Interview: Tony Fitz of Susie Soho

Tony Fitz of Kildare based rockers Susie Soho chats to Jack Walsh about the band’s new album and being plagued by the rain

“It always seems to rain whenever we play gigs,” remarks Tony Fitz, lead singer and guitarist of alternative-rock band, Susie Soho, when asked about interesting stories from live shows. Quintessentially Irish remarks from one of the bands that have are beginning to carve out their own niche in the music scene in Ireland.Formed in 2009 by Fitz, the four-piece is fleshed out by Jason Maher (bass), Niall Campion (guitar) and Mia Fitzgerald (drums), and was born out of Fitz’s desire not to just be another singer-songwriter. In fact, the band’s website lists them as “the kind of band you’d get if Gemma Hayes and Dave Grohl has some kind of musical lovechild” which is almost a world apart from the world of folksy singer-songwriters. This resulted in himself and Maher recording what would become the Where All The Ladders Start EP, which was later nominated for a Meteor Ireland Music Award.The band’s new EP is their first full band product and as such consists of a richer and fuller sound, one that is much closer to what Fitz was originally aiming for. “The new EP is really the first time that we’ve all done something together. The sound as it is now is more as the way I wanted it to sound.”Discussing the band’s song writing process, Fitz explained that while he does most of the song writing himself, he much prefers keeping the rest of the band in the picture, as well. “You really need to work with other musicians to draw out ideas you wouldn’t think of or you draw out ideas out of them that they wouldn’t. It just happens where somebody will come up with something and run with it and change the arrangement of the song and that’s the really fun part.”Inspiration for the band’s new E.P, Twelve Twenty Seven, came from “personal experiences that people can relate to,” and ultimately focuses on the last few years from an everyday Irish point of view. A standout example includes single “Stand Up” which deals with the burnt out feelings of the Irish government, following the Cowen government. “You don’t want to be the asshole musician banging on about politics the whole time. There are enough of those out there. But it was just, some way in perspective: I draw on stuff that’s going on inside my head. It’s something that you have to be able to say.”Fitz is adamant in stating that the album may not be for everyone, but the bands doesn’t try to compete with the entire music industry. There’s a large diversity in acts out there and they’re aware that they have their own niche. “If you find your own sound, you’re playing your own music that has its own voice, then you’re not really competing with anybody. You find your own space and the people who’ll like it, like it. I’m not expecting people, who are avid Katy Perry fans to be jumping up and down with excitement.”After a phenomenal start, it appears that Susie Soho are going from strength to strength, with their new EP a natural evolution in this process, creating a rock sound that in the current generation of new artists is distinctive and note worthy, making Susie Soho a band to look out for in the future.Susie Soho play Whelan’s on December 5th. Twelve Twenty Seven is out now.