Expect plenty of energetic riffiness in the straight-up rock’n’roll sound of Irish garage rockers Collides.
The Waterford quartet first started out as a three-piece in 2014, but after a couple of members left Seán Walsh (vocals and guitar) was joined by Andrew Cuddy (drums) in 2016, then Mark Hearne (guitar) and Philly Purcell (bass and vocals) in 2017. And the band has swiftly gone from strength to strength.
As Seán tells us: “I have to say it was effortless, the four of us. We kind of clicked early on and we decided to get as many gigs as possible and get into the recording studio ASAP.”
They swiftly recorded two tracks, What’s On Your Mind and We’re So Cruel, in February 2018, which joined previously recorded tracks to form the band’s debut EP Fools Fell Fine, which was released in June.
The EP is packed with rocky riffs alongside Seán’s powerfully engaging yet melodic vocals. Opening track What’s On Your Mind is a great example of exactly that, beginning slowly then dropping into gruff cries of “what’s on your mind” over delicious rolling riffs that flow into a big guitar solo. It goes out big too, with a fun rocky outro. Check it out in the video below:
The rockiness does not relent as we’re launched straight into the fast riff that opens up We’re So Cruel, then a little building riff explodes into a big rock-out. A lively chorus follows, then big high-pitched vocals plug away over lingering guitars that burst into a life with a mini riff-off to close. Check it out in the video below:
The rocky goodness just coming on the EP as well as the deliciously atmospheric, gradually building Land Ho, which signs the record off in superb fashion. On the EP, Seán tells us: “It was a long time in the making, it was just great to get it out there. Since then, we have been gigging crazy, doing as many interviews etc… as possible. It’s been really good for our sound, the way approach shows, our confidence. Plenty of experience.”
And when it comes to what inspires them to write music, Seán explains: “I suppose we write about life and all that comes with it… I have a tendency to write lyrics kinda off the hook. I just write. Whatever comes out of me, writing without thinking. I usually get something from doing that, that comes out of my subconscious I think.
“I play along to the verse or chorus I have come up with and I then record myself. More often than not it has meaning, something that’s been on my mind… sometimes it doesn’t make much sense at the time but later on, I’m like, ‘ah yeah, now it does’. The penny drops. Then there’s times I take lines from lyrics previously written and stick them together.
“Lately, I’ve been finding myself writing about the absurdity of life, the way it can feel it’s on a loop, eat..shit… work…sleep…repeat and the way technology is taking over our lives and everything is a bit fake… I dunno, maybe I’m becoming a little cynical!”
In addition to their key musical influences including the likes of Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys, Mastodon and Oasis through to Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith and The Doors, Seán adds: “I suppose the pure excitement of creating a piece of art, all being excited about it together as a band, getting it out there for people to listen and then getting to record and release it. Music is something we have all been exposed to our entire lives, so it’s a part of us more then ourselves I suppose.”
We’re always keen to discover new Irish bands and find out what’s going on music-wise over in Ireland. Seán told us: “We’ve done a lot of gigs last year, especially since June and the scene, not just where we are from, Waterford, the Irish scene in general is going from strength to strength. I think 2019 will be a big year.”
Collides make the kind of music that deserves to be turned up loud and screamed along to at the top of your lungs while banging your head like a madman. Go listen now.
You can catch the guys on tour across Ireland, beginning on 23 March at GOMA Gallery in Waterford then a week later at Cleere’s Bar in Kilkenny with further dates through April. And there’s new music to come following sessions in the studio over the next couple of months.