Words on top Interview

Shameless plug alert!!!

Our new music project Saipan get a bit of press on 98.3fm.

http://www.mixcloud.com/UCC983FM/words-on-top-27th-march/

You can listen to the first couple of tunes here

http://breakingtunes.com/saipan

Advertisements

Frank & Walters ::: Interview

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask Franks keyboard go to guy Cian Corbett a few questions about the band and music in general….

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions Cian. First off, its been a hectic twelve months for the Franks. Whats been your personal highlight?

Hi Niall, cheers for getting in touch. The past 12 months with the Franks have probably been my favourite of my eight years with the band. There were a lot of important stand out moments: we released our new album Greenwich Mean Time which was very warmly received. We were on the Late Late Show which no matter how long you’re in the game is an honour for any band. And we did a 20th Anniversary tour of the debut Frank’s album “Trains Boats and Planes” which was incredible. If I was forced to pick one I’d have to say the stand out moment was gigging in Tokyo in September. We played a 20th Anniversary T,B&P gig and a Greenwich Mean Time show and it was just an incredible experience. The guys have always had a solid fan base in Japan and when we got there the welcome we got was unbelievable. It actually felt like they’d been waiting 20 years to see a Frank and Walters gig! I didn’t even get sick of the “Big in Japan” jokes which must have been mentioned a thousand times J

  Love the new(ish) album, plenty of melodic goodness on show. Have ye been happy with how its been recieved?

Yeah we’ve been very happy with how the new album has been received. It was very encouraging to hear long term fans who hold songs like “After All” and “Fashion Crisis” so close to their hearts say that the new album is some of the best Franks material they’ve heard. And then to hear a DJ like Paul McLoone say that “Indie Love Song” has the greatest guitar solo of the year was just amazing. So to have fans and critics say that they like the album is a nice achievement.

 Caught the live show in the Savoy over Chrimbo. Lovely hurling. Is it unusual for ye as a band to be playing in front of the hometown crowd? Is it more relaxed or is there a bigger level of expectation?

Playing the Christmas hometown gig is always an exciting and emotional affair and December’s gig in the Savoy was no different. I guess you’re right that there is a big expectation in that we spent weeks touring abroad, had a new album and a few radio hits so maybe there is more anticipation ahead of your usual gigs. And of course we had amazing support bands on the night which raised the bar even higher: Jim Bob from Carter, The Power of Dreams and our FIFA label mates The Hard Ground. I wouldn’t say we were overly nervous because we were so well rehearsed after weeks of touring that we knew we were tight. That said our mums were in the audience and I don’t think the urge to make your mum proud ever goes away so maybe there were a few additional nerves that night!

 The obligitory what does the rest of the year hold in store for the F&W?

The rest of the year has a few nice things coming up. I’m currently writing this in the lounge of Edinburgh airport after a hugely enjoyable gig in Glasgow last night. It was the second last 20th Anniversary TB&P gig, the next is in Paris in April which should be fun. Other than that we’re in the rehearsal room jamming out a few new songs as we’d love to release a new album next in 2014.

Last but not least. What have been the last 3 albums you’ve bought and what didja think?

The albums question is a little tricky as I’ve become a huge fan of Spotify. I’ve signed up to the premium subscription which means I can listen to whole albums on that while still contributing to royalties. I’d gamble to say that most musicians aren’t hugely comfortable with downloading music illegally. So the last three albums that I’ve streamed in full are:

Villagers: Awayland

Villagers are easily one of the best Irish bands ever and this album solidifies Conor O’Brien’s place as one of the great Irish songwriters, in my opinion. I think there’s something for everyone on this album: it’s got the catchy singable choruses, an array of instrumentation which ranges from simple acoustic guitar to dramatic synths and string sections and at the heart of it are great story-telling lyrics.  I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Conor while we were playing in Cathy Davey’s backing band in 2007 and I’m delighted to say he’s an incredibly nice fella to match his massive talent.

Mumford and Sons: Babel

I couldn’t ignore the hype around these guys any more so I had to get this album. For me it was a funny one as on the first few listens I liked it but after a while I felt it got a bit samey. A lot of acoustic guitars and banjos and lyrics about “having heart” and I got a bit bored of it. I found myself wanting an electric guitar to come in to break it up but that’s obviously a reflection of my own tastes and not the album as a piece of work. And I’ve never seen them live either which I would think would also change my mind about an album. Nothing like a gig to make you fall in love with a band!

