Future Kings of Spain

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Future Kings of Spain
Left to right: Bryan McMahon, Anton Hegarty,
Karl Hussey, Joey Wilson
Background information
OriginDublin, Ireland
Years active2000–2009
LabelsRed Flag Records
GMT Records
What's The Kim? Recordings
Associated actsA Lazarus Soul
Past membersJoey Wilson
Bryan McMahon
Anton Hegarty
Karl Hussey

Future Kings of Spain were an Irish rock band formed in Dublin 2000 by Joey Wilson, Anton Hegarty and Bryan McMahon. The three had played together with ex-Spudgun guitarist Dave Layde in Mediumwave between 1996 and 1999. The band released two studio LPs Future Kings of Spain (2003) and Nervousystem (2007) and one EP Les Debemos (2004). In September 2009 after some considerable silence, many music media outlets reported on the statement on the band's website announcing how the band had "brought things to a close", though not giving a reason for this apparent break-up.


The idea to call the band Future Kings Of Spain came about when Wilson, "was reading two unrelated articles at once and lined up the words Future Kings on one side and of Spain on the other."[1] McMahon confirmed this in a radio interview with the Irish state broadcaster RTÉ in August 2003.[2]

In 2009 the band broke up with no reason given. Golden Plec wrote how it was "one of the great mysteries from the Irish music scene in the early noughties how Future Kings Of Spain failed to turn one of the best Irish rock records of the decade into chart success".[3] On 4 September 2009, the State.ie website described how the band left a short history of themselves in a blog entitled ‘Future Kings Of Spain 2000-2009’ saying that they had in fact disbanded in June 2009.[4]

Band statement 2009[edit]

Future Kings Of Spain started out in February 2000 as Joey Wilson, Anton Hegarty and Bryan McMahon. They rehearsed for 5 months until they had a set of songs long enough to play in front of people. Finally and with no name, in July 2000 they played to some friends in a nightclub in Dublin.

In December 2000, introduced as Future Kings Of Spain, they played their first real show. They were joined by Karl Hussey in late 2003 and remained a 4-piece until they brought things to a close in June 2009. The band recorded 2 LPs and 1 EP. The first LP and the EP for Red Flag Records; the second and last LP for their own label, What’s The Kim? Recordings.

From Dublin, Ireland FKOS toured, recorded and made friends in North America, Europe, the UK, Japan, Australia and Ireland.[5]


In 2004 the band scooped Best New Band at the Meteor Music Awards,[6] After signing with Japanese label GMT Records[7] the band performed to 27,800 people at SONICMANIA 2004 in Osaka and Tokyo.[8][9] They also toured and performed with many international acts including Biffy Clyro, Muse,[10] Idlewild (band) and The Strokes. Hanging Around featured in the opening titles of the 2005 zombie comedy Boy Eats Girl. At the 2008 Meteor Music Awards, the band were the most nominated act, nominated in 3 categories - Best Irish Band, Best Irish Album and Best Live Act.[11] On this occasion the band would come away empty-handed. The band continued to perform into 2008, though not as often as in previous years. During this time Anton married longtime girlfriend Alison Curtis.[12] One of the band's final performances was at Oxegen 2008.[13][14][15][16][17]

Interest in the band remains strong. In September 2015, Golden Plec reappraised the self-titled by debut Future Kings Of Spain, describing it as a classic. The "Future Kings Of Spain left behind one of the greatest Irish rock records of all time, and that should never be forgotten.", it concluded.[18]


  • Joey Wilson - Vocals/Guitar
  • Anton Hegarty - Bass
  • Karl Hussey - Guitar
  • Bryan McMahon - Drums


Future Kings of Spain (2003)[edit]

The band's self-titled debut album was released on 4 August 2003 on CD & limited edition 12" vinyl. It was produced by Ted Niceley and recorded at Stratosphere Sound in New York City. Eli Janney from Girls Against Boys mixed the album, with Geoff Sanoff from Washington DC band Edsel engineering throughout. It was released through UK label Red Flag Records and Japanese label GMT Records and included the singles and live anthems "Venetian Blinds", "Hanging Around" and "Face I Know" (debuting at #9 in the UK's Rock Charts).[19]

  1. A Place For Everything
  2. Your Starlight
  3. Venetian Blinds
  4. Hanging Around
  5. One Look
  6. Simple Fact
  7. Meanest Sound
  8. So Wrong
  9. Face I Know
  10. Traps
  11. Upside Down

Les Debemos EP (2004)[edit]

Released in July 2004, this EP was recorded by Lenny Frankie at Jacobs Studio in Surrey and mixed by Darren Allison (Spiritualized).[20][21]

  1. Venetian Blinds
  2. 1981
  3. We Owe You

Nervousystem (2007)[edit]

The long-awaited follow up album Nervousystem was released on 28 September 2007, on CD and Download / MP3, on the band's own label, What's The Kim? Recordings. It was produced by Ian Grimble (Manic Street Preachers, The Fall), mixed by long term friend Joe Chester and recorded at 2 kHz, London & Temple Studios in Malta[22] Although it was recorded late in 2005, the album achieves a timeless quality. In an interview with the Irish Independent Wilson said "We didn't want to sound fashionable, like the bands who were coming out at that time," says Joe. "You had Bloc Party,Kaiser Chiefs and Futureheads - bands that were sounding post-punk. We're not reinventing the wheel. We're just trying to write good songs."[23]

"Guess Again", the first single, was released on 4 May, and was chosen by public vote on Phantom 105.2 The second single, "Kick In The Teeth", was released on 27 July. The third single from the album "This is the End" was chosen as the song of the week on The Ian Dempsey Show on Today FM[24] and was number seven in the Irish airplay charts.

