Poniedziałek, 4 Lutego 2019, 15:10
polskie kwestie czytał Jakub Śliwiński
fot. Norbert Burkowski @No. photos
Below you can find an English transcript of the interview with Grian Chatten from Fontaines D.C., who spoke with Ania Prokop about social media, poetry and authenticity in music.
A: How are you?
G: I‘m good, actually. I‘m good. I feel very refreshed after that gig. I‘m fine whenever I finish the show, it doesn‘t matter how I felt before - I‘m relieved. I‘m giving you emotions through the sound, so I feel good now.
A: Ok, but you‘ve mentioned that you are super-tired…
G: I‘m tired of particular things. I‘m not necessarily tired of lack of sleep.
A: So you‘re tired of… what?
G: I‘m tired of everyone being so addicted to their phones. I‘m tired of social media being such a plague. I‘m tired of being in the middle of talking to somebody, and then somebody being invited to the table, without my permission (through Facebook). All those things got washed away through a gig, but I‘m sure I‘ll feel them tomorrow.
A: By the way… well, I am sorry, but I was stalking you a bit in the social media, and I realized that you have two accounts on Facebook, and both look like they are real. You know, photos from childhood etc. So I‘ve started wondering – if someone is that crazy to create your fake profile on Facebook, or maybe… both are yours?
G: Both are mine. But I set up the second one [laughts] because I wanted to delete Facebook. So I deleted the first one [laughts]
A: Everybody does it!
G: Everybody. I mean, Facebook? Please. I deleted the first one and [laughts] I set up the second account just for my family and friends. My granny and the band, really.
A: And how many friends do you have?
G: Now I have like 2000.
A: Family and the closest friends? That‘s a lot.
G: Well, I‘m Irish, I have a very big family.
A: Can you tell us something more about it? How many sisters and brothers do you have?
G: [laughts] I have one amazing brother, who is worth 25 people.
A: Facebook works this way…?
G: Facebook is a bit less sentimental that I am.
A: I was about to ask you at the beginning… You know, one of these warm-up questions. We‘re still at the beginning of the year, so – do you have any New Year‘s Resolutions? Or you‘ve already given up?
G: No, no, no… I don‘t, but I just do it whenever I want. The day that I‘ll have a New Year‘s resolution, I think that‘s the day I‘ll lose my spirit of self-control. And I need something like that to help me.
A: But too much of self-control in not good either.
G: When you control yourself to be crazy?
A: No, when you control yourself to the extent that you are not able to do anything. You know, some people are very demanding towards themselves.
G: Yeah, I have a friend who is obsessed about moderation. But I think he needs to take moderation in moderation.
A: [laughts] For you guys, when you work on a song it is like – poetry above all. This seems to be the most important thing for you. Has it always been like this? And when you listen to music – do you focus on lyrics all the time?
G: I focus on lyrics personally. But I think that poetry is more of an influence than it is be-all and end-all, because poetry, as it stands, is a poem. Usually has no place in music, because it is too… kind of verse, kind of a stanza. And there is too much of a poetic form to it. For example someone like Lou Reed – I don‘t think that many of his songs would work well as poems. I think it takes a great taste to decide when to be poetic in music. But I think… to practice poetry, to love poetry and to respect poetry on a daily basis - it is a great way to open yourself up to the different emotions… And people are sitting there on their phone with two beers in front of them as I see it right
A: Maybe he‘s just lonely, that‘s why…
G: Well, you see, the thing is that if I go to a bar on my own, I will order to pints all the time. It looks like you're waiting for the second person to join you. [laughts]
A: It‘s a bit sad… and brilliant at the same time. I read, I think it was on Stereogum, that you sometimes write when you‘re asleep. As far as I know, psychoanalysts believe that this kind of practice, when you write or draw something while you‘re semi-conscious is a way to find the truth about yourself. I mean… this is what is hidden in your subconscious level. The purest way you can write. How does it work? When you‘re waking up, are you surprised by what you‘ve written?
G: I think [laughts] the problem is that your brain and your thoughts are often isolation between your heart and your words. Your brain gets in a way. If you use it too much. And I think that in the morning when you‘re half-awake, your brain is weaker, but your heart is still the same. And you‘re fresh, waken up from how you really feel, all those dreams that tell you what you really are and what you really want. But your brain takes longer to wake up than your heart does, so… for that maybe half-an-hour (I mean it takes me half-an-hour, maybe it takes you 10 min) that it takes me to wake up, I think the truth often comes out. Undestiled. It‘s pure in its form. Coz the brain just gets in the way of poetry.
A: Ok, it makes sense. I also read that one of your biggest inspirations is Girl Band, and you want to [similarily to them] speak the truth, make people open up their minds… is it really what you want to do by your music? I know it sounds funny right now. I see the way you‘re looking at me… and I know it sounds funny, but maybe it‘s not…
G: It‘s a fair question, but… To be honest - I only write music, I only write lyrics to make myself feel better. That makes me feel like I deserve a place in the world, you know. I‘m not trying to change anyone. I‘d rather love everyone and accept the way they are. I would rather accept all the things that I find very difficult to accept than change them. I‘d rather change myself. So when I write them, I‘m trying to change my own mentality. I‘m trying to write my way out of feeling in a particular way. So a lot of my songs, a lot of my lyrics on the first album are written in an attempt to help me escape the way that I was feeling. I don‘t wanna try to help anyone else escape the way that they feel. So I‘m afraid if I get too happy, that I won‘t have anything to escape from and I won‘t have anything to write. But I‘d have to accept that as well.
A: I don‘t think that it is possible to be that happy that you can not write anything. Being happy is not a constant state. You can‘t be happy forever. So anyways - you will always have something to write about, don‘t worry about being happy – just be happy if you can.
