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Everyone’s Been Talking About Enemies

(Article for Connected Music Magazine, July, 2011)

‘We were sitting back stage having a little freak out about what the hell we were doing there and how the hell we were playing such a massive sold out show’.

Three years ago, Eoin Whitfield, Enemies’ spokesman and melody-maker never thought that he would be halfway around the other side of the world playing support to Japanese post rock outfit Toe, a band he and his cohorts admired and respected. But what had started out as a declaration of admiration from guitarist Lewis Jackson on Myspace earned Enemies a distribution deal with Toe’s own label Machu Picchu and a slot supporting Toe on four sold-out shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya.  Eoin explained: ‘Lewis dropped Toe a comment one day just saying we were really into them and it so happened that the feeling was mutual. They wanted to re-release “Alpha Waves” on their label Machu Picchu and bring us over for a tour with them in Japan. We couldn’t believe it to be honest but it all went ahead and we ended up going to Japan in 2009 which was incredible’.

Rather than let the Japanese experience swell egos, the Enemies camp remained grounded christening the tour “the ‘pretending to be rock stars tour”; ‘we felt like they had taken us [as] a bigger deal than we were and that freaked us the hell out. I’m sure it was all in our heads.. I suppose that level of genuine modesty is quite pleasant to see in band’.  But Eoin is appreciative of their overnight overseas success: ‘I don’t know how or why it happened but they seemed to take a shining to us and somehow we’re one of the three bands on the label [alongside Toe and Mouse on the Keys] I don’t understand it but I certainly don’t take it for granted! its an honour’.

Born out of a solo project, Enemies snowballed in the sleepy Wicklow town of Kilcoole five years ago, and after positions and songs were fleshed out, the ‘Alpha Waves’ EP was recorded and released on Wexford-based independent label Popular Records in 2008.  Promotion of the five-track EP was handled in the form of intense live performances; and it was these performances that Richter Collective saw the buzz generated by the four-piece, and quickly convinced them to join their ever growing impressive roster.

Sitting alongside the likes of Irish post-rock granddads The Redneck Manifesto and noise merchants ASIWYFA, the Wicklow post-rock outfit continued to expand their ever-growing Irish and European fan base, by means of tours with ASIWYFA, Adebisi Shank and Heathers.  Deciding to release their second 2009’s 7” ‘Bits of Parrots/Feed Me Seedless’ independently, the group paid for pressing, only for the pressing company “Media Sourcing Ltd” to fold and dissolve, along with their cash, an event that still leaves a bitter taste in their mouths, ‘We decided to put out a 7″ accompanied by a DVD of the two songs performed live; unfortunately the pressing company went bust and screwed us over’.

Not letting one bad experience deter them, they holed themselves up Wicklow’s The Hive Studios, and recorded their debut long player, 2010’s ‘We’ve Been Talking’ which was received with widespread acclaim, both at home on Richter Collective and in Japan, where they returned for a second tour to support the release on Japan’s Stiff Slack Records.

Fresh from their spring tour promoting their latest release ‘Coco Et Moi’ which saw them launch attacks on various parts of the EU, including ‘Autonames Zentrum’, an underground, ex-German air strike bunker, Enemies show no signs of relenting, having a string of summer shows, including Knockanstockan, lined up.

But make the most of their appearances as Eoin explains ‘After the few festivals over the summer we’ve made a conscious decision to take a break from gigging and get down to writing our second full length. we wouldn’t be expecting to have it out till next year but that’s the current plan. we’re so excited about getting back to writing it’s exactly what we want to be doing now, I can’t wait, I know, for me, that’s what it’s all about, getting the creativity caps on’.


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