Interview: The Strypes

The Strypes, a four piece beat band from Cavan, Ireland, are one of the most exciting new bands to have emerged since The Vaccines a couple of years ago. The band agreed to give me an exclusive interview, charting their rise to recognition via NME magazine, and gaining celebrity fans such as Paul Weller and Miles Kane.
Rock Revolver (RR) - Your music has received comparisons to how The Beatles sounded during their Hamburg era. Have they influenced you at all?
The Strypes (TS) - Yes, the Hamburg era Beatles are certainly an influence on us, when they were a rough and ready, kick ass rock'n'roll band. Our main influences as a group also include white rhythm and blues bands such as Dr. Feelgood, The Yardbirds, The Rolling Stones, The Animals, Nine Below Zero, The Blues Band and John Mayall & The Blues breakers, as well as the original black bluesmen/rock'n'rollers like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters to name but a few!
RR - Can you tell me a bit about how you got started in the music business?
TS - Although we've been playing clubs and festivals around Ireland for over a year now, our first break into the music business came in April 2012, when we released a four track EP called "Young, Gifted & Blue". There was no record label involved and we did all the work and promotion ourselves. It was released on Friday 13th April and shot to No. 1 on the iTunes Blues chart the next day! The following week we appeared on Ireland's top TV program "The Late Late Show" where we performed the lead track from the EP (a Bo Diddley cover) called "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover", after which the EP began receiving regular national airplay. It was then that we started getting regular media attention. We had a very busy summer, where we played a couple of gigs a week for three months solid and appeared at almost every major festival in Ireland. In September '12 we made a whistle-stop tour of London, where we played two nights at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, followed by sets at Gaz's Rockin' Blues, Soho, The Blues Kitchen, Camden and the premier of the new B.B. King film "The Life Of Riley" in the Mayfair Hotel. All the shows were great, with Jeff Beck, Kenney Jones, Mick Taylor, Mark Lamarr and Miles Kane in the audience. It was as a result of these shows that we appeared in the NME...
RR - You were featured in NME recently, what was that like for you?
TS - It was a real buzz to be featured in the NME, especially because of its long history and the fact that it is one of the biggest music mags going! We were all really excited and pleased about it.
RR - Paul Weller is a fan of your music, how does it feel and what does it mean to receive recognition on that level?
TS - It was amazing to find out that he is a fan. We are huge Weller/The Jam fans and are big into the Mod culture too. The quote from him about us in the NME was fantastic too.
RR - You're from Cavan, Ireland, what is the music scene like where you live?
TS - The music scene in Ireland in general is very small, actually. There are no proper music venues in Cavan, except for pubs (where nobody really wants to hear rhythm and blues!) so most of our time is spent playing clubs around Dublin, which has a really good scene and some really great venues to play.
RR - Who are your favourite bands/solo artists right now?
TS - As we said in the first question, most of our musical diet consists of 50's/60's/70's blues artists, but as far as current artists go we like Miles Kane, The Jim Jones Revue, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis and The Heavy.
RR - You are all still quite young, from what age did you get into music?
TS - Yes, we are quite young to be where we are at the moment! Contrary to what the NME said though, the band's age range is 15-17 years old. We all grew up in a very musical houses, with our parents being involved with different bands over the years, whether it was playing in the band or a behind the scenes job. We all grew up with music around us, so we have sort of always been into it!
RR - What is the best piece of advice you have been given, and who gave it to you?
TS - "Don't get screwed by a record company!" - Jeff Beck said that!
RR - Have you been to any festivals before?
TS - Funnily enough, we had never been to any festivals before we started playing them. Now we have played tonnes! Last summer, was incredibly busy. We must have played every major festival in Ireland! One of the highlights of them all was Westport Festival, where we played the main stage on the bill with Seasick Steve, Imelda May and Jools Holland. We got to meet and chat with them all and had a fantastic time.
RR - If you could choose one major venue to headline, which would you choose and why?
TS - We have no ambitions at the moment to fill stadiums, but to sell out venues like the 100 Club, Dingwall's or the Hope And Anchor would be fantastic.
RR - Who are your heroes and what do they mean to you?
TS - Jeff Beck, Wilko Johnson, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and John Mayall are all great. They aren't so much heroes as they are musicians who we really admire and respect.
RR - Out of the four of you, who has the best taste in music and why?
TS - We argue about that all the time! Seriously, it would be unfair to pick one of us, and we all have very similar tastes in music anyway.
RR - Have you heard of Jake Bugg? What are your opinions on him?
TS - We really like Jake Bugg and actually went to see him live on Arthur's Day in Dublin. It's great to see another young person out there rebelling against the manufactured, synthesiser-riddles rubbish hogging the charts these days. Anyone who wants to break away from the X Factor bollocks and make real music is okay with us!
RR - If you couldn't be involved with music, what would you like to do when you are older?
TS - We would all still definitely be involved in the arts, whether it be in film, graphic design, literature or something like that.
RR - Finally, do you have any plans for the future?
TS - There are no definite plans at the moment, we are not the five year career plan types! Things are changing so often and we are getting so much news and attention lately it's hard to tell where it's going to go, but it would be great to get an album out and a proper tour next year.
I would like to thank The Strypes for this interview, and I wish them all the best for the future.
If you are eager to find out more about this band, check out the following links for further information.
Are you a fan of The Strypes? What do you think of their EP? Comment below to get your voice heard.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview! It's so good to see The Strypes gaining the recognition they deserve. Great that they're Irish too ;)