One to Watch Wednesday: The Witch Trials
Apr08

One to Watch Wednesday: The Witch Trials

The Witch trials are a Dublin four-piece comprising of guitar, bass, drums and saxophone. Describing their style as ‘psychedelic rock / trip hop’, the band have been really making a name for themselves in Dublin’s music scene over the last few months with Louder Than War’s John Robb hailing their music as being “as intoxicating as the chemicals that probably provided its inspiration”. Hot off their recent gig in the Button Factory, they have just been announced as part of the line-up for this year’s Knockanstockan festival. I spoke to lead vocalist and guitar player Daniel McIntyre about what pushes his musical buttons.   Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “We draw our influences from everywhere; dance music, hip-hop, old jazz, psych rock. For me it’s elements of Tame Impala, The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave, Warpaint, Pretty Lights, The Altered Hours… probably. The more I think about it the harder it is to pin down.”   What is your favourite album ever? “That question is impossible to answer. It was Melody’s Echo Chamber there for ages. Before that it was ‘Alligator’ by The National. I’m really getting back into Dylan’s ‘Blonde on Blonde’ though at the minute.”   If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why? “Any venue from any time? Definitely the UFO Club (London) in 1967. The Fillmore West (San Francisco) in 1968 would also be pretty sweet, or CBGB’s (New York) in the late 70s. If it’s today then Le Carmen in Paris would be very cool, it’s a converted mansion where the composer Bizet used to live. They’ve got velvet couches and chandeliers, and I reckon that with a projector and a few well-placed lights you could really trip it out.”   If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be? “Probably Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, I think we could make some really sweet sounds together. It would also be very cool to work with someone like Debussy, getting them to experiment with effects and the studio. Sonata for guitar and pedal board, haha.”   Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment? “The Altered Hours are one of the best bands on the planet right now, they’re making some incredible music. The same goes for Bagels, who probably have the best live show I’ve ever seen.”   What are your goals for your music in 2015? “We’re currently working on the video for our debut single ‘Wonderland’ with the very talented artist Zak Milofsky. We’re also in Windmill Lane Studios finishing off our EP. We’ll be launching ‘Wonderland’...

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One to Watch Wednesday: Derek Ellard
Apr01

One to Watch Wednesday: Derek Ellard

Since the release of his debut EP ‘Candour’ in 2014, singer-songwriter Derek Ellard’s feet have hardly touched the ground. Hotpress Magazine described Derek as having “a sound that is very much his own” on his lauded debut EP. With gigs supporting the likes of Wallis Bird and playing his adoptive home of Galway’s biggest and best venues, it is clear that Derek’s is a name that will indeed be one to watch on the music scene this year! I had a quick chat with Derek about all things musical, here’s how it went.   Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “Finch, Deftones and Hundred reasons definitely. Jose Gonzalez pushed me from the electric to acoustic guitar playing so that’s pretty important! Fionn Regan has to be in there along with Frank Turner, James Blake…. Do you have a couple of weeks spare to discuss the rest?” What is your favourite album ever? “What’s with the tricky questions? grin emoticon Fionn Regan’s ‘End of history’ is a masterpiece from start to finish.” If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why? “It’s got to be the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado! It’s an amazing space and so many amazing shows have went down there. Incubus’ Live DVD was the first time I’d heard of it and it has resonated with me since.” If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be? “I would love to do something with Underworld but when Darren Emerson was with them. I listen to and write a lot of EDM so they are very important to me in that respect! Otherwise, Nick Drake just because he was a genius.” Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment? “I’m really liking Melty Brains, Fox Jaw and Race the Flux!” What are your goals for your music in 2015? “I have a couple singles and videos in the pipeline so a small tour and launch for those. Also, I’ve been putting a lot of time into an EDM side project, that’s my 6 month plan anyway! Mostly I’ll just be working to write better music with more depth and to try to broaden and develop as an artist, the same as everybody else!”  You can keep updated with what Derek is doing by liking his Facebook page www.facebook.com/DerekEllardmusic or following him on twitter @D_Ellard_Music . His debut EP ‘Candour’ is available on Spotify and to download now on ITunes...

