The Ferdy Mayne | S/T | Greater Peaks Records | March 24TH, 2017
The story of Shane O’Malley Firek, the single constant member of The Ferdy Mayne, is one of journeys – physical, spiritual, and a combination of the two.
“I was going through massive change when I was writing this material,” Firek explains. His moves from Detroit to Nashville, then to New York City, and now on the eve of the release of his self-titled debut album, to Los Angeles, all inform these songs.
“Los Angeles is a shimmering object at first glance,” he remembers. “It is unreliable, similar to the unreliable dream of New York City, but I trust in the truth that you can sharpen the tools you came here with.”
It’s a lot of movement, the other side of the coin of confinement, which Firek also knows something about. It’s likely the same optimism about his first glimpse of Los Angeles that kept him going before arriving there.
“Before my sobriety, I was completely insane, in and out of jail, losing friends and putting myself in considerable debt,” he confesses. “I quit drinking around the time I began to perform in New York, and I’ve been sober a little over three years now.”
Free of the law, and free of the hold of alcohol, Firek accomplishes on this album what any artist hopes to who has lived through pretty good and really bad, and that is to fully inform the work with experience.
“All songwriting is informed by place, and I wrote what I felt within whatever place I may have been in. I scrape emotion from the bare bones of locations. I was decimated by each new experience and had to put myself back together again,” he says.
Firek is most proud of his lyrics, and unlike some songwriters, he fights hard for them, sometimes over the course of many years.
“When I write songs, it takes a very long time. Very rarely do songs come quickly, aside from a few on this record,” he says. One that came more easily is the album’s first single and music video, “Define My Name”.
“This is the single most focused song on the record, lyrically,” he explains. “What else can it say? Define my name. Surreal, poignant Ferdy lyrics. This is what I do best.”
Firek’s lyrics are indeed poetic, not in the labored over sense, even though the relative time spent may say differently, but in the sense that they flow as if being channeled.
From “Define My Name”:
Define my name, little Joan of Arc
Monk cherry tree, won’t you bury me?
I want it sticking out the side of my head
With the flower or the fruit
Define my name little casino hawk
Monk cherry tree gonna come after the dark
I want it sticking out my chest
I want to see it fly again
While The Ferdy Mayne is decidedly Firek’s very own “guitar band” alone, as he terms it, he has also attracted some 40-odd players to the project since he launched it in 2008, playing with musicians ranging from guys he grew up with, to some he found on Craig’s List mere days before stepping into a studio.
“I’ve been pulling this cart for almost ten years,” he jokes.
That said, the upcoming album has the fresh vitality that a first record should, and shows influences both very obvious and more obscure, from Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen to Merle Haggard, Wilco, and Lambchop.
“My influences are generally focused on very specific records and even more so, specific songs,” Firek says, breaking down the myth, and shedding light on the idea above by specifying it’s Darkness On The Edge Of Town, Street Hassle, and New Skin For The Old Ceremony that he’s feeling, along with Pride In What I Am, A Ghost Is Born, and How I Quit Smoking.
Firek’s laser-focused love for the specifics of other’s work also serves to put his own pride in perspective.
“I am in love with this record, and I want people to love it, too, but if the world doesn’t want it, I definitely have plenty more.”
Firek’s journey continues in 2017. Details of a tour behind the release of the debut album by The Ferdy Mayne will be announced shortly.
Following up three previous EP releases, look out for the self-titled debut album by The Ferdy Mayne on March 24th, 2017 via Greater Peaks Records. The first single and music video for “Define My Name” are streaming now.
- 3/21/2017: New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine
- 3/22/2017: Boston, MA @ O'Brien's Pub
- 3/23/2017: Philadelphia, PA @ The Barbery
- 3/24/2017: Brooklyn, NY @ The Footlight
- 3/26/2017: Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
- 3/27/2017: Canton, OH @ Buzzbin Art & Music Shop
- 3/28/2017: Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
- 3/30/2017: Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
- 3/31/2017: Detroit, MI @ El Club
- 4/01/2017: Chicago, IL @ The Floods
- 4/02/2017: Grand Rapids, MI @ Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill
- 4/04/2017: Indianapolis, IN @ Square Cat Vinyl
- 4/05/2017: Milwaukee, WI @ Bremen Cafe
- 4/06/2017: Beloit, WI @ Coughy Haus
- 4/07/2017: Minneapolis, MN @ Reverie
- 4/08/2017: Winona, MN @ Ed's No Name Bar
- 4/10/2017: Davenport, IA @ Moeller Nights
- 4/11/2017: Omaha, NE @ Under Lounge
- 4/12/2017: Lincoln, NE @ Duffy's Tavern
- 4/13/2017: Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
- 4/14/2017: Denver, CO @ Lion's Lair
- 4/15/2017: Albuquerque, NM @ The Tannex
- 1/23/2017: The Ferdy Mayne shares “immersive and mind-altering” video for “Define My Name,” announces initial dates in support of upcoming debut.
- 1/3/2017: Struggles to overcome alcoholism, jail time inform potent lyrics on debut album by The Ferdy Mayne, out March 24th.
- 12/7/2016: Recent Los Angeles transplant, Shane O’ Malley Firek, preps debut album as The Ferdy Mayne, out March 24th. Daytrotter session up now.
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