Probably everyone asks you about the question "Is it too real for ya?" [from the song „Too real“].
[Grian laughts] I know, I know, I see…
G: What do you feel about it? What does it make you think about?
A: It makes me think that… The reality is brutal, so some people would just think it is better to escape from it. That‘s what it makes me think about. That people escape from real contact, face to face, as we‘re talking right now. Well, actually, we‘re not talking face-to-face, we‘re talking through the microphone… I guess I think too much right now.
G: It‘s ok, so do I. The reason why I asked you is because you know as much as I do about what that line is. You also feel as much as I do, maybe… I‘m not sure. Maybe you don‘t; I don‘t know. But it‘s nice to be vague sometimes, because it kinda calls the questions that people need to ask themselves out of them.
A: Actually I should avoid these existential question and ask you „well guys when can we expect the album?“
G: [laughts] You can expect the album around I think… late April.
A: What was the milestone for you? When was the moment you thought it‘s getting serious?
G: A milestone for me was when we had our first practice session 3 years ago. We realized that we didn‘t… Honestly we didn‘t mind what happened after that. We didn‘t mind if we‘ve gotten an agent or record label or anything like that. The milestone was the fact that we reached that point of emotional… happiness and satisfaction that nothing after that could really change. I mean, everything after that was a bonus, but the best thing for us is just to write tunes. So you know, whatever crowd is coming to our shows. That comes and goes, whatever reviews we have or the interviews we have. If anyone of us says something bad on Twitter which I know we won‘t… I don‘t use twitter, but I know they won‘t. The only thing that will stay until I‘m 70 years old (if I make it that old, coz I‘m smoking and drinking like a mad man). If I‘ll ever make it till that age, I know that the only thing that will stay is the fact that we‘ve had a great friendship and great tunes together. So I don‘t really care about any superficial milestones has happened between then and now.
A: You are often compared to IDLES and Shame. Do you guys know each other well? What do you think of each other? I‘m asking because I observed (maybe it‘s just me) a positive turn within punk music. It‘s getting more… optimistic. It‘s not about „let‘s rebel, let‘s be aggressive,“ but it's rather „ok, we understand you, let‘s be good to each other.“
G: I think Shame are like that. I think Shame are rebellious about what goes on. I don‘t associate us with either of those in terms of like… message on a mentality. I think that our sound could have probably been… [laughts]
A: Ok, I already regret the question…
G: Don‘t regret the question. I think you could draw parallels between the way that we sound, the way the guitar tone is and the stuff like that. The way that they shout over the music and I shout over the music. Ultimately, I think that we‘re three very different ethoses. I think that IDLES are very much about a kind of self acceptance and acceptance of the neighbour. Shame are about hating the Tories and there is an element of surrealism. And I think for us... I‘d rather not to think about what we are really in the context of them. I‘d rather just write words on the back of the tour itinerary and shout over some tunes that if people like, it‘s cool. Sorry that you regret the question. You can ask me whatever you want.
A: You often refer to „authenticity“ in music. What is that?
G: What is authenticity?
A: Yeah, in music.
G: I think that it's the most sincere and purest form. It is admitting that your gig was bad, or your song is crap or your lyrics are rubbish. But I think it is also a sort of being in tune with who you are. For me, maybe the most tangible part of the authenticity in music is rejecting the idea of masculinity. Rejecting the idea of performance. I don‘t wanna feel like I am performing ever. If I feel like I‘m performing after this tour I will probably quit and go back to my job in a hotel, in a restaurant, starting work at 5a.m., coz at least there I know that… There is a mismatch between the person I am and the person I am performing. This is very nebulous, you know. It‘s very hard to tell if you‘re being inauthentic every single night in the front of a lot of people. Then you carry that into the way you talk to the people afterwards… This is very long answer and I‘m very sorry. You seem to be bored and tired.
A: No, I just look like this when I‘m thinking [laughts]
G: The problem is that… you think you‘re a person and suddenly crowds come to see you being a person. That‘s my experience. People coming to watch me being myself. That‘s what I think it is.
A: It is strange when you think „focus, be yourself, focus, be yourself“? Didn‘t you have this moment when you walk and suddenly you think "how am I doing it?!". So isn‘t is strange when you need to focus on being yourself?
G: It is strange, but isn‘t it strange when you don‘t need to focus on being yourself? I am on a privileged position where I have to think about what myself is. Or maybe I am not. Maybe being in a position when you have to think about who you are, is the only position in which it is impossible to be who you are. Maybe it‘s the one when we‘re not thinking and we just are who we are. Are you yourself when you‘re by yourself?
A: I don‘t know what does it even mean. I was just wondering if the answer to the question „who am I“ exists, because… I don‘t wanna limit myself. I just guess that we‘re constantly changing. I know it is an optimistic point of view. If I will find myself in a moment in my life that I will feel like a defined person - it‘s gonna be strange. I don‘t see it this way. Can you imagine yourself answering the question „who am I“ like „yeah, I am Grian, I am a musician, everything is going great...“?
G: Yeah… it‘s like saying „I am married to myself“, so I resign myself to this relationship. I‘d rather feel like water. I‘m a very malleable person – if I talk to somebody with a different accent, I will talk with their accent. I don‘t see that as having a weak character, but I know a lot of people do. I see that just as not caring.
A: Honestly, I don‘t know how we can finish this interview... but thank you very much!
G: Thank you.
Liczba komentarzy: 1
Czwartek, 7 Lutego 2019, 13:55
I really enjoyed reading this interview! You actually asked the kinds of questions I'd like to, so thank you!