Interviews

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Interviews with various bands from Irish and international indie music scenes.
By Interview Team on Saturday, October 02, 2010
Sister CitiesHailing from Tempe, Arizona, Sister Cities have just released their excellent debut single ‘White Dress’ on this side of the Atlantic with UK label 100% Music. Consisting of Brett (guitar and vocals), Courtney (drums and vocals), Spike (bass and vocals) and Ana (keys, guitar and vocals), they took some time out recently to tell Ken Fallon about how it all came together…

Tell us a little about how you got together as a band? Were you friends beforehand?

We all went to high school together...
By Interview Team on Friday, May 28, 2010
CODES

With blood pouring from her face, a girl stumbles into the surging crowd at a Christmas light’s fundraiser in a dingy pub in Ireland. Yes, that’s right. A fundraiser for Christmas lights. Surrounded by hundreds in fancy dress, neither the band on stage or the sweaty crowd took a second glance at the screaming girl. But she wasn’t reenacting the final scene from Carrie like the band thought, she had slipped, glassed herself and blended in with the rest of Freddy Krueger’s victims. “Nobody knew if she was for real or fake”, laughs singer Daragh.

Fast forward two years, and CODES have graduated from playing to the meager and slightly bloody crowds of the dilapidated pubs of Meath, to the 11,000 strong crowds of The O2 in the capital. The four-piece, who...
By Interview Team on Friday, May 28, 2010
Ambience Affair

Give us a bit of background to The Ambience Affair to this point.

We met two years ago in a music shop in Dublin. I had been playing solo for about a year previous to that.I felt there was a need for something extra as the songs weren't progressing in a way that I wanted. I invited Marc to one of my solo gigs and we soon decided to form the band.

Have there been any particularly memorably highs and lows thus far?

High points would probably be some of the gigs we've been lucky to play. Our last EP launch tour was one filled with great moments. I think we've been very fortunate to not have had many lows at all so far. Sure, we've played the odd awful gig or two but in general, I can't think of much that...
By Interview Team on Friday, May 28, 2010
We Are ScientistsKeith Murray and Chris Cain of US indie-rockers We Are Scientists often don’t take interviews all that seriously. It may have something to do with their way-out sense of humour (check out their website - www.wearescientists.com – it’s insane) or it could simply be a way of entertaining themselves as they respond to questions they have heard countless times before. So it is with some trepidation that I phone Chris (above right), the band’s bassist and prankster-in-chief, at his home in New York for an interview about the new album and their upcoming plans for the year. As it turns...
By Interview Team on Sunday, March 07, 2010
Power of Dreams

Twenty years ago an alarmingly young band from Dublin released a debut album full of near-flawless indie-pop tunes. It had a confidence and ambition that was at odds with their youth and it is still talked about to this day as one of the great Irish debuts of all time. The album was called ‘Immigrants, Emigrants And Me’ and the band were Power of Dreams. Formed by songwriter Craig Walker (above, right) in 1989 while he was still at school, along with his brother Keith on drums and their friend Mick Lennox on bass, the success of the album brought a certain level of fame and critical plaudits on the youngsters, both here and abroad. Flash forward two decades and I am sitting at Craig Walker’s kitchen-table listening to his recollections of the highs and lows of the last twenty...
By Interview Team on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
CLUAS fires some questions at Valerie Francis, creator of Choice Music Prize nominated album Slow Dynamo.

Valerie FrancisTell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? I wouldn't change a thing. I don't think it's good to think like that. We did exactly what we wanted to do at the time and we did it the best we could. I couldn't ask for anything more. I feel that making a record is capturing those songs right then and there. It's a moment and that is how they were meant to be in that moment. A musical Polaroid. I always...
By Interview Team on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Sounds of System BreakdownSounds of System Breakdown, the electronic, pop, dance rock brain child of Rob Costello released their debut album in January. Cluas caught up with Rob Costello from the band for a few words just prior to the release to find out their plans.

