This is part 3 of an interview series with Galway Street Club. If you came straight to this page, maybe go back and meet the band in part 1 first.
Camila: With all your different backgrounds and personalities, how do you come to make music together? I imagine it is tough to manage things like rehearsals, sound-check… who makes these decisions? Do you have a band leader?
Paul: Hah. No. Trying to tell these guys what to do is like trying to tell a goat what to do – you just raise your voice and the goat proper pisses off. Where it comes together is a mutual line of respect. Everyone is an outrageously good musician, each piece receives an abundance of input from everyone involved to make it what it needs to be.
Ultan: In the Galway Street Club, music usually starts with someone shouting chords through the masses of members, this ‘someone’ is now the song leader for those few minutes until they choose to pass responsibility to the next hearty soul ready to bare their inner demons to the unsuspecting public on the streets. But that’s only the beginning – as time passes and the other members add their talent and ideas to the mix, something else forms, something that’s inherently unique. A song starts to grow and it changes, providing each member an individual meaning as the music and the message contained in the lyrics are forged into a feeling. The music is no longer an individual act, it’s a collective one.
Spud: All of the different background and personalities coming together IS what makes the music. It’s like one of those cartoons where all the individuals fit together to be one big fighting robot. Sometimes you’re a head, sometimes you’re a foot, and sometimes you’re just the asshole.
Adnaan: Think of the Galway Street Club like the Avengers; everyone’s got their own unique talents, and all of us have shady pasts that are only now being revealed now on your lovely website. We need responsible people to show up early and stake out a busking spot. We need irresponsible people to show up late and piss the responsible ones off. That’s the secret to the vibrant musical energy of the club: anger. I guess that means Spud is… Bruce Banner. I’m getting too carried away with this analogy.
James: Having a band this size is definitely going to give you a hectic sound. We try to fine tune the songs to keep that energy in check. And then every once in a while we all scream a Tesco bag full of cats. I feel as if the band has different leaders in different songs, and we consciously make an effort to keep everything as communal as it can be.
Laura: Practice can be hectic– There’s a lot of different ideas bouncing around so listening to one person’s idea can be tough when 5 or 6 are jamming another idea. But I think we’ve learned to listen and communicate better to make our practice time more productive, and that makes our busking more enjoyable.