An interview with The Riptide Movement

Tabea und ich hatten das große Glück, am 09.02.2017 die irische Band The Riptide Movement in Hamburg interviewen zu können. Denn eigentlich macht die Band das nicht an Konzerttagen. Deswegen fühlen wir uns super geehrt, dass wir dennoch die Möglichkeit hatten!

The Riptide Movement gründeten sich bereits 2006 und bestehen aus Malachy Tuohy, Gerard Mc Garry, John Dalton und Gar Byrne. Sie tourten bereits einige Male in Deutschland, unter anderem als Vorband von Rea Garvey. Nun waren sie erneut für ein paar Konzerte in Deutschland unterwegs, und trotz großem Stress, da sich durch Staus alles etwas verschoben hatte, nahmen sich Gerard (Bassist) und John (Gitarrist) der Band die Zeit für ein kleines Interview mit uns!

Das Interview findet ihr hier nur auf Englisch! 😉

Tabea and I were lucky enough to have the opportunity to interview The Riptide Movement in Hamburg last week (09.02.2017). Usually, the band doesn’t give any interviews on concert days, so we’re really thankful for still having us!

The Riptide Movement was founded in 2006, and its members are Malachy Tuohy, Gerard Mc Garry, John Dalton and Gar Byrne. They already did quite a few tours in Germany, for example supporting Rea Garvey. This month, they’ve been again touring Germany, and even though they had plenty of stress that day,  Gerard (bass) and John (guitar) still took some time for a quick interview. Thank you so much again!

We really enjoyed it (thanks for the Astra again 😉

JPR (1st left), Malachy (2nd left), Gerard (2nd, right) and Gar (1st right)

Janna: Okay, let’s start! Describe each other in three words!
JPR: Mh, hardworking, clever (laughter) and talented.
Gerard: J is honest, a good man, most of the time…
JPR: He just don’t compare, he said I’m honest. That means I’m dishonest! Can I say my words again? (laughter)
Tabea: Sorry, no. (laughter)
Gerard: Ok, he’s honest, intelligent and he knows a lot about history!
Janna: Oh, wow!
Gerard: He’s really good at history!
Tabea: She’s studying history (about Janna).
JPR: Oh, really?
Janna: But that doesn’t mean I know a lot about history. (laughter).
All right, next one: Describe your music in one sentence.

Gerard: Our music in one sentence is…. it’s feel good music.
JPR: Energetic rock.
Gerard: So, to summarise, it’s upbeat feel good music!

Tabea: What did you wanna be when you were a child? Did you always want to be a musician?
Gerard: Uhm, no, I didn’t actually. I wanted to be a pilot.
Tabea: Why didn’t you do it?
Gerard: It was not that I didn’t want to do it. It’s just that kinda… you get the results from your exams and you need certain points. So I wasn’t actually going for pilot, but when I was a kid I wanted it. I went to college, I liked going to college but it wasn’t really for me. So I ended up doing an apprenticeship as a carpenter. So I finished the apprenticship and I’m a carpenter. I’m a fully qualified carpenter. I love my job. So I found something I loved and kept it.
JPR: Football!
Tabea: Do you still play it?
JPR: Yeah, yeah when I get the chance, but we’re really busy with the band so I don’t have much time. So that’s kind of annoying in one sense, but it’s great for the band. Yeah, football.. I wish I could play for Liverpool. And win the league again…, in this decade.
Gerard: They didn’t win the league for a long time.
JPR: I guess they need me right now! (laughter)

Janna: Do you have a favourite song at the moment? Or something like an evergreen?
Gerard: We listen to a lot of songs. I couldn’t pick a favourite song, or a favourite band. But at the moment it would be, I listen to The War On Drugs, Kurt Foil…
JPR: Holy Holy!
Gerard: Yes, Holy Holy, they’re Australian bands. There’s a lot you know.
Tabea: But it’s hard to set on one song?
Gerard: Yeah, exactly.
Tabea: That’s my problem, too. We know that feeling.
JPR: Good problem to have! (laughter)

Janna: Is there a song you don’t like to listen to?
Gerard: I’m not really into pop music. Like, what’s on the radio.
JPR: I just don’t listen to it. I just turn it off.
Tabea: Yeah, I don’t listen to the radio either.
Gerard: It’s not as good as it used to be. It’s a bit more commercialised.
Janna: And pretty much everything sounds the same.
Gerard: But it’s important. They do play good music, but the mass is more for the younger, depends on the radio stations as well. Each radio show is targeting to a different audience, but they still play the One Direction song.
Tabea: In only like one radio station in Germany. It’s called radio 21 and they play mostly rock music.
JPR: Is it the whole of Germany?
Tabea: I think only the Northern parts of Germany, but I’m not sure. They also play whole Live concerts. From Queen for example.
JPR: Oh yeah, they’re good!

