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GENERAL FIASCO: ‘I’m Not Made Of Eyes’ Video

April 29, 2010 by  

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GENERAL FIASCO: ‘I’m Not Made Of Eyes’ Video

After the success of previous single ‘Ever So Shy’, General Fiasco are back with new single ‘I’m Not Made Of Eye’s’ – released 24th May

Recorded with the legendary Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) the track is the 3rd single taken off debut album ‘Buildings’

The accompanying video is directed by the internationally successful fashion director Sean Ellis and features the actors Emilia Fox and Shaun Evans, both of whom appeared in his Oscar nominated short film Cashback.

Check out the video here –

The band are about to embark on a UK tour supporting Kids In Glass Houses, Dates are as follows –
2 May – Gayners Camden Crawl – London
3 May – Cockpit – Leeds *
4 May – Academy 2 – Manchester *
6 May – Leadmill – Sheffield *
8 May – Rock City – Nottingham *
9 May – Academy 2 – Birmingham *
11 May – Koko – London *
12 May – University – Bournemouth *
13 May – Princess Pavillion – Falmouth *
14 May – Lemon Grove – Exeter *
15 May – The Great Escape, The Freebutt – Brighton

* = Supporting Kids In Glass Houses

Owen Strathern – Lead vox and bass
Enda Strathern – Guitar and vox
Stephen Leacock – Drums

Everyone else was drinking their dreams away. Most people were dazed by alcohol, blinkered by TV, or distracted by life’s trivialities, and a teenage Owen Strathern was watching them plodding away on college courses they hated or on a fast track to sclerosis, and his frustrations were building.

“That’s why the album’s called ‘Buildings’,” he says, explaining the genesis of General Fiasco’s scintillating and inventive arena rock barrage. “It’s about shit building up, it’s almost what every song is about. Having to wait for things to get so bad until you do something about it. It’s all quite upbeat, poppy and rocky but the contents are all pretty bleak. There’s that drinking culture among people our age. You just watch your mates become alcoholics. It was being aware of that, of everybody wrecking themselves and not realising it. It feels like a lot of people are content just sitting back. I’m sure everyone has something they really want to strive for, something they really want to achieve and it’s the frustration of not being fit to achieve it yourself and watching people not even try. No balls.”

Owen had balls, and ambition too. Inspired to pick up a guitar by everyone from AC/DC to Kings Of Leon, by the age of eighteen he’d been playing bass with an Oasis-style act for a few years, occasionally gigging at their home town Magherafelt’s sole rock bar with his younger brother Enda on guitar. “It was the only bar that would let you in underage and drink. You could go in with a tenner and have an amazing night.”

The local scene was big on talk, small on walk; everyone dreamed of getting out of Northern Ireland, but nobody knew how. With school’s end approaching and his band going nowhere, Owen refused to sink into regulation mundanity. He put off university in 2006 and dedicated a year to becoming a rock star, writing songs with enough weight and velocity to power their way out of Magherafelt’s cultural black hole.

One month he’d want to write songs like The Strokes and Kings Of Leon, the next Foo Fighters; until he emerged with a bunch of firebrand pop rock tunes with their feet in both indie and sheen rock camps but their minds somewhere altogether darker. ‘Ever So Shy’ sounded like a speed-fuelled charity single featuring Bon Jovi, Regina Spektor, Albert Hammond Jnr, QOTSA and McFly but concerned by our tendency to be destroyed by distractions; ‘Sinking Ships’ is a semi-acoustic Jimmy Eat World-style epic about intense introspection. And ‘Rebel Get By’ is the cheeriest ever jaunt-rock jig about, um, teen suicide.

“It’s a bit fucked up,” says Owen, “but around the age of seventeen, in the space of about a week two or three of my close group of friends said they were gonna kill themselves to me. It really struck me, it was a really fucked up thing to hear. When you looked at the problems they appeared to have you were like ‘Jesus Christ, life is bigger than him or her’. That was one of the first tracks that started General Fiasco.”

A basic canon built, Owen roped in his brother and a schoolmate called Stephen ‘Leaky’ Leacock (from a similar going-nowhere local emo band) to play guitar, and in 2007 General Fiasco – a name scavenged from two previous potential monikers General Music and The Morley Jedderjack Fiasco – moved to Belfast. Their first gig as a three-piece was at Glasgowbury 2007, Northern Ireland’s biggest unsigned music festival; they played like they’d misread it as Eavis’ bash and rocketed off on the road to the real thing.

A demo in the summer of 2008 brought radio play from Huw Stephens and Steve Lamacq and landed them a spot on the BBC Introducing Stage at that year’s Reading & Leeds festival. Their first single ‘Rebel Get By’ was released in November 2008 while B-Unique snatched up their second single – and Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record In The World – ‘Something Sometime’ in January 2009. The newly re-formed Infectious Records finally signed them up that summer.

Meanwhile, Owen, Enda and Stephen were earning their touring spurs. If the Fighting With Wire tour taught them the harsher realities of life on the road (“We slept in the van and got washed in swimming pools,” Stephen laughs) their 35-date Sept-Nov 2008 stint supporting One Night Only earned them their first bout of teen adulation. They then embarked on their own nine-week headline tour at the start of 2009. “The high was playing Stornaway. We were thinking- it was on an island north of Scotland, who’s going to come to a gig? But we played in a café and it was bananas.” In the past twelve months they’ve played the BBC Electric Proms; supported Snow Patrol, The Pigeon Detectives, The Answer and The Enemy amongst others; and hit the MTV2 and NME TV playlists with My Chemical Romance-meets-Foo Fighters third single ‘We Are The Foolish’. All the tours were learning curves, akin to riding a unicycle up K2. For every storm in Stornaway, there was a Hull gig where their Sat Nav got stolen and the promoter tried to run off without paying them. “He tried to drunkenly cycle his bike away from the venue without paying us,” Enda says. “He didn’t get away.”

Owen nods. “It was character building.”

Their debut album ‘Buildings’ was recorded over the summer at the Northern Ireland Manor Park studios of producer Neal Calderwood and Infectious brought in Arctic Monkeys and The Enemy cohort Barny Barnicott on mixing duties. The end result is set to make them the guitar rock success story of 2010; a 36-minute riff-pop blast with the credible crunch of Biffy Clyro and Paramore, the melodic clout of The Killers and the wired energy of Usain Bolt with his cock rammed in a plug socket.

“We’ve no intention of being the same band for three albums,” says Owen. “I want us to progress. Obviously you’d love to end up like a Death Cab For Cutie where you write really smart pop-based songs, but what we’ve done is never be contrived. We write honest music, what we write about is honest. We’re not chasing trends or reinventing the wheel.”

Stephen grins. “We’re just making it rounder.”

Drain your glass of distractions, time to listen up. General’s orders.



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