Photo by Lifelong Friendship Society
The Favourite Sons are the reason Ken Griffith isn’t currently mopping vomit off the floor of a Brooklyn drinking hole. After Irish noise-pop demi-gods Rollerskate Skinny split in 1997 he decided to have one last go with Kid Silver before opting to live out his remaining years polishing glasses, getting fatter and hairier and bitching at customers about “how all bands sound the same these days”. Thankfully a group of his old band’s fanatics managed to track him down and persuaded him that grumpy, ageing rockster bartender was a shitty look. The Favourite Sons make grandiose pop that sounds like if The Bunnymen had spent their life kicking autumn leaves around Central Park.
Vice: Do Rollerskate Skinny fans think you’ve “fallen off” then?
Ken: I thought they’d hate it, to be honest, but the reactions I’ve had from the older fans have been really positive. People seem to see a correlation between the two bands. I guess that’s probably because I wrote all the songs in both.
Have you ever been to Russia?
No, the closest I’ve been is Tromsø in Norway, which is pretty far away. We were there three weeks ago playing a festival. It’s actually the last city before the North Pole. A lot of explorers used to stop off there and get supplies, so it’s filled with statues of explorers that never returned.
What are your memories of the Cold War?
I quite miss it. My memories as a child were of this quite sexy, exciting espionage related thing that was going on over our heads. Growing up in Ireland we were kind of stuck in between the US and Russia so as a child the whole thing was truly terrifying. There was a constant feeling of impending nuclear Armageddon. I remember going through all the evacuation procedures in school in case of nuclear attack.
Who would you like to poison and why?
I’d like to have been one of the people trying to poison Rasputin. I mean, they tried pretty much everything to kill him, didn’t they? I think they drowned him in the end, but they threw pretty much everything at him that they could.
Is he your favourite Russian, then?
I suppose so. I’d definitely have a few questions I’d like to ask him. Like how the fuck he managed to not wash for months on end and still be such a hit with the ladies? Maybe it’s in the beard. That’s an experiment I’m working on right now.
The Favourite Sons’ “Treason EP” is out on Loog Records on April 7th.