The Men Behind The Wire
A little over eight weeks ago, Derry three-piece Fighting With Wire found themselves at a turning point in their career. Although they were loathe to admit it, the post-punk pugilists were thinking of throwing in the towel after five years of blood, sweat and tears. Following much debate, they decided to go one more round to see if things would work out, and man did they ever.
Now this writer doesn't believe in fate, Buddha or even superstar medium Derek Acorah, but when it was recently announced that the band had inked a deal with Atlantic Records (home of Grnarls Barkley, Hard Fi and Led Zeppelin) mere weeks after they started to question their future, well, you gotta believe that somebody up there likes them.
"We were all at a party last christmas and it was there that we began to question whether we should continue with this band or not.", recalls singer / guitarist Cahir O'Doherty. "Craig [McKean, FWW's tub thumper] works as a joiner and had just started his own business and I was getting tired of playing the same old places. We had our album Man vs Monster recorded, we weren't getting much interest in it and to be blunt we were wondering why the hell we were bothering any more. So we decided that we'd do a few more tours in the new year and see how things go."
A shirt time after that, Cahir heard about a new website, www.shadowglobe.com, which aimed to promote new music. He set up a profile and as it happened a lot of people loved what they heard. Among those initial fans were BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, who instantly began playing them on his show, and Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman, who promptly got in touch and flew the guys over to New York for a showcase gig.
"We went over to New York about four weeks ago and played five songs to a room full of record executives," says Cahir. "Later on that night we were having dinner and we were offered our deal straight away. it;s a bit spooky how everything worked out but it just goes to show how things can go sometimes. I have to say that any preconceptions I had of industry people being all suits and ties were smashed that day. Everyone at Atlantic is just like us. It feels like an independent label but with more money behind it. We're over the moon."
Fighting With Wire are in a dream situation at the moment. Their thunderous debut album is already recorded and slated for a March 10 release via Cahir's friend and bandmate Andrew Ferris' label Smalltown America (the two play together in Jetplane Landing). They've also got a work ethic like no other and aren't shy about playing the fleapits of the world. So when you add in the fact that the band has one of the most hardcore followings in Ireland right now, you'd be a fool to bet against FWW becoming world beaters over the months ahead.
"I'm a firm believer in building from the ground up," offers Cahir. "We're an honest band, we play from our hearts and there's no bullshit from Fighting With Wire. I think people like that about us.There are a lot of chancers out there playing music and they appreciate that we're not like that. I think we began to struggle last year particularly in the UK because it's more fashion over content. We're just three guys who look like a 90s alternative band and that confused everyone. I thik once Atlantic relesae Man vs Monster in America, it'll work out better for us as there seems to be more of an understanding of bands like ours over there.
In an era when we're constantly reminded that nice guys finish last, it's reassuring to see FWW give a two-fingered salute to convention. Their potent mix of head spinning riffola, Husker Du-esque melodies and sonically devastating live shows has quite rightly made them one of the most talked about bands in Ireland. In short, these men have made a monster of a record and they're only just getting started.
"I can't say that I always thought things would work out for us, because I didn't," concludes Cahir. "owever, I did know that we were on to something good. Whenever we've played we would always get a fantastic reaction and now we've got some of the most loyal, supportive and insane fans out there. We've even got a guy called Dermott who got a FWW tattoo done, which I think is amazing. We actually see him at most of the shows, singing the words louder than I am. I'm sure when he sees this he'll be thinking to himself thank fuck we didn't split up, because then he'd be stuck with us on his arm for the rest of his life."
"Seriously though, we know we've got a long way to go before we achieve our dreams. The deal with Atlantic has helped us pursue things further, but we've a lot more touring ahead. For anyone doubting us, let me say that we're the same band we were two months ago and we'll never change for anyone. Thankfully Atlantic will never ask us too."
- Edwin McFee, Hot Press
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