Interview: Ciaran Lavery

Hey guys! 

Some artists just keep moving without any breaks.
I find that super inspiring and also super impressive.

Being in the position where a lot of promo emails fill me inbox every day, it never goes unnoticed when there are artists who constantely have something to present to the media and the public.

Ciaran Lavery is definitely one of those tireless musicians who keep releasing fantastic art.

Ciaran Lavery is a singer/songwriter from the small town Aghagallon in Ireland.

To find the right words to describe his genre, you'd have to invent new words.
The are many layers to this constantly developing artist, who draws inspiration from rock bands as well as Bob Dylan & Crosby, Stills & Nash.

His debut EP "Kosher" (2014), which includes the track that made us big fans, "Left For America", got the ball rolling for Ciaran.
His relentless passion for music has let to him releasing his first album "Not Nearly Dark", as well as a collaborative mini album called "Sea Legs" with Ryan Vail in 2015.

2016 has seen the release of Ciaran's second album, "Let Bad In", which has blown minds all over the world.

And just because all of the above isn't enough for Ciaran Lavery, he's about to drop his next piece of art - a live album recorded at Belfast's The Mac.

Because the curiousity to find out more about the live album was nearly killing us, we had to have a chat with Ciaran.

Find out what he told us about the process of putting the album together, working with a string section, Social Media and a lot more!

house in the sand: Hi Ciaran, it's been a while since we last had a chat back in Stuttgart.
Catch us up, what's been going on in your music life?

Ciaran: Things have been pretty relentless over the peroid of a year. I've been touring with a band the past 6-8 months across the U.K, Ireland & Europe, recording new material in Dublin, which has been a hell of a lot of fun. Right now I'm preparing for the release of a live album 'Live at The Mac' recorded over two sold out nights last December with a trio of strings.

HITS: Of course we want to chat about your upcoming release, the "Live at The Mac" album.
How did the idea for the live album come up?

Ciaran: I guess I've always wanted to scratch the itch of working with strings in some way or another. It's a road that has been trodden by the singer songwriter community many times, so I have been sensitive to the idea for a while. I got to a point where I had flirted briefly with the idea of small arrangements on record, so that almost opened the door. At a time where I had two LPs and an EPs worth of material under my belt, I felt I was in a good position to have a variety of songs to choose from. I like manipulating my tracks, letting them morph & mutate according to the arrangements. A lot of the songs chosen had yet to be arranged for the string instruments, so that intrigued me.

HITS: So you've just mentioned the string trio which you've played the show with.
How much practice had to be done to get it all to work together? Can you tell us a bit about the process of that?

Ciaran: Dan Burne-McCullough was the perfect arranger for the job. He was sensitive about the nature of the songs and at the forefront of everything was an idea of complimenting what already existed. The strings served to add a layer of emotion and drama that aren't present in a solo performance of guitar and myself.
The three players of Rachael, Zarah & Owen worked effortlessly alongside the songs, so yes, there was a lot of time and effort put into the various areas but it also had a feeling of everything slotting into place.

HITS: We can also find a cover of the classic "Streets Of Philadephia" on the album. What made you choose this particular track? Do you have a special connection with the song?

Ciaran: Who doesn't love Bruce Springsteen? If there were an opportunity to perform something of his back catalogue, then I was going to take it. It was just a matter of looking at something that hadn't already been treated with the same arrangement and seeing if we could do it justice. Like I say with all covers, they are never there to compete with the original at all, they never can. It's more a nod to the track and hopefully a result that can possibly bring out elements of the song that weren't as obvious.

HITS: Looking back, what was your personal highlight of creating the album?

Ciaran: It's always the live performance itself. When you step out live, you always want to make sure you can engage people for the 60 minutes or whatever length of time you have to play with. People pay good money and spend their time in the hope to have a good time. As a performer, I hope they can take something away from it.

HITS: Of course wel aso need to ask - which are your favourite live albums by other artists?

Ciaran: I have always been drawn to Eels, Live at Town Hall. I remember hearing it for the first time, already being a fan of the band, and it really blew me away. Songs that had a previously bombastic bold production, were suddenly stripped and presented in a way that hit you right between the eyes and somewhere among 'the feels'. I do cherish the Ryan Adams Carnegie Hall live record too, but I'm a huge fan of his and always have been. He creates something special, between the songs and the comedy. And of course, the original great live album(s) Johnny Cash live at San Quentin and Folsom Prison. They exist on another plain.

HITS: With Social Media being such a huge part of the music business and our lives in general, it's easy to find clips from gigs online. How do you feel about gig-goers who tape gigs and put the videos online?

Ciaran: It's an inevitable byproduct of the world that we live in. As a live performer, you want people to exist in the moment and not be aware of the digital world that's forver present around them. Really though, who am I to chastise someone for lifting their phone if they feel this is a moment they have to capture? (hopefully for all the positive reasons)

HITS: You seem to be on tour all the time, which is amazing. But it also means you spend a lot of time travelling. How do you keep yourself entertained on the road? Do you play card games? Watch films?

Ciaran: I recently downloaded Netflix to my phone but between my battery life and memory space it's a horrible duo of circumstances that have almost eliminated that form of entertainment. I try to read & write a little. I read more than I write admittedly. But then again, I'm still learning. Routines are hard to come by with the constantt moving from one place to another. If I can, I try to find a space to switch off, as difficult as that is. Right now I have Patti Smith's 'M Train' with me around the UK, which I can't recommend enough to any type of reader.

HITS: As you know, house in the sand is crazy about new music. Can you share any favourites of yours with us?

Ciaran: Joshua Burnside, Saint Sister, Rosie Carney, In Their Thousands

HITS: And finally, thanks for taking the time to chat to us, Ciaran.

Ciaran: See you soon!

Pre-Order "Live at the Mac" - out on December 9th 2016

Listen to "Tell Them All" taken off 'Live at the Mac' below!

Ciaran Lavery online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text intro & questions: Vanessa Jertschewske | Answers: Ciaran Lavery | Image: Kathrin Baumbach | **this interview has kindly been arranged by Six07 Press**


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