Interviews

Angel Pier

Mar 5

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Thursday, March 05, 2009  RssIcon

Angel PierWith an upcoming headline slot at Andrew's Lane Theatre, supported by A Lazarus Soul and Lines Drawing Circles, Irish indie newbies Angel Pier are causing a bit of a stir.

How did Angel Pier come about?
I had been writing & demoing on my own with mixed results & put the word out through a few friends that I was looking to put a band together. A chance meeting in Whelans one night between one of these friends & Mark, a drummer who was currently bandless set the wheels in motion. We met, exchanged music & talked about what our aims would be with this new band & began rehearsing. Around that same time I noticed a message on Garageband.com, a site I forgot I had ever signed up to, from a Canadian guitarist who was coming to Ireland & looking to play while he was here. Since it was 5 months since he sent the original message I figured chances were slim that he’d still be looking. He replied saying he was arriving the next week & he’d like to meet up. He played guitar, I played piano & we gelled pretty quickly. I knew Vinny through the very odd chat about music in the local & texted him to see if he’d like to try out with us. I think we got through 2 new songs the first night he was there. We’ve never told him if he passed the audition or not but he’s still coming to rehearsals…

Who are your key inspirations, musically or otherwise?
I’m sure it’s the same with most bands but our tastes are quite varied. Luke & Vinny would come more from a rock background & myself & Mark would be indie-heads. I think that’s what defines our sound though, the results are completely different to anything we’d do individually, the sum of the parts etc…

Mark & I would share a love for bands like The Cure, Radiohead, My Bloody Valentine & The Stone Roses, though any influence on our sound would be subtle, while Luke’s tastes would range from the Beatles & Clapton through to contemporaries like Midlake & Interpol. Vinny would share tastes with all of us while leaning towards grunge…

Songwriting-wise genre is not important as long as the songs are great, Nirvana, The Beach Boys, Radiohead, The Beatles, The Cure, Bowie. You gotta set the bar as high as possible & see how far you can jump!...

What has been your best moment to date?

Downstairs in Whelans January 31st 2009. We played our second Whelans headline & had Autoban & The Ambience Affair in tow. We’d been working on a ton of new material & showcased it live that night for the first time. The amazing crowd, the reaction to our new songs, the vibe, everything surpassed anything we’d previously done.

You recently played your first shows outside Ireland when you did two shows over in England. How did that experience compare to your Irish shows?
It was a little like starting over without the home crowd. We were playing smaller venues than back home but still have a following through the Irish in London & Myspace, Facebook etc… We went over basically to test the waters & were surprised by the great reactions we got.

What is your opinion of the current music scene here in Ireland? Of your contemporaries, who would be your favourite?
The Irish scene is extremely healthy at the moment in my opinion, there are great bands in lots of genres & sub genres though I guess it’s mostly indie. With acts like Fight Like Apes & Jape breaking through in the UK it paves the way for others to follow. It’s a psychological foot in the door so to speak. I’m a fan of lots of Irish bands, A Lazarus Soul, Lines Drawing Circles (we’re playing with both next Saturday March 7th in Andrews Lane Theatre… ahem), Fight Like Apes, Jape, Heathers, Villagers, R.S.A.G. but my own personal favourite would be the Ambience Affair. Just go listen & you’ll see why.

Who do you think should win the Choice Music Orize?
For me it would be between Fight Like Apes, Rarely Seen Above Ground & Jape. We’re all big fans of Jimmy Eadie so Jape would be the definite frontrunner.

So far you've been getting good press from important publications like the NME, Hotpress and the Irish Times, but has there been much attention from the record labels? Would you like to sign to a major or stay independent?
We’ve had very positive feedback from a number of labels but we’re demoing and rehearsing a ton of new material for our debut album before getting into that area.

Indie or Major, as long as we love the label & they’re passionate about the music we make. We’re hoping to get to play the Great Escape Festival in Brighton in May, maybe we’ll get to play in front of a few labels then.

What are the plans for the debut album?
We’re writing & demoing like madmen at the moment to ensure a good choice of songs for the album. We’ll be releasing a digital single & limited edition 7” in May of this year to coincide with an Irish tour. We’re hoping to record the debut album this summer…

What was your personal favourite record of 2008?
Hmmm, well the most played records in my collection last year would have been Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, White Denim, Little Joy, Bon Iver, Yeasayer, In Rainbows (Radiohead) & TVOTR. It would have to be between In Rainbows & Yeasayer, it’s too hard to decide…

The Oscars were on last night, and Penn took the gong for best actor, but who did you think deserved the award?
I had to ask our guitarist about this one as I mostly live in a music only bubble. Luke reckoned Mickey Rourke should have got it…


You can check out the band’s music on their myspace at http://www.myspace.com/angelpier

Garret Cleland

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