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  • Writer's pictureAdam Ruane

Matt Finucane - Interview

1. So, musically, where did it all go wrong? Which bad men/women lead you to forming the band? 

Matt Finucane (vocals, guitars) - Lou Reed. Mark E Smith. And Lene Lovich, randomly enough. Not one single shit given between any of them, or anyone else I admire – you can’t imagine any of them getting a tattoo of their corporate sponsor’s brand.

2. Hypothetical question; you’re at a wedding, stuck at a table with people you hate and can see an opening. Do you leave, or just get up and screw with the playlist? If you choose playlist, what do you put on? If you leave, where are you going, and can we come?

MF - a short burst of GG Allin should liven things up a bit. 3. Let’s talk visuals; pick five music videos that inspire you and tell us why?

MF – I like live footage, for instance The Dead Boys at CBGB 1977 – a reminder that, just to get up onstage, even if you’re shambolic and juvenile and gross, you still need talent and energy: The Fall at The Hacienda in 1985 playing “The Man Whose Head Expanded”: I love this, it’s chaos. What’s going on up there, who are all those people and what strange introverted ritual are they doing? Badly-lit, muffled sound, indifferently filmed… but still absolutely magic. Adele Bertei and The Anubian Lights, “Wilde Winter” – the music’s cheesy, but it’s funny and the dancing looks strenuous. (I nearly went for Die Antwoord, but despite some great visuals they’re a bit too pantomime). Shakespear’s Sister, “You’re History” – from a time when record labels had more money than sense. It’s not a bad song, but I love the presentational overkill, the showbiz and the abuse of eyeliner: Finally, a silly (well, sillier) one: a musicless edit of “Hello” by Lionel Richie. I discovered these late, but find them more entertaining than proper videos to be honest: 4. Which are the three albums in your collection that would surprise people the most?

MF - Dr Feelgood – “Stupidity”. Total pub rock, lairy, blokey and limited of imagination, a bunch of nasty old geezers in sweaty suits playing formulaic nonsense. But I like it, I’m not even sure why. “Evil Squad” by Raydar – instrumental 80s RetroWave is a bit of a niche genre, quite mannered and kind of… inert. But this is a fun album, although a little goes a long way (the first track’s the single, and is superb). Then there’s Big Joanie, largely because they’re not known yet (they’re great). I stumbled on this EP “Crooked Room” by accident, it came out a couple of years ago: 5. Thinking outside of music; can you pick three films/books/graphic novels that have inspired you as an artist, and can you explain why? MF - ‘Les Yeux sans Visage” (1959) – French horror film, very arty, very slow… and very… very… creepy. The effect it had on me, years ago now, was like a nuclear blast – it showed me you could do something beautiful but cruel at the same time, really unsettling. ‘Ancient Images’ by Ramsey Campbell. One of the best horror novels ever: if it’s that focused and intense, the genre doesn’t matter, it’s art. This is cheating, but I’ll say the original theatre version of “Ghost Stories”, not the recent film – it sticks with me to this day, a great example of how much can be done onstage with (relatively) limited devices. 

6. Another hypothetical; the Illuminati are real and have asked you to join them. Do you go for it and attempt to use your new power for good, or say no and join the mole people in forming an underground resistance? 

MF – like many people, I’d love to believe the romantic myth that I’d become a freedom fighter and bring the bastards down. Truth is, I’d be seduced by power, gradually becoming more warped and callous and desperate to cling onto it, my hands coated with blood and my soul shrunken to a burnt piece of popcorn, then end my days in front of a firing squad when the rebels won. Oddly, I once got a spam email inviting me to join the Illuminati. Maybe I should have gone for it.

7. Considering the rate in which we consume media on a daily basis, how do you feel a band can keep up with the constant outpour of information?

MF – no-one can. There isn’t enough time in the world for that. What you need to do is develop a system to filter out the noise, ignore the siren call of propaganda and crap. This can risk missing out on good stuff obviously, but only you can know what your boundaries are, and how flexible you can afford to make them… It’s a fine line to negotiate but has to be done, for sanity’s sake. Thing is, that’s all very well but it’s a two-way thing… It’s all too easy to be filtered out yourself! 

8. Tours; are you doing any, and if so, do you want to play at ours? We live in the middle of nowhere just past the Outer Hebrides (Its near Scotland).

MF – I’m hoping to put something together early next year. And yes, thanks, I’ve only done a couple of Scottish gigs so far but they were definite highlights… Also, I’m told your part of the world’s one of the “Thin Places” where weird stuff gets in, so I’d be well up for that.

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