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MALACHY TUOHY

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW DUBLIN ARTIST MALACHY TUOHY 

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?

There was always music in my house growing up, and sing songs or poetry recitations at family get-togethers, and everyone sang – including my grandad, who was a great singer. I think everyone in Ireland can play an instrument or sing. Music is a big part of our culture and identity. The catalyst for me, though, was seeing Oasis live in the Point Depot in Dublin in 1997.

That’s when I decided that I not only loved music, but I wanted to make music too, so the very next day myself and a few friends set up our first band called The Relic, and our first gig was not long after that. It was a big one, too; we got to play a half-hour set at our local teenage disco to around 400 people. I remember being so nervous before that gig, but then when the gig actually started, I loved every second of it, and after that, I was hooked.

Introduce us to you and your musical history. 

I’m Malachy Tuohy I’m a singer and a songwriter probably best known as the singer and songwriter for Dublin band the Riptide Movement. I’ve been in various bands since I was 14 and my band the Riptide Movement have been together for 17 years, we’ve had a number 1, gold-selling album have played Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, played with the BBC orchestra, with the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park and have supported legends like Neil Young. I love song writing and I write with lots of artists and I’m just about to release my first solo album.

Name me your 3 favourite Albums.

Bob Dylan – Blood On The Tracks The Beatles – The White Album Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left

What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path? There been a few, the ones that come to mind are ‘Blowing in the wind’ by Bob Dylan, ‘Maggie May’ by Rod Stewart, ‘Come as you are’ by Nirvana and ‘Whatever’ by Oasis

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

I’ve been in it a while now and there’s been plenty of ups and downs. I guess the fact that I’m still here putting out new music nearly 20 years on is a good thing.

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 change this for the better? 

Gigs are a place where we all escape, a place of joy and a place to be free. A gig should be a safe place where everyone can enjoy themselves without feeling unsafe. Any form of harassment or violence is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated. So, I think we all have a collective responsibility to call it out and ensure concerts are a safe space for everybody.

As you develop as an artist and evolve using social media platforms, what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips for emerging artists who may be reading this interview?

I think video content is more important now more than ever and it’s a great way of telling your story in your own way.

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.

I used to live in Slovakia. My band had a residency at the president’s house for a few years. I had a trial for Liverpool FC when I was 16.

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

Monopolies in any industry are not a good thing. My thoughts are mixed. On the one hand, Spotify is a great marketing tool and can make a song a hit over night on the other hand it can be difficult to get on editorial playlists, and playlists are vital because for streaming to be any way profitable to an artist you need volume and playlists guarantee volume.

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

Yes, reading glasses, I thought I needed them but I don’t.

What was the worst experience you ever had on stage?

There’s been a few but the one that really stands out for me was when my band the Riptide Movement and I were playing in Delhi, India, we were playing in an auditorium that held around 5000 students.

Two songs in… our drummer’s snare drum broke, a minute later one of our bass players strings broke and at the same time the guitarist amp decided to pack it in as well. Now if things weren’t bad enough, I realised that I had just split the back of my trousers from jumping around the stage on our first song….. luckily for me we had all decided to wear Kurta’s before going on stage that night as it was our first gig in India and we thought it would be a cool thing to do. Thank god for that because otherwise it would have been a lot more embarrassing.

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

I studied Law in Slovakia for a year during the Pandemic.

What makes you stand out as a band/artist?

I think it’s all about vibe, people either vibe off you or they don’t and I think that comes down to whether your writing and singing from the heart or not.

I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.

I’m releasing my first solo album called ‘I Cross This Universe’. The album was written and recorded over the covid lockdowns. It’s quite a personal album and in a way, it’s kind of a concept album in so far as it’s got a common thread throughout that explores the power of the universe and our connection to something greater than ourselves. There’s songs of love, loss, new beginnings and hope. I think the title song, ‘I Cross This Universe,’ encapsulates all these themes, and for this reason, I chose it as the title track for the album.

Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.

It’s a collection of songs that I wrote throughout the covid lockdowns, it’s kind of a concept album in so far as it’s got a common thread throughout that explores the power of the universe and our connection to something greater than ourselves. I love the concept of Ame travel and the mulAverse and the songs fit into this idea. It’s an album of love songs, tributes and Eulogies, there’s love songs like ‘I Cross This Universe’ ‘Tonight’ and ‘Lemonade’ and tributes to friends, family and fellow arAsts who have passed over, in songs like ‘A Song For Suzie’ ‘Jarlath’ ‘Rainy Boy Sleep’ and the ‘ArAst’.

The Ame travel idea of jumping Amelines comes through in songs like the ‘ArAst’, a song about the life of the great Irish portraiture arAst Patrick Tuohy, born in 1894 and a ‘Song for Suzie’ where Albert Lee who played on the original in 1971 plays on my version 52 years later in 2023, Gavin Glass the producer really captures this merging of different Ames on the record. Also, in the song ‘I Cross this Universe’ it tells the story of two lost souls who get separated in Ame and space and go to great lengths to be reunited.

What was the recording process like?

The whole process just flowed. Gavin Glass was the producer on this album, and I think it was a great collaboration. Gavin brought some great ideas to the plate and he also plays a lot of different instruments throughout the album. There’s also some great special guest performances on it, including an outstanding guitar performance from renowned guitarist Albert Lee, beautiful vocal performances from Rachel Grace and Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, some great percussion from Paul ‘Binzer’ Brennan and some beautiful string arrangements from Beth McNinch.

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

I think this time around I took a different approach, I usually come up with a melody first and then write the lyrics to the melody, however, for a lot of the songs on this record I wrote the lyrics first and then shaped a melody to compliment the lyrics. It was a different way of writing for me.

Would you change anything now it’s finished?

No, I’m happy with the album and I’m really proud of it.

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

My new album is available on Vinyl through this link – HERE

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