Described as a band "to watch on Garageland, formed in 2010, this band are part of the wave of young acts sweeping the nation," Ashbourne band The Crossfire have played some of Ireland's best venues including The Sugar Club, Whelan's, Boyles of Slane as well as the St. Patrick's Day festival in Ashbourne.
Their debut EP shows massive potential for a new young band who are coping with trying to make a name for themselves while studying for their Leaving Certificate at Ashbourne Community School. Peter Nagle talks with lead singer Sean Buckley, along the band members Matt Brady, Chris Murphy, Sean Keeley and Adam Shanahan, to shine a light on The Crossfire.
Peter: Hi Sean, tell me about your band The Crossfire. When did you form the band and how do the five members know each other?
Sean: The story really started in January of 2011. Myself and Matthew our lead guitar player had just finished playing with a garage band and we were looking to take things to the next level. The two of us had been jamming and writing since the age of about 12 so we knew each other's musical habits and tastes. We started talking to Chris Murphy, our soon to be rhythm guitarist about the possibility of playing some music together. We then got in contact with Seán Keeley our long time friend, musician and bassist. Our last port of call was a drummer. Adam had only been playing a few weeks with a full kit but we were desperate for some sort of beat for the studio. We quickly found out of Adams high technical skill and keen ear for a drum fill and recruited him there and then.
Peter: How do you guys balance being in a band with the pressures of the Leaving Certificate?
Sean: To be honest, we'd be lying if we said it was easy. Think I've heard the term "back up plan" more times this year than all other years combined. The way I see it is, if you're passionate about something in life and want to pursue something as much as we do, you've got to follow your heart (sounds cheesy I know) but we truly believe that we have something good in this band.
Adam: Personally I'm finding the juggle between studies and music matters quite difficult, yet when it comes down to the run-up to a show, the tension for me seems to ease with the flow of a good jam session in the rehearsal space!
Matt: Studying academically is striving to achieve a good leaving cert and a well paid job, but if you want success as a musician just as much work has to be put in to that too.
Peter: It sounds like the band went straight in at the deep end recording original songs and playing established venues like 'The Sugar Club'. What have been the highlights of 2011?
Sean: As far as highlights go there have been some real peaches! Recording our debut EP was class and I was delighted at the feedback we got! We entered "Live and Unsigned" as an underage band which is a competition between the best unsigned bands in Dublin and came out winners. We've also been recorded for an upcoming show on RTE. Another great gig we were involved in was headlining our hometown St. Patrick's Day Festival in Ashbourne. There have just been so many great gigs this year we're hoping we'll have another year of the same level of progress. If so I reckon we're on to a serious winner.
Chris: I think my main highlight of the year has been the creation of our EP because its shows our aspirations as artists and what we're setting out to achieve. The release of the EP has been the roots of what has happened since then.
Sean K: My favourite moment of the year has to be the gig in The Pint venue in Dublin this October where we just had so much fun. It's by far my favourite band memory.
Peter: What does 'The Crossfire' sound like? What bands and artists influence the musical direction of the band?
Sean: I think the great thing about the sound of The Crossfire is the marriage of different styles in our music. As five different people we have such different tastes in music which gives our work a real sense of originality.
Chris: I personally come from a Punk/Metal background so I saw joining this band as an opportunity to put my own spin on our genre. I have always been inspired by Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, The Edge, Brian Haner Jr., Phil Demell, but my main inspiration is Joe Satriani.
Sean K: The Crossfire's sound is familiar Rock/Pop at first listen but really has an original twist to it. People mention The Script but I think that's only in vocals and lyrics. The actual music of the band is so hard, heavy and takes a lot of inspiration from Rock and Roll. It has so many elements which leads to a heavy musical burst.
Peter: What are the plans for The Crossfire for 2012?
Sean: Our plan for 2012 is to finish writing an album we'll be proud of and an album that we think can bring us to the next level. We want to expand our fanbase and create a storm with the album. We've been talking to a few labels and hopefully with a successful album under our belts they'll come knocking .