Bray Trio Karen Cowley, Saoirse Duane and Caoimhe Barry sit down with Kevin O’Reilly ahead of their Ireland and UK Tour to talk about where they’ve come from and where they’re going.
And so how did it all start, you were obviously friends before and did you all just discover that you were brilliant singers?
Yeah kind of, because we met when we were all like you know on the cusp of adolescence, and we were bonding over the fact that we had a really intense love of music and that wasn’t so common amongst the people in our school so we just kind of clung to each other.
Yeah we were all equally passionate about it and our older siblings played instruments and stuff so we just started playing instruments to copy them.
Were your tastes in music similar or did you have to sort of adjust to each other?
Saoirse used to me much more of a metal-head, yeah she comes out with some mad stuff sometimes.
We definitely bonded over folk and rock from the late 60’s and 70’s, classic rock like Led Zeppelin, I think when I met Caoimhe my brother had just given me their album and I thought it was like the coolest thing ever, like I couldn’t believe she knows who they were. Red Hot Chilli Peppers and stuff, I kind of feel like that’s what normally happens when you’re about eleven and you just get these albums and this is just the beginning. It just felt like very natural for us and we were lucky in that sense, I guess we can thank Bray for all this! Thanks Bray!
At what point did actually realise that things were actually getting big and that things were starting to kick off?
I feel like we’ve been a bit of a hobby band for a long time because we’ve been playing music for as long as we’ve been friends and we’ve had the name of this band for a very long time, but then we all went to college and weren’t really sure about what we wanted to do and when Karen and I did a bit of backing vocals for Hozier and we saw that what he was trying to do was actually starting to happen and we were kind of like: “Hey wait a minute, we can probably try to make this happen too!”, so since then we’ve just gone for it.
Well we put a lot of work into our EP that we released last year…The Widow Knows…sorry, was that last year? Yeah, and we spent about a year and a half saving for that, recording very slowly, working very hard and then when we released that we were firing it off to all our new contacts we’d made and then our manager came on board and he was like: ”I really like this, how serious are you guys?”, and I guess once you’re asked that, you have to drop everything, so we did and he got us a publishing deal and we just quit everything and just went full time. I can’t believe we did!
What would you be doing if you hadn’t?
I would have finished my degree,
I’d be working away, I don’t think any of us regret it if that’s what you mean, we couldn’t be happier, this is way better.
I think that maybe when we’re in our sixties we’ll go back and do degrees.
Yeah greatest hits world tour! We’ve a lot of plans for our sixties to it’s all going to happen then, but right now it’s grand. To be honest our workload is so much that you can’t even think about doing anything else, the rest of our lives is just going to be; band, band, band!
Are you looking forward to touring, do you like it or do you prefer the other aspects?
Absolutely, it’s the best! Touring means that we’ve done all the work and now we get to play music and that’s the best bit. So we get to show off what we’ve been working on. Like right now we’re trying to get our live show together, I don’t know when the last time you might have seen us was but it’s been changing gradually and getting new bits of technology in, like we recently bought a new sampler so right now I spend my time on the laptop trying to get it all perfect! And you know we’re just rehearsing with new things so that’s just a lot of work.
Does this mean that your sound is going to change?
It’s going to progress! I don’t know if it’s going to change, I feel like we’ve tapped into a sound with ‘Subside’ and this new EP, we’ve got this kind of RnB-ish, kind of Grindy, Alty, Rock sound almost. I don’t think our live shows are going to be a lot fuller, we’re just taking advantage of technology a bit.
Like we only have six hands! We’ve tried playing with session musicians but there’s nothing like having just the three of us on stage. I don’t that there’s going to be anything drastically different at all, we just want it to be better, we just want it to be as chunky as possible.
Where do you draw your inspiration from in song-writing, and do you do it collectively or separately?
Well I suppose we all write separately and then bring it to the group, rip it apart and start again, you know what I mean? I suppose we get our inspiration from little bits of everything, like what’s on the radio and new sounds that you might hear and think “that’s good!”
Or sometimes you’d be just thinking to yourself about an idea and think, ‘get me a pen!’, because at the end of the day we have to keep spinning all these random plates!
And do you ever feel under pressure to write new songs?
Sometimes, it’s more of an awareness that we need to keep writing, there’s no pressure coming from anywhere, everyone’s pretty sound. Also they don’t want us to just write hits, they want us to write the best songs we can write. And sometimes that can’t be rushed, I think for us there is no single method that works.
And where you sit down and say “Right I’m gonna write a song now”, it just doesn’t work like that. I think our songs are always very emotional, like in a good way, but there’s always a lot of passion behind them. I think that’s another reason why we maybe don’t churn them out because they mean a lot to us, not that we’re precious about them, but I think I’d find it hard to continue writing a song if I wasn’t all that invested in it and that feeling doesn’t happen when you dedicate a day to writing. You might be able to work out short bits of melody and that but most times you’d be just staring at the page going; ”Come on!”. It’s hard to know when that’s going to happen or what’s going to make that happen, but we try all the tricks.
What’s been your High point so far?
I feel like we haven’t got there just yet, I feel like we’re not at the high point yet, but yeah so far it was Electric Picnic. I loved recording our EP, recording in Cologne was amazing. Whelans is going to be pretty good. Days like this Sunday when we were recording our video for ‘Subside’ and I just stopped and thought; “This is my job!”’ It’s the dream.
The official launch of Wyvern Lingo’s new track ‘Subside’ is in Whelans on the 28th November, the band will be supporting Hozier for his UK dates early next year before releasing their new EP in February.
Wyvern Lingo have very kindly given the College Tribune two tickets to the Whelans album launch to give away, check out our Facebook page for more.