Ferals dawn from the North of Ireland and with them they bring an emphatic style touching on genres such as rock, alt rock, punk, and pop punk. Their latest release “Simple Lives” features a surprising touch of some electronic drum and bass which was recorded in Small Town America Studios produced by Caolán Austin and mastered by Robin Schmidt and from the end result, this track had the formula for success!
Sam Foote, the guitarist adds “…yeah, it would be quite hard to pin this track down as a typical Ferals release. Its rudiments are inspired for sure by the techno scene – and this is something we’ve really tried to recreate but in an alternative rock format. The song lifts and falls in all the right places.”
Track Breakdown – Simple Lives
The song is trying to convey the mantra ‘you are not your job’. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of being spoken down to, condescended and demeaned by other members of staff and members of the public just because of the just that I have been in at the time. Your work doesn’t define you, indicate social standing, intelligence or deny you basic common courtesy but unfortunately from my experience it seems like a lot of people actually believe that it does. I wanted to write a song that pushed back against this ridiculous opinion. There’s a lot of anger and desperation within the song whilst being wrapped in catchy hooks and big head bobbing choruses.
Tell us about yourself?
Hiya my name is Shane McMullan and I sing and play bass for Ferals. I’m 26 and am up in the North Coast of NI, enjoying the icy sea breeze and rain that’s immediately blown in since the end of summer. When I’m not actively working on things for the band, I work full time to support the bands endeavours, so recently I’ve barely had a minute for outside hobbies but when I do get a spare minute I love watching/playing snooker and pool. Our guitarist Sam and I have a fierce pool rivalry that’s stemmed years and has resulted in me being shamed every single time on the table. I’ve never won a game against him, honestly it’s pretty embarrassing. By this stage our relationship is so frayed because of it, we’re barely hanging on, I just don’t think I can take one more defeat to him… But yeah, love pool and snooker.
Favourite band will always be The 1975, I’m an avid vinyl collector and I’ve been looking to complete their collection for years, I just needa pick up the early E.P’s and I’ll finally be whole. I’ll also put Foals and Deftones up there on the list of favs. I think if you smooshed those two bands together you would get pretty close to ‘our sound’ or at least what we’re tryna go for.
Go to drink of choice for all 3 members is Harp, its’ the pint we drink before a gig, it’s the pint we take on-stage with us and it’s the thirst quencher we have the moment we finish the set. It’s always been a dream of ours to get that sweet, sweet sponsorship deal with them. I always hear people say look for endorsements of companies that you love or products that you use… Well, Ferals loves Harp Lager and we don’t care who knows it. (sponsor us please).
What events led up to being a musician(s)?
We’ve all played in bands for over 10 years, we’ve always went to gigs growing up. It’s just part of us. The band is a release, it’s a chance to unwind, an opportunity to challenge and push ourselves, to be creative and make something that we love, that invigorates and uplifts us and (hopefully) it does the same for the people who listen. During the pandemic we had that all ripped away from us, it was an horrific time for so many reasons but all 3 of us experienced this identity crisis in a way. I personally didn’t know who I was outside of this thing that contains so much of me. Coming back after the lockdowns has been and continues to be some of the most cathartic moments of my life, simply because it just feels like the pressure is off. I’m so appreciative that I get to do this and get to do it with the other 2 guys in the band. It’s been a very wholesome year for us, trying at times, but it feels great. I feel like me again.
Where do you find inspiration?
Being from the North Coast the sea will always be a massive influence and source of inspiration when it comes to writing. It’s somehow found its way into how we sound and I can’t really explain it. Any time I’ve visited the beach or coast I always come back with a new idea or something that sparks a song or concept.
Other than that just listening and consuming as much music as possible, I love heavy music. Metal, techno, anything with momentum really. We don’t make either of those genres so I enjoy trying to find a way to work what I love about those styles into what we do.
Describe the way you approach music.
I think we sometimes do things a bit backwards. I work quite isolated jobs so I get a lot of thinking time and many of the songs we have, have been written lyrics first and then the instrumental written around them. I have like a million voice notes of me early morning, croaky voiced tryna sing random phrases that I think could turn into a chorus or bridge. It’s a super collaborative experience, we all have home recording capabilities so when someone has something they’ll send a skeleton structure of a song over and we can put our own individual flair on it. We get such limited time at rehearsals so being as prepared as possible is a must for us.
What do you aim for people to feel or acknowledge when viewing / listening to your work.
I don’t mind what people feel when they listen, I just hope that they do feel. The songs all have a specific energy, whether it’s heavy, poppy or a slower more ambient tune, I want emotions to be heightened and intensified when people hear what we’ve done. I would hope that our music invokes strong imagery when you listen to it. We put a lot of time into getting the tones right, to try and say something not only with the lyrics but with the instrumental as well.
Have you got any plans for the future?
We’ve been working on new music all year but it’s been a slow grinding process chipping away at it. Any free time we have we spend in the rehearsal room recording for our new E.P. The songs have been written for years but at the start of 2022 we invested in some recording equipment and decided to record and mix everything ourselves. It’s been such a fun experience, I’ve always loved the recording process so I’m in my element with it and I really get to crack the whip and go a little power mad but I’m so proud of how we’ve challenged and pushed ourselves with this and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
As always, there is more to explore in the void!