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Interview: Kodaline

6 min read

Irish indie rock quartet Kodaline struck gold earlier in the year with the European release of their debut album, In A Perfect World which climbed swiftly to the number one spot on the charts in their Irish homeland and also made quite a big dent in the charts throughout Europe. With the release of the successful studio effort having being unveiled in the U.S recently, Kodaline are on their way toward breaking one of the biggest and most challenging markets in music.

Ahead of a highly anticipated tour of the States which will see the band play at cities across the country before returning home to start on the tours European leg, we caught up with bassist Jason Boland to talk about the bands success and the release of their debut album, In A Perfect World. Here’s what he had to tell us:

Brendon Veevers: How are you today and where does our interview find you?

Jason Boland: We’re actually in our home town of Swords in Dublin, having a band meeting before heading out on our US Tour tomorrow.

KodalineInAPerfectWorldBV: You’ve recently released your debut album in the U.S.  What can your American fans expect from In A Perfect World?

JB: The album is our favourite songs from the year or so before we started gigging properly. We only really finished songs we believed in so instead of us choosing the best out of big bunch we really just release the songs that make it to the end of our filter.

BV: How would you describe your sound and your style to those who may not know the band?

JB: I think we’re a folky indie rock band, it’s really hard to give it one encompassing genre for us as the songs dictate the sound for us.

BV: You released an EP in the U.S earlier in the year called Love Like This. Would you say the tracks on this EP carry a similar sound to the new record?

JB: They were actually recorded after the album was finished but in some of the same rooms as the album so they tie in quite nicely for us. It was really fun to be able to get back in the studio as we had finished the record before last Christmas.

BV: Is there a favorite track for the band on the new album and what about the track makes it a favorite for the band?

JB: We all change our minds daily but it depends where we are and how the crowd reacts really! We have our own favourites but it’s impossible to choose one between us.

BV: Who would you say are the bands influences and for what reason are they so influential to you?

JB: We all bond over bands like.the Beatles, led Zeppelin and LCD Soundsystem but again have wide ranging influences between us. The first jam we had as kodaline was in Jay’s studio playing around an Ella Fitzgerald tune. Bruce Springsteen is a big hero of ours for both music and work ethic.

BV: In A Perfect World was released in the UK and Ireland earlier in the year and it reached the Number 1 spot in the Irish charts. What did you all do to celebrate?

JB: We all had really long phone calls home with some very proud parents. We were on the road so much last year it was all a little bit of a blur but everytime we are home the reaction is incredible. Irish people everywhere have gotten behind us which is just amazing, we played a tiny twitter show in Sydney and it was 70% Irish people.

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BV: Given its success so far, are you approaching the American release of the record with any expectations in terms of its chart performance?

JB: Our main goal is just to get our music out to as many people as possible so we’re looking forward to playing to new people! It would be insane to chart in America so we don’t have any grand aspirations of chart success. But fingers crossed, you never can tell.

BV: What’s the story behind the name of the band?

JB: It’s not a very interesting story unfortunately but it’s the first word we came across that we all agreed upon and which was still free on Facebook twitter and .Com as boring as that sounds. Since choosing it we’ve found different meanings and uses for it but it was more about being able to make it our own and let the music do our explaining.

BV: How will you know when things have really taken off for the band – how do you define the bands success?

JB: Success for us is being able to continue to tour and record, without the fan reaction so far we’d still be playing in our bedrooms so the only real measure of success for us is when people come out to shows. That’s where we work and socialise, we’re lucky enough to have the best job in the world.

BV: What would you say it is about Kodaline that makes you unique to other artists?

JB: I’m not sure what makes us different but we like to think our live show is our strong side. We live to play shows of any size, often we’ll even do pop up shows on days off.

BV: What would you say has been the biggest challenge about being a recording and touring collective, if there has been any?

JB: As a group of friends it’s all been pretty good to be honest! We pinch ourselves all the time just to make sure it’s real. There haven’t been too many challenges so far apart from lack of sleep but we can’t really complain!

BV: Are there any acts out there that you would love to collaborate with or tour with and if so, who would they be and in what capacity would you like to see a collaborative project?

JB: We always think about this and hopefully someday we’ll get the chance to work with Nicholas Jarr. We’re really big fans of his and the collaborations he has been involved with so far are incredible, he’s also really cool so a tour would just be amazing!

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BV: What’s your songwriting process like? Are you perfectionists when it comes to piecing a record together?

JB: We’ve never had normal fights but it has come to fisticuffs over an “it” or “and”. We would never write anything in a song that we wouldn’t say to a friend so that is one of our built in filters.

BV: When you sit down to write and album or a new song, where would you say you draw your inspiration from and can you talk to us a little about those inspirations and why they are so fundamental to your songwriting?

JB: We tend to write purely about real experiences so the inspiration comes straight out of our everyday lives. With alot of the record the songs are pages from our diaries, we know each other so well we don’t even need to discuss the songs as we all know what they’re about straight away as we’ve been there either together or around each other.

BV: Will you be heading out on the road this year to support the new material?

JB: Yes we’ll be on the road for most of next year bringing us through the festival circuit again and so far there are plans for Australia, another US Tour and even South America so we’re just excited to see where we end up!

BV: What else does the band have planned for 2013?

JB: After the US tour we are straight into a sold out UK and Irish tour followed by a European tour that will bring us up to Christmas. Then we have a little time to reset before hitting the road again next year.

Kodalines new album In A Perfect World is out now

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