Two-time Meteor Choice Music Prize winner Richie Egan, aka, Jape, has just released his fifth studio album, This Chemical Sea, and he's going under the microscope for all things Dublin
Two-time Meteor Choice Music Prize winner Richie Egan, aka, Jape, released his fifth studio album, This Chemical Sea, last week. And whaddaya know? The record debuted at number eight on the official Irish album charts. Happy days. Currently based in Malmo, Sweden, Egan touches down at the Academy on Thursday February 19th for what promises to be a memorable night of scintillating, home-grown electronic rock. We caught up with the Dubliner to discuss musical heroes, weekend past-times and, of course, his favourite Irish pub…
Why did you become a musician for a living?
“I became a musician because I’ve just had an obsession with music since a young age. I was fascinated by music and I really wanted to sort of understand how [musicians] made the sounds they were making. I realised it was a lot harder than I thought it might be, but over time, it got a bit better. The making-a-living part, to be honest with you, was after a good few years…”
If you weren’t pursuing a career in music, what would you be doing?
“Oh, I don’t know, really. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do - the only thing that really excites me.”
You’ve been living in Sweden for almost three years now – what are the things you miss most about Dublin?
“I miss the people the most. I miss the craic of getting into a taxi and just talking to the taxi man, or going into a pub and just chatting to an old man at the bar. That, and my family, obviously…”
When you do get home, what’s the first port-of-call?
“I always go to Leonard’s Corner Café Bar on the way home from the airport with my da for a pint of Guinness. Because the flight usually comes in at 9.30 at night, and usually we make it to Leonards Corner for one or two pints. It’s a good spot for Guinness.”
Who’s your musical hero?
“When you listen to as much music as I do, it changes around, but for this album, I would say Johnny Jewel, this guy who’s in a band called the Chromatics. Just his work ethic and the way he does things was very inspiring to me during the course of this particular record.”
What Irish acts are you excited about at the moment?
“The Number Ones – I like those guys a lot. And Cian Nugent, I love his vibe. Cian Nugent is very inspirational to me; he always seems to be just continuously doing stuff. He just plays from the heart…”
What’s your favourite Irish album of all time?
“Actually, that also changes, but I will say Rollerskate Skinny’s Horsedrawn Wishes would definitely be up there because it’s just a beautiful album. And it’s kind of underrated as well. I actually think it’s better than Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.”
It’s a Friday night in Dublin; you’re home for the weekend – what’s the restaurant to go to?
“Somewhere cheap! Cheap and good. Actually, one thing I noticed, whenever I come back to Dublin, there’s always loads of new restaurants. I’m a very unfussy eater, like, I’ll eat anything. So I’ll say Pinheads Pizza because it’s good pizza. I’m a classy type of a guy…”
How do you like to spend your Saturday afternoon in the city?
“What I love to do is just walk around town, you know, you always end up meeting people. Go into Hodges Figgis, search for some nice books, go into Tower and buy some records – the usual, kind of just try and do something cultural, maybe go to the Douglas Hyde Gallery and get some culture into the day before going off, drinking some beers.”
And your favourite pub (or do we even have to ask)?
“That also changes, but let’s just say the Leonards Corner Café Bar for now, because I know all the bar men and they might give me a free pint if they see that in the Herald!”
Your favourite place to see a gig in?
Your favourite Irish film?
“The Commitments. It represents a specific era of Dublin in a really great way…”
Your favourite Irish book?
“Probably Dubliners by James Joyce.”
Do you ever think about where you’ll be in five years?
“No, I don’t actually. I try not to think too much. Thinking is bad…”
Finally, what’s your favourite Dublin saying?
“Ah, sure look it…”
Tickets for Jape’s Academy gig on February 19th priced €15 are available from www.ticketmaster.ie.