Subba Chat With One Of Irelands Best Exports, The Loved-By-Zane-Lowe Fighting With Wire
2008 has been an amazing and mental year for Derry’s Fighting With Wire, with attention from every corner of the United Kingdom including Radio One big names such as Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe. Magazines have lapped them up and they made what seemed like a million and one festival appearances. So when I had the chance to talk to Cahir O’Doherty, the front man himself, I was curious to see what he’ll have to say about the whirlwind of a year he has had.
How did Fighting with Wire happen?
Fighting with Wire started as a way for Craig and I to play together, you could say it was a side project from Jetplane Landing to begin with.
What/who are your influences?
I always loved three piece bands and I was a child of early 90's alt-rock, so I guess Fugazi, Sugar, Dinosaur JR, Nirvana, RATM, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, the Pixies, Helmet, to name a few.
Your first album ‘Man vs. Monster’ has been received exceptionally well. Did this surprise you?
Yeah pretty much, we had recorded the album a year and a half before it got a release and it seemed that no one gave a shit, and then all of a sudden people got it. Magic!
The band’s rise seems to have been almost meteoric; one minute you are a kind of cult band and now you’re, well, everywhere. How does that feel and how has that happened?
Yeah it’s weird; it’s amazing what a bit of press can do for a band. We've always worked hard and we will continue to work even harder. We want to be in a rock band and I think we have always stayed focused and true to ourselves, we worked on our songs and on our live show and I think this has attracted people who can help us push the band a bit further. It's all good.
You’ve got some very enthusiastic fans, namely Zane Lowe. How much has his certain brand of over the top gushing helped?
He's been amazing to be honest, a genuine music lover and a great help to our band, and the man's a legend!
You’ve toured with some awesome bands – Biffy Clyro, Yourcodenameis:Milo and Future of the Left to name a few. Any disaster stories or hilarity to share with us?
Oh yes indeed, we we’re on tour with Biffy Clyro a few years ago in Ireland and the last show of the tour was in our home town of Derry. The gig went great and we all retired to the hotel for some drinks, at which point our drummer Craig (who is massive by the way) got so bombed that he started a full scale wrestling match in Biffy’s hotel room. He bounced Herb Magee (our bass player at the time) off the bed and broke his nose wide open; there’s blood everywhere, Ben, Simon and James are freaking out cause they think Craig has killed Herb, Herb is lifeless with serious amounts of blood squirting from his nose, covering the white bathroom in their hotel room, it looked like an episode of CSI. Obviously at that point we were asked to leave and had to drag Herb's unconscious body down to the ambulance for treatment and try and explain what happened, I realised very quickly that ambulance people do not know what a stone cold stunner is. Off to the hospital, where he made a full recovery but now his nose makes a wee whistling noise when he breaths, very tuneful. Craig hung his head in shame and Biffy Clyro think Derry is full of ‘fucking mental bastards’. I laughed my balls off.
Speaking of touring, on your recent tour with Future of the Left, there was some incessant, yet hilarious, slagging off of Reverend and the Makers. What’s all that about then?
Well, I made a comment about them and how excited I was about seeing their performance, then they made some comments about us and then someone broke into their dressing room and spilled wine everywhere. They tried to blame us and I was having none of it and that’s basically it. Did I mention that they’re a train wreck of unrivalled shite?
Is the switch you have made from guitarist in Jetplane Landing to front man in Fighting with Wire a natural progression for you? What are the differences when performing and which position do you prefer?
Before Jetplane I was in a band called Clearshot with Craig. I was the lead singer/ guitar player and I joined jetplane to move to London to help Andrew Ferris and try to further Clearshot. Unfortunately Clearshot didn’t work out due to our bass player Marty McCafferty taking his own life. So Clearshot ended and I remained in Jetplane Landing until Craig and I started Fighting with Wire. I enjoy both to be honest, I love the freedom in Jetplane to just play guitar and not have the pressure of fronting a band. I love Fighting with Wire because it’s a three piece, its loud and catchy and its been a very natural process to this point. I’m very grateful to be in both bands.
On the subject of Jetplane Landing, what does Fighting with Wire’s success mean for Jetplane Landing? Is JPL something you’re interested in continuing in the future?
I hope that people who like Fighting with Wire will go back and check out the Jetplane Landing records as we put a lot of hard work into those albums. I’m very proud to be a part of Jetplane Landing and I will continue to be involved.
You recently received a less-than-glowing review from the NME. If you were to bump in to Stephen Kelley, the author of said article, in a dark alley what would you do or say?
Ah nothing at all, he’s entitled to his opinion. It’s funny how people react to a bad review but I thought it was some funny shit. Our fans want to kill him though.
When you posted about the article on your myspace blog you received 122 (at time of writing) comments from fans showing their support. It must be great having such dedicated supporters but have there been any overly committed fans, or horror stories regarding fans?
Nothing really stands out, our fans are fantastic, we’re very honest with them, and I think they appreciate that.
Tell us your future plans. Any tours or new releases for us to look forward to?
We’re taking a bit of time off in November to write new material, and then we’re playing with Biffy Clyro in December on the Irish leg of their tour (no nose breaking this time). We’re really looking forward to that. Our new single "Sugar" will be released through Smalltown America in January 2009 with a new video and a UK and Irish tour. Then we’re off to The States to rock out for a while, and then we’ll see you at the festivals!
'Man vs. Monster' is out now on Smalltown America CHECK OUR REVIEW
www.myspace.com/fightingwithwire | www.smalltownamerica.co.uk
Fighting With Wire are currently on tour in the UK and Ireland and their next single ‘Sugar’ will be released January 2009.
Big thanks to Andrew Ferris at Smalltown America and Cahir O’Doherty.
- Sara Curtis, Subbacultcha
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