Dublin indie band Heroes In Hiding forged their reputation in the live arena. Having existed in various forms for over a decade, they’ve changed genres entirely, become confident in front of a crowd, and learnt some smart live tricks. Those include their extraordinary 360-degree concert, played at Newmarket’s Green Door Market last year. That saw the band place their entire audience inside a boxed-off screen, while they played on its exterior to beautifully orchestrated imagery. Now, after a decade of playing about with their style and identity, they’re finally ready to launch debut album ‘Actor’.
It has to be a lot of pressure finally stepping up to the grandeur of the LP after such a long time, but after exploring near-death experiences in earlier EP ‘Curtains’ (specifically, in title track ‘Hospital’), and going big on Spotify with a quarter of a million plays, it makes sense to finally make the transition.
“We changed the name from The Dynamics and changed the sound a few years ago,” Rathfarnham native Cian Donohoe recalls. “The band set up was different, we’d reduced from six people to four, losing the brass. I think this album was a little different, in that we worked in the studio and put things together, and then figured out how to put it into a stage show. In the past, we figured it out live and then worked out where they went from there.”
“We were pretty much playing stuff live in the studio on the last EP,” he continues. “There weren’t drastic changes. Back when we were sixteen we were interested in ska music, mainly, and it’s gone from there. Ska came out of ability as well, as ska music’s pretty easy to play. Obviously there was an indie influence, then we started listening to folk music, and that became the sound of the band. Eight years later, it’s matured a lot as a sound.”
“The disparate influences collide in the middle,” Liam McCabe explains. “We’ve tried to fight against it at times, but I think that’s the nice bit. The nice thing about this record is it’s all the influences mashed together in this pile. We either push them aside, or just allow it to happen.”
“We’ve always written a lot of music. There’s a lot of discarded stuff out there. I think our plan has always been to write a load of tracks and pick the best few. With this one, we did a lot of experiments. Even if they aren’t full songs, there must be thirty or forty songs out there. There were a couple of real nonsense songs where we tried things, then tried to see things through. We had some Indian riff on one, and a vocoder. That was one of the slow days in the studio. We were writing tracks that wanted to be really long, with spacey intros, no verse, no chorus. In the end, we wrote an album of three-minute tracks. That wasn’t really the intention.”
“We self-produced for Curtains, but the engineer we had mixing it, Martin Quinn in Jam Studios, is brilliant. Really creative. We felt easy about trying new things this time around, and he helped us put them together,” Donohoe explains. “He guided us when we were going wrong. There’s definitely a nice sense of achievement you can take from saying ‘this is us, we did all this.”