Sparks of genius
Conor McKenna talks to Kieran McGuinness about the good, here the bad and the laughable.
When one thinks of difficult second albums by Irish bands, Delorentos are never far down the list. The band teetered close to the precipice of breaking just before the release of their second album You Can Make Sound. Guitarist, singer and writer Rónan Yourell announced his intention to leave the band in early 2009 but after a number of farewell gigs (including one in UCD) the band decided to give things another go.
“When we broke up we said we can’t do this anymore. We were putting too much pressure on ourselves. A lot of faith in the magic, that things will just pop out of the sky is just not the reality when you’re in a band,” Kieran McGuinness, guitarist and singer, explains. Their last album, YouCan Make Sound, was disappointing for most listeners but McGuinness is quick to elaborate on that: “It sounded like a band breaking up and that’s what it was… I hate listening to people slag off their own records ’cause everyone thinks they do the best at the time. For this album we wrote 30 songs, for that album we wrote 12 or 13 and 11 went on the album.”
The new album Little Sparks has been received well thus far in the media but took two and half years to arrive. McGuinness remarks, “We said from the start that we were going to be as creative, different and interesting and try as many ideas as came into our heads. For example, anyone can play any instrument and anyone can sing any song, everyone can write the songs, any type of songs; it doesn’t have to be pop/rock song or whatever.” With this new approach the band entered Grouse Lodge, the famous recording studio. In the current economic climate this could have been seen as an unnecessary expense and Kieran remarks that the band as a whole is broke.
When queried on how the band is coping with the recession, he states that they’re feeling the strain but money wasn’t the point: “we can do other things to get a few quid. I could start painting, I’m an awful painter but [after] a few days on Grafton St maybe I’d get a few quid for a sandwich,” he jokes.
“It’s the little details that connect with people. I don’t think there’s any point in us sitting down and writing songs about the global economic crisis … because it’s not a personal thing to anyone,” he pensively tells the Tribune. “The things that connect with people are the little things, the day-to-day stuff, the way people feel. That’s what people remember.”
The band members are taking the opportunity to promote the album in new and exciting ways: “we’re doing podcasts for the album, doing a kind of little radio show. The next thing is that we’re making acoustic videos for every single song on the album… on top of that we’re going to be doing our acoustic tour.”
McGuinness has found himself noticed on the streets more since Delorentos have become a name. He tells the Tribune, “I was walking through Merrion Square on a first date with my girlfriend and a fella came out of nowhere and he punched me on the side of the head as hard as you could possibly do. I fell to the ground completely dazed and my girlfriend was obviously very upset and a couple of people came over to see if we were ok and yer man walked away. I was sitting on the ground and the guy came over, put out his hand and said ‘ah you’re from Delorentos, fair play to ye’ and he walked off.”
With the new album out and an extensive tour on the way (not to mention a flurry of other activities) Delorentos should soon be seen reaching new heights on the Irish and international music scene.