  1. Guess Again
  2. One More Mistake
  3. This Is The End
  4. Lost And Found
  5. Syndicate
  6. Kick In The Teeth
  7. You Dream In Solid Gold
  8. 1981
  9. Chemical Burn
  10. This Song
  11. Disappear

Style and Reception[edit]

FKOS debut album contained a very guitar-based sound, with a heavy tone on many of the songs, such as the first single "Face I Know". The mood ranged from angst ("A Place for Everything") to melancholy ("Simple Fact").

Reviews of Future Kings of Spain

  • "Future Kings of Spain may have a big thank you to say to J Mascis, Ian MacKaye and Rivers Cuomo - but that could be dwarfed by the one you'll have for them after hearing this." 4 out of 5 RTÉ[25]
  • "All the nu-punk and nu-metal pretenders will shrink before the power and majesty of The Future Kings of Spain." Cool Noise[26]
  • "Plenty of ear candy here. ‘Venetian Blinds’ has the grin-inducing melody of Weezer and The Rentals, whilst ‘Your Starlight’ is the straight-ahead kinda classic-sounding rock tune Serafin should really be writing." Drowned in Sound[27]
  • "I can't help the feeling that they will soon find themselves in America and be lost to these shores for ever. All the nu-punk and nu-metal pretenders will shrink before the power and majesty of The Future Kings of Spain." Cool Noise[28]
  • "Future Kings of Spain’s songs are so strong, and this on debut, that I’d much rather hear one of their album throwaways. Name five other new bands right now, off the top of your head, who you can say the same for?" Faster Louder Australia[29]

Reviews of Nervousystem.

  • "Having mastered the ability to sound as convincing playing it soft as heavy… the quartet keep your attention throughout - the hooks are great, the choruses are often beautiful and the eight-minute-plus 'Syndicate' shows just how far they're willing to venture. In another year of many forgettable rock records, this is one that deserves to be remembered." RTÉ.ie
  • "A confident collection of edgy pop-metal tunes that align FKOS alongside such grown up acts as Foo Fighters and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The addition of guitarist Karl Hussey…has not so much beefed up the sound as created more space to balance the metallic with the melodic". The Irish Times
  • "A joyous collection of indie anthems and ethereal rockers, Nervousytem witnesses the band confidently finding their voice as songwriters. With shimmering guitars and chiming keyboards, an insanely addictive hook is never far away." Metro Herald
  • "...given the headaches involved in ensuring its release, this could have been the Future Kings of Spain’s Smile. Instead, it may well be their Pet Sounds." CLUAS[30]

Other Projects[edit]

Hussey and McMahon are currently playing with Dan Barry (ex-Bambi) in Badself. The band recorded their debut album with producer Ronan McHugh at the home studio of Def Leppard's Joe Elliott. Entitled 'The Three Daughters of Mara', it was released in 2014. Hegarty continues to play in A Lazarus Soul and Tin Charm, whilst providing session bass for Danielle Harrison.


  1. ^ Contact Music Interview
  2. ^ RTÉ Radio Interview
  3. ^ "Future Kings Of Spain – Future Kings Of Spain Golden Vault #47". Golden Plec. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Future Kings of Spain / The Kinetiks call it a day". State. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  5. ^ Official Statement.
  6. ^ Meteor Ireland Music Awards Archived 1 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ GMT Records Japan
  8. ^ CD Journal
  9. ^ Shock in store for Kings' Joey.
  10. ^ Muse take Future Kings out on tour
  11. ^ Meteor Music Award nominees announced
  12. ^ Show Time
  13. ^ "Stereophonics to play Oxegen festival". NME. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  14. ^ "Kate Nash, Richard Hawley, Editors, The Hoosiers for Oxegen 2008". NME. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  15. ^ FKOS at Oxegen 2008
  16. ^ Cluas Oxegen 2008 Review
  17. ^ The Prodigy and Panic At The Disco added to Oxegen 2008
  18. ^ "Future Kings Of Spain – Future Kings Of Spain Golden Vault #47". Golden Plec. 6 September 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
  19. ^ The Red Flag Recording Company.
  20. ^ Official Site Discography Archived 26 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ The Red Flag Recording Company
  22. ^ Temple Studios, Malta.
  23. ^ "Future Kings of Spain: A Royal Reception". Irish Independent. 27 September 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  24. ^ The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show.
  25. ^ RTÉ Review
  26. ^ Cool Noise Review
  27. ^ "Future Kings of Spain". Drowned in Sound. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  28. ^ "Future Kings of Spain". Cool Noise. 13 August 2003. Retrieved 11 June 2005.
  29. ^ "Future Kings of Spain". Cool Noise. 9 May 2004. Retrieved 11 June 2005.
  30. ^ CLUAS Review

External links[edit]