by Danielle Holian
For our readers, please describe your musical background.
I’ve been playing in bands for years (after obligatorily hearing Nirvana for the first time when I was 12 and giving up sports haha) in different roles most often as a drummer or guitarist, but I’ve been writing my own songs the whole time and so various friends eventually told me to stop procrastinating and go record them. Liz Seaver was a great help and it’s through her band that Ste (Bassist), Ro (Drummer) and myself started playing together, and we still do with Liz.
The guys have been playing in bands for years too so it was an easy musical fit when we started jamming Long Tail songs.
Tell us a bit about the background of the making of your debut EP ‘Your Time’.
I had a collection of songs written and decided to go in and record them in Westland Studios with my engineer John O’Kelly, (having first been there doing a drum session for my friend Dan’s band Riserfall). Myself and John would go into the studio and spend a day on each song. First I would put down a guide guitar track, then I would play drums to that guide, followed by Bass, then proper guitars (Electrics and Acoustic), then Vocals and finally Piano. The whole EP is recorded this way.
After I had some songs recorded, the lads in Fangclub encouraged me to get out and start playing them live, so I got the guys on board to make it Long Tail. Our first gig was then supporting Fangclub at On The Rox in Dublin soon after we got together.
Who or what inspired each track? And what was the songwriting process like?
The title track ‘Your Time’ initially came from something my grandfather Ciaran Clear used to say along the lines of ‘You have to live in your own time’, which I took (maybe too literally) as meaning – while it’s good to acknowledge and learn from your influences and the past you have to live in the present, this is your time so make it what you can or what you want, it’s yours.
Most Long Tail songs are positive in a message, in Your Time and also Better Way the emphasis in the choruses is real that this is your world so go and own it, whatever way you want! I’m aware that sounds like it could be a Conor McGregor motivational quote but sure there you go, haha.
All the songs start out on acoustic guitar and finding a vocal melody, then I spend a lifetime getting the lyrics right so I’m ok letting people hear them (none of the lyrics are there ‘just coz it rhymes’ haha). Then after I’ve come up with an arrangement I’ll go into the studio and see what happens.
What has been the biggest challenge for the band so far?
Getting ready for the single launch in the Wiley Fox back in April was definitely tricky and it was new ground for us, getting everything set up and worrying if anyone would show up haha, Luckily we had a great crowd and we had the Vulpynes with us that night and they rocked the place, they were with us for the EP launch in Whelan’s last week too. The guys at Polite Society Records have been a great help all throughout both with gigs and getting the music out there.
Also, it has to be said that one of the biggest challenges was probably getting me to actually get stuck in and make Long Tail happen, so thanks to my friends and other musicians (like Fangclub and Liz Seaver) for that.
How has your music evolved since the band began?
Since we’ve been playing live together the band has probably gotten heavier or certainly noisier. The live show is way rawer than the records, we’re a 3-piece and there’s a lot of energy in the live show. So yeah who knows what the next batch of songs is gonna be like haha.
Where can people access the EP?
EP is available on Bandcamp.
We also shot a video in Station Studios with Sean Leonard recently for the title track ‘Your Time’. – Your Time (video).
The single is available on Spotify, Soundcloud etc. – Spotify.
What advice would you give to other musicians?
Spend more time on your music than on your haircut, be happy with what you’re playing, You don’t have to be a virtuoso to make great music . . . just mean it. Get to know other musicians and support them, they’re you’re contemporaries not your competition. Most importantly – Don’t take random advice from people you don’t know haha.
Any last words?
Irish Rock music is in a good place at the minute so to quote Doug Stanhope “Be Present”.