RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW JOHN HYNES WHAT HAPPENED?
Hi John. What made you want to pursue a path in music?
It has just always been my identity (even if it wasn’t always obvious to anyone else!)
Introduce us to the members of your band and your musical history?
Featured on my album are Ken Mooney (Mary Wallopers), Scott Halliday (Prince), Gareth Quinn-Redmond (Glen Hansard) and Gavin Glass (Lisa Hannigan) who also produced.
As soon as I picked up 3 chords on a guitar I started writing songs (some would argue I still only know those three chords…). I had years of going nowhere in indie bands before going down the solo route which resulted in a couple of radio hits here in Ireland.
What is life like for you now being a Dad and also juggling life as a musician?
Very unsuccessful juggling! The dad part is like a 20 kg medicine ball and the music a ping pong ball. But the balance is returning.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
I have very specific memory of listening to Strawberry Fields Forever on a loop when I was about 5 and sort of sensing there was something “extra” going on
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
On rickety raft in piranha infested waters searching for El Dorado
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
The people you think are too successful to be approached are often the most receptive and helpful.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?
I go to the gym every morning at 5:30am
I am autistic
I have a six pack
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
A robot to do household chores – I spent most of my time at the kitchen sink.
But honestly, I’m very happy where I am and have learned not to want for anything external to come and save me. Especially a robot -because it would probably become self aware and turn on me.
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
I feel that “cancel culture” is a natural result of trying to fix terrible inequalities in the world, particularly around gender inequality. So I am delighted things are finally being redressed, even though there is a long long way to go. Smash the patriarchy!
Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories? If not, why not?
I enjoy reading about them but don’t believe any. It’s my autistic, rational self. Although I did hear a good one the other day….
What was the worst experience on stage?
My first ever gig was an open mic and a man was snoring in the corner. It was funny, really. Often the worst experiences are when you think you’re killing it and the audience are lukewarm.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I always wanted to be a musician, so I studied accountancy…. I was so worried about never being able to afford a home as an artist in Ireland it was the only solution my 15 year old brain could come up with! It sort of worked…sort of.
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I only write hits! I say that half-jokingly, but what I mean is that I have a very strong filtering process where I literally need to feel goosebumps or I won’t even bother finishing a song. It means I’m not very productive. I might need to change that process to actually sustain a career and start banging out album tracks.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
It’s my much delayed debut album. Nine good songs. I started it in 2019 and had half of it done before lockdown derailed it.
The album is called “A Man In Love”, the title is inspired by a Karl Ove Knausgaard book about his time leaving his partner, meeting his wife, having children and the aftermath of his fathers death. All of which relates exactly to what my album is about.
I even used a picture of the cover of that book (half my face, half his face) as my tinder profile picture which is how I got the attention of my now-wife. How meta! I’m inspired by easy listening, MOR music. I like my music to be accessible and to sneak in really dark lyrics when no ones expecting.
What was the recording process like?
Long and drawn out! Once we had the basic tracks done it was really just me and Gavin swapping instruments and trying stuff until we were happy.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes? Learning how to collaborate. I’d have everything planned and arranged to a tee on the demos. I wasn’t used to others having opinions or letting them express themselves but I’ve learned that often that’s where the magic is! My rule is to let the strongest opinion win – so if I disagree with someone but they feel more strongly about it then I let them win. It has led to some of my favourite moments on the album.
Would you change anything now its finished?
I’ve learned to have enough distance to accept that anything I don’t like is probably not that important. And I can fix it all on the 25th anniversary remastered edition that no one except me will care about.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
If you like an artist, follow them and if you can afford it, buy something off them.