• Where did the name Jealous of the Birds come from?
It just occurred to me one day when I was trying to come up with an online username. Then around the time I released a DIY lo-fi EP, it felt fitting to use the name as an alias.
• You love literary greats and poetry – has a particular poet or poem inspired any of your music?
Allen Ginsberg and Walt Whitman are probably my two favourite poets. Both spoke about the importance of candour in life and in one’s writing, and that’s something which I’ve tried to carry through into my own work. There’s a common understanding among the Beat poets of “First thought, best thought” and though no one ever truly took that literally, the reluctance to censor oneself and instead move towards free-association is something that’s always thrilled me. Sometimes I think of songs as poem-pictures set to music, and in that sense I draw a lot of inspiration from post—impressionist art and painters like Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin and Picasso. Trying to imbue songs with that kind of colour and texture.
-What was the first gig that you went to?
It was either Arctic Monkeys at Marlay Park in Dublin, or La Dispute at Bar Sub in Belfast.
• What is the best gig you’ve played and why?
There have been so many fun shows over the past couple years, but one that stands out from this summer was our last show at The Great Escape in Brighton. It was a show our UK label Hand in Hive had organised in a venue called The Mucky Duck. The place is tiny and intimate with a rickety wooden bar and is usually filled with locals, but that night it was so packed with musicheads that the bouncers were only allowing “one in, one out”. It was probably the most passionate show we played that summer.
-If you did an E.P of cover songs, which 4 songs would you cover?
Billie Holiday – Living For You
The Beatles – I Am The Walrus
Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat Cigarettes After Sex – Affection
• Do you currently have a favourite artist that you’re listening to?
Fleet Foxes. Also been on a real Esperanza Spalding kick.
• The name of your latest E.P- ‘The Moths Of What I Want Will Eat Me In My Sleep’- is quite interesting. What made you decide on that name?
It’s the last line of a poem I wrote after graduating university. I picked it because it felt like it captured the sense of ambition and passion I’ve been experiencing over the past two or three years in striving to make good art and hone my craft.
• Is there a difference between playing at home in Ireland and here in the UK? Which one do you prefer?
We haven’t played full band shows that extensively in the UK aside from festival slots and shows in London, but it’s always such a joy to be there — both in the sense that people are incredibly responsive and have their finger on the pulse of indie music there, but also in that it’s just great to travel and explore the cities. Playing in Ireland is equally lovely in that it’s like playing in your own back yard.
-What’s the part about playing live that you love the most and what can people expect from your upcoming shows?
I love the energy and intimacy of it. After seeing a show, you want to be able to walk away knowing that you felt something — that a connection was made and something was shared. Our full bands shows are always more passionate, with a blend of heavier indie rock anthems and softer mellow songs, so it always feels like such a sweet set to play as a band.
• What’s next for Jealous Of The Birds?
In February my new EP ‘Wisdom Teeth’ is out and then touring in the States, UK and a few cities in Europe will begin. Insanely stoked.
Jealous of the Birds will be on tour in the UK in November, tickets are available here: http://gigst.rs/JOTBTags: Access All Areas / interview / jealous of the birds