Feature Friday- And So I Watch You From Afar

Posted: February 11, 2011 by Is This Revolutionary? in Interview
Tags: , ,

After I discovered Maybeshewill, I was lead to this band: a powerhouse of energy, a post-rock war machine. Playing with an unrivaled amount of passion, just one sight of them live will convert you into a fan. We’ve been trying to interview these guys for a while, and we were supposed to post it last week, but I, personally, dropped the ball. Seriously, read this interview and dive into the mind of Rory Friers, one of the men behind probably one of the best instrumental bands playing.

Ben: Briefly describe And So I Watch You From Afar.

Rory Friers: We’re from Northern Ireland, we sometimes live in Belfast but mostly live in a van, we play a lot of shows, we’ve released 2 EPs and one LP, we play loud mostly instrumental music.

B: The first thing that I’m always interested in with instrumental bands is where do you find inspiration to write your music?
R: I guess the same place as non-instrumental music really, just whatever is exciting us or effecting us at the time. For us, it’s the music we listen to, the shows we play, the bands we play with, or what we’re reading or interested in at the time; I guess its different every time. The one constant is that we want to write something better than the last song we did, we always want it to be amazing and to be something we’re proud of playing to people.

B: How difficult is it to convey your emotion without vocals?
R: Not at all; it’s music and it’s ours and it can mean anything to anyone, so we don’t need to convey a specific thing for each song. People get what they want or need from it anyway, we just give them a title and let them do the rest. The tunes we write are life and death for us so we have no issue conveying that.

B: What was it like touring with such incredible bands such as Envy and 65daysofstatic?
R: It’s awesome. We got really close with Envy actually; they’re an amazing group of people. I guess touring with other bands is always a new experience: every band has its own personalities and its own way of existing. Everyone is in the same boat, just trying to make music and survive and be happy, so it’s always awesome to hang out with other people who can relate to about a lot of things. And it’s comforting to know that we’re not on our own! It usually bodes for some pretty tight friendships
B: What has been your favorite tour experience?
R: Probably sharing a plate of pasta with John Paul Jones on our second night touring with Them Crooked Vultures. We were having the craic and sharing tour stories, and then I looked up from eating and it suddenly dawned on me the reality of what was happening: this guy was in Led Zeppelin. Two hours later, I had thrown up in front of Dave Grohl; it had gotten way too much and I’d put most of a bottle of tequila in me . Those two weeks have some pretty great “tour moments”

B: Since your first release in 2007, how far do you feel you’ve come in the music industry?
R: We’ve come pretty far since back then, but it’s funny: we’ve kind of come of age as everything is changing, so what we learn or the people we meet or the way to do things is always changing. It’s a pretty exciting world to exist in; everyone is getting super creative and there’s so many new ideas being conceived on how to be able to sustain a band at the moment. It’s right back to the DIY mentality we grew up with: crush or be crushed, anything goes. We try to look at it like, “Yeah, things are fucked, but things have always been fucked for us. And now everyone’s fucked together!” So, don’t worry, we’ll be one of the first wave of bands who benefit from this surge of change going on. I definitely have a plan for putting all this stuff I’m learning to use.
B: You released an EP in early 2010 and just released a single, can we expect something new this upcoming year?
R: Yeah, we’re just putting the finishing touches on album 2; expect to hear it this spring.

B: Why do you feel that bands like yours escape for so long under the radar of the music masses? Do you feel instrumental bands have a harder time being as big and influential as Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mogwai?
R: I don’t think so.
A) Relative to any other music, there isn’t really very many instrumental bands.
B) Most of them are fucking terrible.
The reason Godspeed and Mogwai are so influential is cause they were doing something no one had ever heard before. Hats off to those guys.

B: Although your guys are still considered a small band, in 3 years, your band absolutely took off. What do you feel people connect to most with your music?
R: I think people get it when they see us live. We know what our band looks like on paper, but when people realize it’s something totally different, it’s exciting. You can spot sincerity a mile away, especially when there’s so many bullshit bands around. The people who come to our shows are my favorite people on earth; they trust us.
B: When can we expect a return to the United States?
R: At least once in 2011, maybe March.

B: Which bands do you feel have influenced you the most?
R: At the Drive in, Fugazi, Black Flag, King Crimson, A Tribe Called Quest, NWA, Torche, Hella, Abedisi Shank, Talking Heads, We Are Knives, Sufjan Stevens,  Jethro Tull, DJ Shadow, Four Tet, Meshuggah, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Specials, Mastodon, Tortoise…………etc.,  forever.

B: Everyone has an origin; when were you first exposed to the type of music you play (instrumental, post-rock…etc.)?

R: 10-years-old. My dad. Court of the Crimson King. Vinyl. Full-volume.



  1. […] P.S.- We did an interview with Rory Friers not too long ago. Check it out: Here […]

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