Interviews…

I’ve done a LOT of interviews over the years, so I thought I’d collate them all in one place. To read any particular interview, click on the band name. Enjoy! James.

  • A Certain Ratio – One of Factory Record’s last remaining acts talk Madchester, touring with Joy Division, the post-punk explosion and belated popularity. (State.ie, March 2009)
  • Æ Mak – Aoife McCann on her band’s restructuring, going all out for a record deal, and the ‘Rebalance’ program for female artists (Dublin Gazette, March 2018)
  • Abner Browns – Barbershop owner Dave Judge on how his Rathmines hairdressers came to be at the very heart of the Irish music scene, and meeting Michael Stipe (Dublin Gazette, March 2017)
  • Alt-J – Mercury Music Prize winners on debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’, and spending years perfecting their slow-building art. (Goldenplec, May 2012)
  • Amiina – Icelandic group carve their own niche, whilst simultaneously making up Sigur Ros’ backing band. They even sing in English… (AU Magazine, September 2010)
  • And So I Watch You From Afar – North coast instrumentalists on supporting Them Crooked Vultures, heading for Russia and their DIY approach to music. Plus how the album ‘Gangs’ took shape. (State.ie, April 2011)
  • And So I Watch You From Afar (2) – Belfast’s scene heroes branch out with their debut full length. They tell me about life, and the story behind their stage names. (State.ie, April 2009)
  • Anti-Pop Consortium – New York hip-hop outsiders on their split, reformation, the poetic background to their musical style and producing grown-up hip-hop. (State.ie, May 2009)
  • Ash – Rick McMurray on Russel Lissack’s departure, Charlotte Hatherley’s return, his new baby and Ash’s impending twenty year anniversary (AU Magazine, October 2011)
  • Ash (2) – Ash commit to never making another standard album, talk about living on two different continents and ponder just how long things can keep going. (AU Magazine, June 2011)
  • Axis Of – Northern Irish up and coming hardcore band on their eventful development, from car crashes in Germany to performing for the BBC at Maida Vale, as well as a glance ahead at the up and coming album. (State.ie, May 2012)
  • BARE In The Woods – Festival founder Peter Dunne on the tough wide to establishing a new festival, and the battle to avoid the everyday (Dublin Gazette, April 2017)
  • Basement Jaxx – Brixton heroes on their more mature direction, leaving remixes behind, and the duos cinematic ambitions (State.ie, December 2009)
  • The Beautiful South/ Paul Heaton – The former Beautiful South man on cycling between gigs, his mixed feelings on the UK, and collecting unusual crisp packets. (Goldenplec.com, September 2010)
  • Billy Carter – Korean band Billy Carter talk about an unusual trip to Europe, breaking out of Seoul’s university-centred hotspots, and the strange tales behind their songs (Dublin Gazette, May 2017)
  • The Blackout – Welsh pop-rockers on stepping up the arena shows, playing on pirate ships and balancing two abrasive vocal outlets. (Goldenplec.com, March 2011)
  • Bloc Party/ Kele Okereke – Bloc Party’s frontman on taking a break, going dance-heavy on his solo albums, and on the band’s future. Then there’s that Tiesto collaboration… (State.ie, May 2010)
  • Blood Or Whiskey – The only Celtic punk band in Ireland? They’re probably the only successful one. Blood Or Whiskey talk the cost of existence, and what they owe The Pogues… (Dublin Gazette, September 2017)
  • Bowling For Soup – American pop-punkers on songs about a detachable penis, heavy drinking tours and keeping the target of ‘The Bitch Song’ secret-ish. (State.ie, October 2009)
  • Bowling For Soup (2) – Erik Chandler sticks it to the record company, and recalls when acoustic shows were the only way to survive.  (Goldenplec.com, October 2012)
  • (Viva) Brother – The Slough indie band dubbed ‘Britain’s most obnoxious act’ on dealing with the limelight, Brit-pop revival and signer Lee’s love/ hates. (Goldenplec.com, April 2011)
  • The Cast Of Cheers – In-depth, studio interview during the first recording sessions for The Cast Of Cheers second album in Wicklow, April 2011, charting their rise and lifestyle changes. (AU Magazine, May 2011)