Tabea: All right, on the next one. Do you have a favourite gig?
JPR: Are you talking about our band has ever played?
Janna: Yes.
JPR: Uhm…
Gerard: Jesus, there are so many…
JPR: We played a gig at a festival in Ireland called Electric Picnic. And it’s like the biggest festival in Ireland. There are like 50.000 people. We played the main stage there recently and we had a really good time on this show. And we had like 40.000 people at the gig and this was just an amazing gig just for the energy, and it just felt really good.
Janna: Since you’re not adding anything we guess you agree on that, Gerry?
Gerard: Yeaaah!
JPR: Whooo, we agree on something! (laughter)
Tabea: I would be totally scared playing in front of so many people.
JPR: Yeah, you know you have to be a little bit nervous, but once you get into it… it’s maybe like an exam. You’re sitting going through an exam and once you’re stuck there, you’re in it, and have to go through it.
Janna: There’s no way out.
Gerard: Yeah and afterwards it’s just „Jesus, that was incredible“.
Janna: So, was Electric Picnic the biggest one you ever played?
Gerard: We played Glastonbury, we played in Infinity Park.
JPR: Rolling Stones, Hyde Park, their reunion gig.
Gerard: We’ve been lucky; we’ve been playing some great stages.
Janna: So, next one is….
Gerard: We wanna try to get the big festivals here in Germany. Like Lollapalooza, is that the German one?
Tabea: Yes, there is one in Berlin.
Gerard: So, we wanna try to get on these festivals in Germany, and get the band out there. Cause I think we would do quite well, because we did a lot of tours in Germany already. It seems like an audience is growing each time. Like this time around we came back with the tour it was like 200 people coming to the shows. And we’re like „Wow, this is great!“ It’s great for a band, because there are so many bands out there. So, the band’s name is really starting to grow in Germany. So, hopefully on the release of this album „Ghosts“ we should get this done.
Janna: Speaking of your new album, when will it be released in Germany?
Gerard: Well, we hope to have it out in summer. It’s to be confirmed at the moment. We should have it hopefully by May.
Janna: That sounds great! I was trying to find your new album somewhere.
Gerard: Yeah, we’re selling it today after the show.
JPR: This is kind of a pre-abum-release-tour!
Gerard: It’s just not official out there.
Tabea: We’re looking forward! And, just so you know, for festivals you should also look out for Highfield and Deichbrand.
JPR: Highfield and Deichbrand?
Tabea: Yep, Highfield is a little bit smaller, but Deichbrand is up to 50.000 or something, I think. I worked there before.
Gerard: You should put us in there.
Tabea: Oh, I don’t have that kind of influence! (laughter)

Tabea: So, do you have any rituals before going on stage?
Gerard: We actually listen a lot to AC/DC before we go on stage. I just put the speakers on the table and…
JPR: Yeah, that’s the main one. Just stretching a little.
Gerard: Having a couple of beers…
JPR: Kind of loosen open. You know, try not to be too stiff. Just try to loosen and have a good time.
Gerard: Some kind of nice, controlled aggression. (laughing)

