Monday 11 November 2019

After storming Europe, the Strypes head for America

The Strypes celebrating the return of HMV with a live performance at the official opening of the flagship store on Dublin's Henry Street last year.
The Strypes celebrating the return of HMV with a live performance at the official opening of the flagship store on Dublin's Henry Street last year.

The Strypes are four 16-18 year-old Cavan boys who took Europe by storm with their bluesy rock'n'roll throwback sound and a tight live show. Now, Ross Farrelly (singer), Josh McClorey (guitar), Pete O'Hanlon (bass guitar) and Evan Walsh (drums) are making their first forays into breaking America this year. They played six shows at SXSW and Day & Night caught up with them in their hotel to see how it feels to be on the road in the USA.

What's it like for four lads from Cavan playing music in America?

Pete: It's a thing you never thought when you're young that you could do. You have ideas about what America is going to be like because so much pop culture comes from here.

It's harder when you're here to grasp the size of it at the same time. Like Texas is a big chunk the size of Europe alone. It's mental. People have been coming to the gigs here and saying they've driven four hours to see us. It's nothing here, but you could barely go from the top to the bottom of Ireland in that time.

How have the shows been so far here?

Josh: At the moment, it's like starting over again as it's the first time we've been here. So we're playing half-full halls and we've no exposure in America yet, but that's why we're here.

I think there's a lot less cynicism. If they like a band here, that's it. In general here, there's less emphasis on trends. In London, there's a very trendy scene and if you're not part of that, you might not get any attention regardless of whether you're any good because you're not cool. But they don't worry about that here.

Why did you all leave school when you were 16?

Josh: We want to make a career out of it. We don't want to have to go back to school.

Pete: We didn't want school to get in the way of an education.

Have the heroes you've met given you any advice?

Evan: They might say the odd thing about not losing the head. But we knew that already.

How are you not losing the head as you're on a crazy journey for a band so young?

Evan: We know what we want and we know what we are. There's nothing really to get carried away with. Having been exposed to the music industry now for the last while, you go "what's the big deal? Is this it?" It's pretty unimpressive in the main.

Josh: The only really exciting bit is being on stage.

Pete: We all still live in Cavan so we go back home at the end of the day and watch Father Ted and eat toasties.

  • The Strypes play The Academy, Dublin on April 11th and 12th

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