QUESTIONS BY PETER MCGORAN
Ahead of Kodaline’s concert at Limelight, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to speak with bassist Jay Boland about playing a sold-out UK & Ireland tour, the success of their first album “In A Perfect World” and the inspiration behind the saddest music video of all time.
Hi Jay! How’s the tour going?
It’s been amazing, it’s sold out months ago, we’ve built it up in our heads for so long and now it’s nearly over, it’s just flown by way quicker than I’ve ever imagined. We finish in the Olympia in Dublin, we’ve been looking forward to that since we put the tickets on sale really. That’s gonna be the highlight of the year.
Are you excited to be touring the States again?
Yeah! We sold out maybe 80% of the tour which is great. A lot of them had heard us when we supported Airbourne Toxic Event then a lot of it has been a radio station called “Sirius” which constantly plays “All I Want” and people have checked us out through that.
Are there any bands that have been a big influence to you/any ones that you’ve been listening to recently?
Well we all listen to Radiohead, we all listen to LCD Soundsystem, lots of New York bands. We try to be really cool about our music tastes even though we’re not that cool. When we go into the studio there’s never that one influence, there’s always the piano, the guitar, the vocals and we see what we can kind of squeeze out of them. There’s no one guiding influence because we all have really varied tastes.
Do you have plans for a new album?
Yeah, yesterday we were in the studio touching up a single from the current album and I think it was kind of more towards where we’re going for the next album. We record whenever we can, we have a studio set up at the back of the tour bus for demos and we’re constantly writing. We wanna have enough songs so that when it gets to the stage we wanna go in and say, “Here, these are our best songs” not just “This is what we have”. The first album was really the best of what we have so far but now we’re looking to make something more cohesive out of that. We really want to make something together, make it more ‘us’.
Did you ever expect the first album to be so successful?
Jesus, no way! We were making bets on whether it would reach the Top 20 or Top 15. That would have been great. Then we got this message, “Yeah you’re in contention for number one…with Kanye West” and we just like, “What? This doesn’t happen.” It was David vs Goliath as far as we were concerned, us being this little Irish band. But the backing we got from the UK and beyond was just incredible. We didn’t even expect to get to America with our first record and now we’re going back for our 3rd and 4th time. We think of it as our little baby and we just sent it to school for its first year. If it does well it can go back next year haha.
In songs like “All I Want” (which is the only music video I’ve ever welled up at by the way), the lyrics are about loss and breaks-up, is that focussing on personal experiences?
The album is basically a diary, it’s all personal experience. We don’t even need to talk to each other about what the songs are about cause we were all there. We try to be as honest as possible with the songs. I don’t think we’ve ever done a fabricated idea, that doesn’t feel real to us. We usually have a bit of music and the lyrics will just come because they’re about something that has happened. It’s that real. For “All I want”, Steve was literally in his bed crying all weekend, you know? Without that authenticity it becomes a bit pretentious I think. We try to be quite optimistic even when we’re talking about pessimistic moments. The songs are always after the event so we can be more reflective.
Steven described it as “musical therapy”, do you think its cathartic for your listeners too?
It’s so much more relatable I think. It’s everyday stuff for us so it’s everyday stuff for the listeners. People can relate to it cause it’s real, it has happened. We’ve all gone through it, we all will go through it at one stage. No matter how bad your break up has been, there’s always the next one. Whenever you write about it, it’s gone. The weight of the thing has lifted. Music is our expression, we can discuss things through our music better than we can do through talking.
Kodaline’s will be returning to Belfast to play at the Ulster Hall on the 15th of March. Find tickets here: http://www.waterfront.co.uk/whatson/performancedetails.aspx?id=42553. Their album “In A Perfect World” is out now.