LaFaro's Jonny Black Talks To German Magazine Éclat
Cheers to Sean Duffy for translating this. Proof that a Derry man in Stuttgart is better than an English Man In New York. Follow 'Full Press Article' for original German.
"Our music is made for jumping into swimming pools" says LaFaro singer Jonny Black, and how right he is, the album 'Easy Meat' knocks out alternative rock like a high-speed steamroller on the streets.
Eclat Magazine : 'Easy Meat' is more brutal, aggressive and metal influenced than your eponymous debut, did you go about this album more differently?
Jonny: (Immediately) Definitely, firstly we didn't have much time to write the second album. As well as that, we hadn't written anything new in over a year; that's why we just ripped out the stupidest, bluntest riffs that came to us. Hopefully it hits the spot, it should be a fun album.
Eclat Magazine : That means 'Easy Meat' is more spontaneous and riff orientated?
Jonny: That was the plan, “fuck songs” if you will (laughs). I hope people don’t take this album too seriously, it's a party album! We try not to get in anyway political. The lyrics are really colloquial; In Northern Ireland most people will understand them and the rest of the world dont care. It doesn't matter, people should jump into swimming-pools to our music.
Eclat Magazine : Did you have a concept for the lyrics?
Jonny: Yeah, 'Easy Meat' should be as Northern Irish as possible. In every song is a phrase that is in daily use in some corner of the country, a lot of them are from Derry; they are the funniest people in Northern Ireland.
Our local following complained that the first album sounded too American, 'Easy Meat' is our answer to that.
Eclat Magazine : What exactly does 'Easy Meat' stand for?
Jonny: (grinning) For lots of things; it can be pretty perverted. (thinking) but originaly it means “no worries” or “no problem”.
Eclat Magazine : I find the album aggressive in a positive way. Do you agree? And if yes, why?
Jonny: I agree. Being honest, we are frustrated about the state of the country we are living. Like I said, we aren't trying to get too political, but when you come from Northern Ireland, you automatically become an angry person. It's a backwards country with a narrow horizon, you know, when you travel the world and come home, you get really depressed, (Laughing) so we are letting off steam about it: we are pretty pissed off (laughs harder).
To be honest about the lyrics : I am fascinated by the things that are not said in a conversation, the undercurrent
things that are there but aren’t talked about. All the lyrics on the album bring these topics to the surface, 'Easy Meat' says the things people really want to say in conversation. It earned us the reputation of having a really dark sense of humor. We are kind of like Larry David.
Eclat Magazine : Your dark sense of humour is pretty obvious in your publicity shots, the ones where you are dressed as butchers posing in a forest. Who came up with this brilliant idea?
Jonny: Thats was Dave, our guitarist. The photo session was hilarious because people who were just walking through the forest were scared shitless, they all had this funny look about them. Lots of people found these pictures as funny as you did, they thought we were going to wear butchers' aprons onstage.
Eclat Magazine : Future Of The Left have similar pictures, except not in the forsest but infront of a rubbish compressor. Is there more than just this one connection between the bands?
Jonny: yeah, we know the boys pretty well, with my first ever band I played tour support for Mclusky, (comprised of former members of Future Of The Left). It was fantastic, listening to these boys talking crap was priceless, they are hilarious. We are still big fans and they are fans of ours, we go to each others shows.
Jonny: Yeah, the country and its culture have changed. The youth, the ones who don’t see the old borders, are up for their turn. They aren’t afraid anymore to take a risk, they aren’t afraid that they might get hurt and that was the biggest hurdle for a long time. Where we come from losers are the ones who get celebrated, the ones who are successful are resented, I mean our biggest sports stars, George Best and Alex Higgens were both chronic alcoholics, and both died as a result, but the love of the losers is slowly passing.
Eclat Magazine : On the subject of drinking: Motörhead are a classic Whiskey-band, the bronx belong to the Beer Faction, where to LaFaro stand?
Jonny: (Laughing) Depends who you are talking to. Alan our drummer wakes up every morning and has a beer for breakfast, as for me, I am a tea-junkie; a cup of tea and a smoke in the morning is as good as it gets. We don't take any of the hardstuff, but we do enjoy the Guinness so I guess that's where we stand. Your beer over here is excellent too though, we got wasted on Bitburger in Cologne last night, that was really good, but we are looking forward to seeing what Munich brings.
Eclat Magazine Ok, one last question, complete this sentence: When Scott LaFaro, the most influential jazz bassist ever, played in our band, we would…..
Jonny: Wow, ahhh (starts laughing) He'd be pretty old by now, right? (laughs on, is then quiet, and thinks for a bit) So ... When Scott LaFaro, the most influential jazz bassist ever, played in our band, we would…...... have to fire him, there is no way in the world I could imagine that we would play without using a distortion pedal. Apart from that, we would look pretty daft beside him.
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