Sunday, 5 October 2014

The Song Lives On, Part 4 - Future Kings of Spain, 'Face I Know'

Future Kings of Spain, 'Face I Know'

Info: Future Kings of Spain released some of the best singles of any Irish band back in the noughties, tracks such as 'Venetian Blinds' (if it wasn't for them it'd be curtains for everyone, amiright?), 'Your Starlight', 'Hanging Around' and 'Face I Know', above, which really should have leant to the band attaining international success. The line-up of Joey Wilson (vocals / guitar), Bryan McMahon (drums), Anton Hegarty (bass) and from 2003, Karl Hussey (guitar) secured an ever-expanding dedicated fanbase and were very much in-favour with the Irish music media. Both their debut self-titled album in 2003 and 2007's Nervoussystem, swung from soft to powerful rock songs and their live shows were like being faced with an oncoming juggernaut of distortion and searing vocals. I saw them live myself following the release of Nervoussystem at a gig I thought was in Whelans but when I asked the friend who was at it with me, he said it wasn't Whelans but he doesn't remember where it was, great help, he did remember some pretty cool visuals at it though. When Future Kings of Spain suddenly announced they were calling it a day on their website, fans were devastated, because here was a band everyone would keep an eye out for, be it gigs or new releases, there was a large appetite for both. 

FKOS drummer Bryan McMahon very kindly took the time to share his thoughts on the Kings' experiences back then, big thanks to Bryan for his insights;

'Perhaps if I'd had more time to reflect on the FKOS days I might choose different experiences... I don't know.

In the months before we signed the record deal with Red Flag in London, rehearsing as a 3 piece every day in Dublin was incredibly exciting. We had only played a handful of shows at this time and the reaction to us was something we had not previously experienced – people who were not our friends were coming to the shows! Having plugged away from teenagehood in various bands, when things started to roll they rolled fast. Ink the deal, pick a producer, finish the songs, record the songs, all in just a short period of time. Spending 3 months in a studio in NYC was quite a jump from our room in Dublin.

I particularly liked travelling. Whether it was opening for Muse across Europe, playing in front of 20,000 kids in Tokyo or a lone barman in some dive in Sunderland or Van Nuys, touring was always a high point.

I have no regrets, apart from perhaps not enjoying it enough at the time. I was interested in the business side of things. This often superseded the fun of the musician’s life. We didn’t have fall back plans either. It was all or nothing which, in retrospect, helped to drive us on. The legal and record company problems around the second record ultimately wore us down. This led to the collapse of the band, which at the time, was hard to endure. But sometimes things just don’t work out.

We were part of something that culminated in recording two albums, with which we are still proud. That we got paid for doing what we loved and saw a lot of the world in doing so, is something I’d never trade. It would have been interesting to see how we could have used social media to connect with our international fan base, following the above mentioned difficulties. The autonomy and power afforded to bands now didn’t really exist back then. Had it, we may perhaps have survived… for a while longer at least?'

- Bryan McMahon, Future Kings of Spain (drums)

Bryan and Karl currently play with Dan Barry in the band BadSelf, releasing their first album, The Three Daughters of Mara, in 2012, check them out here,, while Anton is playing with Bryan Brannigan in A Lazarus Soul, a band with close ties to FKOS, whose second album featured Joey Wilson & Bryan McMahon also, you can hear them here

No comments:

Post a Comment