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    A Burial At Sea About Their New Album, "Close To Home"

    "The Biggest Motivation Is Our Love for Our Band!"

    Interview von Anne
    19.01.2024 — Lesezeit: 6 min
    Deutsche Version lesen
    A Burial At Sea About Their New Album, "Close To Home"
    Bild/Picture: © A Burial At Sea

    A Burial At Sea will release their new album, "Close To Home", on February 23rd. After publishing my detailed preview here, I talked to Dara (Tohill) and Patrick (Blaney). I asked them a few questions about making this outstanding record, which is already causing great joy among fans worldwide. In this interview, you can find many insights about the eleven songs—from the motivation behind them to the duo's sources of inspiration and Dara's and Patrick's plans for the time after their release.

    Anne: Hi! Thanks so much for chatting with me! How are you guys doing today? I'm guessing you're pretty positive because your new album, "Close To Home", is coming out soon!

    Dara: Thanks for your invitation! We're very positive, but there's still a feeling of trepidation about it. In the process of creating the album, I must have heard these songs hundreds of times in a hundred different forms, so I have no idea what listening to it for the first would feel like any more. I just hope people feel the same way we feel about it!

    Anne: I can't imagine it any other way. I had the chance to listen to it for my preview, and for me, it's already one of the albums of 2024. You must be delighted with the outcome of your work. Are you?

    Dara: We're delighted and proud to hear that! We've had a rocky few years with the pandemic and line-up changes. At one point, the band's future was up for debate. But with the album finished and in the process of being released, I do have an overwhelming sense of pride and relief that we made a great album and overcame the obstacles.

    Anne: One of your biggest inspirations for "Close To Home" was your childhood in Ireland, if I read that right. The song "Páirc Béal Uisce" is about the park where you grew up on the north coast of Ireland, Patrick, while "Tor Head" is your tribute to the rugged Northern Irish coastline. Did you always want to make a record of this time and the places there? It is, so much is for sure, quite inspiring!

    "The bands we grew up listening to inspired us a lot!"

    A Burial At Sea "Close To Home"
    A Burial At Sea. Bild/Picture: © Sulk Photography

    Patrick: We didn't set out to make the album about home. But when we were creating the demos, we started noticing we were calling them after things relating to our upbringing there. After a while, the album started feeling like an ode to Ireland.

    We also pulled a lot of inspiration from bands that we grew up listening to and combined them with what we are listening to now. When I was even creating certain riffs for the album, I would think of the song I was pulling inspiration from and where I was and what I was doing when I first heard it. When I would sit in that creative space for a while, the songs then had a strange, fresh, yet familiar personality. Recently, I had a cocktail that was made from all these ingredients I had never heard of before. But when I drank it, it had a nostalgic taste of a candy I had growing up—that's how the album sort of feels like to me.

    Anne: Which one of the eleven on "Close To Home" is your favourite?

    Dara: The first ones that came to mind are "Masterfred" or "Hy-Brasil", but the more I think about it, the harder it is to choose.

    Anne: Your home base is now Liverpool. What drew you there?

    Patrick: We both moved there for the university to study music and ended up meeting each other. Within a few months, we started A Burial At Sea!

    Anne: How would you describe the Liverpool music scene these days?

    Dara: I'd say it's very diverse. If you think of a genre, there's probably a scene in it. The only problem—and it's a problem all around the UK at the minute—is a lot of grassroots venues are closing down, so many new bands aren't getting the gig opportunities the way we did in the past. However, I am hopeful music is resilient, and I have noticed a few house party gigs happening.

    Anne: The critics mention you in one sentence with bands like As I Watch You From Afar (who you've been on tour with), Godspeed You! Black Emperor and This Will Destroy You. This must feel quite inspiring and flattering at once. Do you meet with them on a regular basis?

