W E A R R I V E A L I V E // Z O M B I E S
Track 3 // M Y F R I E N D , T H E B O M B M A K E R E . P .
I N T E R V I E W ( P A R T 3 )
Why did you decide being an instrumental group? Will it stay like that?
Neil : Well, I joined the band about a year after its conception, so I wasn’t there when the decision was initially made to be an “instrumental band”. During that time I was playing loads of chilled post-rock sort of stuff with my older brother Paddy and my mate Jeff in a band called Five Weeks in a Balloon. Then WAA released “Walls” and I absolutely loved it (not that I’d expect any less from these fine lads). Over a few jars and wanderings through the Dublin mountains they asked me (or maybe I asked) to play guitar for a gig the next week. That particular gig never actually happened but sure they’re stuck with me now.
Adam : We got bored writing the pop music we started out with. I think the biggest part was Andy telling us he wasn’t happy with the sound of his voice and the lyrics he was writing. We had already written one instrumental song and running off that we started a new band with the same members and went in a completely different direction. We had also started discovering post-rock and other instrumental band like Explosions in the Sky, Enemies, Adebisi Shank, 65 days of static, Mogwai and the likes and all of them really made us want to start writing music like that. We also wanted to consider writing soundtracks for films, games, anything really, another challenge musically. Will it stay like that? Couldn’t tell you, Neil has started singing in some of our songs but not as a singer. He uses his voice as another instrument and adds a new sound to what we’re doing. I don’t think any of us are opposed to the idea of bringing singing back but none of us are chasing the idea either.
Ben : Cuz none of us can sing very well.
Michael : I wouldn’t quite say it was a decision. More like none of us were really happy singing and writing lyrics. Though to be honest, I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit as singers/lyricists - except for me, I’m shocking at lyrics. We wrote a few tunes which happened not to have lyrics and we liked them that way, so one day one of us suggested we just do away with them entirely. I wouldn’t say they’re gone for good though. Neil has an exceptional voice, and he dabbles in poetry in his spare time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulled something out of the bag.
Andrew : Myself, Michael, Ben and Adam used to play in a pop band back at school with vocals and everything but as we left school and grew up we wanted to write better music. There’s only so long you can sing about the girl next door or some other shite like that before your mind explodes and you realise that you hate the girl next door let like her enough to write songs about her. When we started We Arrive Alive we did intend on having vocals but I think we got a bit discouraged about our voices from the days of being in our little pop band… Which hopefully will remain unnamed! Since Neil has joined the band though we’ve been trying to bring in some human elements to the songs, he has a lovely falsetto voice so we’ve had him doing ambient moans and wails and stuff of that sort live. I don’t think we want to limit ourselves to being a strict instrumental band but it’s where we’re comfortable for the time being so I reckon we’ll be here a little longer before anything drastically changes.
Is it difficult to work together ?
Neil : Yes. They’re all a shower of bastards
Adam : Rarely, there’s frustration every once in while and there have been explosions of anger the odd time. We’re all guilty off annoying each other, particularly if there’s a plan for practicing and someone is either late or isn’t bothered but every bad practice is always out weighed by the number of good ones.
Ben : Nope, i luv me boyiz
Michael : A hyperactive eccentric, a chilled out music buff, the obligatory classic rock heart-throb, a crazy foreigner, and a half-man-half-bird. Difficult: sometimes. Craic: always.
Andrew : Like every band, we have our outbursts and stubborn moments. We grew up together so we’re like brothers, and brothers bitch at times but it’s never forgotten that we all love each other. Just give the guy a hug and move on!. We’re a pretty sappy bunch so we do talk about our feelings a lot - non of this tough guy shite in this band. Except Neil, He’s a tough guy.
If you had to put an ‘family order’ on the band who would you say ACTS like ‘oldest child’ ‘middle children’ and ‘youngest’ ?
Neil : Well there’s Dadam, Mummy McGurk, Sexy teenage Ben, distant uncle Michael and Baby Neil
Adam : This changes every time we’re together but, Andy always the most amount of energy and is the easiest to distract which I think puts him as the youngest. Michael is far to smart for most of us to hold an educated conversation with so I think that makes him the oldest from that respect. I think myself, Neil and Ben are the most similar so i guess that puts us in the middle. A good question.
Ben : Adam - Oldest - organises the boring shit and hounds us for rehearsal space rent. Andrew - Youngest - gets away with murder. Neil, Michael and myself - somewhere in the middle
Michael : Adam takes the oldest child since he’s taken up the resposibility of the rent for the practice space, as well as organising most other official-like things most of us find too scary or too boring. Kind of ironic since he’s actually the youngest. Neil’s one down from Adam. He’s really mellow and lets things happen. He’s seen it all, really. Ben fits into the third slot because he’s also a bit wild when we get him going, but he does a better job at keeping it cool. I’d be just a little older than Andrew. I love a bit of mischief and it’s easy so set one of the other guys off with a bit of madness. Andrew gets to be the youngest - solely because he eats the most sweets and travels exclusively by jumping, sprinting, or imaginary car.
Andrew : Adam is the strict father. Michael is definitely the flamboyant mother. Ben is the good looking older brother and Neil is the charismatic middle brother. I can’t cook or anything so the lads are always making me nice foods. I guess that brings me down a peg or two. I’m the family pet.
F I N A L S O N G CO M I N G T O M O R R O W !! ’ D A C H A U ‘