On the Record::: An interview with Dylan Tighe

Dylan Tighe returns to Cork with a special gig at the Half Moon Theatre on Sunday October 14th at 9.30pm to launch a limited edition gatefold vinyl of his debut album, RECORD.

The songs, delivered with radical honesty, spring from Dylan’s personal history of mental health diagnoses, treatment and experience, and examine the impact of depression on life and love.  I caught up with Dylan ahead of the show.


Congratulations on your debut album ‘Record’. I’ve been listening to it on bandcamp and it’s a great album. What influenced your sound? 

the producer Jimmy Eadie was a big influence on creating the sound world of the album and we were both influenced by the sound of the all the instruments lying around his studio. Sometimes a particular instrument would suggest a mood and we would follow that. We also used some old ribbon mics and valve amps and I play a very old Gibson guitar, so the combination of very old instruments with very new electronic elements had a big impact on how the album sounds.

How was the recording process?

We recorded the album sporadically over four years and adopted an approach much like i would apply to making theatre. We would take the bare bones of a song and try a  load of different things, building up different layers and sounds and shaping the songs as we went along. We set no limits and just enjoyed ourselves as much as possible.

What can the uninitiated expect from your live show?

they can expect some brutal honesty and a beautiful sound. The sound engineer Brian Mooney is very much a part of the band and creates a real sonic depth. You can also expect some amazing drumming from Conor Murray. and you will hope gain a little insight into a new way of thinking about mental health too, as the songs as stem from my experience of mental health issues and treatment.

Are you pleased with the reaction to the album?

I have been really pleased but also a little dissapointed that the album didnt get much attention in the press and practically no reviews (the only one from the Examiner- Thanks Cork!)  Its visibility is slowly growing but so far there has been hardly any critical engagement with it.


You have an ‘alternative opera’ based on the album in the works. Sounds intriguing,

can you tell me  a little about it?

Well the album is part of a wider project which combines the album itself, with a theatre performance and a series of talks and discussions, all looking at re-conceptualising how we think about mental health issues. The theatre show includes all the songs from the album, mostly played live, and is performed by myself, 2 actors and the drummer Conor Murray. It premiered at the Cork Midsummer Festival in June and has just played at the Dublin Theatre Festival. We are now organising an international tour for next year. The performance looks at teasing out the meaning of each song and the influences that gave rise to them. Its a sort of half-gig , half theatre show, fully designed and including projected film and video. I wanted to re-imagine how live music can be performed and to create a new hybrid form of theatre and music. You can see a clip of the show here: https://vimeo.com/48948506

Lastly Dylan, it’s been a fairly hectic year for you so far. What else in store for 2012?

Well i want to get the music out there as much as possible so hope to play as many gigs as I can. I am also starting to work on new songs for a second album. Later in the year Im going to go back to a bit of acting too and will be appearing in King Lear at the Abbey Theatre. But hopefully i’ll round off the year with some intimate gigs so i’ll keep you posted.


‘Record’ is out now

Dylan plays the Half Moon Theatre  this Sunday October 14th at 9.30pm