FWW Are Ones To Watch In 09
Northern Ireland has always been a hotbed for musical talent, but for a long time it seemed that we were the only ones to realise it. Now thanks to hard working bands such as Ash and Snow Patrol the rest of the world is taking a closer look at what we have to offer, and tapping into the fanctastic live music scene that has been plugging away undiscovered for years.
Cahir O'Doherty has been one of those tireless musicians, writing, touring and recording with both Jetplane Landing and Fighting With Wire, and it seems that after yearsof toil it's finally paying off.
FWW are set to become the must-see band of 2009, and their debut album Man vs Monster has been picked up and promoted by Radio 1s Zane Lowe. "It's been an unbelievable year", said Cahir, speaking from the rural retreats of Donegall. "We are here In Donegal frantically trying to write the next album. We have 10 songs so far and hopefully over the course of the next few months we can write another 10 and pick the best from that".
The pressure is on for Cahir and his bandmates to produce another album as good as 'Man vs Monster', which is approaching it's second birthday. "The last album was written over a period of abou five years - there was absolutely no pressure on us whatsoever. I was recording with Jetplane Landing when Craig (McKean, the bands drummer) and I decided to write a few songs with a couple of friends, and that's basically how FWW started. We had about five songs and just hijacked gigs all around the country - it was really just a bit of craic".
But the responce to their 'bit of craic' was more than they had anticipated and, before they knew it, they had recorded an album. "The response has been amazing - we didn't expect that. It was never meant to be that serious, it just snowballed".
"This time around it's different - we can't take another five years to complete this album! So I am sitting here with my laptop, trying to get some ideas flowing. I usually just sit down and put a few ideas on Garage Band on my Mac, then bring the band in and get them to listen to them. I've written 10 sings this month, so it's a pretty good way for me to work" he enthuses.
Having DJ Zane Lowe as one of their biggest fans was definitely a highlight of 2008 as Cahir explained. "We were totally blown away when he played our stuff and said how much he liked it. We were then invited to play at Radio 1's One Big Weekend, which was fantastic for us". It opened the way for several other top festivals this year, including Oxegen and FWW hope to replicate this in the New Year.
"We would like to head to the States this year - that is the plan - do the SXSW and Canadian Music Week festivals. It;s something we've always wanted to do. We've toured the UK and Ireland a lot and this year we oured throughout Europe too which was great experience - driving for 8 hours in a small tour bus in the height of summer!"
The interest in bands form Northern Ireland is, as many would argue, long overdue and Cahir believes that big things are starting to happen here in the music world: "I think every band from Northern Ireland has had to work harder becuase they are from Northern Ireland. That's why I feel there are a better quality of acts - we have that hunger and setermination that so many bands elsewhere lack", he commented.
"I think we have proved with bands such as Snow Patrol that we can produce top quality acts. There is an amazing scene in NI at the minute. All the bands are working together, everyone helps everyone else, and I think that's why everything has shifted so quickly. There is no rivalry, everyone wants to do what they can to attract attention to music in NI and promote what we have."
FWW have now signed to Atlantic Records but still maintain an independent approach through releasing their music in UK and Ireland through Derry bassed label Smalltown America, who have been working with FWW for many years now. "We wanted to give something back. Smalltown America supported us when basically noone else would have looked at us, so if we can do something to sup
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