Introducing Danny Fontaine...
Danny played guitar. Still does. Some other instruments too – it doesn’t matter to him. If it can make a noise then it can stir a feeling in one’s soul, and maybe touch another’s.
Danny started writing songs when he was 14. Heavily influenced by Queen, The Beach Boys and Phil Spector, he immediately became interested in the art of layering sounds and creating vast vocal harmonies – this in conjunction with a love of ska (Madness, The Specials) and 90’s ska/poppunk (Mad Caddies/MU330/Blink 182) an upbeat element formed the drive behind the melody and rhythm of his songs, and finally an incessant magnetism towards the great storytelling and atmosphere of progressive rock (Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, The Protomen’s “Act II: The Father of Death”, My Chemical Romance “The Black Parade”, Green Day “American Idiot”) – his own unique song writing style was created.
Danny had a few bands in high school in the midlands UK, and then moved to New York for a year at age 18 to continue playing and recording with new found friend and producer, The Count. At this point he was playing solo shows and it wasn’t until his return to the UK in 2001 when he decided to create the band he needed to play the many facets of his songs live. In 2004 he formed Danny Fontaine & The Horns Of Fury – a 7 piece outfit with 4 horns, and a whole band chipping in on vocals.
The Horns Of Fury
Danny Fontaine & The Horns Of Fury played successfully between 2006 – 2014 including headlining hundreds of shows and playing festivals including Latitude and Kendall Calling. Their last ever gig on September 6th 2014 at The Spice of Life in Soho, London, marked the launch of the crowdfunding campaign for The Exorcism of Danny Fontaine. The gig was filmed by Director Chris Lincé and snippets will be available soon, including a live performance of the song itself.
The band’s songs often tell dark tales of woe and despair with songs like “The Butcher”, “The Cowboy”, “Broken Man”, “This Cold Dark Night” and “No More Girlfriends” all with a strong narrative and Fontaine’s trademark unconventional structure. You can listen to the bands back catalogue on the official website, Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, or Reverbnation, and see some of their videos on youtube.
The Exorcism of Danny Fontaine
Fontaine began writing The Exorcism in a small South London flat in 2007. It started life out with the heavy riff found in the later section (Act III) – then recorded as a demo using only vocals by Fontaine – later to be replaced by the dualing guitars of himself and DFATHOF member Mike Payne.
Over the next three years, Fontaine dipped in and out of the composition and the final score was completed in 2010 – the 9-minute piece consisting of 4 acts:
- Act I: My Life Thus Far With The Devil
- Act II: The Church Intervenes
- Act III: The Exorcism of Danny Fontaine
- Act IV: The Devil Lives On
The Horns Of Fury began to play the song live in approximately 2012 and it soon became on of their showstoppers. Recording took place in 2013 at Radio 1 DJ Dev’s own studio in North London, followed by Fontaine’s vocal sessions at Fin in Soho Square London, Fontaine’s guitar sessions in Paul Matthew’s (I am Giant) South London studio, and work in both Fontaine’s and Payne’s home studios. The song is produced by both Fontaine and Payne, with Fontaine predominantly focused on the orchestration and parts of the live recording, and Payne both mixing and doing all studio work.
Fontaine has always referred to the song as his Magnum Opus.