Janna: Is there something you miss most when you’re on tour?
Gerard: I suppose, I miss my mates and family, you know. Playing football cause, we play football as well, and sometimes… it depends on where we are, I might miss the food. Cause I love our own food. The best steaks around!
JPR: Oh yeah, I agree! But Germany is really good as well. I don’t miss the food over here.
Gerard: Yeah, Germany is quite good. We love the Currywurst.
JPR: Wunderbar!! (laughing)
Tabea: Yeah, wunderbar. You have to try Labskaus when you’re here.
JPR: Labskaus?!
Tabea: It’s a very hard word, it also doesn’t look nice, but it tastes even better.
JPR: Sounds like some kind of disease (scratching his arm) I got some serious case of Labskaus!! (laughing)
Tabea: So, you’ve been here already six times, right?
JPR: Yeah, with holidays even more.
Tabea: So, you have seen quite a lot.
Gerard: Yeah, we’ve been to some really great places. And we have been to…. What was the name again?
JPR: Buxtehude
Janna: You’ve been to Buxtehude?!
Gerard: Everyone says like when we say it „Woooow, you’ve been to Buxtehude? Why did you go to Buxtehude, what the fuck?“
Janna: Yeah, like what were you doing there?
Gerard: That was a great show! We had a gig there, it was a two-week tour, J?
JPR: Yeah, we did like 12 gigs all over Germany.
Gerard: And it was great. It was a brilliant tour. It was small, just pubs and it wasn’t in major cities. It was in small ones and all the community was coming down. „This Irish band is in town. What the hell are they doing here?“ (laughing)
Gerard: That’s what people do. They’re like „Jesus, what are they doing here? Why would they come here?“ And it’s like just everyone comes down just to wonder why they did. And we were just like „the booker booked us and we said yes“. And then the whole community came down and they bought CDs. No one left without a CD. Like we were making money on the tour we thought we wouldn’t make money on.
JPR: We sold 50 CDs out of 70 that night.
Tabea: Damn, that’s pretty good! So you’ve seen a lot of Germany. What’s the biggest difference between Ireland and Germany?
JPR: The beer! (laughing)
Tabea: Which one is better?
JPR: Germany. Well, not alcohol beverages, but the beer in Germany is better. Currywurst. We don’t have that in Ireland. We don’t have an Autobahn. So long, god like six hours. What else don’t we have in Germany? In Germany, ah in Ireland, sorry!. Wiener Schnitzel.
Janna: But that’s Austrian.
JPR: Is it?
Tabea: Yes, Wiener is Vienna the capital, but the Schnitzel is also German. It’s both.
Gerard: Schnitzel are lovely.
Tabea: I agree wholeheartedly!
JPR: Sauerkraut, Strudel.
Tabea: You know Eintopf?
Both: Nein.
Tabea: It’s like a stew, you just put everything in it. A friend from London is totally in love with Eintopf.
Gerard: Gonna check it out. We have something like this at home. Irish stew.
Janna: What about Shepard’s pie?
Gerard: Oh yeah, Shepard’s pie.
JPR: Should go for a Shepard’s pie now.

Tabea: What was the first music you bought yourself? Was it a CD, Vinyl or Tape? If you remember it.
JPR: I kind of remember it. I got „(What’s the story) Morning Glory“ for Christmas years and years and years ago, Oasis‘ second album. And that was like the first album I got into. Because I wasn’t into music then, I was into football. And I got that and it was just like this is great. So that was kinda my first I think. I might have bought albums before, but that was my first proper one like „great record“.
Gerard: Led Zeppelin.
Janna: That’s a good first.
Tabea: One of my favourite bands.
Gerard: When you listen to Stairway To Heaven for the first time and you put the earphones off „What the fuck was that? Where was I? Where was this magical place?“ (Laughter)

Janna: Anything you regret buying? Music, CD? You’re ashamed of? Sins in your shelf?
Gerard: Jesus. Well, Beyoncé.
JPR: What’s she doing there? (laughing)
Gerard: I mean you might regret buying an album from a band that you loved but it wasn’t as good as you anticipated it to be. I had like one of a few old bands and you hear they’re doing an album and just acting like, experimenting. Sometimes it works, but I don’t really have any…
JPR: Same as him. I just wouldn’t buy it. If it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t buy it.
Gerard: He likes Celine Dion a lot!
JPR: What’s wrong with Celine Dion? She is great. Personal life coach! (laughing)

Tabea: So, J, you said you weren’t into music earlier? What got you into music?
JPR: My father bought me a guitar and I was like „I don’t play it. Why would you buy me it?“ And then my mother convinced me to learn it. And I did it for like six months, but I didn’t like it and I gave it up. And then I got back into it and now here I am, playing guitar.
Janna: And you, Gerry?
Gerard: Same. My mother bought me a guitar.
Janna: Always the parents!
Gerard: Yeah, they bought me the guitar and three of my friends played the guitar as well. We just used to jam together. It was a cool hobby to have. So that’s how I got into music. I was sixteen. On my sixteenth birthday I got the guitar. It was a Spanish guitar and it was really hard to play. The neck is really long and when you play the chords my fingers wouldn’t even come to the top. I was ike „Mooooom! I can only play a D chord! No G is possible!“
Tabea: I try to learn guitar, too, but I fail.
JPR: (laughter) You fail, nice saying.
Gerard: Yeah, keep at it.
Janna: I remember one time when I tried to do it and I was like „I can’t move my fingers, it’s not working.“
Gerard: Yeah, that’s how every single person is like „What? My fingers are starting to cramp up.“
Tabea: I can play a few chords and that’s it.
Gerard: Well that’s good. And when you start making your own songs, you really start to enjoy it even more. Because you’re getting into the instrument. Again, you gotta play it over and over and over and over again. Even playing other people’s songs will get you into it. So you play that song and you’re like „Yeah I can play that one.“
Tabea: My problem with parties is that I only know songs most people dont’t know.
Gerard: Well just tell them it’s your own songs! (Laughter)
JPR: Yeah! I wrote this song! (JPR singing Highway To Hell)
Gerard: They’ll be like „Fuck me, you’re talented!“ And you’re like „I know, I know. And I’m also very beautiful as well! I know.“ (laughter)

