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The Comedy of Errors

Interview: Amusement Parks On Fire

6 April 05 words: Jem Shaw

"We're all really excited! We honestly never believed we'd ever get to play out of the country. I'm looking forward to Europe especially"

They’re arguably the hottest local band we’ve seen in recent times and in Mike Feerick, Amusement Parks On Fire have their own in-house genius (according to the music press, who raved about their self-titled debut LP). As a result Mike, a wee sprog of just nineteen years remember, has assembled a quality quintet which is set to take it to the next level. In spite of his incredibly full calendar, tendency to inflict serious punk-flavoured noise on unsuspecting crowds, and aforementioned genius, Mike is an exceptionally mild mannered, unpretentious and extremely likeable lad, who found the time to tell us what the band and their belief-beggaring loud show have been up to, and where they’re heading next…"

What's the biggest venue you've played to date and who have you enjoyed supporting the most?
"The best venues are probably the ICA in London and Rock City for A Drop In The Ocean. Not sure which one's bigger! We've been lucky to play with some great bands; The Research from Wakefield, they're brilliant and really nice guys, but we're big Six By Seven fans and had a wicked time touring with them. We've also played with people like Secret Machines and The Others who are so arrogant, it's about as much fun as reading the NME."

You’re striking out across Europe, and America soon. Excited, apprehensive, or both?
"We're all really excited! We honestly never believed we’d ever get to play out of the country. I'm looking forward to Europe especially because, from what I can tell, audiences aren't as concerned with what they should be liking or what's ‘cool’ - they’re more open-minded and are just into the music itself. As for America, I guess I’m a little more apprehensive. Just the sheer size of the place is intimidating. Hopefully our British charm and punctuality will see us through. If that fails, and - it probably will - at least we'll be fucking loud!"

Your live show seems a bit cleaner than before. Subtle evolution, improvement or a conscious decision to inflict less of an aural assault on your audience?
"I suppose it's a bit of all three. I think... I hope we've improved over time. We've only been playing since last January, and I think during that time we've become a bit more, I hate to say it, professional, and together as a band. As a consequence, the want and need for sonic assault has decreased. Slightly."

Any new material on the way?
"We're planning to release an EP in the coming months. It's definitely a healthy progression. The addition of John (Sampson) and his infinite sonic coolness has added a whole new dimension to what we're doing. I think the most striking difference with the new stuff is that it’s blatantly a live band and it's certainly more exciting, bigger and better in general, because of that."

Is your new writing more collaborative, or are you still writing alone?
"Well, both really. I write the core of the song on my own, and everyone writes their own parts and chips in with arrangement ideas and production. Dan (Knowles) and John are both really good engineers, which is great because you have this feeling of being completely self-contained, no mardy producers trying to turn you into the Libertines. It's hard work, that is: "Can we do that take again? It was in time! You don't sound like you're fucked! Un-cool!” Then they demand £1000 a second for their genius. Dan's genius, on the other hand, is easier to work with, pretty bottom of the range, ha ha!"

We got to hear a selection of your own record collection when you DJ'd at LeftLion presents last month. But are you really a Phil Collins fan, or was that tune towards the end of the night a joke?
How could you ask me that?! Phil is a huge part of my life! I grew up jivin' to Phil, especially early Genesis. I should have flexed some of that shit on the night actually, the whole 4 sides of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway! Definitely next time!

Amusement Parks On Fire will play The Social on 30 April 2005. 

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