Muse: The 2nd Law

It felt like Muse were everywhere for a while there, whether they were at the Olympics or winning awards somewhere so I thought I’d give their new album a listen. If you’re a fan of showy performances and full wall-of-sound production (which I am) I think you’ll like this. Strangely, for some songs the wannabe hipster in me is embarrassed to like them because they’re so synthy and poppy and flamboyant. Tune’s like “Madness” are obvious homages to Queen which earned them a bit of a slagging but I really like it.

Many, many thanks to Cian, the Franks new album is available from I-Tunes and all good stockists. If you havnt had the pleasure of seeing the boys live I suggest you do so at once…

An interview with Nils Frahm

German multi-instrumentalist and composer Nils Frahm has been garnering fantastic review for his latest Album ‘Felt’ which is an exploration of microscopic and delicate sounds.  His live show is best described as unflinchingly terrific. Nils is in town on the 22nd November and I caught up with him to ask him  a few questions.
 You’ve been playing piano from a very early age. What first drew you the instrument?

i had a piano sitting at my parents house. my mum used to play it. i was fascinated by how “easy” it was to get some decent sounds out of it. it just “talked” to me.

but i loved the drums even more.

For the uninitiated how would you describe your musical style?

heartfelt instrumental music maybe? i am not sure. i usually say that i am playing the piano and i am NOT singing. there is improvisation involved.

You’ve collaborated with a variety of artists from Efterklang to Peter Broderick. How do you view the process of making music with different artists and do you feel its a rewarding experience?
yes, it is a very good experience. when you meet with people you have more fun than being alone. that is in the nature of being social. i read somewhere the you laugh 60 times more in company. when you laugh out loud by yourself then you are usually on the edge of loosing your mind, right? no seriously, the fastest way to learn things about music is to work with other musicians.

You’ve founded Durton studios, do you find the creative freedom this gives you liberating?

it totally gives me liberty. the fact that i can engineer myself and get the sounds i want is important to me, since i dont make a difference between song and sound. or composition and sound. it is all one for me and all equally important.

i always knew that i need my own laboratory to work in the way i want to. my studio is like an instrument, maybe similar as kind tubby would have described it.
Congratulations on “Felt”, its in my opinion a magnificent album. Its oft remarked how different the recording process was, would you like to tell us a little about how that came about?

first of all i wanted to work on the record at home and the only piano i have is my kawai. not a very special instrument, but mine sounds surprisngly amazing and bass heavy. especially when you use the moderator felt between hammers and strings to dampen the sound. i felt inspired by that sound in the first place and therefore started to compose just for that sound. on the other hand it is not ok to play loud piano music at night in my apartment, so the only way to work in late hours, the time i am usually most productive, is to use the damper.

 Lastly, what can your Irish audience expect from the upcoming live shows?

me giving all i got!

 

Nils plays the Half Moon Theatre Cork on the 22nd November, tickets are 20 euro

Krautrock & Fire Extinguishers::: An Interview with O Emperor

Waterford’s finest purveyor’s of alternative rock O Emperor have emerged from their self imposed exile in studio and are playing a series of live dates around the country ahead of the release of their as yet untitled new long player. I caught up with frontman Paul Savage for a few words about their new single(s), Krautrock and setting fire to the studio….

Hi Paul, The new album is due out in the new year, how is it progressing?

It’s going really well at the moment, it’s always uncertain to say, but I think we’re nearly over the finishing line with tracking stuff. We’ve been working out of our own studio in Cork for the last 4 months, so it’s been great to have so much freedom to experiment with sounds, try different versions or go back to the drawing board with songs.  I think it’s contributed to these songs sounding a lot more spontaneous, slightly weirder and broader in sounds (we’ve embraced a lot of synths this time round..)

 You’re playing a series of live gigs around the country at the moment, is it good to be back playing to an Irish audience after a series of European dates?

Ya the gigs are going great at the moment, we got a good chance to test out a lot of the new songs on tour in Europe, so coming back to Ireland now the show is definitely tighter and there’s a great buzz about playing the new stuff. We’ve been getting some great reaction to them too which has been amazing.

You’re bringing the double A-Side back into fashion with the excellent Erman Gou/Electric Tongues. There’s a lovely German era  Bowie/Neu vibe to the tracks ,respectively. What influenced the sound of both tracks?

