Fontaines D.C. on how The Beach Boys inspired their second album: “We wanted to make something a bit more subversive”

"We tried to put the Beach Boys cloak over absolutely everything we did in America."

Fontaines D.C. have opened up on how The Beach Boys proved to be an unexpected influence on their latest record.

The Dublin band are set to release ‘A Hero’s Death’ on July 31, the follow-up to 2019’s ‘Dogrel’.

Despite being worlds apart in their sound, frontman Grian Chatten says that the legendary US group’s use of a capella proved to be an unlikely influence.

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“It’s inspired by the stillness of the sea,” Grian told NME in this week’s Big Read. “Kinda like later Beach Boys.

“I’m not saying we’re anywhere near the Beach Boys in terms of harmonising or singing or anything like that, but we’d sing a capella a lot in the back of the van, practice harmonies and figure out how to arrange them properly. We tried to put the Beach Boys cloak over absolutely everything we did in America, as you do when you’re starved of context.”

Chatten went on: “I really lived inside that song ‘Your Summer Dream’, a simple early Beach Boys tune [from 1963]. It’s beautiful; it sounds like a daydream captured in sonic form. We daydreamed a lot; we were trying to escape what was around us and were listening to much more immersive music, music that had lefts and rights and corners and different streets. We wanted to make something a bit more subversive.”

fontaines dc nme cover interview
Credit: Richard Dumas

Praising the “escapist art” created by the Brian Wilson-led band, Chatten added: “[The Beach Boys created] a dream-like, lying-back-on-a-lilo daydreaming sort of feeling we wanted to capture.

“The thing about Brian Wilson and other people like Lee Hazelwood that really appealed to us when we were in the mood for escapist art was that they had a thoroughly built-up fantasy world that they’d quite fully realised in a sonic format. We talked a lot about the fantasy of our world and how we wanted to bring that to life.”

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It comes after the band unveiled the title track of ‘A Hero’s Death’ last month. The new track arrived alongside a video starring Irish actor Aidan Gillen, best known for his roles in Game of ThronesPeaky Blinders, and The Wire.

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