The problem with talking to someone from Waterford the weekend of a big GAA match is that you talk about GAA for the first ten minutes. Especially when they find out you’re from Tipperary. “It’s about time we won another All Ireland”, says Waterford man Marc O’Reilly when I get him on the phone. It is, plenty of teams learned a hard lesson turning their back on Waterford so I’m rooting for you guys next year, maybe not to win because Tipp will totally win but I hope you are who we’re playing against!
Proud Waterford man seems to be an understatement after that opening. “Ya, right now, all my stuff is in Lismore, but I wouldn’t say I live there. I’m not there often between touring and work. But that’s my home”, he adds. Home has becomes something Marc has had to think about a lot the past 8 months with lots of things happening both personally and professionally.
He recently signed both a publishing deal with Fintage Music International and a joint management deal with Red Light Management. Will this mean a move to the States is on the cards? “Well coming up to Christmas there will be some dates there and there will be a focus on America certainly. But I’ll just go do the tour and come home. Ireland is my home and where I’m supposed to be”, he replies. As for the deals, they seem to have fairly organically after five years of hard work on Marc’s behalf. “I’ve been at this the past five years, and there have been plenty of ‘kinda interested’ and ‘definitely interested’ and then nothing happens. So there’s been alot of disappointments. But this came out of the blue and came about organically and unforced. Normally it’s the writing which is the organic part but this felt right”, he explains. What this deal means for Marc O’Reilly is that we are much more likely to come across his music in a movie or popping up on our favourite TV shows. “What would you like it to appear in”, I ask? “Oh I don’t know. I would always want it to be something cool. You never really set out with movies or TV in mind when you’re writing. But something that’s credible, where the music is relevant.” Marc is currently obsessed with Game of Thrones and House of Cards. “Actually, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark to the rest of us) followed me on Twitter and there were some back and forths. She was supposed to come to one of my gigs but got stuck in London. But that’s pretty cool”, Marc adds. I think Marc’s blues/rock would sit well with the moody show! Just nobody tell him what’s happened last season he hasn’t had a chance to watch it yet.
“I’ve been pretty busy.” Festivals all summer, a lot of them with Ciaran (Lavery. Yes, they share the same taste in music and after some initial nerves about sharing the same dates they hit it off straight away and after the UK they did Belgium and now this Irish tour). After this tour Marc is off to the UK, Holland and back to Ireland between September and November. Then onto the states. You get an appreciation now when he says his stuff is in Waterford but not necessarily him.
Marc’s first two albums “My Friend Marx” and “Human Herdings” certainly had a theme to them. Can we expect more of the same? “I never set out to be political or a social commentator. But songs on both albums are. But then there’s other broad yokes as well, and personal stuff and breakups there too”, he answers. “Mostly it comes down to what’s fresh and current and something I feel strongly about. If you could just bottle that moment when you understand or hear or feel. It’s hard to explain but when that does happen….”. Marc tells me about his illness at Christmas time. “I was in the Mater for two weeks, off work for two months.” Then there’s the breakup that led to the move back to Waterford from Cork. “Album #3 is on the way and its going to be f#@king miserable sounding” jokes Marc. “Given the events of the last 8 months there has been a lot to deal with and that will dominate the next album”, he says. Sounds grim but with Marc’s folk/blues/rock sound I think this sort of material is right up his alley. After a healthy dose of Rory Gallagher soaked guitar riffs album number three is going to be something really special. And hopefully Waterford will be doing better in the Hurling so he’ll have a smile on his face while doing it too!
Catch Marc O’Reilly joined by Ciaran Lavery tonight in Whelan’s and De Barra’s on Sunday night.
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