FIGHT LIKE Apes have always specialised in outrageous album and EP titles, but with The Body of Christ and The Legs of Tina Turner they might just have surpassed even their own talent for brilliantly ridiculous monikers.
The Body of Christ and The Legs of Tina Turner is the title of Fight Like Apes second album which will be released on Friday August 27. However anyone expecting a simple retread of thier debut, Fight Like Apes and The Mystery of The Golden Medallion, is in for a surprise.
The band have grown musically since that release and there will are fewer pop culture references than before.
“I have played the album to people and often they said, ‘That’s completely different, but it’s still you guys’,” vocalist MayKay tells me during our Tuesday afternoon interview. “As far as we’re concerned it’s a natural progression but we’re still being selfish and nasty like we were on some of the older songs.
“It has been two years since the first album and since then we have been touring, gigging, and working so there is more of that experience to be heard in the new album. I think we are playing better and I’m more confident of my singing. Before I was still trying to figure out what kind of singer I wanted to be - did I want to be a screamer or do soft vocals - and I think I’ve now found the right balance.”
While the band and close confidants can see the progression from ...Golden Medallion to ...Tina Turner, MayKay admits that for some fans, the way the FLA has developed may come as a surprise.
“When you live with something for a long while you don’t notice it,” she says. “It would be like living with someone who was gradually dying their hair from black to blonde. If you live with them you wouldn’t really notice it, but if you didn’t see them for ages you’d go ‘Wow! That’s a change!’
“There are no references to Tom Selleck and we have less pop culture references than before, so I’m looking forward to reading in-depth analysis of why we are now sounding so different even though it wasn’t a preplanned thing. It was just a case of ‘That sounds nice, let’s use that’.”
Tom Selleck might not get a look in on ...Tina Turner but US actor Corey Feldman remains an icon of the band. Have they ever come across his 1994 New Jack Swing album Love Left?
“I’m sure Jamie [FLA’s keyboard player] has,” says May, “he must have. Love Left? What a great title. I wish we’d thought of that. I’ll have to find it, oh it could change everything. It could put our third album out into orbit!”
Back to the new album, though. It will feature 12 tracks and was recorded in London and produced by Gang of Four guitarist Andy Gill. Getting to record with one of the leading names in post-punk is something May is quite proud of.
“Andy Gill was the perfect choice,” she says. “We were very sure of what we wanted and the way we wanted it to sound. We wanted to get away from what we did on the first album and come back to sounding like a live band, less tricks, more balls, and he really got that.
“Andy very much let us at it and he became like one of us, like one of the band. He never tried to overtake or overrule what we wanted. We always felt in control and I think he got the best out of us. Oh and he loves King Crisps so we’ve promised to get him some. So there you go, if you ever want to bribe Andy Gill, get him King Crisps.”
As a taster for the album, Fight Like Apes will release the single ‘Hoo Ha Henry’ tomorrow, so who is this Henry character?
“The song is about something many people do but don’t admit to,” says May. “It’s about when you are so sick of a person that you idolise everyone else around you just because they are not that person. It’s a nasty and selfish song.”
While the band’s music has undergone a change, so too has the Fight Like Apes personnel. Earlier this year drummer Adrian Mullan left the band due to “creative differences”, according to the NME. His replacement was Lee Boylan, who had actually produced the band’s fist two EPs.
“He’s been a good friend for years,” says May, “and he has curly hair and we couldn’t pass on such a good hairstyle. The first two EPs are a good representation of who the band is and so it made sense for Lee to join. He’s fitted in well, so we’ve got him on probation!”
We cannot conclude without remarking on an extravagant claim posted on the band’s website, www.fightlikeapesmusic.com, which says: “Lots more to tell, fishnets and headbands and nights riding Batman; but that can wait for another day.” So go on spill the beans, what did you all do to the Caped Crusader?
“It could have been a very seedy night in a boudoir, none of us really know yet what happened!” laughs May. “Hopefully it will all become clearer and we might tell you about it when we get to Galway!”.
Fight Like Apes return to the Róisín Dubh on Saturday August 28 at 8pm. Tickets are available from the Róisín Dubh and Zhivago.