We are big fans of Bowie and especially some of the 80s stuff. I guess there was a good bit of that early German Electro/Krautrock sound that we were listening to at the time that filtered into Electric tongues.  I liked how on a lot of that music the vocal can be very monotone but with the music pulsing around it, can create a really strong atmosphere. For Erman Gou, it was a song that Richie (Bass) had that we pretty much recorded straight away with drums, bass and acoustic guitar. We used the second take from start to finish as it was really relaxed and had a nice spontaneous kick to it. Afterwards we stuck on some synth touches and a leslie sounding guitar. I think it reminds me of some of the really chilled T Rex stuff, which has also filtered into the album in places.

You’ve not rushed the release of the new record and the double a-side offers a nice teaser of what is to come. Do you think that there’s a lot of pressure on acts nowadays to hurry new releases?

There definitely is. I think no matter how popular you get, people are very quick to get their fix of whoever and then move on, so in that regard you are only as popular as you’re current release. We could have put out an album much earlier to try and catch the tail end of whatever hype was around the first record but we didn’t feel we had enough good stuff and some recording sessions felt rushed. What’s most important for us, is to put out something that we can look back on and be really happy with. For this album we felt better doing it on our own so we had to build our own studio, that was a large part of the delay in actually recording, but now that that is set up I think future releases will be more current and as of when we feel we have something good to put out.

Now for an obvious one, what’s been the highlight of the year so far?

Not burning down our studio…we’ve had some near misses..

Do you think that your sound has changed much since from when ye started out?

It definitely has, it’s always naturally evolving, as all members listen to and get into different musical tastes. The sound has also changed by writing a lot of the music in the studio as we record it. We used to write songs, practice them, then tour them and then finally record them, which I think can sometimes take the freshness and excitement out of a recording. It’s funny how four or five years ago we would have scoffed at the mention of a synth etc but now were really into the amazing scope it has and color it can bring to a song, that said, our next album maybe  the cliche, “striped down, back to basics” album….something with a bluesy rootsy twist : )

Lastly, world domination and new records aside what does the future hold in store for O Emperor?

Buy a fire extinguisher….

“Electric Tongues/Erman Gou” is out now   http://oemperor.bandcamp.com

Tour DatesNov 9th – Dolans, Limerick. Nov 10th – McGarrigles, Sligo.Nov 15th – Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford Town.Nov 17th – Cleeres Theatre, Kilkenny.Nov 22nd – Roisin Dubh, Galway.Nov 23rd – Whelans, Dublin.Nov 24th- Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Squarehead::: Interview

A mix of surf-pop harmonies, rock ‘n’ roll rhythms and just good old fashioned jangly guitar goodness, Squarehead bring their show to The Pavilion in Cork on friday night as part of the FMC tour, I managed to catch up with guitarist Roy for a few words

Hiya, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions. You’re back on the road with the FMC tour this week, how useful  are tours like the FMC for connecting with a new audience?

The FMC tours are a great way for bands to connect with a new audience because people go to the gigs for a couple of different reasons, they might be going because they already know one band on the bill or they attended a previous FMC tour gig and know that they make it worth the money! So in that way we hope to play to people we never have before. This being our first one we’re very excited to see how it goes!

You’re just back from the states where you played the CMJ festival. How was the whole experience?

8 gigs in 7 days. It was the most fun ever! We had some official and non official gigs throughout the week and met so many nice people and great bands, and a few celebrities. We may have had a little too much fun each night but we were always back on form by gig time!

Sadly the Richter Collective label who you released your debut album “Yeah Nothing” are going to be no more as of December. Is it a blow to the Irish music scene to see an innovative label like this shut their doors?

It’s definitely not the happiest of outcomes but I think what they’ve done is truly impressive. Everyone involved really made it their life and it showed with the consistent quality for which they became known (not tooting my own horn) So when they asked us to work with them we were naturally delighted. Being in a band and involved with a label though you see how extremely hard it is to make any money and unless hard working people become as freely available as music is it’s very hard to sustain. But I think they shone pretty brightly for their short life and I’m excited to see what everyone does next.

For those that havn’t experienced Squarehead live before, what can they expect from your live show ?

This is always a tough one because we don’t put to much thought into what we do. We prefer to let everything happen naturally, especially when it comes to the live show. That being said I can say our new stuff is going in a slightly heavier direction with myself rediscovering some of the screamier vocals of my youth, Every time we play its like getting something out of our system but in a fun and healthy(ish) way.

