Interview: The Riptide Movement
Sitting relaxing in the room is a strange mix of four Dublin lads as an American rock band, complete with Cowboy boots and Lucan accents. The further contrast between their down to earth nature and humour and their rock n’ roll lifestyle emerges when somebody asks if they have booked the meeting room, to which guitarist JP explains: “we’re famous”.
The lads were delighted to talk about their favourite musicians growing up that have influenced their unique style:
Mal: “I’d have been listening to Oasis, yeah, that’s kinda what got me into music in the first place, my first band was actually an Oasis tribute band”.
When you share so much of the same influences such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, is it easy to bring your collective tastes in music together?
Ger: “Yeah we like each other’s music so it’s nice but at the same time everyone brings something different to it.”
Are there any contemporary musicians in particular that you really admire?
Mal: “Really cool Irish Band actually called O Emperor, they have some great songs. Little Green Cars would be a really cool Irish Band too, there’s a really cool band out in L.A. as well called Foxgen, really classic-rock influenced as well, there’s a lot of good stuff out there at the moment”.
In terms of ‘Irish-ness’ in general, do you find that you prefer performing for Irish crowds or do you find you get a good reception when you go abroad?
Ger: “Over here they’re really up for the gig like, where sometimes we go to festivals and we’d be on at certain times and people would be just walking by and they’d randomly come in and say ‘Jesus, like, I’ve never heard of you guys, you know, so you’re getting a good response from them, so it’s nice like you get a good buzz.”
Mal: “It’s nice having to win a crowd, win them over, it goes back to our Grafton St days, because if you wanted to sell an album you had to win over whoever was passing by, and I think it stands to us now as a band because when you have to go out and play festivals in the UK or Europe or wherever, you still kind of have that engrained in you, it keeps you on your toes, because if you can win a crowd on Grafton St, you can win it anywhere!”
Last year the bands 3rd album ‘Getting Through’ rose to number 1 in the charts, lead singer Mal Tuohy explained:
Mal: “Well we were aiming for a number one so it was kind of, it was great when it came through for us, we were aiming for it with our second album but we got to six I think it was at the time, it was a goal and we got it you know”.
When asked about whether being signed to a record label aided or hindered them they had this to say:
Mal: “Well the album was already made and Universal were great really, they never even tampered with the running order everything was left down to ourselves and producer Ted Hutt, and Gar and his girlfriend Amy looked after the artwork.”
JP: “They just helped really; if there was anything we wanted to do they facilitated it and made it bigger and easier.”
Now for the up and coming summer you’ve got a UK is that right?
Ger: “Yeah we’ve a UK tour we’ve Birmingham and London, Glasgow, few festivals, T in the park in Scotland, Live at Leeds, yeah busy, busy summer.”
Is it going to be all touring from here on out?
Mal: “Pretty much, we’re over doing promo in the UK for the next couple of weeks”
Mal: “Germany the following weeks and back to the UK”
Ger: “Back of a van for the next 3 months…”
The quartet seemed like the most down-to-earth rock-band you could imagine and drummer Gar explained their love of touring and keeping their music organic and exciting:
Gar: “There’s a kind of danger too, where there’s like an element of spontaneity where things can happen even though you’re kinda ready, but not like strait-jacket ready, because if it’s polished like if you practice them to galore, it’s going to be too formulated, but if something happens on one night and it’s not scripted that’s what gives you the thrill.”
Their unhindered climb to fame does not seem to have stopped The Riptide Movement from keeping their feet on the ground and retaining their sense of humour while bassist Ger assures me that they do still lead a Rock n’ Roll lifestyle.
By Kevin O’Rielly.