Kerry act Deep Sky Objects are a three-piece rock band who take their inspiration from a host of big-name , ‘atmospheric’ acts like The National and Radiohead.
Based outside the core of Ireland’s music scene, they’re working their way into consciousness with a series of gigs, a recording made in Berlin, and a softly-softly approach to breaking through. I spoke to Kevin ahead of their Whelan’s gig as they tour new single ‘Nothing To Lose’.
First of all, introduce yourselves – who are Deep Sky Objects, and what can we expect from you?
We’re a three-piece rock band from Kerry, based in Cork currently. We’re fans of all different types of alternative indie/rock, from The Smiths, The National and Radiohead. So if we were to define a sound to expect then it maybe somewhere in the middle of those perhaps!
What were your backgrounds, musically, before forming this band?
Before forming the band we were playing our own instruments since our early teens, with the exception of Thomas who took up drums at seven years old. The three of us have studied music in some shape or another. Myself and DD studied Music Technology in UL and ITT while Thomas is currently studying music at CSN. We were all in different bands over the years before forming Deep Sky Objects.
I understand you’ve been recording in Germany recently. How did that go?
It was great! Berlin is a wonderful city and we felt really at home there. We recorded all of our releases in Cork with Ciaran O’Shea (previously of Cyclefly) at Whitewell Studios near Cloyne. Since then he moved to Berlin so it only felt right for us to go with him again on the new single. The studio was situated in this old communist block on the east side that had studios and rehearsal spaces on every floor. The street was called ‘Frank Zappa Strasse’ so it really speaks for itself!
You were at ‘Music Cork’ recently. The industry side of the game, I suspect, can be both useful and tiring. How do you find those kinds of events?
I first attended Music Cork in 2018 and I didn’t know what to expect as it was first time attending a music conference. Since then I can’t recommend enough for artists to attend these events. I met so many people in the industry from managers, promoters, bookers and publishers. It was the sort of event you could go up to anybody and say “Hi, My name is…” and make a new contact. Personally, I really enjoy the industry side of music. I’m a bit chatty so it just feels natural. The band tend to let me take care of those side of things.
What’s the best way you’ve heard yourselves described so far?
When Ed Smith on Today FM described us as being a blend of The National and Royal Blood. We were delighted with that!
Your influences read like a who’s who of modern-day alt. rock. Do you take the ‘atmospheric’ side of your sound from the likes of Radiohead and the National?
Definitely. Being huge fans of these bands, we would find ourselves influenced by Radiohead, The National and others alike.
It’s a common complaint from bands from outside Dublin that the scene is too capital-centric. There have been some notable successes out of Kerry in recent years – what is the scene like, and have you found it makes life more difficult to be based down there?
I think we have definitely thought that before but over time we realised it’s just the natural way of things no matter where you are. Considering the population of Dublin with the rest of Ireland it’s normal that there’d be a bigger scene there for many genres that places outside Dublin may lack.
Over the last few years Kerry’s music scene has thrived. Other Voices in Dingle hosts a music trail which we had the pleasure of playing last December. We’ve also had the pleasure of playing at K-Fest in Killorglin over the last couple of years as well as some fantastic shows at Mike the Pies. Later this summer we’re supporting Delorentos in Ballyheigue for Liveattheheigue 2019. There isn’t a shortage of shows in Kerry but it can be tough to meet people at the heart of the industry outside of the capital.
From outside, it seems very much like Other Voices is the big chance for Kerry bands to impress visiting press and get a wider airing. How did you find playing last year?
Playing Other Voices was a milestone for us for sure. As a musician in Kerry, it’s one of those gigs you always want to play and we were honoured to make an appearance last December. We’d love to make it back again this time around. It’s a great time of the year to meet other artists and industry people who you don’t get to see often.
I see you’re planning on playing lots of new stuff in Whelan’s. What’s your new material like, and should we expect an album soon?
We’re very excited to play some new songs at Whelan’s this week. We recently moved in together in Cork city and have been writing tons of new music so we’re excited to see how it goes. As we had to strip down a little to not play too loud in the house, we compose a lot with two acoustics and a drum kit so it’s definitely shaping a new sound. The plan is to get an album written over the summer for a possible release early next year, but no promises yet!
What are your plans for the future?
This summer we’re living together to write our debut album and potentially have it ready for early 2020. There may be a single or two in the meantime, but it’s the first time in a while we’re together to focus entirely on composing which is very exciting so we don’t want to rush things either. There’ll be a few shows here and there because we don’t feel right if too much time passes between gigs!