Dublin’s Freshest Band iNNUENDO Discuss Their New Single “I Haven’t Got a Clue” and Their Versatility, Tenacity, Musicality and Inspirations

Dublin’s iNNUENDO is an exciting new band made of versatile musicians with the shared goal of bringing new and exciting tracks to the Irish music scene. Despite only beginning in earnest last year, the band have been gaining major organic traction.

The band’s vocalist Nora Ronan and drummer Daniel Dennehy sat down at Dublin’s Metro Café with Post-Burnout‘s Aaron Kavanagh to discuss their new single “I Haven’t Got a Clue,” as well as their formation, their tenacity, their place in the Irish music scene, their versatility and more.

Disclosure: This article’s author is a work colleague of both the band’s bassist and former drummer

Nora: So, yeah, we weren’t called iNNUENDO. We were called, eh…

Daniel: Was it, The Demen…The Dimin…

Nora: The Diminished [Laughs] for, like, a year and a half. We started in 2020, and I was in T.Y., and I was like, “I’m really into music. I want to start this band!” and I got a few friends together, and they knew the people who could play, and then we just kind of started this thing, where we just, like…and it was so [Inaudible],  ‘cause of COVID and everything. Like, we literally didn’t play a gig until two years after we started, because people kept leaving and, like, coming and going, and then we kind of…like, people would be like, “Ah, yeah! Just a bit of craic,” like, and they’d come along, and we wouldn’t have a rehearsal for months, like, you know what I mean? Like, I kept on being like, “Yeah, we’re gonna still do it.” Like, I wanted to keep going, like. And everyone was kind of like…my dad even was like, “Oh, you’re not a real band” and all this shit, and I was like, “No!” We had, like, two original songs that we wrote, and the one that we’re releasing [“I Haven’t Got a Clue”], we wrote that, like, three years ago. Like, we literally wrote that so long ago, and it’s so weird how much it’s come from that, if you get me?

Daniel: I mean, it’s definitely not the same song.

Nora: It’s not the exact same song, but, like, the beginning parts…Like, the actual structure and the melody and the lyrics are the same thing. Like, it’s just all the extra bits, like the bassline. The drums are the same, the guitars are mainly the same.

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Nora: Like, it’s so weird. Like, three years ago we wrote that and now it’s coming out, you know what I mean?

You said you started as a covers band [Editor’s Note: This was said before we started recording]. What sort of, like, stuff were you playing? Like, what artists [sic] were you…?

Nora: We were doing, like, eh…I think our setlist was, like, there was like Blondie, “Call Me;” [David Bowie’s] “The Jean Genie.” [Thin Lizzy’s] “Dancing in the Moonlight!” That was our [Inaudible]. We did [Sweet’s] “Ballroom Blitz.” Like, it was all classic ‘70s rock or ‘80s rock, whatever. That was what I was into at the time. And that’s what…like, our drummer – our old drummer – was, like, a real metalhead, and the other guys were kind of…

That was Max [Kaye], wasn’t it?

Nora: Yeah, yeah.

He’s another work colleague of mine! [Laughs]

Nora: Yeah. Oh, really?!

Well, he works at [company name]…well, I don’t think he works…

Nora: He changed it now, I think.


Nora: Yeah. So…

He’s still in the work groupchat. [Laughs]

Nora: Yeah, I know! [Laughs] He…yeah, he’s gas. Yeah, Max was in it from the very start, but Max and I are…until the recent line-up […] Max had a lot of other things to do, so he kind of…he wasn’t able to keep doing it. But Max and I were, like, the only people who stayed the whole time. Because, obviously the whole line-up…

Daniel: Not even Ben?

Nora: No, Ben joined… – em, Ben [Watson], our guitarist, he’s, like, the next kind of most original person – he joined when we started playing gigs.


Nora: So, obviously we didn’t do anything for, like, two years – we were just messing around, really, just kind of playing loads of covers, and then February 2022 – [to Daniel] he hadn’t joined yet – we played our first gig. We were supporting this band called Candy’s Guild, they’re disbanded now, but they were just friends.

