Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

HWCH Q&A: Nocturnes

Pearse McGloughlin from Nocturnes answers OTR’s HWCH questions

Nocturnes (l to r): Billy Donohue, Pearse McGloughlin and Enda Roche

Wed, Oct 5, 2016, 09:49


Ahead of this week’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival and convention, we’ve been running Q&A interviews with a number of the festival’s acts about what it’s like to be in a band in 2016. Here’s what Pearse McGloughlin, who’ll be appearing at HWCH with his band Nocturnes, had to say to us. Catch Nocturnes at Tengu Downstairs on Saturday night at 11pm

If you were to point an Irish Times reader to the best example of your work, what would it be and why?

“I would direct them to “Whale Song” from the album “The Soft Animal” and particularly to the beautiful video directed by my brother Kevin. It encapsulates many elements which I’ve sought in my work over the years: ethereal atmospherics, lyrical ambition and a touch of the sublime.”

Why did you get involved with making music in the first place? Has it lived up to expectations?

“Music can be an incredibly moving and immediate medium and I’ve always found it so. I guess I wanted to play with its mystery. I’m always surprised by how it can inspire me.”

What was your experience of music at school and in the education system?

“Music wasn’t taught formally in my school (Summerhill in Sligo), but it was still a vital part of school life. There were lots of talent shows and musicals and so many bands came out of that culture. Lots of musicians from my school went on to make music after they left secondary. It was pretty amazing really. I’d like to make a documentary about it.”

What’s the best piece of advice you got when you were starting out on this path?

“As teenagers in Sligo band No Socialite, we sent our music to The Frames who we loved. We got back a message from Glen: ‘do it to the metal!’. I’m still not really sure what that meant, but we savoured these words from the oracle and four albums later I’m still doing it!

What advice would you give to other bands or those who want to be in a band or make music?

“I think it’s really important to enjoy the stage at which you’re at. You can lose so much of the enjoyment if you’re constantly thinking ‘oh, this is just a little gig but there’s a bigger, better one coming’. I’m not saying you don’t think about your career, that’s really important. But give the show you’re doing the respect it deserves. The most important gig is the one right in front of you, with the people right in front of you.”

Your favourite Irish venue to play and why?

“I love De Barras in Clonakilty. I’ve played there a load of times with Idiot Songs and my good friend Justin Grounds, the composer and violinist. The atmosphere is great, the welcome is always warm from Ray and the crew and the sound is amazing. Such a lovely venue.”

Do you still have to do other stuff to make a living? If so, what stuff? Does this frustrate you?

“I work with students with general learning disability in Clonkeen College and I teach English and French. I get to do a lot of music and put on concerts with students which is great fun. And I love seeing young bands taking their music really professionally when they leave school (shout out to Sub Motion, The Dead Sets and The New 52) It can be frustrating sometimes as I can’t do every gig that comes my way but I have a pretty good balance worked out.”

Who was the last Irish act you saw and where/when?

“I saw Carriages and Talos at Another Love Story last month who were both deadly. There are so many excellent home-grown acts in Ireland and that festival was a real testament to that.”

If you’d one piece of advice for Heather Humphries, the minister for arts, about support for Irish music and musicians, what would it be?

“Publicly funded national radio dedicated to the arts and alternative music programming, similar to BBC6 Music or NPR, is the best way to sustain homegrown music. Otherwise, Irish music cannot thrive. Irish culture is too valuable for us to keep creating it without supporting it.”

Aside from your upcoming show at HWCH, what else are you working on at present?

“We have a new album called “The Soft Animal” out now on Bluestack Records. We’ve a video by Myles O’Reilly coming before the end of the year and our video for “Whale Song” by Kevin McGloughlin will be out next week. We play Beneath The Air in The Model Sligo on October 15.”

Sent from my iPhone