The Irish alternative rock band Fight Like Apes had a five year gap between releasing their second and third album. When talking to their lead singer Mary Kate Geraghty, Glen Murphy found out why.
Mary Kate Geraghty is front woman of the hugely acclaimed Irish alternative rock band Fight Like Apes, but she has a few more things going on than just that.
She’s a restaurant manager, daughter of Irish Times journalist Kathy Sheridan and is also an incredibly friendly person. After all, if you can’t be friendly you can’t be much.
In the comfortable surroundings of a Dublin hotel bar, Mary-Kate spoke to me like we had known each other for years.
Fight Like Apes released their latest self-titled third album on May 15th, 2015 through Alcopop Records in Ireland and the UK.
However not all ran smooth in the course of making the record. Financial and record label issues led it to becoming a self-funded and independently released effort.
“There was nothing we wanted more than to have it out, but there was a lot of complications between leaving the label and getting the money together,” said Mary Kate.
Despite their willingness to get their music out in the world, they didn’t rush into something when they as a band were so scattered due to leaving their previous label.
It’s fair to say it was a tactical release: “There are smart times and not smart times to release an album.”
Due to these complications to the basic bones of the record, it was finished about a year and half before the final album actually hit the shelves.
“For us to do anything we had to work and save.” She pauses for a moment and her humour comes through, referring to having to work ordinary jobs to make their own money to work with the band.
“It kind of gave us a new ‘lease of life’, I hate that phrase!”
Keeping on the topic of the latest record, despite all the complications, it’s something she and the rest of the band are immensely proud of it.
It was their attention to detail, getting some songs remixed and waiting until the moment was quite right to put it out in public domain.
Even with their past successes there were some apprehensions about releasing new music, hence the knit picking.
“We were quite nervous,” she explains. “It was five years between the second and third album so it was important that they were happy.”
Because it’s the bands first independently made album, they felt it was important to go with a self-titled album so that, “There would be no distraction by a long name,” and to make it easier to reintroduce the band to a new audience.
In the moments of writers block, her mother’s influence helped steer Mary Kate back on course to getting lyrics down.
“Do you think I just leave it when I can’t write something?” her mother said when she was suffering a block.
To say the band don’t have a good work ethic would be entirely incorrect. A strong sense of that comes across when Mary Kate speaks.
In all the most normal of sentences about her work, the passion and sense of fun she gets from it comes through incredibly strongly. It is so obviously apparent that her music is something she deeply cares about.
If you think the band are now resting on their laurels after the release of the new album, you couldn't be more wrong.
With performances at Glastonbury and London Calling festivals in the past under their belts, Fight Like Apes also headlined Castlepalooza Festival, and on the 29th of this month they’ll play Galway’s famous Roisin Dubh.
More gigs are planned for Christmas time with dates to be announced soon.