It may seem perfectly obvious, but it’s a point that a lot of bands miss, focussing more on honing their live skills, but songwriting is about ideas, musical and lyrical. This is at the core of why O’Farrell and interference have always had such an influence.“I am influenced by everything I hear. Continually”, stresses O’Farrell. “I am happier listening to soundscapes than songs. I think I will be writing more art songs in future”.
The collaborative nature of Interference extends also into the lyrical sphere, where many of the lyrics have been co-written between O’Farrell and Malcom McClancy. Unusually, in contrast with many of their contemporaries,with songs like Public Address and Nowhere they’re fully prepared to square up to difficult issues lyrically. “Well I have to really believe in what I am singing”, O’Farrell reasons, “I’m influenced by people like Dylan, Young, Lou Reed, and Pink Floyd, all of whom have never been shy to express political or social concerns”. And before you have a chance to mutter about pompous rock stars and politics, he continues, self-deprecatingly, “ I always end up trying to solve world problems when I am drinking with my friends. I guess it’s natural that it comes out in the music”.
While the Internet may have changed things, some things remain problematic. “I think it is probably better then it used to be in the sense that I can now sell direct to people via the net. The problem is people still have to hear about you and want to purchase. The only real way for a band with no deal to market themselves is by live playing, and that is not a viable thing for me to do”. Certainly, full scale touring in support of an album remains unfeasible, given O’Farrell’s condition, but it doesn’t completely rule out gigs, thankfully. “We organised a reunion gig in my home town which went down a real smash and which we all enjoyed”, He explains. “ It was done for pure fun. If we ever gig in the future it will only be for that reason”.
Looking back, Fergus says his big mistake has been “not consistently releasing good product or any product. That is what I am going to concentrate on”. And with the welcome return of self-confidence, there is plenty of product ready to put out there. There’s a re-release of the initial album, a live record of their haunting performance in Dingle, and a possible future live video recorded at a gig in Dublin’s Vicar St. But the real treat will no doubt be the new album, which they’ve begun to record. Having listened to some of the demos, we at Three Monkeys can re-assure you that the band have lost none of their daring in the studio, combining any number of musical styles and ideas together, into a sound that paradoxically remains classic ‘Interference’.