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Alec Ounsworth talks dealing with early fame and its fallouts, the resetting of his band’s ‘level’, and using music to explore himself. (Dublin Gazette, October 2017)
  • Cloud Control – Aussie music prize winners on why they moved to London, the slow rise to fame and remixing things for the live show. (State.ie, April 2011)
  • Come On Live Long – Talk the band’s separate spreading of wings ahead of their Choice-nominated album ‘In The Still’, and how the comeback feels different. (Dublin Gazette, June 2017)
  • The Coronas – On mixing up huge venues in Ireland and smaller ones on tour, as well as the launch of ‘Trust The Wire’, and the impact of Dingle on the album’s sound. (Dublin Gazette, June 2017)
  • Cursive – Omaha indie stars on their dark concept albums, what inspires that dingy angle, and keeping on after their early-century successes waned. (AU Magazine, June 2012)
  • Daithi – Reality television fiddle starlet turns beat-driven dancefloor filler, but keeps his fiddle on hand. (State.ie, May 2012).
  • Daithi (2) – West coast dance/ strings star talks field recordings, crafting pop songs, and life on the road as a solo artist (Dublin Gazette, April 2017)
  • The Damned (Captain Sensible) – British punk legend on ‘a rudderless ship in a sea of crap music’, red berets and classic old tour stories (Goldenplec.com, May 2012)
  • Darkstar – Huddersfield dance duo on arty projects, taking things deep in South Africa, their slowed-down approach to making new music, and writing for the underprivileged. (Dublin Gazette, March 2018)
  • Declan O’Rourke – The trad-leaning songwriter talks about his new album ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’, and the ten years work that went into its creation. (Dublin Gazette, October 2017)
  • Delorentos – Dublin pop-rock act on fifth album ‘True Surrender’, and how they cast aside an entire record to put together a release that better reflects their new lives (Dublin Gazette, April 2018)
  • Django Django – Frontman Vincent Neff on surpassing cult status, adapting complex tracks to the stage, and the band’s massive warehouse record collection. (Dublin Gazette, February 2018)
  • Dropkick Murphys – Ken Casey talks charity work, Spicy McHaggis’ unlikely proficiency in French, fitting in with Irish culture and the fickleness of popularity (State.ie, January 2013)
  • Duckworth Lewis Method – Neill Hannon and Thomas Walsh on getting drunk at a wedding, and coming out the other side with the most unlikely hit Irish record, perhaps ever. And they really do love cricket… (State.ie, July 2010)
  • Duke Special – Northern Ireland’s beautifully poetic songwriter Peter Wilson on the challenge of converting the written word to music, and how he’s influenced by gardening… (Dublin Gazette, October 2017)
  • Everything Everything – On the strength of the Manchester music scene, not being able to change the world, and the process behind ‘Arc’ (State.ie, February 2013)
  • The Feeling – Sixteen years after their formation, The Feeling talk about their rise and fall, working with Sophie Ellis Bextor, the fickleness of pop stardom and focusing on albums ahead of singles. (Goldenplec.com, September 2011)
  • Fionn Regan – On the unusual process behind ‘100 Acres of Sycamore’ in Majorca, the search for the perfect collaboration and the transportation that takes place when he’s writing. (Goldenplec.com, August 2011)
  • Fionn Regan (2) – Poetic Bray troubadour on the production of second album ‘Shadow of an Empire’, and its character explorations. (State.ie, February 2010)
  • Frank Turner – Folk-punk troubadour on how life’s changed since Million Dead, laughing at yourself and the emotion behind ‘Long Live the Queen’. (State.ie, December 2009)
  • Frank Warren – Founder of PostSecret.com, a public art project based on anonymous post cards sent from around the world, on his accidental life. (AU Magazine, March 2011)
  • General Fiasco – Northern Ireland’s pop-punk starlets on the struggle to make a name down south, dealing with their isolated musical background and the influences of American pop-punk. (Goldenplec.com, November 2011)
  • Geoff Ellis (T In The Park Founder) – Founder of Scotland’s iconic festival on how it’s builts its formidable reputation, and the problems facing the modern music industry. (State.ie, November 2009)