Celebrity endorsements don’t come any bigger than Morrissey showing upto one of your live shows. How much of a thrill was it to have Mozzer show up in the Audience?

Yup that was pretty mad alright. We don’t knock round to his for a cuppa tea or anything but he did ask to say hello to us after the gig and he was very nice and complimentary. Being a huge Smiths fan and having seeing Mozza solo a few times I was naturally a bit starstruck. Thankfully I need glasses so I couldn’t see him from the stage when we we’re playing!

You’ve had a really busy 2012, playing the festival circuit, travelling to the states, etc, whats been the highlight of the year so far?

It’s only towards the end of the year you really start to think about how busy you’ve been. When you’re in it you just want to keep going and this year there have been so many highs for us. Playing festivals like Electric Picnic that we went to as fans is surreal, we slowed down on the amount of Dublin gigs we would normally play this year so that made each one a little more special. But going to the states back in March for SXSW and for CMJ in October we’re some of the biggest achievements for us.

Who would you describe as your influences?

We have a lot of influences and we all listen to some very different stuff but there is a blurry kind of music that I think we can all agree on that falls somewhere in between the power/pop/rock kind of genres. For me personally artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan who just consistently did good work even if not everyone agrees are the ones I’m most attracted to. I’m also a huge Nirvana fan and have been digesting their stuff since I was about 10. There’s also a lot of newer stuff that really effects me. Lower Dens would be one.

Out of Season, a split LP between yourself and So Cow is released in Novemeber, ‘More Quickly’ which I’ve already heard is a very strong track. How was it doubling up on an LP and how did it come about?

After SXSW and CMW in March we flew down to Boston and New York for a few gigs. At our last show in Brooklyn in a venue called Shea Stadium (the DIY venue not THAT Shea Stadium) we met a lovely gentleman called Dan Donnelly. He runs a label called Inflated Records who have done some great stuff with bands like Ducktails and Ava Luna. He mentioned he’d seen So Cow before and asked would we be interested in a split. Originally it was just gonna be a split single but it really impressed us when he said he wanted to make it an album. We’ve known the So Cow lads for a while now and get on really well and always have a laugh playing together so it seemed more than natural.

Lastly what does the rest of 2012 hold for Squarehead ?

After the FMC tour I think we’re gonna put our feet up for a little bit. But knowing us this probably wont go so well. The split will be out on November 13th and we’re all very excited to see what people think. We might do one or two shows to wrap up the year but you can always find us slogging away in our practice space trying to one up ourselves.

Squarehead’s debut Album ‘Yeah Nothing’ is out now. You can see them play as part of the FMC tour  with We Cut Corners and The Lost Brothers

Thursday November 1 – Galway, Roisin Dubh (local support: The Depravations)
Friday November 2 – Cork, The Pavillion (local support: Superblondes)
Saturday November 3 – Limerick, Dolans

FRED::: Q& A

Courtesy of http://wearenoise.com/index.php/2012/10/fred-qa/

Hometown heroes made good Fred rifle through their back catalogue at The Pavilion tonight – Niall checked in with them to see how their 2012 has been

It’s been another busy year for the band, between the continuing success of 2011′s Leaving my Empire, to playing Electric Picnic, to swapping tunes with the Franks and the Walls in the Beamish Brewery, it’s been an interesting time. Has there been anything in particular that sticks in the memory with you from 2012?
Ordinarily when you think of highlights in a year, it tends to be stuff like that, different shows or tours abroad and so on, but outside of that the highlight has been that we signed an international Publishing deal with a company called Nettwerk.
It’s a strange sign of the times but publishing and having your music played in TV Shows, ads, movies etc. around the world has become the launchpad internationally for many artists over the last few years, now that the tradional distribution model for music has gone out the window. For us, it’s a nice validation of our own suspicions that our music would work anywhere through any medium.

You’ve garnered the reputation of now being ‘big in Canada’. How did that come about?
That’s true, it’s Celine Dion, Bryan Adams, Us and Alanis Morissette. Between the four of us, we’ve carved up that territory. Unfortunately we drew the short straw and got the northern, unpopulated area.

We took a chance a few years back of playing an industry festival in Toronto, and on the strength of the gig (and much behind the scenes preparation and pre-emptive inviting of the appropriate people by our manager), we came out of it with a Canadian record deal with a company called Sparks Music. Now we’re just counting the dollars as they roll in. But they’re Canadian, so it’s not real money.

