Fontaines DC: ‘You’re giving the person your kryptonite when you’re loved’ – Music News

Fontaines D.C. join Matt Wilkinson on Apple Music 1 to discuss their brand-new album ‘Skinty Fia’. During the interview they discuss the real people that inspired the album, including the case of discrimination agaist Irish woman Margat Keane and sharing the song with her family, the prejudice they’ve faced during their time living in London, why they’re not ready to start work on their fourth album and more.

Fontaines D.C. Tell Apple Music How Margaret Keane’s Story Inspired “In ár gCroíthe go deo” & Sharing The Track With Her Family…
Grian Chatten: Essentially the story was that this Irish woman who lived in Coventry [Margaret Keane] and had since had kids and raised the family there, she passed away and her family wanted to commemorate her Irishness by getting the words, “In ár gCroíthe go deo,” written on her gravestone, which means “In our hearts forever” as a kind of ode, a respectful and beautiful ode to her Irishness and the country that she left in order to raise them and stuff like that… And so essentially, the Church of England decreed that it would be potentially seen as a political slogan and that it would be sort of inflammatory to just have … The Irish language, in of itself, is apparently, according to these people that decreed this, it’s an inflammatory thing in of itself, which is kind of a very base level xenophobia…. So they weren’t allowed to put that on the gravestone without an English translation. And that sounds like it’s something out of the seventies, but it’s not. This is like two and a half years ago, I think.

Carlos O’Connell: … They weren’t allowed to actually put that writing on the gravestone as they wanted it until just about a year ago, you know? That was when it got turned around and they won this case….We were actually recording the song when-

Grian Chatten: When the news came out….Well, the last thing about that story is that the track listing for this album was released, it was publicised. I think it was in Rolling Stone that the family themselves were made aware of it. And they wrote to us in an email about that track, and they asked if it was about their situation, which obviously it was, and they asked if they could listen to the track and we sent them over the track. And apparently they really loved it and they played it at the gravestone.

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten Tells Apple Music About Facing Prejudice…
Well, we moved to London after we heard the story about Margaret Keane’s gravestone. When that story came out and we were in Dublin planning our move to London, we did feel a little bit like, “Are we looking down the barrel of the gun of something here?” You know what I mean? “Are we about to like move into the lion’s den a little bit?” Do you know what I mean? And my girlfriend’s just really good at noticing those things, you know, those kind of microaggressions that I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up on initially, because I think I was probably in some sense of denial because I wanted to just sort of live, do you know what I mean?

But I remember going on a date with my girlfriend, and I’m sitting there, you know, trying to sort of act cool and impress her and stuff like that, and trying to make myself sound and seem interesting, as you do. You know what I mean? And this guy sits down beside me and he’s like, “Oh, I heard that you’re Irish, man. Can you say this, and can you say this? Can you say, ‘What’s the craic?’ Can you say, ‘Top of the morning to you?'”And all of a sudden, it went from being someone who was aware of seeming sort of cool and their own image and trying to be romantic, to being treated like a performing monkey in front of my girlfriend…And then that was kind of when things started opening up to me and I started to realize that these things happened on a sort of biweekly basis…I think that I don’t feel very well equipped to deal with that because I feel like I go from being, you know, sort of letting people walk all over me to sort of flying off the handle. You know what I mean? There’s no discourse that I’ve practiced or I’m aware of within me to handle those situations. You know what I mean? And it’d be great if there was more talk about that, you know?

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten Tells Apple Music About “The Couple Across the Way”…
There’s a track on the album called “The Couple Across the Way,” which was actually written when I lived sort of up the road, in Caledonian Road. Our gaff backed onto the back of another house, and there was a little balcony there. There was a couple that lived there, and they were probably like mid-seventies. And your man in the couple … They have really, really, really loud, like really loud arguments, the kind of arguments where you’d see London on a map getting kind of further and further away and hear the shout resounding, you know what I mean? Like something out of The Simpsons or something like that. And the man would come out and he’d take a big breath, and he’d stand on his balcony and he’d look left and right and sort of exhale all the drama. And then he’d just turn around and go back to his gaff to do the same thing the next day. And the absurdity of that, you know, what we put ourselves through to be in a relationship that causes you such daily pain, to just always turn around and go back in; that double edged sword, that glue trap of love, of relationships. You know what I mean? You’re giving the person your kryptonite when you’re loved. Do you know what I mean?…Because what I was going to say was I couldn’t really help but write about that sort of almost physical mirror that was there. You know, am I seeing myself and my girlfriend in these two people, and vice versa? Do you know what I mean?

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten Tells Apple Music About “I Love You”…
I think the song “I Love You”, that’s kind of the most ostensibly a love letter to Ireland, but has in it the kind of derangement, and like I said, the kind of the corruption and the sadness and the grief with the sort of ever changing Dublin and Ireland. I think you could say that it’s a love letter to Ireland. I think a couple of people have said that to me. I struggle to sort of not speak negatively about that kind of way of putting things, but to reduce things to that kind of level of simplicity, because it affects my ability to connect to the tracks when you play them live. I think if I know too well what a song is about, like really, really sort of superficially and deeply, then I think it’ll solidify it and then make it impossible to access emotionally when I’m performing it in 10 years, 20 years, you know what I mean?

Fontaines D.C.’s Grian Chatten Tells Apple Music About Not Being Ready To Start On Their Fourth Album…
We got to tour ‘Dogrel’ extensively. We didn’t really get to tour ‘A Hero’s Death’ too much. We did it in the UK. And then we just kind of want to be the band that has three albums under their belt, and has all these tunes to pick and choose from to make a set list every night and travel the world a bit, get a bit more experience. I think we could very easily sort of get together and write a fourth album now, but I’d rather wait until there’s a feeling of it being totally necessary first, you know? And I don’t feel that yet.

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