Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

I don’t think that’s something I ever consciously decided. I was just always drawn to it, even as a small child I wrote little songs. When I was 11 or 12, I paid for my first guitar over about a year, paying £1 a week at a second-hand guitar shop in Drogheda. I was totally obsessed. Music was always just in me.

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

I am an indie-folk musician, originally from Ireland but now based in Vienna, Austria. I started off in rock and metal bands as a teenager and into my twenties. I took a break from music to study and started writing music again about five years ago, although my tastes have mellowed a lot. Since 2018 I have been gigging and decided to release some of my songs in two EPs. I released my first EP, untethered (side one), in 2021 and am delighted to bring out my new EP, untethered (side two), on January 20th.

The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?

To be honest, I’m not really that interested in progressing in the music industry. “Industry” for me is about manufacturing things, be that car parts, commercially viable songs, or an indie band’s “brand”. Music is a hugely saturated market these days because everyone can make music and distribute it so easily. There are so many talented people out there. So, for me the most important question isn’t how far I can progress, it is “how deep a connection can people have with my music?”.  I feel that is a much better objective because even if only five people connect with a song of mine, I would feel happy with that, I would feel like I’ve offered something. 

How have your songwriting skills developed over time?

There is a real joy for me in looking back at my old songs and seeing how my lyrics are a bit sharper and my song structures are more mature. I have musician friends who I ask for feedback on songs I think have potential, and I get some great tips from them. That really helps with development. I think I’m in a phase now with my writing where I am happy to let a song write itself and then craft it over a longer time in quite an organic way, making small changes as I go. I have quite a slow process.

I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?

Firstly, we men need to call each other out more. I don’t just mean if we see someone acting inappropriately, although of course, we should call that out. But in my opinion, it begins with how men are conditioned to view women from a young age. And I’m not trying to be “woke” by saying that, it’s just a fact of life. Children absorb so much information that shapes their perception of the world, and that information gets reinforced in peer groups. Sadly, many men grow up thinking misogyny is only stuff like “women belong in the kitchen” and don’t see how casually reducing women to sexual objects when we talk to each other can lead to shitty behavior. I really believe the responsibility lies with us men to change how we view and talk to each other about women; it isn’t a panacea, but I think it is a good first step. 

As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?

The most important way for me to reach new listeners is to gig. That’s how I can connect with people. I think social media was great for growing a fan base a few years ago, but these days I really value the intimacy of a live show. I think people get a much better idea of what you are about, and you don’t have to worry about reach or algorithms. You can just be yourself. One of my goals for 2023 is to play live a lot more. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I used the internet for the first time when I was 18. 

I have two degrees in forestry.

I like to knit.

What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?

I know a lot of musicians feel exploited by Spotify, but I think that’s just the way the music industry works now. That said, the music industry has always been exploitative. I’m in a lucky position because I am a local musician, so I can just view Spotify as the music version of social media: it’s a tool to get people to listen to my music after they have seen me live. They can deepen their relationship with the songs, and maybe they will pay to see me play again or buy some merch on Bandcamp. Yeah, Spotify should pay musicians more, but the reality is that people listen to music there. As a music consumer, I try to always buy a physical copy of the music I love, even if it isn’t the format I listen to music on. 

Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?

No. I am very evidence-based when it comes to believing things. 

Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?

Plug-ins for my music software. Way too many. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

When I was starting out and hitting open mics, I completely froze and forgot how to play my songs one night. This would not phase me now, but I was so new to performing again that I thought I was going to die of shame. I like that memory in a way, it taught me to prepare properly for every performance. 

Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about. 

I trained BJJ for 5 years without progressing to a blue belt. 

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

I think it’s my writing. I put a lot of care into my lyrics, and I take great joy in crafting images with my words. 

I hear you have a new EP, what can you tell us about it?

It’s called untethered (side two), and it is out on January 20th. It is the companion EP to untethered (side one) which came out in April 2021. The five songs are songs I had been gigging with, and I wanted to get them recorded and released so fans can listen to them and get to know them better if they see me live. They are quite heavy songs thematically, a lot of them are about trauma and healing. 

Talk me through the thought process of the new EP. 

It was a long process. Some of these songs are 5 years old and picking five tracks to define the last five years of playing music wasn’t so straightforward. I wanted to showcase the songs I was most proud of, and that meant the most to me. So, when we started there was one or two songs that I eventually swapped for others because they just didn’t fit. 

What was the recording process like?

It was great! I recorded them with Dan Fisher, who recorded and mixed my first EP. It’s very easy to work with Dan and he really knows what he is doing. His mixes were great for the first EP, but I think we both feel we’ve created something even better this time.

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

Figuring out how to translate songs that were written for a live show into studio versions. My song “Old Argyle Sweater”, for example, has a completely different vibe to the way I play it live. But I love what we have done with it.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

No. I think there is always a rabbit hole you can go down in terms of tweaking things, but I feel these songs are represented well in this record. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Just that I hope people will like my EP, and I will have more music to release soon!