Articles: Interviews

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The 2010 Choice Music Prize nominees
Now in its fifth year, the Choice Music Prize is well established as a key milestone on the Irish music scene's calendar. The albums shortlisted for this year's prize represent a diverse and intriguing mix of Irish releases of the last year. The winner will be announced in Vicar Street on 3 March 2010 (8 of the 10 nominated acts are confirmed to play on the night). Always going that extra 1609 metres for its readers, CLUAS prepared a set of questions for each act nominated for the 2009 award. We've so far gotten replies from 6 of the 10 acts, check out the links below to see what each act had to say: Interview with Valerie Francis (nominated for her album 'Slow Dynamo') Interview with Dark Room Notes (nominated for their album 'We Love You Dark Matter') Interview with Adrian Crowley (nominated for his album 'The Season of the Sparks') Interview with Laura Izibor (nominated for... [Read on]
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20
Dark Room Notes
CLUAS fires some questions at Darragh of Dark Room Notes, the creators of the Choice Music Prize nominated album We Love You Dark Matter. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? Well the album was a important for us as it helped us say "OK this is where we're at, let's put out these songs that we've road tested at gigs, record them as best we can and start writing for a second album, let's keep moving forward".  So we recorded live, a track a day over 14 days and kept a momentum in the studio of "this is a nearly live album". The response has been amazing and the album is now getting a global release on BBE records, we've already started writing the second album, what we would change on We Love you Dark Matter? The original art work was banned, that was a shame.   Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received? ... [Read on]
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20
Adrian Crowley
CLUAS fires some questions at Adrian Crowley, creator of the Choice Music Prize nominated Season of the Sparks. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? I had already begun writing songs for Season Of The Sparks by the time Long Distance Swimmer was released. I recorded it over the course of fourteen days in Dublin. I'd head over to the studio on the 121 bus with a plan for the day ahead. It seemed to come together easily and I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to sound. I try and develop the songs as much as I can outside the studio so when it came to recording the songs they were down in pretty much one take. The response has been great with reviews and general good will coming from previously unexplored territories thanks to a new record deal with an amazing label. I'm still proud of the album and can't say there's anything about it I would alter. I'll soon be think... [Read on]
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20
Laura Izibor
One of the nominees for the 2010 Choice Music Prize CLUAS fires some questions at Laura Izibor, creator of Choice Music Prize nominated album Let The Truth Be Told. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? There was no real concept involved in making the album. I was just a 17 year old girl writing songs in her bedroom about real & honest things. I wouldnt changed a thing. Let The Truth Be Told captured a very pure and timeless part of my life. Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received? I was extemely happy with the response to the album. So many people connnected to it and that is all you can ask for as an artist. How relevant do you think music awards really are to musicians and music fans? I think its always nice to receive any recognition for your hard work especially when it is from such a credible awards as Choice Music P... [Read on]
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13
Jenny Huston
2FM DJ and broadcaster Jenny Huston wrote a book profiling Irish bands and artists on the up. The book is filled with interviews on how they got there, got dropped, got signed again and split - before getting back together in some cases! It’s an enjoyable read and essential for both folks with an interest in Irish artists, as well as budding artists who will soon discover music as a career choice isn’t all glamour. Was the book a long time coming? Was it a long time work in progress or something that occurred to you as something you’d love to do? I was approached by Jo O'Donoghue (editor) from Currach Press in December 2008 asking me would I be interested it writing a book on emerging bands.  It was not something I had ever thought of doing. I gave it serious thought over Christmas and said yes in January.  Work started in February 2009, so it took the best part of nine months to complete.  I wanted to celebrate the various bands successes and... [Read on]
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13
The Duckworth Lewis Method
On their Choice Music Prize nominated album The Duckworth Lewis Method CLUAS fires some questions at The Duckworth Lewis Method, creators of Choice Music Prize nominated album The Duckworth Lewis Method. Answered by Thomas Walsh (a.k.a. Duckworth). Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? It is a 'cricket pop' album, was conceived for fun and laughter, created through sheer bloodymindedness, sweat, toil and a dollop of talent here and there and the response has been phenomenal. Especially in the U.K where it spent 6 weeks in the album charts reaching the number 40 position (the week Micko Jackson popped his ivory clogs too). The only thing I'd change is one 'Am' chord but I won't tell you where or on which song that would be. How relevant do you think music awards really are to musicians and music fans? The pertinence of music awards is double edged. On... [Read on]
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13
And So I Watch You From Afar
One of the nominees for the 2010 Choice Music Prize CLUAS fires a few questions at And So I Watch You From Afar, creators of the Choice Music Prize nominated album "And So I Watch You From Afar". Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? The album was the culmination of two and a half years' work; it captured the genesis of our wee band. The response has been nothing short of phenomenal, we're not exactly the most accessible band but people seem to be into it. Personally I wouldn't touch it, it's a moment of our lives, you can't change your past. You can learn from it but you can't alter it. Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received? "Staggered" I think would be the correct answer! Critics seemed to be into it which was awesome, but the people that come to our shows or email us or make crazy videos and f... [Read on]
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02
Caruso
Dubliners Caruso are preparing to embark on a European tour and recently signed a European publishing deal. Since the release of their debut album, 2007's The Watcher and The Comet, they’ve been going from strength to strength with their affecting acoustic melodies. Front man Shane O’ Fearghail answered the following questions for me.. Many musicians find recording an album, particularly their debut, a challenging and draining experience. Did this prove to be true to you during the recording of The Watcher and the Comet? Recording The Watcher And The Comet was an amazing experience. It was challenging and it did take a lot out of me but it also brought an energy that was all its own. That creative spark that you get when you are in a studio. In the flow... a flow that drives you and keeps you going... so much so that food and sleep go out the window! The album was recorded in three one week sessions over three months and three full moons. It captured evert... [Read on]
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08
The Beat Poets
Northern Ireland’s finest The Beat Poets release their new EP “The Making” this week (See in Album Reviews Section). I caught up with them recently to discuss their desire for world domination. I first encountered you guys in 2004 when I think you were starting out, what have you been up to since? At that time several of us were in a different band, in May 2005 we launched ‘The Beat Poets’. Since then it has been a lot of hard work mixed with some excellent experiences; supporting acts such as supporting Sonic Youth at outdoor festivals, playing in Canada, America (including SXSW 2009), UK tours and releasing records. 
 Are you as a band at a stage where you know what you want to get out of the music and the direction you want to go? I think it took us a few years to find a sound, we are very critical with ourselves and we have experimented a lot over the last 4 years with different tracks, sounds, producers, studios etc. Since the st... [Read on]
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08
Joe Echo
Musician Ciaran Gribbin (aka Joe Echo) is embarking on a solo career after a successful stint with acclaimed NI band Leya. He’s recorded with Paul Oakenfold, he’s written tracks for soundtrack for a movie starring Emily Blunt; and has a solo album in the offing in 2010. Oh, and he’s opened for Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand, James Morrison and Paolo Nutini amongst others! He’s only going to get bigger, CLUAS were lucky enough to grab a few words with him recently. 
 A critically acclaimed album with a great band and incredible voyage supporting some of the world’s biggest acts; it’s a lot to give up on and go it alone. Were you nervous at all about going solo? I was a little nervous going out on my own; I’d been so used to being in a band with really good friends. We had so many good times but Leya had simply run out of steam. So we all agreed to call it a day. Going solo gave me the freedom to try outs so many different musical ... [Read on]
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