Interview with Myles Manley

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

This article was first published in The Evening Echo [Cork] on 2017-11-31

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Echo article I wrote - myles Manley

Coming out of the traps in 2012 with three albums in quick succession Myles Manley immediately became a fetching figure on the Irish music scene. Describing himself as a ‘Popstar’ he of course stood out on Irish independent music scene but didn’t fail to deliver on his confidence with albums such as ‘Rocknroll Vicar / Rocknroll Priest’ and ‘More Songs’ showing his ample songwriting abilities.

His only release in 2017 was a 7-inch single in February, ‘Relax; Enjoy Your Night Upon The Town’, but he and his band have had a busy year ahead of their gig in The Roundy in a few weeks he reflected on how the year developed, “you are always kind of following the touring, we released that single at the start of the year and we’re still getting gigs that come from that. For instance we did a UK tour in February and March this year, there were some dodgy gigs, and there were some great ones. We booked the whole thing ourselves and one of them was in Sheffield with a band called Rattle. We got on very well with them so they brought us on tour around the UK with them in September.”


Organising that original tour of 2017 was a real eye opener for Myles “when I started releasing music I didn’t have a clue but now I’ve a bit of a clue… I do feel in Ireland we’ve got better at the DIY thing, but in the UK it’s been going on a lot longer, there’s much more of a network. It’s really good over there there, Rattle are playing all the time. Making real human connections still matters and the internet makes it easier to keep those connections, like the person who sorted us out in Sheffield was Eimear O’Donovan (a Cork native but now based in Sheffield), she’s great and recommended a tonne of other people to get in touch with around the UK. I don’t know how I’d have booked that first tour without her help.”


Myles is very straightforward about why he plays the UK, “I’ve always wanted to tour outside Ireland, playing here is great of course but we can only really get away with doing maybe 2 gigs a year in each city or big town, so that means playing 20 times a year in the whole country.”

2018 looks like it will be quite busy for the group as Myles continued, “we’ve a new album coming out. It’s just finished, it got mastered last week and that’ll be coming out one way or the other in the new year, I’ve sent it to some labels already. Chris Barry, our guitarist, has run the Alifionn Studios for the last few years so he recorded us there, that was very handy. We did one a straight week with a lot of live takes of the songs, it sounds very naturalistic.”

 

There was a lot of preproduction work needed to be done to make that week run so smoothly, “I had to do a lot of figuring out of how to make this record, in the past I used to get everybody in and we’d rehearse every week but it’s quite a demand to ask of them and it’s quite inefficient. So for the songs on this album, I made very elaborate demos of them so for instance the drummer came in and came up with their own versions of what I had programmed on a drum machine. It means we don’t have to rehearse that much either.”

While not a concept album, there are recurring themes that in the song, “when I started writing the songs it was kind of around the time of the 1916 commemorations. I was so uncomfortable with the nationalism and hypocrisy of it all; what were we actually celebrating when we see how much of a mess the country is in now? My mother’s family are Northern Irish who fled the troubles and moved to England;my father is English and I grew up in England until we moved to Sligo when I was 7, so I’ve always been quite sensitive to all that. It was interesting about how to fit into Irishness, so when I started writing the songs for the new album I had that in mind but as I progressed it seemed a smaller issue when compared to what was happening with Trump and Nigel Farage and the other horrible nationalism that is happening else where so it became about bullying, what is other mentalities come out of that sort of wave of nationalism. At the gig in The Roundy we’ll be playing the whole new album, that’s the set and we might play some of the hits at the end!”

Myles Manley play The Roundy on Sunday 17 December with special guest Rattle. Tickets are €10 and available at www.uticket.ie

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