The Album was launched on the 27th Jan. Is it a culmination of songs built up over the last three years or new stuff? Is most of the work a product of the group or are there solo tunes from Rob that were worked on after you became a three-piece? The album is a mix of old and new, some of it dating back to 2005....
By Interview Team on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Choice Music Prize 2010Now 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...
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 21, 2010
CLUAS fires some questions at Darragh of Dark Room Notes, the creators of the Choice Music Prize nominated album We Love You Dark Matter.

Dark Room NotesTell 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...
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 21, 2010
CLUAS fires some questions at Adrian Crowley, creator of the Choice Music Prize nominated Season of the Sparks.

Adrian Crowley

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...
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 21, 2010
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.

Laura Izibor

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,...
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 14, 2010
Jenny Huston - In Bloom book cover2FM 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...
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 14, 2010
On their Choice Music Prize nominated album The Duckworth Lewis Method The Duckworth Lewis MethodCLUAS 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....
By Interview Team on Sunday, February 14, 2010
One of the nominees for the 2010 Choice Music Prize

And So I Watch You From AfarCLUAS 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.

...
By Interview Team on Wednesday, February 03, 2010
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..

Caruso

Many musicians find recording...
By Interview Team on Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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 start of 2009 we have been moulding the band...
By Interview Team on Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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 ideas and directions and im really loving it. 


Has...
By Interview Team on Friday, November 20, 2009
The FlawsSuccessful Irish band The Flaws have been in hibernation since their tour for their first album, Achieving Vagueness. This summer, they performed at a number of festivals, and released a single, 'I Don't Wanna Dance'. Now, they're preparing to release their yet-to-be-named second album. Here the ultra-modest Paul Finn, lead singer and guitarist, talks with Cluas. Your first album was very successful - do you find that expectations for this album are high? No, not at all, I don't think that anyone would really care if we ever released an album again!

You've been working on your second album - what's it about? We started just writing songs aimlessly, and then we thought it might be more exciting to give...
By Interview Team on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Interview with Frank Turner, formerly of Million Dead Frank TurnerAlthough Frank Turner is a well known singer/song writer in certain circles of music fans, he has in no way been affected by his fame. Leading the way up to his dressing room in The Academy, Dublin City, he made small talk and confessed that he is "a fan of peace and quiet."  Turner kicked off his U.K and Ireland tour in Dublin on October 13th, a tour which consisted of 16 dates. He's has just finished touring with The Offspring in the U.S. promoting his current album Poetry of the Deed and he has a reputation of being dedicated to being on the road. The singer spoke overtly about his gigging, saying he believes it is his duty to perform to the best of his abilities for his loyal fans: "I see myself as being an entertainer, above and beyond anything else, and my job is to get up on stage and make the people, who pay to come to the show, have a really good time." He likes to think of himself as somewhat of an anti-rock star, in that, although he has just released his third album to critical acclaim, he doesn't feel that he has a license to become a typical chauvinist rock star who has become consumed by the stereotypical music luminary: "If I'm not doing that…and I'm just sitting around my home and being an artiste," he says with ironic humour, "and being fed grapes by women in togas, then I'm not being what I want to be, or who I want to be."  ...
By Interview Team on Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Yes CadetsI recently caught up with up and coming Belfast electro pop foursome Yes Cadets prior to their performance at the HWCH festival in Dublin. Yes Cadets were only formed last summer but in a short space of time have been causing quite a stir. A single, EP and an Oxygen performance later as well as wide spread airplay sees their star in the ascendance. Here is what they had to say.   You guys formed over last year, were you friends before? How did you come up with the concept of the band? We’ve all known each other for a good while, meeting initially a couple of years ago in the murky underbelly of the Belfast music scene. It was only last year that we decided to form the band that we always wanted to be in and to play the music we always wanted to play.    Why the obsession with Canada?     Well, it’s only really an obsession when it comes...