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One To Watch Wednesday: ELM
Mar11

One To Watch Wednesday: ELM

Elm are a Dublin four-piece comprising of vocalist Dylan Walsh, cellist Gary Molloy, guitarist Aidan Clancy and drummer Cathy Ahearne. They are described as having “a dark earthy sound like no other, composed by a cello, drums, guitar and haunting vocals” and having seen them play live I found this description to be true, haunting they are indeed! Celebrating the release of their song ‘Concentrate’, I spoke to Elm guitarist Aidan Clancy about all things musical. Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “Off the top of my head I don’t think our music has been influenced by one individual artist. When the songs are stripped down to just an acoustic guitar and vocals, they are said to have Damien Rice aspects to it, but when then songs are brought to the band, all our influences are brought into the songs! From Dylan’s influences in jazz singing, to Gary’s love of classical music, we really want everyone to incorporate their own influences to the table.” What is your favourite album ever? “That’s a tough question, every day I’ll have a new favourite album! At the moment, Damien Rice’s newest album “My Favourite Faded Fantasy” is me and Dylan’s favourite album. His songwriting on this album was so spot on, and the lyrics in some songs like “The Greatest Bastard” are perfection. Tears are not far away when listening.” If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why? “Out of the countless venues across the world, my favourite venue is right at our doorstep, The Olympia Theatre. Size is not something that wins me over for a venue. The atmosphere of the shows I’ve seen in the Olympia are out of this world. The venue itself is so beautiful and playing on the stage is literally the dream.” If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be? “I know that Amy Winehouse was one of Dylan’s all-time favourite singers, so working with her would have been something he would die for. I also think her songwriting was amazing and really interesting. My favourite song of hers was “Back to Black”, the use of brass and haunting melody really intrigued me when I first heard it.” Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment? “Damien Rice. He’s a songwriter I really can’t get enough of. His lyrics and melodies are the thing of dreams.” What are your goals for your music in 2015? “For 2015 our plan is to try get our name out there to as many people as possible! We have just released our first music...

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One to Watch Wednesday: Maria Kelly
Mar03

One to Watch Wednesday: Maria Kelly

By Ria Burke. I caught up with 20 year old singer-songwriter Maria Kelly after her gig playing support to Badger Hill in Whelan’s recently. Currently based in Dublin studying Songwriting at the BIMM Institute, Maria is originally from Mayo and has gigged extensively both there and in Dublin, most recently playing support to Wyvern Lingo in Castlebar. Here’s how our conversation went: Which artist/band has influenced your music the most? “I’d have to say that Regina Spektor has influenced my music more than any other artist. I was given her album ‘Begin to Hope’ when I was younger and it just completely opened up my eyes to lyric writing. Her lyrics are both beautiful and dark and so thought-provoking. I think a touch of her quirkiness has rubbed off on my music as well! She balances between fun and serious and I guess I try to do the same!” What is your favourite album ever? “Picking a favourite album is so difficult! I’d have to say ‘Like I Used To’ by Lucy Rose. I love every single song on the album and it’s just one of those CDs you never get sick of. The arrangements of Lucy’s songs are just really interesting to listen to.” If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why? “I’d absolutely love to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire! I know it’s not the biggest venue but many of my favourite artists have played there and I just think that it would be really cool the play the same stage as them! (Cringe!)” If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be? “I would lovelovelove to collaborate with Kina Grannis. She’s another major influence of mine – really she’s the one who made me want to write songs and perform in the first place! I’ve seen her live a few times and she’s just the sweetest person – I think she’d be lovely to work with!” Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment? “Wyvern Lingo! They blew my mind when I saw them play. Beautiful harmonies and they are all incredible songwriters. They’re also genuinely lovely people and absolutely hilarious!” What are your goals for your music in 2015? “I’m excited about 2015. I feel like I’m finally finding my feet with the whole music thing, I’m finally deciding on the type of music that I want to make. This year, I hope to get a full-time band together, begin gigging more around Dublin and hopefully by the end of the year, have a second EP on the way! But who know, we’ll...

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