This interview spotlight features the refreshing sounds of Dublin, Ireland’s The Sacreblues Band. These guys just jam!
Check out their newest album below and learn more by reading through the interview.
We’ve featured you before but let’s dive a little deeper into the artist and the music. What attracted you to this genre or style of music?
Well, that’s a fairly tough question, given the range of styles involved. We (Johnny and Mel originally) come from fairly different musical backgrounds ,Mel being classically trained, and myself having spent most of my career in rock bands, but we both love folk, country, blues and jazz too and when we started jamming together, this is where we found our common ground, so to speak. As the other members arrived, each from their own separate backgrounds, we kind of blended together with everyone’s individual flavours adding to the sound we have today. Sometimes that sound veers a bit more in one direction or another, but I think it always has that basic ‘Sacrebluesiness’.
How long have you been creating and sharing your music with the public?
As the Sacreblues band? We’ve been together five years now, and we’ve recorded two E.P.s (‘Une fois pour tout’ and ‘Say what you say’) before our debut full-length album, ‘Sad Reality’. But we’ve all been around the block a few times before.. Mel played in a nine piece funk band in France, Carl has another career as the lead singer with ‘Two Tales of Woe (they’ve been going for eleven years), and myself, (Johnny) I’ve been playing in various bands since the nineties. Tom and lucie are seasoned players too, so we’ve probably got about half a century of total experience under our belts, haha!
Who or what influences your playing and/or writing? Also, what motivates you to keep going?
Mel and myself do most of the writing, sometimes separately and sometimes together, and while I know she’s a big Lennon and McCartney fan, I can’t say for sure if they’re her biggest songwriting influence.. I’ve always liked clever wordsmiths, like Elvis Costelloe and Vic Ruggiero, but I’m certainly not putting my own efforts in their bracket… As far as playing, I’d have to say my biggest influences are the other band members.. You find a groove with people who you like playing with that’s hard to describe, but sometimes it’s almost an unconscious gelling of playing styles, if that makes any sense? And that’s also what motivates me to keep doing this… I just love making music with this group of people.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
On the album (Sad Reality), yes, I really wanted to capture our live vibe on a studio recording, so we went in to our friend Gerry Bennet’s studio, set up like we would for a gig, and just played the songs one after the other as live takes. We recorded and mixed thirteen songs in two days that way, which amazed Gerry, and I think we got it right. The album’s not perfectly polished or over produced, and for my money it’s all the better for that. It’s us live in a shed in the countryside, and that’s exactly what it sounds like.
What was the last song you listened to?
‘Ruby’ by Kenny Rogers. The lyrics are great, but the guitar on that track is brilliant..
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
CDs… I can’t play vinyl in my car, and MP£ quality is dreadful.
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Of that choice, Bandcamp, definitely, because we actually get money from them..
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what are one or two of the biggest challenges you face when trying to attract listeners to your music?
Well, I don’t know how it is over there, but here in Ireland, there’s very limited access to radio airplay for independent artists (with a few notable exceptions). The mainstream media, by and large aren’t very supportive of home grown talent, and therefore it’s hard to publicise anything outside whatever local ‘scene’ you might be a part of.
Do you gig, tour or perform? Do you ever live stream? Where can music lovers see you perform?
Yes, we gig on an irregular basis, particularly at the moment, as Tom’s away in London until the Autumn, but we’ll be back to full strength then and we’re itching to get back out there. We’ve never live streamed, but that’s an interesting idea…
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more of your music?
We have our own website and we’re on facebook, and Bandcamp, where you can download our album… We’re also very approachable if you happen to see us in person, but be warned, we will try to sell you a CD…
Any last thoughts? Shout outs? Words of wisdom?
Wisdom might not be my strong point, really, and I guess that your readers are already the type of people who support and encourage independent music, so instead of preaching to the choir, I’d like to suggest that if we were all to share some sounds that make us happy with one new person a month, we’d spread some good feelings out into the world, and if those people did the same….Who knows? Other than that, a big thank you to everyone who’s ever helped us, and to you good people at Middle Tennessee Music.