You’re returning to Leeside with upcoming sets in the Pav and Skibbereen. Is it always different to be playing in front of the ‘home crowd’ so to speak?
Sometimes it’s like playing in front of your family. You know there’s nothing but loving support there, but it’s also slightly awkward because these people changed you when you soiled yourself, and bathed you naked. This is more true when you play in front of your parents.

The shows we’re doing in Cork where we’re playing songs from all of our albums, could only really be done here first as outside of Cork, few people would know our first album, as you can’t get it anymore. It’s actually quite exciting, kind of like having a reunion with people you haven’t seen in years. Lets hope they’re all fat and ugly now.

I mentioned last year’s Leaving my empire. The record was really well recieved critically and made a nice dent in the music-going consciousness too. It was in many ways a less poppy record than its predecessor. Were you pleased with how the record was received?
It was quite a conscious decision for us to make a record like that. The previous album got us a huge amount of daytime radio play, and we’ll be forever grateful for that as it multiplied our audience and enabled us to keep going where we wanted to go.

However, the music we all love and enjoy is maybe not as poppy as that album. So when making Leaving my empire, we focussed on trying to create what we’d love. There were one or two songs we had recorded that may have been more radio friendly, but they didn’t fit in with the overall picture of the album so were left off.

We knew that these songs wouldn’t have daytime radio appeal, and maybe would mean less sales intitally, but it got a great reaction and lots more interest from the established industry and music lovers, hence allowing us to sign international publishing deals.

As a band that have been making music for over ten years, is there any advice you’d have for acts that are just starting off? How do you reflect on your back catalogue from this standpoint?
Hard to say really. When you start off, more often than not you’re sustained and fuelled by a love of it. The longer you go, the harder it is to maintain that without growth.

If I had advice it would be to try looking at the bigger picture early on. When doing gigs, ask why you’re doing them, what will you achieve, is there real progress here, or are we just doing it because that’s what bands do. Of course there are times you can’t think like that and you just do stuff because you want to and would like to. But if you can have a general vision of where you want to go then you can measure the things you’re doing by that standard and if they help achieve that vision.

In terms of back catalogue, because of these shows we’ve had to go through the early material, and some of it feels like discovering a bad letter or poem you wrote when you were in school. Some of it sounds excellent.

Lastly, what’s in store for Fred for the rest of 2012 and the new year?
We are taking this show – where we play all our old songs – around the country before the year is out. Cork will be a good barometer as to whether it works.

From Montreal to Donegal::: Windings Interview

  • Describing themselves as a well oiled 5 man music machine Winding’s are quickly garnering rave reviews aplenty for their live performances. Hot on the heels of the release of their new long player I caught up with Steve Ryan for a few words about the new album and what the boys have been upto..
    How was the recording of the new album?
    The recording itself took only 4 days. We spent two days in Hotel2Tango in Montreal, and we spent 2 days in Attica Audio in Donegal. Essentially, the album is split into Side A – Montreal, Side B – Donegal. We rehearsed the arses off every single song before we went into each studio, so when we set up, it was just a case of playing each song a bunch of times until we got the take we were happiest with.We had never recorded this way before, and we weren’t too sure how it would pan out, but we’re dead happy with the resulting album.
    Where did the title ‘I am not the crow’ come from?
     Personally, i’m pretty bad at naming albums and songs, always have been. “I Am Not The Crow” is an off the cuff phrase that was used during the recording in Montreal, and we all found it stuck in our heads for days afterwards. It’s a phrase that carries no weight, no deeper meaning, it is what it is. We like that. Plus,it reminds us of our time spent recording in Montreal.
    For those that havn’t experienced it before, how would you describe the Windings Live experience?
    The windings live experience is 5 guys playing the shit out of their songs onstage, knowing exactly what each other is doing, and finding new life and ways in each and every performance, each and everytime. Yup.
    What were your influences on the new record?
    I had djed a couple of nights with my good friend Tim V. Smyth from Hidden Highways. We djed vinyl only, and put a date restriction on ourselves, so that we couldn’t play anything that was made later than the 80s. This experience got me back listening to a bunch of stuff I hadn’t listened to in a while, like Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Wings, The Cure, Husker Dü, and made me notice the attention that was afforded to the structure of these albums. They’re albums, not collections of singles, but albums in the classic sense. That influenced us when it came to the recording and mixing of our album. I personally haven’t been listening to much new music, and if I have, it’s always some modern bands skewed take on a classic rock sound, like Ariel Pink or Kurt Vile. I’ve actually been listening to a pile of Irish music this year, the quality is fuckin astounding!
    Whats in store for the rest of 2012?
     The rest of this year will see us touring Ireland, and playing our songs all around this fair isle. Then we’ll see what 2013 brings…
    ‘I am not the crow’ is out now on out on a limb records

Beach House::: Interview

I spoke to singer/keyboardist Victoria Legrand  about the new album ‘Bloom’, touring, ‘shit ideas’, the nature of the modern music industry and everything else besides ahead of the band’s  European tour and upcoming Irish dates.

