Q&A // Otherkin

by AdamTait
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on 19 November 2015 in Features

If you were a gang of Irish upstarts, excelling in noise-making and keen to have it heard by the masses, hitting the road with Palma Violets and Parquets Courts would be a pretty sensible idea.

Well, brand Otherkin sensible, as that's exactly what they did. Unsurprisingly, it's paid dividends, and the excitement around their recently released EP The 201 has been electric. Quite rightly so.

As we too are sensible folk, we did the sensible thing and had a word with the band about what they're doing, why they're doing it and how it gets done. Read on - it's the sensible thing to do.

First and foremost, for those who don't already know - who are you, what's your story, what do you do?
We are a band from Dublin called OTHERKIN, we play garage-y grungey pop music and are currently on our first tour of the UK.

Where does the name come from? It's used to denote people who feel they're somehow 'other than human' - is that you? What's not human about you?
Yeah, to be honest we were totally unaware of the extent of what is to be Otherkin! Sometimes we joke that one of us is a dragon for lols, but we’re just plain ‘ol humans.

There's been much said about the influence or Britpop and grunge bands on your sound. Is that a fair assessment? Who would you pick as the biggest influences on your music? And who would you hate to be compared to?
Yeah it’s definitely fair, we’re very fond of American garage rock bands and British punk. Bands such as The Strokes, Blur, FIDLAR and The Clash would be huge influences. I don’t think we’d like to be compared to any manufactured pop artists, that wouldn’t be our thang.

It seems like live performance has been a big part of your development as a band. Do you think it's important for musical acts to nail their live show before worrying about the intricacies of recording?
100% - You learn a lot from your live shows, and how to add to existing material. It’s also a good way to gauge your new material outside of the practice room. But most importantly this is where you’re going to build your audience, the live experience is a totally different game.

Tell us a bit about the live scene in Dublin. Is it improving? Changing? deteriorating?
Dublin is a great city with some great bands, there’s bands getting brilliant exposure and breaking internationally but there’s also very talented acts who don’t abandon ship due to a restricted live circuit in Ireland as a whole.

How does the song writing process work for Otherkin? Where does a song start and how do you bring it to completion?
It’s a collaborative process, we’re all songwriters in the band and we produce every element of our music. It’s a hugely enjoyable and satisfying feeling to be able to develop each others ideas as a group.

We understand a couple of you are (or were?) at medical school. How do you manage that with being in a band? At what point will you (did you?) decide music's providing for you enough to pack in the doctoring?
We’ve all graduated or have chosen music as our profession. We recently signed with Rubyworks who’ve made it a seamless transition. We’ll be on the road now, writing new music and doing this as our full time job for the foreseeable future.

What's been your high point in 2015?
Being asked to play the BBC introducing stages at Reading & Leeds was a huge deal for us and allowed us to start building an audience in the UK.

What's been the toughest moment?

What, apart from your own work, has you really excited at the moment?
We’re very excited about some bands coming out of Ireland such as Fang Club and Thumper, who you should all check out!

What could the music world do with a little less of?

And finally, best and worst things about Chirstmas?
The best = presents. The worst = spending money on presents.


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