Daniel: They’re Sweep Head now.

Nora: No, but your…the singer’s gone. Yeah, so they…I knew the singer’s girlfriend, and I was like, “Oh, hopefully we’re still going to play gigs and stuff,” and I was still taking it seriously, but a lot of us were like [Shrugs], you know what I mean? So, we played this gig, and we were just opening and there were so many people there, and I was extremely sick! Like, I had bronchitis and tonsilitis for the second time, and I was, like, alternating my warmups, like, I am on a horrible high on Paracetamol, Lemsip, like, everything, Sudafed. And I was like, [Putting on a groggy voice] “I’m really sick, guys!” But, like, I just did it anyway and it was so much fun. We met this band called Raw Cuts there, ‘cause they were playing after, and, em, that was…it was just class. And we didn’t play anything then for a few months, and then we played a few more supports for Candy’s Guild; we supported Fused, the band from Wicklow; and we got invited to go play this festival yoke at The Grand Social, and we…at the time we were so tight, because they were just covers, and we changed our…people were away around May then, and we were playing a load of support gigs then, and we got in, like, session play…not “session players!” but they were from BIMM and they were really, really good. Like, Colm Geraghty and Dara Gooney, they were playing bass and drums, ‘cause we were so uncertain with our lineup; like, it was very non-existent. Like, it was so throwaway, like! When we started playing gigs, that’s when we changed our name to iNNUENDO. But yeah. So, we played these gigs and, like, people kind of saw us from there and, obviously, we were playing covers and we sounded good, so people liked us, and they were like… [The rest of Nora’s sentence gets cut off here as the waiter comes to the table with our orders].

L-R: John Kirk (bass), Nora Ronan (vocals, guitar, and keyboard), Daniel Dennehy (drums), and Sam Watson (guitar)
Photo by Ailbhe McCaughey. Courtesy of iNNUENDO

So, what was the reason for the name change then?

Nora: Eh…everyone thought it was cringe [All laugh]. Everyone thought “The Diminished” was really cringe. And we had, like, tried a load of different names for, like…I really…I was in a big Queen phase, back in 2019…

Daniel: Oh!

Nora: Yeah!

Daniel: I see!

Nora: And I was looking for names, I was trying to figure out what we could be called, then I thought “Innuendo” sounded cool, but then I realised that, like, that’s a whole Queen album, and I was like, “Is that illegal, to do that?” [All laugh] And I remember…I always knew whenever you [come up with a name], to do a Spotify check. So, Spotify check is, like, looking up a name, how many people have that name? And there was, like…at the time that we changed it, there was, like, seven artists but most of them were under ten monthly listeners, so I was like, “Good enough.”


Nora: And there was one band called Innuendo, and they were a Thai, like…

The boyband, yeah?

Nora: …R&B, like, pop group and I was like, “Is that gonna matter in the long run? Nah! It’s fine!” Because who in Ireland knows? Like, we’re only, like, obviously viable in Ireland right now, because you’ve got to be a big fish in a small pond before you can be in a bigger pond, do you know what I mean?


Nora: But, yeah, I was like, “That’s fine. It’s grand. No-one’s gonna know! Like, it’s OK!” But, yeah, we were, like, we were always referred to as, like…my friend’s dad called us as a yacht rock band, but we were totally not, like! We were kind of…we were getting more heavier as we were writing and stuff. But, yeah, so that’s how we changed the name. It’s kind of like a group thing. Like, I come up with stuff and I’d be like, “What do youse think?” and they’d be like, “No.” We speak about it. But when we were playing all those cover gigs, with like…we had two original songs, people just kind of liked the sound of us and we were like, [Shrugs and smiles], you know?

How did that first show go that you were talking about, where you were feeling deathly ill?

Nora: Oh, the first gig?


Nora: It was grand.

Did it go OK, yeah?

Nora: It actually went well. Like, I was very…I was kinda croaky. I was a bit gravelly. People were like, “Oh, it added to your voice,” and stuff like that and I was like, “OK!”

