In the last few years, many countries all around the world have been in the grips of recession, and one of the countries that has felt the effects intensely is Ireland. Student protests started in Dublin in 2010 and have evolved and continued through 2013 in the forms of marches, participation in The Occupy Movement, and various other sit-ins and pickets.
While a lot of the music coming out of Ireland and other areas of the UK may not speak directly about the recession itself, there is a resounding bleak and blue-collar distinction to the tone of new music. Many of the artists are very young, and like, for example, English songwriter, Jake Bugg, bring with their youth, a depressing but hopeful lyrical sentiment.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing Adam Geraghty, one of the most exciting and remarkable new artists I have come across to date. At only 14 years of age, he has already home-recorded his own EP through trial and error in his basement, done numerous radio interviews, and had the chance to meet and chat with legendary Canadian musician, Neil Young. His EP, Revolve is gritty and haunting, and so impressive even on it's own merit, but that feeling becomes overwhelming when you remind yourself that Adam is indeed only 14 and recorded all instrumentals and vocals on his own. The track, Sticks and Mud is a little rough around the edges, but being the first track that he recorded, and having recorded it using only rudimentary skills and equipment, it is an interesting staple to compare to the remaining three songs. It's hard to choose, but I think Watch It Grow would be my favorite track. With spooky and fascinating harmonies, pulsing and building, rising and falling guitar riffs and profound lyrics, Watch It Grow speaks as though it was created by a weathered and wise man who had lived a life full of regret, rather than a young man with life to go. The possibility of what Adam could have in store for us as he matures and continues to learn and improve is truly staggering, and if this young man plays his cards right, he stands to be a memorable artist with a very lengthy career...
(Intro Paragraph by Karen McKenzie)
Irish guitarist and singer/songwriter Adam Geraghty blends the blues- influenced, expressive guitar style of David Gilmour and the carefully textured indie-rock of the National with the raw, emotional sincerity of Justin Vernon. Born and raised in Athlone, in the Irish midlands, Geraghty first picked up a guitar at the age of 9, and by 12 he was covering Irish blues guitarists Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore. In December 2012, at just 14 years of age, Geraghty released his debut e.p., Revolve, a collection of songs that explores the impact of the current recession on life in small Irish towns, and the tension between his love for his country and his need to escape it.
- What bands or artists would you name as your primary musical influences?
When I was first starting out at music my heroes were the Irish guitarists Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore. I used to cover them on Youtube and have learned so much from these artists. When I was 11 I got the wonderful opportunity to meet Neil Young! We were chatting for about 20 minutes discussing guitars, music and other cool subjects. After this I listened to Neil Young for countless time and I'd be lying if I said that he wasn't a major influence on me. Just recently I got into more Alternative music. Starting off with the National, my love for alternative music grew more in depth. I got the opportunity to see the Irish singer songwriter Glen Hansard live in Los Angeles last summer. This was probably what influenced me to start creating my own music but once I saw my favourite band, Bon Iver play their last concert, I was certain that I had to try it for myself.
- Do you have any formal or informal music training?
When I was 11 I started private guitar lessons and since then I have gone through the university course from Musicians Institute in London. Learning how to play an instrument properly is vital in being a musician so I'm very happy that I have done that.
- What equipment, software, and technology did you use for the home recording of Revolve? How long did the EP take to complete?
I first started to record it in about July. Sticks and Mud was the first song I started on. Even though I only had a laptop and a two-channel interface with basic Pro Tools, I had no idea how to use the equipment properly at this stage. I didn't have a microphone so everything was recorded through the built-in pickup on my acoustic guitar, from vocals to shakers. I eventually got a microphone and recorded the rest of the songs properly, though I decided to keep Sticks and Mud this way because I thought the unpolished sound was unique.
- With the increasing quality of at-home studio recordings, what do you think new innovation means for the future of professional recording studios and the cost of producing an album?
Obviously it is way more convenient for an artist to record at home given the fact that they can work when they like, as long as they like and at a much cheaper cost. Many other musicians I know have made top quality recordings from their home, the obvious being Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. I can see a major downfall in recording studios and also the record companies. With online, people are able to promote their stuff and get it on all of the online major platforms themselves so there is not really any need for record labels.
- Are you primarily an online presence in the music industry, or do you also perform live music? If so, what type of venues have you played?
So far I have been promoting my music online using everything I can. I have a session with Balcony TV Cork next weekend. From there I have a few ideas for live shows but nothing confirmed yet. If you follow me on Twitter you will definitely find out.
- Do you attend regular school, and if so, what do your classmates think of your musical abilities and ambitions?
I attend an all-boys school where they mainly play sports. Music isn't taught in the school so it never really comes up in the conversation, they know I play guitar but I assume they don't know about anything more than that.
- As a young person, have you felt the affects of Ireland's recession and consequential protests, and how much have they influenced your lyrical content?
People of every age can feel the affects of Ireland's recession, young or old. The whole world can feel it and it's not just Ireland. The idea of my EP was for the lyrics to lift you out of the situation for the 22 minutes. Of course it has affected me but I wanted to spin it into a positive for me personally and for the listener, this is why I feel that people should hear it because "if it can work for me, it can work for you too", haha!
- What are your recent and upcoming plans for the promotion of Revolve, concerning interviews, radio-play, gigs, and other exposure?
So far I have created a reasonable fan base through Twitter and other social networking sites. I am working on a website at the moment but I would like to start promoting my music in other ways too. I hope to get a few gigs in the upcoming months as we are now coming into the summer festival season. I've got radio play in a couple of countries but I'd like to get a few more. If the opportunity comes to get signed I will take it but for now I'll see what I can do myself. Online, I hope to get a few more reviews and increase my fan base. I love doing interviews so hopefully I can do a few more. I hope to start on some songs to get an album together but I haven't got anything planned properly yet, the main objective is to start playing live.
- Is there anything else you would like my readers to know about?
I also present an alternative music show on Radio im Internet on the first Sunday of every month and review albums and concerts every now and then on my Tumblr. If anybody is interested in contacting me for any reason I would love to chat with you on Twitter @IrishGuitarGuy or my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please support new and unsigned artists by visiting the links below to learn more about Adam Geraghty and to sample/purchase his music!
To check out one of Adam's interviews, visit Radio im Internet
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/revolve-ep/id586253196 …
Adam's Radio Show: http://www.facebook.com/RadioimInternet/posts/611203328906150
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