INTERVIEW WITH RICH O’FLYNN, ALL WE ARE

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2015-03-05

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Rich O’FLynn, a Corkman who achieved prominence in the mid 2000’s in local six piece band The Berries and graduated Colaiste Stiofain Naofa’s Music, Management & Sound course (who celebrate their 25th anniversary this evening), moved to study at the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts in 2008. That journey has led to the development of the hotly tipped trio ‘All We Are’, with Norwegian bassist Guro Gikling and Brazilian guitarist Luis Santos, whose self-titled album was released in February by Domino Records. Speaking from a dressing room in Hamburg on their headline European tour in support of that album he spoke excitedly about the band and his upcoming hometown show.

Firstly Rich explained how ‘All We Are’ got together, “the band’s formation was really organic. We’d known each other throughout our time in University, and while none of the three of us are actually from Liverpool we all wanted to stay in the city and stay together as mates. The best way of doing that was to start a band so we did! Obviously we all have our different heritages from where we are originally from, but we really feel that the tunes are born of Liverpool, they were born in that city and we feel a real affinity to that place. It’s our own personal heritage in a way.”

Many people in Cork will remember him as a fine guitarist in The Berries and his solo career, so it might surprise some that he will be playing drums at this concert, he has a simple reason for his change of instrument, “that was quite organic too, we couldn’t fit my guitar in the car as well as drums, so I had to give up the guitar! Initially I was just hitting the tom, snare and crash but over time it’s developed and now I have a pretty much full kit. It was born of necessity, the mother of all invention!”

Unlike many bands where the frontman writes the songs and the others follow, Rich points out that all three members are vital, “we’re a total democracy, our songwriting process is pretty organic as well. We just sit and jam for hours and let ideas form, then we follow those ideas and see if they’ll lead somewhere, some don’t and some do. It’s a natural way of doing it and it feels pretty cool.”

How they got signed to Domino Records is another example of how things have naturally fallen into place for the band, “we self-released our first single about a year and half ago, there were a couple of labels at our launch night and one of them was Domino Records. The next day we were up in their offices chatting with them, they were always the one for us once we got talking. They are such a great label, we’re very proud to be on their roster, working with them is amazing. There is a big Irish contingent working in their offices, it’s like a big family the way they are all supportive.”

Speaking of family, his actual relatives will be among those at the Cork debut of All We Are, “I’m nervous, which I guess you’ll always be when you’re playing to a hometown crowd but it’s a nervous excitement. I’m hoping it will be a great gig, sold out and banging. I’m really looking forward to being up there in Cyprus Avenue, I love that place.”

His most recent gig in Ireland was playing at the most recent Other Voices Festival in Dingle, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed, “oh my god, I can’t speak highly enough of our time at Other Voices, it was just so good. For me it felt great to be coming back to Ireland with the band, but everything else was great too, the crews weren’t just good at what they do but also really personal. All the artists are treated really well, everyone loves it. The programme we recorded is on in April I think, we approved the audio mix and visual stuff a few weeks ago and we are really happy with it.”

While focussed on giving their utmost on this tour Rich and the band already are making plans for the rest of the year, “we’re going to release two more singles off the album over the next few months and we’ll be touring the whole time, and then festivals during the summer. We played a lot in the UK in 2014 so this year we’ll mostly be in Europe, we’re going as far as Estonia and hopefully even further afield. We’re writing as well as we want to get another album out too.”

All We Are play Cyprus Avenue on Friday 13 March, tickets are available via www.cyprusavenue.ie

To hear the band go to www.thisisallweare.co.uk

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