Dublin based four-piece and teenage rock and roll quartet GANGS consists of Jordan Curtis, Dan Smith, James Connolly, and Jonny Halpin. Next month sees the boys release their debut EP ‘Back To School’, so we caught up with them to discuss influences, Beady Eye and recording with Brian Foley.
What makes you different from any other artist or band in the industry right now?
James: “What sets Gangs apart from other bands and artists in the industry is our sound and drive. We’re a completely original band and really try to be as creative and hard working with our music as possible. When it comes down to your art, you’ve got to be that way, otherwise you won’t last, and people will see through you.”
For people that haven’t listened to the band yet, how would you describe your music?
Dan: “The sound of this EP is very much a reflection of our live sound and full of energy. The band’s sound follows that feeling, something that can be put across well live, but we’re always trying new things and expanding musically. It’s energetic and a sound that will grab people.”
Which artists would you say are your main influences?
James: “We get influenced from all kinds (of genres), we all listen to various artists at any time, so inspiration often comes from one or many sources, whether its rock n roll, soul, or even rap and EDM, we always draw some inspiration from any music. Collectively we all love bands like The La’s, Stone Roses, and Gorillaz, but there’s much more to it than that.”
You produced the EP with Brian Foley – what was the experience like and how was the recording process?
Jordan: “Recording with Brian Foley was a great experience, we connected really well with him and he definitely made it real easy for us because we’d never really done much studio work before. There was a mutual respect between us which was great because we could discuss ideas and bounce things off each other. We weren’t afraid to say anything to each other and that kind of honesty is what you need in the studio.”
James: He’ll be joining us onstage on September 27 in Dublin for our launch gig which will be cool.”
Which track on the EP stands out the most to you and why?
Dan: “Poison In Your Liffey Blood”, this track definitely stands out for us, it underwent the most change out of all the tracks before we went into the studio and we spent the most time making it something really special to us, we think that comes across in the recording. It’s also the track that Brian (Foley) had the most involvement in, I think he wishes he wrote it.”
‘Poison In Your Liffey Blood’ has been described as one of the darker tracks on the EP. Can you explain what it’s about?
Jordan: “What the track is about is just the darker aspects of Dublin life. The EP all in all is about life and Dublin and what’s around us.”
Johnny: “It’s about drugs, crime, and friends we’ve had going off the rails and falling into problems. For that reason also we feel like its a good track to close the EP.”
You’ve received praise from Beady Eye – can we expect a collaboration or support slot any time soon? (If not, what’s the likelihood of an upcoming UK tour for GANGS?)
James: “Nah, I wouldn’t read too much into that. It was cool of Andy and Gem to drop us that compliment and it means a lot for a young band like us. You take these things in your stride and it really spurs you on as a band. As for a UK tour? Yeah we’ll definitely be over for a tour in the coming months, we’ve been back and forth to England playing shows but to do a proper tour is definitely on the cards.”
Johnny: “There’s a tour of Germany on the cards for February.”
What else is next for GANGS over the next couple of months?
Jordan: “After our EP drops at the end of September we plan on gigging a lot and getting people down to the shows, live performance has always been so important to us and we want people to experience the band through gigs. We’ll also be writing and doing demos, expect to hear a lot from us not only in Ireland but across the UK and Europe in the coming months. “
Check out the first single from GANGS’ upcoming EP, ‘Daisy’:
‘Back To School’ is released on October 6th via Reekus Records.