An utter Fiasco, or just a general one?

Not exactly singing from U2’s hymn sheet, Northern Ireland’s latest export General Fiasco have been touring Europe and the UK promoting their debut album “Buildings”.

Formed in 2007, their entry into the music scene has already seen them supporting household names including The Wombats, The Pigeon Detectives, and The Enemy.


General Fiasco's latest single "I'm Not Made Of Eyes" will be released on May 17th. Photo: Roger Sargent

Set for release next month, their new single “I’m not made of eyes” incorporates pop-happy inspired guitar and lively rhythms, but has some more sinister undertones.

The band’s current European tour has seen positive responses to their live shows, frontman Owen Strathern said: “It’s been good, we did out first headline shows in Germany over the weekend and it was great.

“There is an awareness of us which is nice, people are coming to the shows and know the songs. It’s nice to know it can move on without us actually being there and you can just turn up and people want to see your band. That was a really good feeling.”

General Fiasco’s album, which was released on March 22nd, has received mixed reviews from British critics, but has been another European success: “Its very encouraging,” Strathern said.

“With it being released in lots of different territories, people seem to be buying it in places [where] you can’t understand why [they] are into your music, and why these people in different countries know who you are. It seems well received, the people who are into it are really in to it.”

Two years after the band formed, in the summer of 2009, they signed a deal with Infectious Records. The album, Owen says, comprises of everything they had written since the beginning.

“Being the first album, you write it from the moment you start the band. It’s been a long time. We did a lot of touring over the last year and a half, and we tried to do bits and pieces of writing whenever we were at home. We’ve had plenty of time to lash it out and get ourselves sorted,” Strathern said.

Getting signed to Infectious Records however, was no walk in the park. After several rejections from other labels, General Fiasco spent a great deal of time touring to self promote.

“We ended up releasing a few singles through a few different labels. It wasn’t until Infectious came along, and they offered us something we were confident in signing and getting involved with,” Strathern said.

“It took us developing as a band over a year to get to the point where they were interested in signing us. You have to work it yourself. I think it’s harder for record companies to take chances on bands now, they’ve got to see it working before they get interested.”

The music industry is a different beast from what it was ten years ago. There’s huge pressure on bands to maintain their popularity, and with a mile long queue of bands waiting to step into the spotlight, competition is fierce.

“Everybody and their dog has a band nowadays. People’s attention moves from one thing to another. If you’re not working and pushing yourself and if you’re not giving people something good, then they’ll just move on the next band,” Strathern said.

General Fiasco are supporting Kids in Glass Houses this summer in the UK. For tour dates and further information, visit their MySpace page.

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