  • Girls – San Francisco’s quirkiest indie-popsters talk about their weird history, from escaping an Indian hippie cult right up to the present day. (State.ie, October 2009)
  • Go Jimmy GoCult Hawaiian ska band recount their entire history, and talk about what ska means to America’s coolest islands (Bling Magazine, January 2009)
  • The Go! Team – Ninja, front woman of the cheer-leader inspired Brighton band, on the trouble with samples, and what turned out to be the band’s final album, Rolling Blackouts. (State.ie, February 2011)
  • God Is An Astronaut – An Irish band making waves abroad on why things have picked up so well elsewhere, and what keeps them ticking over (Goldenplec, December 2012)
  • Gorgon City – London dance duo talk about their unusual route to building fans, via a radio show, a label, and two different live setups (Dublin Gazette, February 2018)
  • Graham Hughes – Liverpudlian traveller on his attempt to visit every country in the world in less than a year, without flying. (AU Magazine, December 2009)
  • Grouplove – A serendipitous meeting on a Greek island, love and luck, and ‘Never Trust A Happy Song’s twisted underbelly. (AU Magazine, October 2011)
  • Ham Sandwich – Niamh Farrell talks about the Kells band’s slow route to making music, some unrecorded new sounds, and challenging themselves with live shows (Dublin Gazette, June 2017)
  • Honningbarna – Norway’s ‘honey children’ frontman Ed Valberg on his aggressive take on politics, and the rise of their brand of Viking cello punk (Goldenplec.com, June 2012)
  • The Hot Sprockets – on new album ‘Dream Mover’, performing Blues in Ireland, songwriting, a love of The Rock, and why they feel at their musical peak. (Dublin Gazette, April 2018)
  • Hothouse Flowers – On the benefits of longevity and busking, their diverse modern influences and going viral before the internet (Dublin Gazette, July 2017)
  • INXS (Ciaran Gribben) – Ciaran on his surprise appointment as INXS’ new frontman, and the changes in his life that have resulted… (State.ie, October 2011)
  • Jape – Two time’s winner of the Choice Music Prize, Ireland’s most respected award for music, electronic maestro Jape talks his move to Scandinavia and how to balance so many different projects. (State.ie, May 2012)
  • The Jezabels – Up and coming Aussie stars on how they’ve circumvented major labels, and the death metal production influences on debut album ‘Prisoner’. (State.ie, February 2012)
  • Jimmy Eat World – On the ‘Damage’ album, stepping back from things to get perspective, working wiht a new producer, and adding electronic elements (State.ie, November 2016)
  • The Joy Formidable – Talk singing in Welsh, being included in NME ‘cool list’, a love of being on tour and how ‘The Big Roar’ was put together. (AU Magazine, October 2011)
  • Judge Jules – Trance DJ on his life as a lawyer who plays music, how Ibiza has changed, and how his life has become very much about, surprisingly, keeping organised… (Dublin Gazette, May 2018)
  • Julie Feeney – The delicate opera-pop composer and vocalist talks about her role in the Irish Gamelan Orchestra, and how having children has influenced her view of the music industry (Dublin Gazette, November 2017)
  • The Killers – Ronnie Vannuci Jr talks about pulling the Las Vegas band back together, his love of performance, playing for Barack Obama and working with M83 (Goldenplec, July 2013)
  • King Kong Company – Irish party band on image, creating your own beer, coming back for round two, and playing for the president (Dublin Gazette, July 2017)
  • Landless – Dublin/ Belfast vocal-only quartet talk recording in tunnels, and their 2018 album ‘Bleaching Bones’ (Dublin Gazette, March 2018)
  • Lankum – The sixteen years of behind-the-scenes work that went into forming Ireland’s most inspired modern folk band, and the anger that drives them. (December 2017, Dublin Gazette)
  • Le Bucherettes – Teri Gender Bender talks political ignorance, the slow-morphing world of La Bucherettes, and Ireland’s abortion campaign (State.ie, October 2016)
  • Le Galaxie – On the addition of Maykay Geraghty to the band, their time with Universal, a new recording style, and the launch of ‘Pleasure’. (Dublin Gazette, April 2018)