Hi Victoria, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.Right to begin, you’re in the middle of a fairly extensive tour at the moment Victoria, Is it good to be back on the road again?

It is good, we’ve already played close to 60 shows, there are three shows left then we’re coming to Europe. That’s where we are, I’m in Boston at the moment.

To the new album Bloom. It’s definitely one of my favourite releases this year. Did you feel there was a lot of expectation with this album after the really good reaction to Teen Dream?

I’m sure there was, that’s what happens when people declare that an album is a good album. You take everything with a grain of salt, you have great hopes it will turn out well but it’s all about returning to the work and timing yourself, and that you haven’t lost that. Bloom was ready to be born, well into the teen dream touring cycle. We knew we were going to make another album; there was no doubt there was going to be a fourth record regardless of how teen dream did. If it was well or poorly received it didn’t matter as we had ideas. We had to survive and function, when you have ideas its part of the anatomy of creativity.

 We’ve been lucky in Beach House, we’ve played nearly 600 shows, been all over the world and our music has done that for us. You know, we’re humbled by it and we’re respectful of it. We know that you’re given a responsibility to your fans and to the people you speak to. It’s important we’re not something we’re not so we control a lot of aspects of our career. We’ve been growing steadily for the last 6-8 years. There was no lingering in the past with this record, in the music of teen dream. We’ve been doing the same things but in more intense ways. We tour and we work on our music.

You’ve said that it was important for Bloom to work as an album as opposed to a collection of singles. I think you’ve been very successful in achieving this. Do you think now that music tends to be disposable these days and that the public are forgetting the importance of the long player??

I don’t think that all music is disposable. There are kinds of music that is cheap but it’s not obvious. In the way that sometimes because of how fast things spread on the internet, there is so much out there, I think it’s very easy to overlook great things and there are a lot of crappy things being given accolades.

It’s the era we live in; it makes it easier to connect and to share, to get information. It creates a larger pot for everything to get lost in and become homogenous. There’s always going to be certain level s of conformity, if one thing is really successful, everything else is going to try and do that. You’re not breaking new ground, it can kind of mess with things as in you’re not going in the record store and buying the physical copy of the record. It can be kind of crappy sometimes. I don’t think music is disposable. In my heart music is powerful and necessary, it’s vital, even the crappiest pop song is necessary. Even the trashiest techno is vital for somebody.

The medium though which it’s shared and how it travels makes it feel cheap. I’m not being anti-INTERNET. We were a band with no label and we had a website and people found out about us and handed our demos about. It was a very sweet time in internet history in 2006, before everybody got really savvy. There were a lot of unknowns and people were just doing it. It’s like finding the secret dive bar before everybody else finds it. In music journalism, blogs and stuff it was a fresh time and we benefited from it. We used it as a tool and that’s how you control how your music gets out there. If people want to listen to bad quality mp3s its ok as an artist to let people know you haven’t put that out there, it’s a rip and they’ll be happier listening to it on vinyl, help yourself.

 

Definitely so, you worked again with Chris Coady on Bloom in a fairly remote part of Texas. How was the recording process?

I mean it was so many things. It was beautiful, it was intense, and it’s traumatic. That’s what happens when you’re making an album. If you don’t have some sort of conflict, or stress, I don’t think it’s going to be good. It’s a variety of things; it’s a whole spectrum of things that happen to you. I have very beautiful memories of recording, you block out the dark stuff. Glorify the golden days, that’s they it is, romantic notions.

Chris coady is an excellent collaborator, he understands us. We don’t treat producers the way some people treat producers. We’re not looking for producer to answer our questions, the questions we have we keep to ourselves. We don’t go looking to other people.

We don’t ask Chris to help us figure it out, we have it figured out. He brings things out of us which is a beautiful thing. Like when you meet somebody, they can bring a laugh out of you. He understands our vision and there’s a mutual respect and that’s a great working environment. There has to be respect.

