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November 2019

The LaFontaines: "The mission statement was to sonically kick your ears in"

Drummer Jamie Keenan lifts the lid on the band's latest offering.
Published: 10:33 am, June 21, 2019
The LaFontaines: "The mission statement was to sonically kick your ears in"

Starting the year out with support slots with Deaf Havana on tour, and Mike Shinoda at the super fancy Roundhouse in London, The LaFontaines are going like the clappers. Following the buzzy live shows with the release of their ambitious third album ‘Junior’, out now via SO Recordings, drummer Jamie Keenan has a chat about what else they’ve got going on.

Hey Jamie, how’s it going?
Awrite, it’s goin’ dead good. The sun's out, and I’ve been telling anyone that’s cared to ask how amazing I’m feeling at the minute. Life is fuckin' great.

You guys have been touring a lot this year, how were your shows with Deaf Havana and Mike Shinoda?

Every gig's been a success for us so far this year. They were some big gigs to play, and it was great to be out in front of a whole new audience, most of who hadn't heard of us before.

Any behind the scenes gossip?

I caught him a few times doing this, and he was always really embarrassed. Mike Shinoda kisses the mirror before he plays, when he thinks he's got a wee minute to himself. He's a lovely man to be fair.

Had you already finished the new album when you went out on the road, or were you still tinkering?

There was still a few wee bits and bobbies to be done, but then we realised we had more time and went in and recorded another new track which's turned out to be one of the best!

Did you start the record with a set vision for what you wanted it to be?

The mission statement was for it to sonically kick your ears in and put you to bed with a sweet kiss on the forehead. Or something like that.

"We've been allowed to try different things that were too bold for us previously"
Jamie Keenan

In what ways is it a step up from your first two?
It's a big step up in terms of songwriting. We're always finding our feet, but the shoes are beginning to fit now. Working with Tam, our producer, we've been allowed to try different things that were too bold for us previously, or so we were told.

Do you find yourselves wanting to write about different topics now compared to your early years?

There's always a current scenario theme to the lyrics, but at the same time, you need to be aware that people will be hopefully be listening to them in years to come, so there's a conscious timeless element too.

Aside from your own, what’s been your favourite album of 2019 so far?

Anderson Paak's 'Ventura'. We toured with him a few years back, and the guy can't seem to do anything wrong. Can't wait for the Black Keys' new album as well. Idlewild, Fidlar and Circa Waves are three other notable mentions with new releases.

What else do you guys have coming up over the summer?

We've got seven album release gigs on the week its out round about Scotland and England. Then there are a few gigs in Prague and Venice in July. It starts to get really busy at the end of August where we'll be away for the remainder of the year 'round UK/EIRE/Europe and Asia.

Taken from the July issue of Upset. The LaFontaines' album 'Junior' is out now.

July 2019
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