Monday, July 20, 2009
Dublin is known for a lot more than beer and cloudy skies. It has an amazing local music scene that is bustling right now with acts like Sweet Jane, the Brothers Movement, Hooray For Humans, and electro-pop four piece Dark Room Notes, who we recently chatted with via the interwebs.
1. Who have been your biggest influences both lyrically and musically?
Lyrically we try to create ambiguous images in listeners' minds – we like to ensure that no-one is ever 100% sure that they have interpreted the song correctly. Musically it changes all the time. Rock still plays a role, but more and more we're turning to all forms of electronic music, especially the more minimal forms of techno and house.
2. Why did you choose to take an electro-rock approach to music, as opposed to a more straight-ahead rock sound?
The choice was thrust upon us when our bass player left some years ago. We first started programming our basslines, but soon became more and more interested in the possibilities that electronic and dance music presented. The more we listened, the more we absorbed. Right now the only non-electronic instrument we're writing with is a guitar. And I'm often tempted to put it down.
3. Who do you think is at the most cutting-edge of music today? Where do you think the music industry is going?
There are so many acts out there making amazing and sometimes alarming music. The ones that are the most cutting-edge are generally the ones that very few people have heard, and this reflects the current direction of the music industry. Record labels are looking for a guaranteed return on their investment. In this sense they're more interested in what will sell rather than what is cutting-edge. There are a few exceptions, Radiohead being one obvious one.
4. Any other Dublin bands we should be watching out for?
Subplots and Villagers are two that spring to mind immediately. We just played with Villagers at the Oxegen festival, and Subplots are another band produced by our unofficial fifth member, Ciaran Bradshaw.
5. How was your experience recording 14 songs in 14 days? Do you think more bands should take a similar approach?
Exhausting. We undertook that project for economic and artistic reasons. As an electronic band, we were wary of sounding over-produced and sterile on record, so we decided to record as live as possible. This enabled us to complete a song every day, but some of those days contained more than 24 hours. Our second album will probably have a different approach, but I can recommend trying it at least once.
6. What drove you to pursue music?
As a kid it was the usual desire to be a rock star, but this was soon replaced by an appreciation of the joy that can be experienced by writing, recording and performing your own music. Hearing something truly amazing by another band is all the fuel you need to keep challenging yourself to improve your own craft. That and the fact that I'm not much good at anything else, apart from driving a large van containing a band around the country.
7. What was the best gig you’ve ever played?
We played with Kraftwerk last year. However due a late venue change and some confusion regarding the stage times, we played to about 50 people. Later that night we took out our frustration in front of a similar sized crowd in a tiny room upstairs in Whelan's in Dublin. It was a barnburner. I think we play best when there's some tension in the air.
(Interview by Veronica Bianqui)
[mp3]: "Shake Shake My Ceiling"
"Let's Light Fires"