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Irish rock band Fontaines D.C. is a dual-guitar ensemble featuring Carlos O’Connell and Conor Curley. At first, the duo used similar guitars, amps, and settings in an effort to work as a symbiotic saw buzzing their way through songs. The indistinguishable incisions lacerated their earliest work with angsty piss and vinegar. But as the quintet’s musicianship has evolved, they’ve embraced wider influences, adding different knives to their collection of cutlery. And more specifically, they’ve learned when to slice, when to dice, and how to work off each other.
“I think we’re trying to be more patient and more conscious of the texture,” Curley told PG in 2022, describing how he and O’Connell have worked together to refine their sound. “The first album was very much in a fighting mode,” he continues, “with the two guitars EQ’d the same and just smashing off each other. On the second one, we learned to play together a little better. We’re still working on it, and sometimes we still try to become as one almost, when the song needs it, but I think now we’ve learned to fit in with how we’re EQing everything. It feels really good.”
Ahead of their opening slot priming crowds for the Arctic Monkeys, O’Connell and Curley invited PG’s Chris Kies onstage at the Ascend Amphitheater in downtown Nashville. Carlos covered his favored Fender solidbodies, while Conor showed off his eclectic hollowbodies, and they both walked through their respective pedalboards.