SXSW: Our Interview with Girl Band
Fuming from the hills of Dublin, Girl Band (which are nothing of the sort) make rambunctious noise rock that char up any innocent bystanders who happen to be walking by. At this point, they’re most well known for their cover of “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under MY Garage?” by Blawaan, but don’t sleep on the four originals that are on their first EP The Early Years, which collects their few flexidiscs and seven inch singles. They’re one of a gajillion bands playing SXSW this week, and we caught members Dara Kiely and Alex Duggan outside the Austin venue Red 7 to give us a quickie interview about their progressive and what to expect from the band in 2015.
Northern Transmissions: Hey guys. So you just recently first came to North America two weeks ago for the first time?
Dara Kiely: Yeah it was the first gig. It was my first time ever in America.
NT: Are there a lot of other noise rock bands like yourself there?
DK: There’s not much of a scene, but there’s a lot of bands we play with that are similar. There’s cool bands like Jetsetter that are like Creedence, Warren Zevon…
NT: Would you say that kind of thing is more common?
DK: There’s no kind of definitive genre, no.
NT: What kind of venues are like out there?
Alan Duggan: It kind of varies from city to city. In Dublin we play like venue-venues. Like recently, because it’s all kind of a weird situation, so we have to keep it on relative terms. I mean in Dublin there will be slightly big, 500 or 600 capacity venues. But then around the countryside — Ireland has such a small population so you can’t be doing like 600-capacity venues all throughout Ireland.
NT: Yeah, I mean I’d imagine it was more of a small town feel.
DK: There’s cool venues though. The Roisin Dubh in Galway is pretty cool. Villain is very cool. Darwin’s Bar in Dublin, which is a small venue, it’s very cozy.
NT: How does it differ from England?
DK: There’s more pubs in England.
AD: England is more pub rock. Everyone in London [bars] is kind of industry [people], which is kind of horrible in a way. You play to everyone in London and it’s like industry, industry from the start. And it’s cool we’re getting sort of past that, where there’s more people there now [at our shows] that are there just to see music. You venture out into the rest of the country, it’s cool. You end up playing these bar/restaurants, where it’s a restaurant in the day and a bar at night, which is great because you’re sound checking while people are eating their dinner [laughs].
NT: Then how would compare that to you first stop in the US?
DK: The Brooklyn gig was kind of interesting actually at [New York’s] Mercury Lounge. The people were going a bit mad at some parts, and there was a lot of chin scratching as well.
NT: And you did Baby’s All Right as well. How did Manhattan compare with Brooklyn?
AD: Mercury was kind of rowdier.
NT: What do you guys feel about festivals?
DK: Festivals are cool, but there was this thing where our crew had to pay to get in and we weren’t really cool with that.
NT: So your EP is basically all your loose tracks compiled into one set. What’s coming up next?
DK: We’re going to record an album when we get back, which should be out in October.
NT: What kind of records do you listen to when you’re on the road. Given your Blawaan cover, I imagine it’s not all punk stuff.
DK: It’s a variation. Our van doesn’t have an auxiliary thing for our iPhones or whatever, so we’ve had to get CDs and stuff. Ryan, our driver bought a lot of CDs, so we’re definitely going to be listening to L.A. Woman in the desert tomorrow. But like Leonard Cohen, and stuff like M.I.A., anything we could get.
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