Fontaines D.C. singer Grian Chatten on The Works Presents

1 May, 2020

There’s no doubt that BIMM Institute Dublin graduates Fontaines D.C. have been making waves in the industry – and firmly establishing themselves as one of the most exciting Irish bands on the music scene. Now, John Kelly has interviewed lead singer Grian Chatten on The Works Presents for the new series’ opening show.

Over the course of only two years, the post-punk quintet have released their debut studio album, Dogrel, and won both Album of the Year 2019 from both Rough Trade and BBC 6 Music. They’ve joined the ranks of the highly revered Paradigm Talent Agency, supported Bristol quintet – and fellow BIMM alumni – IDLES during their Spring tour last year and played nine sets at SXSW 2019 over the course of nine days. They were also nominated for the prestigious 2019 Mercury Prize.

Lead singer Grian Chatten is in the new series of The Works Presents, where John Kelly meets five key Irish figures from the arts. Chatten talks about his love of poetry, protecting his creativity, pursuing a career in the music industry – and his time at BIMM Institute.

Originally hailing from Skerries in north Dublin, Chatten moved to the heart of the Liberties to join us at BIMM Institute. Here, he met guitarists Conor Curley and Carlos O’Connell, bass player Conor Deegan and drummer Tom Coll. Together, they formed The Fontaines (they later added the D.C. initials) and bonded over their love of poetry.

Of his decision to join BIMM Institute, Chatten says his thought process was pretty straightforward: “It was about doing something in music.”

Chatten continues that it was through being at BIMM Institute that they found their distinct punk style of music:

[BIMM Institute] was good as a microcosm of what was going on. What everyone else was writing and playing around me at that time was indicative of the music that was being made in the world and of what was hip…I think it was quite a natural reaction for me and for the other lads in the band to just go against that.

The band draw on a diverse range of Irish influences, from the works of James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, The Dubliners and The Pogues. With the industry loving every move they’re making, we’re sure the future is nothing but blindingly bright for this talented quintet.

To find out more of what Chatten has to say, you can watch the full episode here. To get inspired by others who have walked through our doors and into the music industry, discover our success stories.

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The British and Irish Modern Music Institute