How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
It starts on my acoustic guitar. Once I’ve worked out the melodies, I basically commit them to memory and start obsessing about it. I like to step away and go to the park or a coffee shop to figure out which words, themes and phrases are going to stay. It’s always in one of my notepads and it goes everywhere I go. There’s usually a handful of adjustments when my producer, Howie Beno, and I are ready to track vocals.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Words. They can be truthful. They can reach you if you allow yourself to listen. And they always seem to do something to you. There’s something about looking back at words on a page. I think it helps set myself up to keep honest.
I lied. It’s melody. Definitely the melody. Melody’s the way we absorb them.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Not at all. I like being open on stages and with the people that I meet.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
“As we question our realities, throw our faith in validation for a chance to wash away. Then we realize we found our place, we embrace hallucinations now that vision has a name.”
“Postscript.” From the last one on this record.
What inspired “Fame”, part of your latest album “generic.”?
The working titles of my demos usually don’t change. That happens about 90% of the time. “Fame.” I named that demo after I felt like the music was in a good place. So I started to think about the things I wanted to say on the matter and stuck with it.
“Another audio cameo
All fixed up
Now you’re all in
Oh no something’s not right.”
I was pretty angry when I wrote this one. I had massive amounts of frustrating shite going on around me and so I knew I had to bookmark it. The verse gets into all of the things I couldn’t have, or thought some people might have wanted.
“No guarantees, I promise you. Crystal locks and velvet doors with secret walls on hollow floors.”
Do you remember the day you wrote “Colours”?
Mostly. This was the last one in the batch written days before our second session. I went into our rehearsal space to demo a bit and ended up writing it all down that day right after I wrote this line the day before: “All the colours that form our reactions, are bolder than we thought. We’ve been frozen to frame our distractions. Let’s pretend we forgot.” It’s not difficult for me to run with imagery when I can calm myself down enough to envision myself at these places.
Is there a link/a common theme among the songs of the new album?
Absolutely. This sums it up for me:
What makes these songs different for me is how we were able to capture a snapshot of all the things that surround a life changing move in a very short period of time…the excitement, the uncertainty, the risk, the anticipation, the massive fucking anxiety just to name a handful. I think these are experiences that a lot of people go through often and you certainly don’t have to move across the country to identify with this concept. It’s very human.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
Howie pointed out to me, and said ‘get out of the scorpion’s way,’ which was crawling across the studio floor while I was doing a take barefoot. He was completely right.
What are your plans for 2019?
Generic. – May 17
‘Record Release Listening Party’ at The Scratcher, NYC – May 28
Drop Dead Twice: Dublin – May 27
RTE Radio 1: Dublin – airs July 1
Green Door Store: Brighton – July 1
The Islington: London – July 2
More dates TBA
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your album “generic.”: Constant.
- The best show you ever played: The last one we did and the one we’re gonna do next.
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: I’m still working on this.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Yanni.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Pink Floyd – “Dogs.”
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: It seems to work best when everyone knows exactly where the other is going or wants to go.