  • Less Than Jake – The world’s biggest ska punk band outline the ten principles they live by, from experimentation to an anti-authoritarian outlook (State.ie, June 2011)
  • Lisa Canny – The hip-hop harpist on being told to perform instead of taking her phd, being picked up by The Police’s Miles Copeland, the story behind ‘Freedom’ and how moving to London changed her perspective (Dublin Gazette, April 2018)
  • Little Comets -Newcastle indie rockers who turn out to not be all that rock and roll. Let’s hear it for quiet bath time, staying at home and pushing Debussy as a major influence. (State.ie, March 2011)
  • Loah – Inspirational vocalist talks inventing the genre ‘Artsoul’, defining yourself my heading abroad, and the launch of her debut EP. (Dublin Gazette, May 2017)
  • Loah (2) – On working with Hozier, a musical coming of age in New York, learning to express yourself and fusing identities (Goldenplec, January 2015 & Irish Indepedent, January 2015)
  • Lostprophets – A change of direction for the Welsh nu-metal act, who still feel that their best days are far, far ahead of them. (State.ie, March 2010)
  • Love Music Hate Racism – Dublin’s LMHR head Kurt Nikolaisen on the importance of making the fight against racism a cultural thing, and how the group has grown in Dublin. (State.ie, May 2011)
  • Manic Street Preachers – Nicky Wire on Postcards From A Young Man, the problem with David Guetta, staying invovled in politics and the emotional difficulties with producing an album from Richey Edwards notes. (AU Magazine, September 2010)
  • The Minutes – A look at The Minutes’ rise to the top of the Irish rock scene, after a total switch of musical styles, and how the change has actually made them more broke. (Goldenplec.com, May 2012)
  • Mmoths – Newbridge digital youngster talks finding national acclaim before even finishing school, and how he puts his tracks together. (AU Magazine, March 2011)
  • Modest Mouse – On ditching collaborations with Big Boi, the difficulties with launching their new album, being fickle about recording and Reddit as a promotion tool Goldenplec, March 2015)
  • Mumford and Sons – On breaking out of folks ‘insular little world’, almost failing to make their Glastonbury headline slot, cynicism, and not being a rock band (Goldenplec, August 2013)
  • Mystery Jets – Londoners on life after founding member Kai, building albums around the locations where they’re recorded and fictional hero Emerson Lonestar (Goldenplec, December 2012)
  • Neil Hannon – Surviving music’s deep recession, the balance of commercialism and following your heart, and Hannon’s love of cricket. (Goldenplec.com, April 2011)
  • No Monster Club – Bobby Aherne discusses a project that sees him write a song a year, all in the aid of creative incoherence (Dublin Gazette, November 2017)
  • O Emperor – After stepping away from the Irish music scene for a couple of years, Waterford act O Emperor talk about how they’ve come back a different beast. (Dublin Gazette, February 2018)
  • One Horse Pony – Rootsy Cork band explain their links to Lousiana, their unusual name, and their rise amongst a strong Cork music scene (for this site, May 2018)
  • Otherkin – Irish rockers talk about leaving behind medical degrees to chase a career in rock, making America the “golden target,” and debut album ‘OK’. (Dublin Gazette, October 2017)
  • Paddy Hanna – The man at the heart of one of Dublin’s coolest indie labels and scenes returns to the stage with an album designed to soothe his own troubled soul. (Dublin Gazette, January 2018)
  • Paranoid Visions – The original Dublin punks talk not being allowed to win competitions, their link up with Steve Ignorant of Crass, and the state of Irish punk. (Dublin Gazette, September 2017)
  • Pendulum – Talking Fugazi and Brazilian death metal, and how Pendulum fused their background in metal into producing the best selling drum and bass album of all time. (Bling Magazine/ PureGrainAudio.com, Summer 2009)
  • The Prodigy – Liam Howlett on writing and forgetting, chasing the hedonism of beats, Slipknot, Belgian techno, and refusing to be defined (Goldenplec, November 2015)
  • Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Scottish bagpipers often confused with Californian rockers, on how they’ve converted life on a talent show into a career. (Dublin Gazette, February 2018)
  • The Redneck Manifesto – Dublin’s most popular math rockers come back after four years, reflect on Jape’s spin-off project and preview their new album. (State.ie, April 2010)
  • Roddy Woomble – Former Idlewild front man on life after the band, and how his folkier leanings fit more with the person he is today. (State.ie, May 2011)
  • Roisin OIrish newcomer on her debut album ‘The Secret Life Of Blue’, adapting to TV sessions and the Electric Picnic affect…  (Goldenplec, October 2012)
  • The Rubberbandits – Meeting Rubberbandits, bags and all, backstage at Reading Festival, and talking ‘Serious About Men’, as well as Danny Dyer and the monsters of Mayo. (AU Magazine, November 2011)
  • The Rubberbandits (2) – ‘Serious About Men’ gets a full going over: why are The Rubberbandits so serious about men? What really happened with that Spastic Hawk? How did they manage to take yokes with long-dead Eamonn DeValera? (State.ie, January 2012)
  • Scroobius Pip – Poignant spoken-word rapper on his abrupt change of direction, including a first talk through the content of his rock-backed album ‘Distraction Pieces’, and his love of punk. (AU Magazine, September 2011)
  • Seb Hunter – Musician turned author Seb Hunter, on his book ‘Rock Me Amadeus’, and just how a rock fan can appreciate classical music (State.ie, March 2010)
  • Siobhra Quinlan – Composer and soprano Siobhra Quinlan talks about her early struggles with musical theory, training with Veronica Dunne, and broad influences. (Dublin Gazette, March 2017)
  • Sleep Thieves – Dublin electro act preview their debut album, and talk about the odd way tea helped forge the band. (State.ie, March 2010)
  • Sleep Thieves (2) – Shortly before a change of members, Sleep Thieves launch their debut album and explore a broader, more boisterous and more danceable take on their electro stylings. (AU Magazine, October 2011)
  • Sleigh Bells – American duo on producing an outrageously raucous new album, dealing with their growing hype and fighting with mums over The Clash. (State.ie, March 2011)
  • Sofar Sounds – Claire Hanlon of Sofar Dublin talks bringing free music to random venues, the excitement of Sofar, and how the project has fostered international friendships (Dublin Gazette, July 2017)
  • Something Happens – Tom Dunnes’ band return for a rare summer date, playing Leopardstown Live, and Dunne recalls a few of the odder memories from times gone by (Dublin Gazette, May 2017)
  • Sounds Of System Breakdown – Dublin’s answer to LCD Soundsystem on a slow-building career, occasional acoustic conversions, and the local elements to their sound. (State.ie, June 2010)
  • Spector – Fred MacPherson talks being judged too early, Spector’s hidden depths, and how they’re probably going to break up before too long anyway (AU Magazine, May 2012)
  • Spook of the Thirteenth Lock – Epic Irish traditional rockers talk their most ambitious project yet, a guitar orchestra-based album around the 1916 Dublin Lockout, as well as their socialist credentials (Dublin Gazette, March 2018)
  • Super Extra Bonus Party – Years after their unlikely Choice Music Prize win, Super Extra Bonus Party reveal they’re back for another shot… And why. (Dublin Gazette, December 2017)
  • Superjiminez – Dublin act get slated in State album review. Comment war ensues. The band stepped in to have their own say. (State.ie, May 2009)
  • Tinie Tempah – Grime’s biggest star right before the release of his debut album, on how it came to be such a big deal, handling the butterflies and his appearance at the Guinness 250 celebrations. (Goldenplec.com, September 2010)
  • Therapy? – Northern Irish rockers celebrate 20 years of hefty rock, explore their obscure, newfound influences and rally against rock purism. (State.ie, July 2011)
  • Tony Wright – Belfast legend on his latest project ‘The Tragedy of Dr Hannigan’, his musical morphing, and life’s turbulent times. (Dublin Gazette, July 2017)
  • Twin Atlantic – Scot pop-Rockers Twin Atlantic have had a dramatic rise to near arena-level shows. They tell me about staying true to their roots, being signed to ‘Red Bull’ as a label, and the best of the Glasgow scene.
