18 May 2022

MacD on Music: Who by Fire . .. The Barbiturates

MacD on Music: Who by Fire . .. The Barbiturates

Music and priests have a long and storied history, from Father Benny Clarke, who, under an alias, achieved a number two hit in 1981 with ‘Vienna’, to the Priests, to Father John Misty.

This week I’m talking to our local contribution to the famous Fathers club, Father Flynn, the Grateful Mistake and Grandmaster of the Brothers of Fire Baptismal -33°.

The good Father is a founding member of the Barbiturates, along with Patrick Walker.

They describe themselves as “a genre’less pack of guerrilla D.I.Y / D.I.T musicians and we are here to make war on music of mass production with our satirical not so moderate rock”.

We talked a bit about the history of the band and what lies instore for them now that the world is finally on it’s way to normality (health wise, at least. There’s still WWIII to think about).

Could you tell me a bit about the history of the Barbiturates?

Technically THE BARBITURATES has existed since I got an electric white squire Stratocaster guitar in January 1996 and wanted to start a no-genre band with no set line up.

The Barbs is more of a movement, not really a band, it’s a community/family. Some say a cult. The Barbs were founded by myself and my friend and creative partner Patrick Walker and has had many members who join as volunteers.

THE BARBITURATES don't fit into any box or genre. Our genre’s TRUTH. We try to tell the truth in our songs and we be true to the song that we are working on at that moment.

I find bands with genres get stuck in a rut chasing the same song every time they write or become a copycat tribute act of something else, also the unhealthy relationships that grow with people in fixed bands over the years have ruined the music because their egos get in the way, forgetting that they loved music and playing with each other and they then start falling into the tit for tat jealousy thing that has ruined some of the best musical groups in history.

I find the barbs ZEN D.I.Y style to be far healthier and productive and we just keep things open. Anyone can be Barb or a Barb volunteer as long as you feel the truth and play or perform with passion.

What made you initially want to be a musician?

I grew up in a very musical family and was always exposed to all sorts of styles.

Everyone from my grandparents to my cousins were musical and I have Uncles and Aunts that were rockers and Uncles and Aunts that are Trojan S.H.A.R.P skinheads, my Grandfather loved jazz and classical, my Grandmother loved Opera and 40/50/60's music, my Mum is so eclectic and my Dad likes country and Irish music.

So before I was even a young teen I was aware of most bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Beatles, Desmond Dekker, Joy Division, Sex Pistols, Queen, but when I was 11 I got an acoustic guitar at a ‘chapel bring and buy sale’ and took it home and just loved playing it. Around that time, I heard a band called Nirvana, then Oasis, and my musical journey began.

By that time, I was listening to The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, David Bowie, Apex Twin, Max Richer, Múm and The Fall. I dreamed of playing other instruments I heard in tracks like sitars, pianos, violins etc... I started to experiment, and I found I can play almost anything, it's just been able to afford buying them.

In my later teens I fell in love with the D.I.Y movement and began courses in the Nerve Centre where they helped show me how to produce my own music.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

Our hopes are that people can realise that you only live once and that NOW is forever. Technically there is no past or future, there is only NOW and it what you do NOW that makes the past and creates the future.

If people really understand this they can seriously empower themselves and take control of their one go at this thing we call life, this is what we live by so therefore we are.

NOW at this moment we are working on projects that will be our future, then which will be NOW, THEN, still. We are working on several recording projects, one mini album "The Void or, And Now for Something Completely Different", one sound track "Super Callous Fascist Racist Tories Are Atrocious" and our debut album

"You’re Now Entering Free Derry" and also a book of short stories called " Kill Yer Digital Self and a full twisted novel and screenplay: "A Complicated Game - LEFT - RIGHT", which is almost complete and hopefully in book stores in 2023.

Also we are looking to collaborate with other artists in any medium, especially film makers as we need lots of videos for our coming wave of music.

The Barbiturates can be found on Bandcamp, Facebook and Instagram @the_barbiturates

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