So it was more of a collaborative experience?

Yes, he has many talents we benefit from. Our first two albums we didn’t work with a producer, so we’ve done it many different ways. We might not always work with a producer as we have made the record in the basement and we’ve been in the studio, we’ve kind of done it all. No matter what we do. I think we will be fundamentally Beach House so at the core of it, it’s something we control. Other bands change their sound every record, in that case it might be a drastic thing if there’s no producer but that’s not the case with us. We won’t suffer I think, producer or no producer,

 You mentioned control Victoria, I think you’ve been quite particular in not licensing your music to anything that just comes along. Do you think it’s important to retain a degree of control as to how your music is used, be it in commercials or TV shows or whatever?

I do, for us. Every artist is different. It’s not something I can say for everyone. It’s important you try to avoid things that are too saccharine and that are not done well. We’re not anti-doing commercials. We’re anti shit ideas but that’s it. We’re not rewriting the book or curmudgeons or anything. We’ve had our music in TV shows and in movies I think a lot of people will never watch because we get asked by a lot of independent people. As projects come along, we look at it and think whether it’s good or not. It’s about the effects, if your music appears and people who have never heard it before it can be exciting. If it’s a company you have to think is it evil or something as it affects how people react to your music, so it’s important to keep control.  We should be able to decide whether we want to lose control or not, It’s not always easy.

Right Victoria last question anyways, In terms of the Beach House live experience, what can the Irish audience expect from your live dates later this month?

They can expect love; they can expect an intense experience. You know we will be bringing an excitement, we‘ve always enjoyed ourselves in Ireland, and that’s It. I don’t want to ruin the festivities but I think you’ll have a very good time. That’s all I can say, just bring your essences.

Beach House play Mandela Hall Belfast on Friday 26th of October

Cork Opera House Sat 27th of October

Whelan’s Dublin Sun 28th of October

The Secret Life of Roisin O::: Interview

Roisin O has had a hectic time of it, between releasing her debut album, The secret Life of Blue earlier this month and spending the summer playing the  festival circuit , the 23 year old has been hitting the ground running. Roisin took some time out to have a word about recording the album, her musical makeup and what she’s been doing with herself…
Hi Roisin , thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Firstly congratulations on the album, it sounds great. How was the recording process?
It was great! We recorded over in studio black box in France with our great producer David Odlum. The place is really beautiful, middle of no where in the French countryside. We had just over two weeks to get everything done so we worked quite long days but the creative process was helped along by the amazing food and the amazingly cheap red wine and the beautiful surroundings. It was a very laid back feel, Dave really put us all at ease and it was great staying next door to the studio, your mindset is much more focused on creating that way I feel. It was an amazing experience. I’d love to get back there again.
 Given your background music is obviously very much part of your life, is making music something that you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve always loved singing. My godmother told me the other day that when I was a toddler instead of her reading books to me I’d look at the pictures and sing the storyline to her! Music has always been part of my life. There was never a point when I decided I would be a musician, I think for me it was the obvious thing to be doing, I love music so I’m gonna try make a career out of it. There was never really a time when I thought about doing anything else. You have  a number of shows coming up.  What can the uninitiated expect from a Roisin O gig?

Harmonies! We love harmonies. Fun upbeat tunes and maybe a tearjerker or two. Climatic builders with string tracks and one or two hypnotic drum loops. We also like to throw in a cover for good measure, either fleet wood mac or Florence and the machine.

Who would you describe as your musical influences?

Joni Mitchell is a big one for me, her album Blue influenced me hugely growing up, her songwriting is stunning and she’s an unbelievably talented singer and musician. Wallis bird, the Beatles.. One that we tend to agree on as a band is Fleetwood Mac, especially the album rumours, the harmonies and unreal.
 Thanks again Roisin, Lastly what else have you in store for 2012?
Thank you. We’re playing headline shows in Cork, Limerick, Mullingar & Galway plus we’re delighted to be supporting the Coronas on their gig in the O2 on dec 14th! Hugely exciting for us. 
Many Thanks to Roisin, for more info you can check out her website @  http://www.roisino.com/)
Friday, October 19th – Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Sunday, October 21st – Dolan’s, Limerick
Thursday, October 25th – John Daly’s, Mullingar 
Saturday, November 3rd – Monroe’s, Galway

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