LaFaro are probably one of the hardest-working, hardest-sounding bands on the rock scene at the moment. This year has seen the release of a new album ‘Fresh Meat’ and a tour schedule that’s taken in Europe and North America. We managed to grab a brief chat with the Belfast lads during yet another tour of the British Isles.
“We’re excited to play the new tunes to fresh ears.”
S] You’ve just embarked on a landmark UK and Ireland tour. How’s the experience going for you so far?
L] “Great, so far! We’re seeing improvements with every tour as far as crowds and response goes, so hopefully this one will be the best yet! We’re excited to play the new tunes to fresh ears.”
S] How does this set of gigs compare to your previous tour experiences (and there’s been plenty of them) this year?
L] “It’s similar in as much as we’ve got the same van, but we’re getting to play new songs which is great for us, having played a lot of the same songs for years now, and we’ve got a few people along with us too – sound engineer, merch muppet etc. We’re getting well looked after on this tour for the first time, so we’re eating well and getting beds each night – it’s luxury!”
S] Do you get a chance to spend much time with your support acts and fans offstage?
L] “We try to make the most of it. It can be tiring after long drives and late nights, but we don’t want to be one of those bands that hides in a dressing room! We love talking to people and if anyone likes the band and wants to chat we’re always about! Sometimes, we don’t have as much time as we’d like, but it’s important for bands to make the effort.”
S] Your new album, ‘Easy Meat’ was recently launched in Belfast, and there’s been a mighty buzz from fans and critics so far about it. How are you taking the reaction to it all in at the moment?
L] “I think we’re taking it well, it’s certainly not going to our heads anyway. It seems there has been a great reaction so far and we’re very flattered by it, but we’ve had this album for a good six to seven months ourselves, so we knew it wasn’t too shabby. We just hoped other people would like it too. We’re very glad that it seems most of them do!
S] How important is what feedback you get from the press and your fans in all you do?
L] “Tough question… It can shape peoples opinion of you, so in that way, press feedback is very important and it can be great for helping us to see what people think and how the view the band. Fans of the band always seem to have positive feedback which is very lucky for us! They are entitled to an opinion same as everyone else though, so they give us the odd slagging oce in a while, but we can take it! We’ve some great fans and we’re very grateful.”
S] The sound on ‘Easy Meat’ is as breakneck as the sound you established with your eponymous début. Are you the kind of guys who have a ‘if it ain’t broke’ philosophy when it comes to your music?
L] “Not really, we just do what we do, what comes naturally. The sound is the sound of us in a room, simple as that. We set out to make this record harder hitting and we tried to push ourselves musically and technically a little bit to see where we could go with it. In that way, we wanted to try to ‘break it’ I guess, change it a little.”
S] Which musical directions would you like to explore on subsequent recordings? Are there any artists or producers you’d like to work with?
L] “We’re happy doing what we do; we’re not the kind of band that would go looking for a producer to get a certain sound or anything. Musically, we all feel this band could go anywhere really. We are a straight-up rock band, but outside of LaFaro, we play all sorts, so there’s always that chance that those influences will start to creep in eventually. Watch this space I guess…”
S] What’s going to be happening for you guys in the future? We’ve heard there may be some dates Stateside in the pipeline…
L] “We were hoping to get over to CMJ in New York, but it clashed with too many other things, so for now, we’re focusing on touring the UK and Ireland for the next couple of months before heading back to Europe in December. America may need a visit in the new year! Promoting this record on the road is our main aim and we’ll start writing the third record after Christmas.”
S] We like to round up our interviews with a challenge question, so here’s what we’ve got for you: You’re putting together a four- piece Northern Irish supergroup; composed of one lead singer, one bassist, one guitarist and one drummer. Who do you pick, and why?
L] “Oooh. Toughie! Drums – Rick ‘Rock’ McMurray from Ash because he’s a funny bastard. Bass – Herb Magee (ex-LaFaro) because he’s lethal. Guitar – Nathan Connolly from Snow Patrol, because secretly he likes a riff or two and he’s sexy. Singer – Alan Lyn (LaFaro drummer) – he’s a frontman waiting to be discovered….”
S] Is there anything else you’d like to add?
L] “Salt. And maybe some gravy! Thankyou very much Soundsphere!”
Massive thanks and much respect to the guys for taking the time to speak to us! Details of LaFaro’s current UK tour can be found on their website