Kicking back with Kodaline
By Cory Verschueren
I had the opportunity to sit down with Steve Garrigan (lead singer) and Mark Prendergast (lead guitarist) from the Irish rock band, Kodaline. The first stop of the tour was in Detroit at St. Andrews hall. The boys were thrilled for the show and the intimacy of a smaller venue to create a warm and personal experience. The front row was lined with die hard fans from all over. One cool mom brought her kids all the way from Columbus, Ohio, a 3 hour drive, to see the boys. Gavin James opened with an all acoustic set. He performed a selection of songs from his EP, Say Hello, as well as other new material. The crowd was memorized by his soothing performance and it provided the perfect opening act!
Kodaline brought massive amount of energy to the stage. Having just released their new album the day before, Coming Up for Air, they were definitely excited. They performed crowd favorites such as Honest and The One as well as some older works from the first album, In a Perfect World. Being the first time seeing the boys perform live I was blown away by the quality of the performance. Some artists use the studio as an excuse to perfect vocals or filters to mask imperfections, not Kodaline. The live songs sounded exactly just like the album, if not a little better, which is why they are taking America by storm with this tour! On top of being amazing musicians they are down to earth and have a good sense of humor. As you can tell from the interview (see below), they are a good group of guys!
This is the first stop on the tour in America! Welcome!
Steve: Yeah! Thanks. This is our third tour here in America. Our first time in Detroit. This tour we are going to cities we have never been to before.
What city are you guys looking forward to most?
S: Detroit HAHA
Mark: Actually the ones we have not been to yet, Detroit, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Canada anywhere, we love exploring new places and meeting new people. It’s not like New York or LA are boring; it’s just nice to experience things for the first time, like that story about how Eminem got started in the basement here (St.Andrews Hall). I remember the Marshall Mathers LP when I was a little kid, about ten. Like I was not a rap kid or anything...
S: Mark used to dress up as Eminem and had a little bandana and would have rap battles in the basement.
M: But it’s that kind of thing, the history of these places.
S: it’s amazing like earlier our manager told us Motown was invented here. I had no idea all of the artists that have recorded here, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson. it’s just unbelievable, I mean the history. It’s crazy coming from Ireland, across the sea from this tiny little country to come to Detroit where motown was invented. It’s just music history, remarkable, an honor to be able to play here!
M: Thanks for having us!
You just released your new album Coming Up For Air, yesterday! What is one thing that you think is completely different from In a Perfect World?
M: Well we have 12 songs on this
S: 12 different songs. I think the main difference is when we went into record this album we made the decision to not make it the same album again, the last album was very much acoustic and piano base more so than anything else. We worked with a producer, Jacknife Lee on the album who introduced us to new sounds, electronic sounds, electronic drums and synthesizers. I think the songwriting is pretty similar. The new experimental sounds and electronic sounds are the biggest difference.
So you are evolving your sound, is it different playing live?
M: We are having loads of fun playing it live with a lot of energy.
S: When we first finished the album we spent a lot of time rehearsing because of the many new sounds that we used, so we had to buy new toys.
M: “Had to, had to get new toys”
S: Any excuse to buy new stuff, yeah it was cool, a lot of fun. We did a UK and European tour and that was our first time playing the new album to crowds and the reaction was amazing, people singing back our songs. It was so unexpected because you never know what songs people will react to when you have yet to play them, but so far so good.
What was the hardest part about getting the album made?
S: There was nothing hard about it, going into the studio we were nervous because we did not know what to expect. we finished the album really quickly.
M: We did not have a lot of songs walking it.
S: Yeah it was like half songs here and some ideas there, but we just blocked all of the pressures out. People talk about second album syndrome but we had fun and played as a band. Thats what we do. It worked out very well.
M: Ideas were made very quickly. The first album we did not have a clue so we spent a ton of time making decisions. vs this time it was just like ‘thats not working change it’. We did not hit any walls so we had a great time.
What superpower would you have and why?
S: Oh wow, that is a curve ball but I like it
M: If I could just fly out the window now.
S: Flying would be amazing, imagine you could just fly everywhere
M: You would never have to buy a ticket for a festival, you could just hang up in the air. That or pausing time.
S: You could get anywhere.
M: Not in a dirty way.
S: Well we never said dirty that was all you.
M: What would yours be (to me)
Cory: Mine? I would love to breath underwater. I could create an empire.
S: Well no one else can so you would be by yourself.
M: Unless you find some mermaids.
S: But the main reason I would like to stop time is because you know in the morning when you just want 5 more minutes
M: It’s never just 5 minutes.
S: HAHA, We could be a trio of super heros, Mark can fly, I will stop time, and you can breath underwater.
If you could collab with any other artist who would it be?
M: Jack white.
C: Jack white is from here also.
M: oh man, you guys have everyone!
S: Detroit has to be the coolest city in America man! Somebody interesting like daft punk or J-Zay.
M: Someone like eminem, someone on the other side the spectrum, because it would be a challenge.
S: The more different they were the better, it would be a whole new world!
Tell me one interesting thing about yourself or unique thing!
S: I wear a new pair of socks every day!
M: I talk to myself a lot. I will go thru a whole conversation! I do it a lot before I go to sleep.
S: I scream a lot in my sleep. none of the other guys want to sleep near me on the bus
Mark: he gets really punchy in his sleep.
Cory: well thank you guys for your time and I can’t wait for the show tonight!
Please check out the tour by clicking here: http://www.kodaline.com/events
If you have not heard the second album yet (Coming Up for Air) check that out here: https://www.soundcloud.com/kodaline