own style. Also, Jonathan had just joined the band. The first song we wrote for the album was at our first practice with him so I’d say his drumming sort of helped us to push the band in a slightly different direction. We also wanted to try some new things. Doing a full length, you can throw in stuff that you wouldn’t on a 3 or 4 song demo so that gave us the freedom to experiment a bit I guess. I’ve always preferred bands who have the ability to somewhat change their style from release to release and I think that’s what we try to do. Even the new stuff we’ve written since the album sounds fairly different, I think.
The Famine jet crashes in the Andes. Which member do you eat first?
One of the dead ones.
Ok lets do this. Your favourite...
band from the 80s:
band from the 90s:
band from the 2000s era. I refuse to say noughties:
Me too. Modern Life Is War.
It’s hard to say because it changes so much but at the moment I’d say Bitter End or maybe Rise and Fall.
reunion show you would kill to attend:
Lol.Record you'd kill to own:*cough*Mine would be a Famine test press*cough*
*cough*An In Time test press*cough*
HA!Me too dude.Me too.
Ok I kept you long enough. Any thanks you want to send out?
All the DHC bands, all the people who give us shows and put us up at home or abroad and you of course.
Thanks Lee dude.
Soundtrack to this entry:
The Vinny Club-behave remix
Where Fear And Weapons Meet-the weapon
Carry On-a life less plagued
Iron Age-constant struggle
Part 3 coming soon but in the meantime
Listen to Famine and buy their shit.