Unwrapped: Foot Squeaker – Friends Like These

We had a chat with Foot Squeaker frontman Diarmuid Comerford about their dynamic and earnest new single ‘Friends Like These’

It is a question that people have been trying to answer for the longest time. How do you make new friends as an adult? Irish alternative rock outfit Foot Squeaker have delved into the issue that faces so many of us on their latest new single ‘Friends Like These’, a track that melds their engrossing and dynamic sound with a thoughtful and candid narrative that gives it a resonating and relatable edge.

As authentic and down to earth as the message feels, the track itself packs a hell of a punch stylistically, melding crunching riffs and driving rhythms with frontman Diarmuid Comerford’s searching and engrossing vocals. We love how forthright and bluntly honest the track feels, in a sea of artists their utmost to look cool and casual, Foot Squeaker are just looking for genuine connection and showcase the same anxieties and hang-ups about making friends that the rest of us do. We had a chat with Diarmuid about the track and some of the things that influenced their sound and approach.

Hey! We love your new single ‘Friends Like These’, what more can you tell us about it?

The idea for ‘Friends Like These’ came about from a conversation with my 15 year old son. He was saying, ‘you can’t just go up to people, say hey, and make friends. It’s much more complex due to social media status and cliques’. I feel this sentiment is echoed in similar challenges and anxieties around forming new friendships as you go through life. In the chorus the line – ‘I’m looking to infiltrate you’ is referencing the want to become a part of a particular friend group. Saying a ‘simple hello’ is just not enough in today’s world to make new friends. We feel it’s our strongest release to date. In fairness that is the plan at all times, to improve, to craft to a higher standard and to try to please our harshest critics… ourselves.

What was the process like putting it together?

I love using different tunings on the guitar when writing, as it takes me out of my comfort zone. Drop D is one of my favourites which ‘Friends Like These’ is in. It was the first song we wrote with Richard, who joined us on bass last year. I had the verse chord pattern and when Richard hit me with his bassline the song blew up from there. As soon as we had an overall shape on the song in rehearsals we all got that special, warm belly, excited feeling that tells us we have a belter. We recorded the song in my studio but tracked the drums in my son’s bedroom this time round which has super high ceilings. As soon as I heard the drums I knew we were heading for gold. We even tried some ‘hurlbin’ (us belting an empty bin with hurls) on the track but we didn’t use it in the end. Daniel Fox (Gilla Band) mixed the track. He is an amazing engineer and I’ve loved his work for a good few years now. Local mastering engineer, Darragh Nolan aka Astakalapa put the finishing touches to get to what you hear now as our latest single, ‘Friends Like These’.

What were your biggest influences when creating the track?

Growing up I always loved jerky guitar playing like some of Paul Weller’s solo stuff or Gaz Coombes of Supergrass. My friends who know my playing, always maintain they can spot my strumming style a mile away. The heavier riff laden end of things probably has soaked in to me from the likes of Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam and even The Prodigy’s guitar based tunes. There is a heavy funkyness in the song that I love. It’s super fun to play live.

Despite your hard-hitting sound, there is often a very human and raw element within the writing, is that something that you strive for?

As my kids grow older I seem to be seeing things a lot through their eyes. If they get affected so do I and it often brings me back to similar situations I may have encountered growing up. Obviously within different generations so many things change in relation to how lives work day to day. I like messages in songs. I’m certainly a glass half full sort of person and I always look to deal with life’s issues through my writing and hope that my songs can help other people too.

What else do you have planned for the near future?

We are about to embark on a co-headline Irish tour with our Dublin pals, acoustic fuzz merchants, Drying Weather. We’ve called it the Ubh Bhriste (Broken Egg) Tour as it coincides with Easter. It starts in Geoff’s, Waterford City on Friday March 29th and takes in Drogheda, Belfast, Dublin, Gorey and Derry. All tour dates can be found on our website. Gigs galore is our main goal this year and we would love to book in some festivals in Ireland and abroad. The UK is on our list this year too and we aim to organise some dates before the Summer is out. All bookers, come see us for yourselves.