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Interview: EILEEN GOGAN
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I can always remember singing along to the radio before I could walk!
Also my eldest brother had a lot of records and I was fascinated by taking the vinyl out of the cover and putting it on the turntable. I think I would be an artist or illustrator, my other brother was an excellent artist and we used to draw Together for hours.
What do you like to do when your not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I like to draw, walk and dig the garden. Drawing the dog or a still life is like meditation because all you are doing is studying something, walking and digging the garden is quite automated so it also frees
Up your mind and stops you overthinking things. I believe that not overthinking is the most beneficial thing to my creativity
How long has your band been around?
I am the band and so I would say that from 2013 I have been playing under this guise, I had sang with other bands before.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am based in Dublin and I suppose the weather here is one factor that promotes a lot of writing, We have long dark winters and because Ireland is a relatively small country, an island, We have great light and skylines, this also might encourage the poetic side of people.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
My friend stayed up late drinking one night and tried to come up with good band names, she suggested The Instructions, I liked it!
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
This lady asked if I would play at a Girl Guides event, she was pretty stern so I said ok. It was up in the Dublin mountains in a Guides adventure park. The marquee was set up with a brilliant sound system and the fella doing the sound was great. We got on stage and were getting our instruments ready when the drummer took up a shaker and tested his mic with it, 300 girls between the ages of 6 and 12 all screamed and went crazy! We started to play and they were dancing and screaming, it felt like being in the Beatles for twenty minutes. I then went to thank the sound man and realised he was the one dressed in a gigantic Pluto costume and dancing for the whole gig!
The worst was at a charity fundraiser in a small bar, the sound was terrible. All of the audience were friends of the lady who organised it and it was like a big school reunion, everyone was just chatting and had no interest in the music. But it was for a good cause so we just used it as a practice time.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
There is a little bar in Dublin called Siné which I really like, the sound man there is great and the stage is well decked with rugs and has a slight cabaret feeling to it.
I would like to play in Liberty Hall in Dublin, it is architecturally one of my favourtie buildings and the theatre there also has a nice sound set up.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
I’m a huge Martin Carthy fan and it would be great to get to play on a line up with him. I also love Laura Cannell, Mary Lattimore and Radie Peat.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Label all of your equipment. Practice, practice, practice.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Have more confidence in yourself.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I guess at the moment it’s More Time as it was written about taking care of my mother while she was dying of cancer.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I tend to fall in and out of love with the songs, it differs from time to time but the one that people have asked for is More Time and Planets from the first album The Spirit of Oberlin.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I usually wake up with a melody in my head and hum it quickly into small recorder.
Then I put chords to it and then I wait around until some words come along to fit.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I can’t say what the message is because I think it’s important for the listener to take their own meaning to a song. I believe that explaining things especially music and art impairs the imagination of the person experiencing it.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Well because the band is basically me I don’t have that problem anymore but when I was practicing with a band I would always welcome any input, and it’s important to listen.
Because I write all the songs the last call is always down to me.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Plan for the future is of course every musician’s plan… world domination!
Because of the pandemic I haven't booked any gigs for this year but I want to play live as soon as is safe to do and I am currently working on my third album which should be out in September.