Stomptown Brass are an eight-piece, sometimes-conceptual brass band famed for their live performances. The Dubliners, in short, are a bit nuts, a lot of fun, and probably far enough from the conventions of popular music that theirs will be a slow but intensely rewarding journey around the fringes. They always look like they’re having an absolute blast.
If I were to start a band, they’d be a bit like this. I caught up with them to see how it’s all going; here’s what Brian Ryan of Stomptown Brass said of their journey so far…
Hi lads, thanks for taking the time to talk to me. How is life in Stomptown Brass right now?
We’re getting a couple of laughs together for our new tour that’s kicking of this month. Having spent the summer practicing new music and getting some recording sessions down we’re looking forward to sharing with your eardrums.
Can you tell me how all this started out for you, and what you thought might come of the idea back when you started?
During the end of our college days, our pal James O’Leary (aka Mr. Music Man) brought a few of us together for Murphy’s ice-cream on Wicklow Street to tell us he wanted to first learn how to play the trombone and second, start a brass band to play his compositions. One of our first tunes was called Rutland Blues in honour of our first practice studio that suffered a collapsed roof causing us to move out fairly lively.
Obviously you’re very much focused on producing a really strong live show. What are the key elements of that, in your views?
We don’t set out to produce or engineer a strong live show. We just aim to incorporate new elements to our shows that we’re interested in and we put a good bit of welly in to try to get it the best we can. Requiem for the Truth show was our first attempt at this, incorporating theatre or something entirely new for a brass band performance. A Show Curious Eyes & Ears was an attempt to make our music more accessible to children (and parents!), and with this new upcoming tour we’re trying something entirely new for us. So hopefully at least two people out there will like it; then bingo, hello international stardom.