Jon O’Connor from Freaks Like Me discusses the new trend in recording across oceans, gaining the band’s own identity, and dropping clues to their future.

What once was Nervana, a top shelf Nirvana tribute band, has now morphed into a new entity all of their own, Freaks Like Me. This three-piece consists of Jon O’Connor (vocals/guitar), Dave Eve (bass), and Steve Kilroy (drums) and was founded Oct 11, 2010 in the Boston area. Jon took a few minutes to sit down and answer a few questions for National Rock Review.

NRR: Philosophies For The Modern Ant has to be one of the more intriguing titles for a release I’ve seen in a while. Is there any kind of story behind it?
Jon: The title stems from an old poem that I wrote some time ago about the human race. We’re all just ants, going about our daily business. Though some people feel more of a sense of self-importance than others. Some seem to prefer to focus solely on themselves. Ignoring the plights of others and the current state of this planet, that we all call home.


NRR: You guys were reportedly having great success as a Nirvana tribute band. What was the driving force behind striking out on your own as Freaks Like Me?
Jon: We had discussed it in the early stages of Nervana. It was always in the cards I guess. The songs were there, it was literally a case of finding the time to get into a studio and work on them. Which was hard in the first couple of years, as we were always on the go.
NRR: Since I brought up the name of the band, how did you guys settle on that name?
Jon: That was all Steve. I had list after list of names, which all sucked. Thankfully, Steve hit on a winner.
NRR: Tell me about the writing process for your songs. How does it happen? Is it one person or do all three of you chip in equally?
Jon: I generally tend to write an idea and then take that into my studio at home where I demo it and send it on to the guys. They’ll dissect it, write parts, and improve greatly on what I’ve done bass and drums wise. It can be hard to collaborate together as we actually live a few thousand miles apart [with] me being in Ireland and the guys in Boston. However, we do plan on taking time out before we record our second release so that we can have it feel more like a combined effort.
NRR: I know that in the PR sheet it touts about the recording of the EP was multinational. Was it as easy as that or did it still have it’s own unique problems? Would you still do it that way again or try more of a traditional session altogether if it were possible?
Jon: Personally, I really enjoyed the process. We recorded the bulk of the material in the US, with some extra work and mixing done between the UK and The Netherlands. The only issue was time really, and having to get everyone in one place at one time.
NRR: Your vocals at times harken back to a Kurt Cobain like vibe. Is this a compliment or is it something you, as an artist, would like to distance yourself from as time goes on?
Jon: Well, my voice is my voice I can’t change that. Thats just the way it is. But, maybe over time the comparisons will die down a little. I’d like for people to listen to our songs and hear FLM as FLM and not just the band that used to play Nirvana.
NRR: What would you like a new fan to take away from the EP after hearing for the first time?
Jon: I’d like for them to realize that there are still bands out there playing “real music.” Bands that tour like dogs because its in their blood. Bands that play it loud and most importantly live, with no lip syncing in sight! Rather than just pumping out the same audible diarrhea that has suffocated an already stagnant music scene.
NRR: What do you think is special about it, the release, that might not be as apparent to that same first time listener that would make it an even better experience for him/her for knowing about it?
Jon: Well, as well as blood, sweat, and tears, there are a few hidden things in there. Not even I know where they all are. You’d have to ask Dave.


Freaks Like Me – All in a Lie (Official Video)

NRR: I know for some artists every song is like a child and they hate to pick a favorite. Is there one for you on this CD and if so which one is it and why?
Jon: I do normally hate to pick favorites, but I’m gonna say “All in a Lie.” Simply because it came out exactly the way it had been playing in my head before we recorded it.
NRR: If you were on tour in the States in the foreseeable future, what band or artist would be at the top of the wish list to go out with for an extended period of time and why?
Jon: We actually are currently planning a U.S. tour. Pavement has some great bands on the roster, so any of those guys would be a blast. Outside of that, I’ll say Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, or Soundgarden…just because.
NRR: Are there any plans yet for a full length LP that you can share?
Jon: I’ve basically finished up all of the demos for record number two, so stay tuned! We won’t keep you waiting very long.
NRR: With the different backgrounds of the guys in the band, was there ever something that got lost in translation be it a phrase, a custom from a different place, etc. that once things got sorted out, you can’t help but laugh about it now?
Jon: (Laughing), yes I guess there were a few things. I still can’t keep a straight face when I hear an American say a phrase like “We DID have plans, but then she blew me off!”
NRR: You three are in a bar. If all three of you buy a round for the other two and yourself, what gets brought to the table for each of the three rounds?
Jon: Red wine, Guinness, and Coke for Steve… There had better be more than three bloody rounds!?


National Rock Review got a chance to review the EP mentioned in this interview. Feel free to read the article and leave a comment by clicking here.

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About The Author

After getting the photo bug in the far, past days of black and white film, Erich continued to develop his eye for photography which lead to stops in the sporting, art, wedding, and eventually concert music worlds. Now, doing more writing for National Rock Review, he has entered into the journey of getting to know the artists and the industry, not just the faces on the other side of the lens.

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