If anyone knows about life on the road, it’s Fontaines D.C. The Dublin band have picked up and maintained a breathless pace, releasing three albums in four years and seldom pausing tours to soak it all in.
Back at Glastonbury to play the Other Stage after their 2019 debut in the John Peel tent (having stepped in when Sam Fender was forced to pull out of the festival due to illness – “it’s mad to see him playing the stages he’s playing,” they say) the boys are rejuvenated and grateful to have two more albums to play to fans old and new.
The focus today (June 26) is on the band’s most recent album, the thundering ‘Skinty Fia’. Guitarist Conor Curley teases some “surprises” in this afternoon’s set, but stresses the focus on those new songs to develop a specific kind of sound for a Fontaines D.C. live show morphing those studio recordings into something special in front of an audience.
Ahead of their long-awaited Glastonbury return, Fontaines D.C. guitarists Conor Curley and Carlos O’Connell sat down with NME to reminisce on the BandLab NME Awards 2022, working with Slowthai, and some potential hot girl shit in the band’s future.
NME: Hi guys! The last time we saw you at the BandLab NME Awards 2022 you won Best Band in the World – what was that night like for you?
Conor Curley: “That night was insane. It had got to the stage where we’d gone to those things and we were kind of jaded by them and we never thought we’d win anything and we just accepted that, and then we actually won it – it was very surprising but very nice.”
Carlos O’Connell: “I had no faith in anything but that’s changed. Now I want to win everything!”
You were hanging out with Sam Fender – did you catch his set on the Pyramid this weekend?
Conor: “We weren’t here yet, but it looks incredible in videos. It’s mad – when we played here in 2019, we played the John Peel tent because Sam had to pull out because he was ill. It’s mad to see us coming back and him playing the stages he’s playing. More power to him.”
You’re playing the Other Stage this afternoon. How do you pick your setlist now with two more albums since your last Glastonbury show?
Conor: “We’re trying to focus on the new album, and we have a few surprises for the show. But the new stuff is really hyping us up right now when we’re playing live; we’re trying to develop them from album track songs into live songs. It’s a really nice development in terms of how you morph those.”
Slowthai is also here, and you’ve teased some music together already. When can we expect to hear it?
Carlos: “It’s from his upcoming album, whenever that is [released]. I believe it’s all done – on our side, at least. It was great working with him, I feel like he works similarly to us and the way he delivers his lyrics and the way he puts them all together is similar to the way Grian [Chatten, Fontaines frontman] does, where there’s a freedom to just make music based on a very simple idea and develop it over 10 minutes. He keeps delivering more and morel I loved working with him. He really is a lyrical genius. We spent hours in the studio with him and he was just non-stop spitting bars for hours and hours. I hope we can do it live at some point with him.”
Have you caught anyone’s set this weekend who you’d be keen to work with in future?
Conor: “The only person I saw last night was Megan Thee Stallion. If the collaboration is on the way, I’d be up for it. I don’t know how those two worlds would fit together but we might end up making something completely new.”
You’re no strangers to life on the road: any tips for first-time campers this festival season?
Carlos: “Don’t do it.”
Conor: “Make hay while the sun shines.”