Share & Connect
On the wave of Tenacious D’s success the interest for humorous music is growing. Their latest album serves a high quality of rock music melted with a good laugh, and on the music scene, the captivating attitude of musicians who focus on a funny albeit rigorous approach, varying between musical styles, is tempting.
Mad Fantastic is walking this path. The Irish duo, composed of Gary Byrne and Tony O’Neill, focuses its efforts on developing a humorous concept resulting from the mixture of sound and lyrics. The sound is left free, in the sense that Mad Fantastic has not focused solely on a particular style to accompany its expression so far; music adapts to the situation. The duo shows good potential to succeed in this direction, and be part of an important, although sometimes underestimated, niche of music.
Toonari Post had the chance to talk to Mad Fantastic about its project.
Toonari Post (TP): When and why did you decide to start this project?
Mad Fantastic (MF): It’s been said that music can change the world, but for us it was a particular food item. Pancakes! ‘Is love like a pancake’ was the song that started our transition to comedy music. In February 2012 we sat down to write a novelty song to celebrate pancake Tuesday, after noticing this unsung holiday had no official anthem. Then something happened we didn’t expect: the combination of comedy and music seemed to bring a new level of energy into the camp. So like a breath of fresh air and with a sense of “where have you been all my life,” we decided comedy music fusion (com-usi-fusion) was what we had to do.
TP: While music, mainly certain genres, is usually taken very seriously, there is an increasing interest in music and bands that are able to make people laugh, such as Tenacious D. Why do you think this is happening?
MF: Society is shifting so fast these days, everyone is struggling, so we need a relief and comusifusion is still fresh enough to be interesting. We take the view that making people laugh is a “serious business.” With comedy music you get two for the price of one, and it’s developing nicely. No longer is it a comedian with a prop or a singer with too many syllables and a swear word; it’s coming into its own creative form. Also, music and the music business are taken very seriously so when that comes in contact with comedy…well, we’ve all seen spinal tap!
TP: Who would you say influenced you the most?
MF: You would expect us to say, Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D, and you’d be right; but also the genius comedic performances of Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy and the social and edgy stuff that Bill Hicks and George Carlin did, had you thinking ” You’re right!, Why can’t everyone see how silly, war, sex, consumerism etc., is” Holding up a microscope to life and showing how caught up we get with the little things really hit, excuse the pun, a note with us.
TP: How would you define your style? Do you want to stay faithful to a certain kind of sonorities, or you just mind staying faithful to the funny part of your music, moving among different styles?
MF: The lyrics dictate the music. For instance ‘Is Love like a Pancake’ could only be an 80′s rock ballad ’Hero,’ a blues reggae offering, couldn’t have been anything else. Our comedy is based on ideas, so it doesn’t feel like an option to be closed to any style or genre of music that will enhance those ideas. Also, we really want to see what comusifusion can do and where it can take us creatively, because we are only getting started.
TP: How do you want to develop this project?
MF: We want to create a journey for people; entertain the pants off them and then give them their cab fare home. Connect and maybe make them laugh, think and even stamp their feet. Furthermore the music we are working on animated comedy sketches that will hopefully develop into an animated sit-com (think “Flight of the Conchords” HBO show meets “Family Guy”), to give the music a context and back drop. We’re doing it all ourselves so it takes a bit of time.
TP: Do you find it hard to convince people, also in the industry, to take your music project seriously, because of your style?
MF: Not really. The comedy music genre is growing all the time. There might even be an explosion into the mainstream soon enough. The next Kurt Cobain could be hilarious [The real one was hilarious too, Ed.], or the next Jay-Z might have 99 jokes!
TP: What are your near-future plans? An album, a tour?
MF: Well, all of that really. There are enough songs to fill two albums at the moment, it’s just a case of deciding which ones, then of course hitting the comedy clubs to test it out in front of real, honest and drunk people. It’s about gaining exposure at the moment. We are even entering competitions. Incidentally we are in one at the moment, if you don’t mind us mentioning it and if anyone wanted to vote for us they could here.