Saturday 4 January 2020

Who inspired you to take up drums?

I was inspired to start drumming by Larry Mullen Jr. and Topper Headon from the Clash. I was very inspired by the Clash's songs in particular. 'Should I Stay or Should I Go?' was one of the first songs I played with my band The Flies. I learned how to play on an electronic practice kit plugged into a stereo in my aunt's house. 

Who are your favourite players?

I really like Matt Helders from the Arctic Monkeys and Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters. I love the style of music that both bands play. I also play some Jazz and find David Lyttle very inspiring to watch. My brother James is obsessed with the Arctic Monkeys so we play their tunes a lot together. James is the lead singer in The Flies. When we started gigging two years ago we played mostly covers - songs by bands like Nirvana, The Stooges, The Who, The Arctic Monkeys, The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Kinks. I guess that gives you a sense of the kind of music I love to play. My cousin JJ who plays bass in the band and I are both really into older Rock and Roll and Punk bands. Over the last year we've moved on from playing covers and now play 100% originals in our live set. 

Your favourite songs or albums?

The first album I was really into was London Calling by The Clash. I also love 'War' by U2.  I also got obsessed by The Minutemen and Husker Du a couple of years ago. I love the Minutemen's 'Double Nickels' album and 'Zen Arcade' by Husker Du. I also really love REM - 'Murmur' is my favourite album of theirs. 
My absolute favourite song is 'This ain't no Picnic' by the Minutemen. I love the funky drumming on it. I also really love 'I Bet you Look Good on the Dancefloor ' by the Arctic Monkeys. I think the drumming on it is amazing. 

I also really like our own song 'Rip-Off'. It's a rip-off of the Stooges who I like a lot. It is punk and energetic! It has a crazy hi-hat sound on it too - which came from the hi-hat breaking as we were recording it. I think it adds a lot! It was a happy accident!

What’s your current drum gear setup?

I play an old stripped down and pretty battered kit which our guitar player Darragh's Dad dug out of his garage. A friend of his had abandoned it there when he emigrated quite a few years ago. To be honest I don't have a clue about the type of kit it is! It is very distinctive visually which I like. The shells of the drums are all different colours. I guess you could say I play a stripped down punk style kit with no frills! Kick, snare, floor tom, hi-hat, one rack tom, ride and one crash. I use a double kick pedal when it is needed. I use the double kick pedal on 'Panic' on our EP. 

Tell us about your latest EP?

It is called the 'Catch up to You' EP. It is our debut release and is available on Spotify, Bandcamp and Youtube. We recorded it in Black Mountain Studio outside Dundalk in mid 2019 and released at the end of June. We really wanted to get the feel of our live sound on the EP so all of the songs for the EP were recorded fully live except for vocals. Some of the tracks are first takes! We recorded six tracks in a day and then chose the strongest ones to mix down. All of the tracks are originals and are I guess the best of the first set of maybe twelve songs we wrote together as a band. We've gotten a great reaction from people about it. We were thrilled to get praise for it from people like Jinx Lennon, Fang Club and The Stunning. It got played on the radio too quite a bit which was amazing. We made a video for the lead track 'Is this What you Wanted?' in October and that got a lot of views and attention which we're very happy about. 

Can you tell us what projects are on the horizon? 

We are in the middle of writing material for a second EP right now and intend to record and release it early in 2020. We have only played a couple of times outside of Leitrim and Roscommon to date so it is a big aim of ours this year to get out of our local area and play support slots wherever we can get them. We've gigged a lot locally for two years so we feel ready for it now. We are also in the process of applying to festivals for Summer 2020, for slots. We think the EP and video will make it easier to get opportunities like that. We've already been promised a slot at the Indiependence festival which we are thrilled about. We're all in secondary school so we are trying to fit in as much as we can around that. Myself and my brother James, are doing our Leaving Certificate exams in June, so we have to do a bit of work for that too! We've had some music industry interest too - so who knows what'll happen in 2020!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

One final thing I'd like to tell your readers it that I'm autistic. I want to say that because I think it is important for other autistic people to realise that being autistic shouldn't stop them from pursuing their interests. Playing in a rock and roll band has helped me a lot in different ways and I find that it is a really great way to express myself!