In this latest band spotlight, we chat to Michael Feerick of Amusement Parks On Fire, touring and the band’s return.
Hey! How are you today?
Very well thank you! I’m back in London after a very pleasant jaunt around the UK.
What inspired the band to come back in 2017?
It was very organic, for want of a more pertinent term. We never thought of the thing as over in any way, anyway. I’ve been kind of accidentally or automatically writing a new album in the intervening years but wasn’t sure if, and in what fashion, I wanted to do it. I recorded what became the new single just to see if there was still something there I was excited about. There was! Pete, Gavin and multi-instrumentalist, Rafe Dunn were down so here we are.
What’s motivating you guys outside of music, think people, places, games and movies for example?
Just a kind of listless, futile desire to dent reality in some way, to imagine there’s some tangible reason to realise anything. Also, Flight Of The Navigator, Back To The Future other movies of that ilk. I think being an obsessive perfectionist as well, I just couldn’t leave it be. There is definitely a better album in us.
What is your attitude to touring at this point in your careers?
It’s essentially the best and worst time of your life simultaneously. We’re a lot better at making it easier for ourselves at this point though, for the most part. We’re making sure the shows are as good as they could possibly be so there feels like there’s some reason to be out there, which is good for morale.
Are there any other bands that you’re excited about at the moment, and why?
Too many to mention. We just had the pleasure of touring with Misty Coast from Bergen who are awesome, they’re debut record is one of the best of the year. The songwriting and sounds are ace. I’ve been re-engaging with what I hate describing as the ‘shoegaze’ or ‘dream-pop’ scene and really enjoying Pinkshinyultrablast, Ringo Deathstarr, Ulrika Spacek… Marine Store Dealer from London are also essential.
How do you look back on the success of your self-titled debut now?
I don’t really. I’m just proud of it as a piece of work in the abstract, I guess. Any perceived success is difficult to have any opinion on personally as it’s not relative or proportionate to anything of import. It was awesome when Bob Mould put it in his Top-10 of the year though. I feel very lucky for any of it to have happened.
How do you feel about your place in the music industry now?
Again I don’t really. It doesn’t explicitly exist. It’s a racket, the wild west. We’ve always had a complicated and frustrating relationship with whatever it subjectively is. You just try and get your work made somehow. It was great doing this recent UK tour. People showed up. We were giving music directly to them. We covered all our costs. Maybe we’ve finally figured it out, carved out a tiny niche for our meta-selves.
What would you say at this point, has been a career highlight for you?
I suppose on paper when we played the enormo-dome in Japan, but it felt completely disproportionate to everything else we’ve ever done, and therefore lost any meaning (it was really fun though). I couldn’t say, maybe the UK tour we’ve just been on. It was pretty emotional to still have an audience after all that time. We’ve left it long enough for the songs to have a new and more suitable context.
What would you say your biggest challenges are as a band?
I always think it’s a miracle when any band does anything whatsoever. Just getting the people in a room to rehearse (that’s even tougher for us now I live in London and we all have busy adult lives). Getting all of the equipment to a venue, to another country. It blows my mind when anyone accomplishes those seemingly simple things. Especially if they’re then good.
Would you say ‘Our Goal To Realise’ is a good indication of what future APOF is going to sound like?
Not at all, no. It was written pretty cynically to sound like everything we’ve done previously mixed together, as a generic Amusement Parks On Fire song, when I had the idea of doing a ‘best-of’ but with brand new material. I think of it as being quite separate from the new album and the new EP coming in April, but it was perfect as a reintroduction to it all.