  • Two Door Cinema Club – Northern Ireland’s indie-pop superstars on their rapid rise to fame, handling their new lives, and their obsession with Fender Bullet guitars. (AU Magazine cover story, December 2010)
  • The Vaccines – Justin Young on dealing with the band’s meteoric rise, the moment it all felt real, and how The Vaccines have adapted to the new status. (Goldenplec.com, November 2012)
  • The Vaccines (2) – Justin Young talks the return of the London rockers to their roots, with 2018 album ‘Combat Sports’, and coping with Pete’s departure (Dublin Gazette, March 2018)
  • The View – Scots pre- Arthur’s Day interview, in which they declare their long-term aim: to be bigger than Oasis. Keeping things modest then, lads?! (State.ie, September 2010)
  • Von Bondies – Jason Stollsteimer on his issues with the press, the ‘ADHD’ approach to recording the band’s third album, and cutting down from an incredible 68 songs. (State.ie, April 2009)
  • Vulpynes – Gig-loving Dublin punk duo go over their meeting on Boards.ie, infiltration into the Dublin punk scene, and early plans to go international (Dublin Gazette, December 2017)
  • The Wailers – Elan Atias, the teenage nobody who won Bob Marley’s former position at the head of The Wailers after an impromptu jam in LA in 1996, talks about The Wailers as a tribute to Bob, and how he’s handled the role. (State.ie, October 2009)
  • Walking On Cars – Dingle pop act on writing songs just to play their first show, breaking out of Ireland, and almost rejecting the track that ended up being their big break (Dublin Gazette, September 2017)
  • Wallis Bird – Backstage at Vantastival, Wallis delves into the patchwork recording of her new album (including using her housemates having sex as part of the recording process), and pouring her heart into the music. (AU Magazine, May 2011)
  • William E Whitmore – Politics and music mingle in Whitmore’s take on life in the American deep south. He comes to Ireland for the first time. (State.ie, September 2009)
  • Wye Oak – Baltimore modern-folk act on the trauma of album production, their various musical guises and the fast-paced growth of modern folk music. (AU Magazine, June 2011)
  • Xavier Rudd – Aussie musician and passionate environmentalist on winning awards for being a sexy vegetarian, and his role in the ongoing issues with the anti-whaling Sea Shephard. (State.ie, January 2010)
  • Yoko Ono – On Onomix, including the song that John Lennon clung to as he was shot outside their Dakota home, and learning to work with an entirely new genre at the age of nearly 80 (State.ie, December 2012)
  • Zero 7 – Ambient brilliance post-Sia, and the discomfort of producing a ‘best of’. Zero 7 are keen to emphasize that this is not the end of the road. (State.ie, September 2010).
  • Zero 7 (2) – Electronic maestros on making an album the record label insists is lacking in singles, and writing songs about French footballers. (State.ie, September 2009).

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