Mike Furey’s Dangerous Muse has been the most recent support act on Erasure’s The Violet Flame Tour and we caught up with him to find out how the Erasure tour experience was treating them…
Can you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard that you were going to be touring with Erasure, and how did you react?
Mike Furey – I was in my dining room at home, where I tend to do a lot of my computer-based work. On the wall I have a giant blackboard where I draw chalk illustrations to help me visualise my goals. I received an email from Michael Pagnotta, Erasure’s manager, granting Dangerous Muse the Texas dates. I must admit I was a bit in shock. But I also felt gratified and strong because I sought out and secured these dates as an independent artist with no personal manager or booking agent at this time.
How did you feel before you stepped onto the stage for the first show in the tour?
I felt thankfully calm. I usually start to get nervous about two weeks before a performance and after the show, but never right before or during. I’m not sure if this is trained behaviour over time or not.
How did you feel when you came off the stage?
The audiences have been phenomenal—the best ever. Erasure’s brilliance has attracted a loving fan base over the years — teens, adults, gay and straight — every walk of life. What they all have in common is their desire to love and be loved. This is in line with my personal mantra and the philosophy of Dangerous Muse.
How have the Erasure audiences been for you so far?
For anyone who hasn’t been able to see you, what’s your show like?
Our stage configuration varies according to venue or other parameters. For this tour, I am joined by guitarist Ray Suhy and drummer Chris Kling. Both run their instruments through computer processing to do things that the instruments would otherwise not able to do. I refer to our style as electronic rock. Others have called us synth pop. I am heavily influenced by Erasure as well as Depeche Mode, New Order, Talking Heads, The Cure and The Clash. My personal aesthetic on stage usually involves a fair amount of leather and skin. I try to give as much of myself as possible while on stage. Through specific gestures I absorb energy from the audience, unify it, and send it back through my voice.
For anyone who doesn’t know you, which one song would you make them listen to ‘get’ what you’re about?
I would say have a look at my most recent music video, Fame Kills from my latest EP, Red. Also download our new song, Pardonnez-moi the first song from our forthcoming EP, Green.
Have you been watching Erasure’s performances?
Yes, I reviewed their performances from the 80s and 90s before leaving for this tour. I saw them in New York in 2011 and I have seen nearly every Violet Flame performance in Texas so far. Besides the infectious excitement that they naturally exude, I soak up their ever move as a performer myself. They have become my de facto mentors.
What’s your favourite Erasure song from the tour?
Chains of Love has always been a favourite. But I am also loving their new album. It’s on point. Elevation and their forthcoming single, Reason. The Violet Flame is so true to their classic electronic style yet very ‘now’. So if you are out there reading this and you haven’t downloaded their new album, do it now!
Have you abused your Access All Areas privileges to go into places you shouldn’t have gone?
No. I believe in maintenance of respect in every capacity. It is an honour to be on tour with these icons and I would never abuse the privilege.
What’s on your rider?
I prefer an easy rider: water, tea, a bottle of Jameson. Meals are catered.
What was it like when you first met Vince and Andy, and what did you talk about?
I met Andy for the first time in Los Angeles. Raquel Bruno of Drive Entertainment introduced us at a Logo event that we were both hired to DJ. He gave me advice about staying true to my vision. I met Vince for the first time with Daniel Miller on the eve of their US DJ debut event at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. A friend introduced us through Erasure’s manager, Michael Pagnotta.
What’s the worst thing about being the support act?
I don’t think there is a downside to being support for Erasure. I am grateful for every moment, on and off stage.
And the best thing?
Having a chance to share my message with people and in places that I otherwise wouldn’t.
How are you travelling from show to show?
It’s a combination of flying and driving. I love to drive so when on the ground I am taking us around in a Ford Escape.
On a scale of one to ten, how much fun are you having?
It’s very fun but it’s also concentrated, dedicated work to perform. So I don’t think it fits on such a scale.
What’s happening for you next, when you finish your dates with Erasure?
I have been invited to contribute original artwork for a new exhibition, The Botanica, curated by AA Bronson and Michael Buhler-Rose. The show will begin in in Boston at Carroll and Sons, from November 5th to December 28th, and Invisible Exports in New York from November 30th to December 21st. In terms of Dangerous Muse performances our debut UK show will be on November 6th at Underbelly in London.