    Patrick: Luckily enough, we supported And So I Watch You From Afar around Europe and the UK on their last tour. That was a surreal feeling for us. I remember being 14 years old, listening to their first album, then 12 years later, sitting on a tour bus with them, sharing stories and multiple cans of beer. We also had the chance to support This Will Destroy You and The Ocean in Bristol recently; it was also a surreal feeling hearing them play their songs, which we had been listening to for years, during their soundcheck. Unfortunately, we have yet to support Godspeed, but we did get to meet some of the members in their side project, Some Became Hollow Tubes, during our 2019 tour in England and Switzerland. You could feel the creativity ooze out of them, even just being in their presence.

    Anne: We all have these phases of "Where to start?" and "When to begin?". What would you say motivates you the most to get up in the morning, grab a cuppa and go to the studio to write some new songs?

    "We love what we do!"

    Dara: The biggest motivation is the love we have for our band. We love getting to do what we do, and the only way to continue doing what we love is to keep creating!

    Anne: Your first official release was "… And the Sum of Its Parts" in May 2018, followed by "A Burial At Sea" in November 2020, if I recall correctly. What has changed since that time?

    Dara: Not much. There have been a few line-up changes, but the core feeling and essence of the band remain. As long as that is there, ABAS will always be the same.

    Anne: The two of you are both multi-instrumentalists. When did you first come in contact with instruments, and which was the first you fell in love with?

    Dara: I grew up with my older brother playing guitar, so there was always cool noise coming from behind his bedroom door, which inspired me to pick it up, too. But it wasn't until I bought a TAB book for the Green Day album Insomniac, and I would sit and teach myself these songs obsessively for weeks until I could play along with the album. It was that feeling of nailing a song that made me fall in love with it.

    Anne: Did you record all the instruments on "Close To Home" yourself? Who supported you with the mixing and mastering?

    "Working with Pelagic is a dream!"

    A Burial At Sea "Close To Home"
    A Burial At Sea "Close To Home"

    Dara: Well, Patrick recorded all the drums, and he and I split a lot of the guitar parts. Patrick played piano on a few songs, and I played some synth, too. On "Hy-Brasil" and "Gorse Bush On Fire", our friend Ian Grant from Outlander (who played guitar for us on our last tour) laid down some guitars on them. Our good friend Sam Rabbette, who has been on tour with us a few times, laid down the bass parts. The trumpet was our trumpet player, John Naylor, who's been with us since the early days. For the song "Dall", we needed a saxophone in the mix, so we got our friend Rachel Dover in, too. This was all tied together by the genius himself, Tom Peters (Alpha Male Tea Party) at Trapdoor Studios, who produced and mixed the album and Loïc Gaillard, who mastered it.

    Anne: How is working with Pelagic?

    Dara: Working with Pelagic is a dream. They are very professional and easygoing people and want what's best for us. They let us do our thing creatively and support whatever we come up with. They give us excellent, solid advice, and you really do feel cared for being a part of their family.

    Anne: If there were one thing in the world, you could choose that would change in the way you'd wish to. What would it be and why?

    Dara: For billionaires and multinational corporations to pay more tax, and for that money to go back into public services and struggling communities to help elevate those in need. Instead of putting it into the pockets of people who are profiteering from global warming, creating a cost of living crisis, jacking up rent prices and creating a homeless epidemic. It's just crazy that Starbucks makes millions in profit every year and still pays less tax than teachers and doctors who use food banks just to survive.

    Anne: You plan to release "Close To Home" on February 23rd. What's up next after that big event? Will the release be the kick-off of your next tour?

    "We have big tour plans!"

    Dara: There's a massive tour booked that will happen shortly after the release, and another one with some other countries (and continents!) we have been to before is still in the groundwork for later in the year!

    Anne: Thanks very much for this pleasant chat! I wish you all the best for your album release and everything that follows!

    Dara: Thanks very much for giving us the opportunity to talk about the album, and hopefully, our paths will cross again very soon!

    A Burial At Sea – "tor head"

    © 2024 · · Anne Reis