Funeral Suits dress to impress
Dublin quartet Funeral Suits recently released a debut album that fizzed with catchy indie tunes and mixed a myriad of influences. They have the potential to do quite well for themselves. To that end, they will soon be emigrating. Not due to necessity, but because they see a move to England as the best way to further their promising career, keyboardist and singer Mik McKeogh told Brian Hayes Curtin
Funeral Suits’ debut album ‘Lily of the Valley’ came out in early June but was more than two years in the making. It doesn’t sound dated however, even though it was recorded and written two years ago.
Despite the recent release of the excellent album, they have been working on new material for a while already and will start rehearsing new songs in August, around the same time they will up sticks and move to London. The move is an attempt to give them the best chance possible to succeed in a very difficult industry.
To that end they decided to play the prestigious and hugely popular Reading and Leeds festivals even though they were offered more money to play in Dublin.
In everything that they have done, they have eschewed short cuts and the quick buck; they are in this for the long haul. Their radio friendly brand of indie should continue to attract interest, particularly with songs like the anthemic ‘Colours Fade’.
Mik McKeogh reveals that they were offered about ten times more money to play the Tall Ships Festival in Dublin this August but they went with the festivals in England, as they will “probably get a bigger crowd in Reading and Leeds”.
He adds that the people at the Tall Ships Festival are probably not that “focussed on music” while people at the two festivals are “there to listen to music”.
“We’ve chosen the hard route and I think we are locked into that. We are always working on our musicianship and our engineering skills.” It’s not the civil type that he means either. “We don’t want to work outside of creative industries.”
The album is out in London too, the musician says. “It’s going quite well over there. I think we get better crowds in London now than in Dublin. Three out of the last four gigs we played there have been pretty full.”
They have also picked up some serious interest from radio stations over there and have been played on BBC Radio One, XFM and BBC Radio Six.
The keyboardist isn’t sure what actual impact that kind of high-profile radio play is worth though. “I don’t know how much that translates how much that transfers across to success. I think promoters are probably quite interested in it though!”
“We are bringing out a single, ‘Heads Down’ in October and I’m excited about it. There are a few songs that we would have liked to be singles but they were too long or too complex.”
In keeping with their dedicated approach, they put a lot of effort into everything that they do as a band and that includes making good videos for their singles.
For their most successful single, the brilliant ‘Colours Fade’, they enlisted the help of two Cork men to remix the single. Toby Kaar and Reid agreed and the results were great.
They held the album back for over a year because they didn’t think they had everything ready. “We didn’t have a record label, booking agent or manager when we recorded the album,” he says. World famous producer Stephen Street, who produced albums by The Smiths and Blur, was at the helm and did the album for a “very reasonable sum”.
When the album was recorded they didn’t have the money to mix it, so that took more time too.
“Even with the album, we want a complete package, album, singles art work and videos,” he explains. They try to do nothing by halves.
They play the Indiependence Festival in Mitchelstown this weekend, a festival renowned as one of the most fun. They will play the Red Bull Bedroom Jam on Saturday 4 August just after midnight.
Mik is looking forward to playing the late slot, as the festival crowd should really be up for it at that stage. “We like to put on a show, it’s a little bit dramatic and it’s hard to have that element of drama when you’re playing in daylight,” he adds. Ones to watch.
Funeral Suits play Indiependence Festival in Mitchelstown this weekend. It runs from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 August. Tickets are €99 for three day camping, €79 for three day non-camping and €60 for a camper van ticket. See www.indiependencefestival.com.