a profile of Irish musician Rory Grubb, an Irish musician and mutantspace arts skills exchange member
Hello. I’m Rory Grubb. I was going to write this in the 3rd person – but I thought I’d save us both the hassle.
Right. I have just released my second album on CD. It’s called ‘Sketches From The Big Sleep’. It’ll be released digitally later this month.
When working I build songs from paradoxical language, and music that I play. I have been playing music since I was a young scut. My dad used to bring me for tin whistle lessons with our neighbour. After that I learned to play the concertina at a local trad workshop, until I quit when a woman terrorised me for not playing the way you’re supposed to. I had an old Beatles tape that I found somewhere. That was all I listened to for a few years.
Then at about 13 I got a guitar for my birthday. I kept playing it and people told me that I was alright. I wrote my first song around that time and I will never play it again. Ever.
The songs I write are political with a small p. They are about people I have met, events or stuff that happens in dreams. I find it very difficult to write about anything else because I don’t have the same level of experience in other areas – like for example world politics, or eight hundred years of oppression. I love pop songs, because they just deal with everyday stuff; and that’s why I write songs. I think our recession is causing a lot of good new music to happen in Ireland.
I am interested in musical complexity. I play many instruments without really knowing how to play them. ‘Sketches From The Big Sleep’ is as much an experiment in production as a set of songs. Many of the songs on the album are moments in time rather than crowd-pleasing anthems. They have been built experimentally. Often the music was captured as it happened, rather than laboured over. This would make some of them akin to sketches or possibly weird short films; and I think this shows when you listen to it.
[Photograph courtesy of KDamo]
I have lived and performed in Dublin, London, Clare, Cork and Palma. I like to think of a stage as a workshop. If a song is a good song then it can be done in many ways. Last year I was using homemade instruments, and the sounds of a bike wheel to produce my songs live. This year I have formed a band called ‘Glowing Pears’, also known as ‘The Honeybadgers’ click here to see a honeybadger, and we’re playing some of the same songs but in a completely different form. I think it’s an exciting way to work, because the only real joy is found in going to a new place, rather than churning out something pre-made over and over. We did a mini-tour last month to launch the album and it went well.I am already working on a new record which I hope to have out early in 2010.
Thanks for reading this – ‘Sketches From The Big Sleep’ CD is available to buy online here.
If you’re a myspacer please drop by and say hi @ www.myspace.com/rorygrubb
Next Gig: 11th of August in The Bridgebrook Arms, Thomastown (Kilkenny Arts Festival) w/ Red Eskimo.
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