Janna: Speaking of writing music: where do you get the inspiration for your songs?
Gerard: A lot of it comes from the personality of the band. Mal has this habit, he has a melody and some lyrics put down, he comes down to the band room and starts messing around „I got this kind of thing here“ and we gonna go like „Okay“. It’s like an A chord or C chord and maybe J puts a riff over it. Depends on what kind of song it is, upbeat song or slow slong. And the Gar put in some kind of rhythm.
JPR: Some groove.
Gerard: Exactly, puts in some groove and it just kinda happens. It’s weird, there’s inspiration wherever you go, you just might think of a song or an idea. A song comes from an idea, an experience. It’s all different types of inspiration. I mean for the band; we went all around Ireland to different locations. In the west, down the south, into Kerry. And it’s all this beautiful landscape and you’re kinda isolated from everything. So you don’t even have phone signals. You can’t get a phone call. You have to go into the city and people are like: „Hello, where were you?“ and you’re just like „I’m in the country.“
JPR: I have to talk to people now! (laughing)
Gerard: We just set up our instruments in the whichever rooom in the house we rent, and we sit down, have a few beers and just go into the music. We pick our favourites, and then when we go to record an album, we sit down with the produced and go over different ideas and songs and he’s like „Oh that’s great, I like that“ and he’ll go „I’ll pick out twenty songs, you’ll pick ten. I think that’s your best ten“. And we all chat and agree and work on this or that. And then we all come down to an agreement. „Okay we go with this thing“ And we just get stuck in there and we give every song as much as attention and detail as we can. That’s it, in a nutshell.
We did this album in America. It was brilliant, it was a once in a lifetime experience. It’s the biggest studio in America. And they had everything you need.
JPR: Guitars, AMPS…
Gerard: Just everything, from Amps from like the fifties all the way up to really good models of basses. They had everything. So, we were really really lucky and we felt privileged to be there. We were there for six weeks.
Tabea: Which city is it in?
JPR: El Paso. The studio is forty minutes outside of El Paso. It’s in the middle of nowhere. Pretty isolated for the purpose of making music. 15.000 acres Pecan fam. So literally it’s just trees, trees, trees. And 3 kilometres away was the wall to Mexico.
Tabea: Oh, I see, the wall to Mexico.
JPR: Actually, it’s just a fence. So that’s interestig. Especially a hassle with the boarder control when you went for a walk.

Janna: So, that was describing how you write songs, right?
Gerard: Yes.
Janna: So, that question is ticked off, too! (laughter)
Gerard: Great.
JPR: Answering questions in advance, Jesus! (laughter)

Tabea: Tell us something about the new album!
Gerard: We feel it is kind of an album that we were ready to change the direction from the last album with. We couldn’t do a similar album again. And we thought „Let’s go even further“, like push ourselves and be better and kinda go. That’s an album that shows the band maturing into a sound that we feel is our sound. I think we love, well I love the sound, the bass, the drums and we’re really happy with it. It’s just huge and it got a really nice groove into it. And then we experimented on drums, and we experimented on kind of electrons, there’s like synths and stuff. Just see what we could bring, before it was just guitar and bass and drums. But then Mal got into piano. He started learning the piano only a year and a half ago. That of gave us another excitement to go. It’s just so much different to create a song around the piano than it is around a guitar.
JPR: Yeah, he wrote songs on the piano rather than the guiatr and it makes it sound completely different!
Gerard: And now we have the best of both worlds. We can jump from piano to guitar. I suppose it’s a few more strings about the experiences with the band, we’ve been up and down, we’ve been to amazing places, we’re lucky and this album I think will hopefully keep us on the road, keep the good times going.
Tabea: Fingers crossed for it!
JPR: Yeah, please! (knocking on table)

Tabea: All right, that was it! Thanks a lot once again for taking the time!
JPR: That was easy, that was great!
Gerad: Well done. That was really good!
JPR: It was really good. You’re doing thousands of interviews, so much and you’re like oh my god, like the same questions and it just gets boring. But this was different!

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