Otherkin are a 4-piece indie, garage rock band made up for Luke, Connor, David and Rob, originating from Dublin Ireland. You can’t help but take note of them with their catchy, ‘in your face’ tunes, along with their raucous live performances – and it turns out aiming to stand out works, with the band being booked to support Guns and Roses in Ireland.
With the sun setting in Guildford, Elly Bailey interviewed Luke and Connor on the roof of Boileroom, a few hours before their headline set at the venue, here’s what the lads had to say:
So I read on Wikipedia that Otherkin are a subcultural community of people who socially identify as partially or entirely non-human, so it this how you guys see yourselves?
Connor: I’d say definitely not, no, we actually came across Otherkin, quite a while ago in a magazine called Totally Dublin, it’s a Irish culture magazine, and we didn’t read too far into it at all, it just sounded cool at the time, we didn’t really research it. And then by the time we’d settled on the name, and things had started to kick off for us as a band, we were getting all these messages, like, “oh do you guys think you’re half dragon or something?” But yeah our drummer is…
Luke: He’s like a half goat,
Connor: Yeah, he’s half goat or something like that,
Luke: Yeah we tell people that
Connor: But we wouldn’t identify as that
Luke: I think we were just looking for a name for so long that when we came across something we really liked, we kind of jumped with it, even though we didn’t really understand what it was.
Connor: We got excited
You guys are from Dublin, Ireland, what’s the music scene like over there?
Luke: It’s really good; there is a load of really different sounding bands. It’s probably not as scene driven as a lot of the UK, there’s no real scene, there’s a lot of different distinctive acts that are doing their own thing, a lot of good music is coming out of the city, and a lot of bands are doing well on the international level which is cool, so it’s great yeah
Connor: I think the diversity actually helps bring up the standard cause there’s no real group of friends playing music every week, you have to stand out to build an audience, in Dublin or Ireland in general, so that’s why I think there’s a crop of artists really starting to come up
Because you guys are from Ireland, are you finding it difficult to get your name out in the UK?
Luke: Yeah I think it can be difficult, because the main thing is we don’t get to come over that often, because it’s so expensive. Before we even get into the country we have to spend €700 on the ferry, not many bands can do that. We’re lucky that we have a label, but that’s why you don’t see many Irish acts coming over because they simply can’t afford to. We really have to come over and play Monday and Tuesday nights to make it worth our money, so it can be difficult because we just don’t get to play here that often, and I think for us that’s the main way we convert people is when we’re in front of them playing live. Radio support here has been really good, but it is tough because there’s so many bands out there, but we feel that it’s always building and that when we come to the album we’ll have a lot of UK fans on board who will want to hear it.
And when can we expect an album?
Connor: Soonish, this year, some point after summer, no confirmed date at this time
Luke: It’s all done
Connor: We’re just hoping to pin down a date soon
I’ve seen your music been describe in many different ways, such as Natty Britpop (NME), and Punky New Wave Pop (Fred Perry Subculture), how would you guys personally describe it?
Luke: I’d say it’s a sort of punk, pop, garage, rock. A bit of everything. For example, Bad Advice, our latest single, I would say is pure garage rock, but then you have other songs like Ay Ay, which has that grunge rock element to it.
In March you released your new single Bad Advice, and you’re now on the Bad Advice tour, so what’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Connor: Worst piece of bad advice I’ve ever been given is I was going on a date, and I met my friend before who told me to smoke a joint before I went on the date, and when I got to the date I was so spaced out, and when I went to pay for the food I picked up my jacket, but upside down, and all the changed fell out onto the floor. That was definitely the worst advice I’ve ever been given. And I never saw that girl again.
I read you guys started off playing house parties, so what is the main difference between playing a house party and an organised gig?
Luke: I think a big thing with house parties is that the police can get involved very quickly. But we love doing house parties, we’re actually looking to do a few more over summer, but you have to be careful with noise complaints etc. The vibe of a house party is always cool though, it can sound shitty but the vibe is always amazing.
Connor: I think they’re almost more chaotic; things tend to go either wrong or amazingly wrong,
Luke: We’ve had footprints on the ceiling on the house I live for about 4 years now, which is crazy because the ceilings are about 15 feet high, but footprints somehow managed to reach up there
We’ve already spoken a bit about your style of music but what would you say you’re main musical influences are?
Connor: I’d say in the past the mains bands we’ve all really loved have been bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, The Clash, The Ramones. All the bands are different types of heavier music, but they’re all very melody focused. You could take one of their songs and play it on an acoustic guitar and it would become a pop song. It seems that although these bands don’t sound the same, they are all melody driven, which we like
Luke: Yeah, I think in our songs we like to try and marry loud instrumentation with a sweet melody. It’s really in your face but you’re still going to be humming the tune an hour later.
What else do you have coming up in 2017?
Connor: We’re going to be playing festivals over the summer, Download, Victorious Festival, we have something else big that we’re going to be announcing quite soon, and we’re playing on coming over in July to play some house party shows and some club shows, so if anybody wants us to play their house party let us know!
Anything else you want to add?
Connor: We have a new single coming out very soon, and we’ll be doing the video for that in London, and we’re really excited
Luke: And we’re going to get the album out, and just take over