Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Interview: Harrison & The Devil

Photo Credit: Patrickkavanagh.ie 

1. Who are you?

Macabre indie - garage rockers Harrison & The Devil - David Hickey, Eric Martyn, Ja McDonagh, and (as of a few days ago) Liza McCann.

2. Where are you based?

We proudly fly the flag for the graveyard of ambition, between the docks and the west end of Galway City.

3. What achievements do you want me to know about?

We have put out two releases so far through Citóg Records and Wingnut Records. The first of which, released in Winter 2013, was the ‘Cat Matters EP’ which was well received by Hot Press, Golden Plec & Dave Fanning amongst others. It was also included in Nialler9’s Top 5 Irish EPs of 2013 along with Hozier and MMOTHS.

In the Spring of this year we put out a double A-Side single, ‘Mary (Had A Baby)/Blue Blood’, which charted well and received great radio airplay. Beyond that, I think Ja came 2nd or 3rd in a Texaco Children’s Art contest embarrassingly recently, Hickey has a trophy in schools debating he’s very proud of and Liza is the unofficial Queen of the west.

4. What are you up to now?

After gigging around Ireland following the ‘Mary/Blue Blood’ release and hype, we took a month or two off. Ja traveled to South America, Eric (a stage actor by trade, and Gaiety alumni) starred in Adrian Lavelle & John O’Connor premiere run of ‘A Room With No View’ and Hick worked with Baboró, the international Arts Festival for children.

Our original bass player Rick O’Connor a.k.a. Blackie moved on and up to Belfast recently to pursue his career in human rights & international conflict. Honestly! The lad’s wicked smart. In his place we have been joined by Liza McCann, a nightclub promoter who also fronts the hard indie group ‘Boyfights’.

At the moment, we are wrapping up the arrangements of about a dozen or so tracks over the winter & spring before we hit up Hob Hunker Studios to record a debut album. Which should hopefully see the light of day towards the end of 2015. At this literal moment, we are ironically watching X-Factor. . . we think.

5. Name something unique about you or/and your product?

All but 1 or 2 of our songs centre around one story. Basically, Ja, who is a writer day to day, was in the middle of writing a novel. It was about the following. . . “Having went through a bad break up, Juan Julio, a Basque chap, leaves Spain to spend a summer in Galway. On a night out in The Blue Note he meets two ladies, Mary Badger & Alex Bird. They bring him back to a hipster house party, have their wicked way with our hero and then, unfortunately, murder him. Leaving Alex Bird full of remorse, and Mary Badger exhilarated”. The novel mainly followed the aftermath.

As I am sure you’ve guessed from the synopsis, the novel wasn’t very good, and Ja scraped it about a third way through. The tale stuck with him though and Ja wrote a song about it (which became the opening track of our Cat Matters EP ‘The Badger & The Bird’). He showed it to David, who was his housemate. A few days later a band was formed and we were playing the Fringe Festival. The name of the scrapped novel was. . . Harrison & The Devil.

6. What is the best song ever written?

FREEBIRD! Seriously though, impossible to choose. The best song any of us have written though was when David thought he made history by writing a pop masterpiece a few years back. Unfortunately both the Future Kings of Spain and Weezer had pretty much already wrote the song.

7. What's the best album ever made?

Jeff Buckley’s Grace, Neil Young’s On The Beach, and The Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream.



8. What are your future plans?

In the near future. . . recording our debut album, getting back on the road, releasing a single & video after Easter, and hitting the festivals & continent.

9. Where can I spend money on you or your product?

For reasons out of our hands we haven’t been able to stick the EP and single up on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, etc but they should be up in the new year. In the meantime you’ll have to settle for all good record stores nationwide and from bandcamp at http://harrisonandthedevil.bandcamp.com. You can keep up to date then at http://www.facebook.com/harrisonandthedevil

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