Do you think if that first show had gone to shit, that would have kind of made you go, “Oooohhh,” or would you still just continue, anyway?

Nora: No, no. I was the one who was, like, mad into keeping it going. Like, the lads were so…like, a lot of them came and go. “Go”? Came and gone.

Daniel: Came and went.

Nora: Came and went, sorry. [All laugh] There was no hard feelings or anything. It was just a project I started but, like, I never like…“This is my own thing.” Like, everyone who came in, I wanted them to be just as involved as I was, and I think that’s the reason that, like, it’s kept going. So, I feel like if I was the one being like, “I am the one organising everything…” then I would just feel mad resentful, you know what I mean? Because, obviously, when you’re in a band…Like, there’s a reason I didn’t choose to go do a solo career, do you know what I mean? Like, I love playing with people, and especially when, like, we all really enjoy the music and, like, it’s so much nicer writing with people and actually being present with other musicians instead of just being like, “I’m doing this on my own,” like, do you know what I mean? It’s so, like, hoity-toity, like. Obviously, a solo career’s great, whatever, if that’s your thing, but for the music that we’re making, it’s so much better when you’re all in it and it’s not just, like, sitting at home with a guitar on your own, do you know what I mean?

Yeah. When it came to you guys becoming musicians – because [to Nora] you play the keys, [to Daniel] you drum – it’s like, what made you guys start, in terms of learning your instruments?

Nora: [To Daniel] Do you want to answer it?

Daniel: Em, I mean for me, I didn’t start on drums. Like, I’ve been playing guitar since I was 6 and then piano since I was 7. Me and Nora actually used to do…

Nora: Piano competitions.

Daniel: …piano competitions together.

Oh, shit!

Daniel: ‘Cause I went to DIT [points towards Stephen’s Green] just across the road, to do lessons – I don’t think it’s still there – and my teacher used to always make me enrol in these competitions, and she’d always beat me [Nora laughs], but it doesn’t matter. I still did them. And then…so, now I’m doing the Jazz course in DCU. I’m doing that with guitar, but a few years ago I started playing drums, and ever since then it’s, like, been a love of my life. I just devote so much time just to, like, playing drums.

Nora: Even though he’s studying guitar!


Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: Like, he’s mad!

Daniel: It’s…yeah, it’s kind of stupid, but listen…[Laughs]

Actually, do you think playing drums, then, has influenced the way you write guitar?

Daniel: Oh, for sure, yeah. Yeah, no, definitely. Like, it just improves…like, the more instruments you learn, I’ve found, it improves your overall…

Nora: Musicality.

Daniel: …view of music and how you create music. So, like, when I…I used to kind of think about things really, really melodically when I would, say, like, improvising guitar or something. But now, I also think about the rhythmic aspect of how I can create that tension and release that you want to create with guitar, as well…or with…sorry, with rhythm, as well, not just melody. And I do the same thing with drums. I have a theory. It’s like, basically…

Nora: I want to hear this! [Laughs]

Daniel: …if…No. If you can, like, sing a drum part, it’s a good drum part.

I get what you’re saying.

Daniel: So, like, there has to be a melody to it. There has to be something that clicks in your head and stays there. Otherwise, it’s not kind of…it’s not the right…

Nora: It’s not coherent.

Daniel: Yeah. ‘Cause I think that’s…what makes a song well-written is each different element having its own click that will stay with you. So, obviously, I didn’t write the part, but, like, in “[I] Haven’t Got a Clue,” there’s that…for the guitar, there’s that little guitar break [Hums the part], but there’s also the…there’s a motif in the whole drum part, where the kick is like, “Duh-dum-bah-dah”the whole time, and it doesn’t stop for the whole song.

Nora: And it copies the guitar.

Daniel: Yeah. So, the fact that they intertwine so well…

Nora: Adds a lot to it.

Daniel: It adds a lot to the song. And the bass, then…I don’t know if it was John [Kirk, their bassist] that made the bassline?

Nora: Yeah, he did, yeah.

Daniel: Yeah. John added a new bassline when he joined the band, and it just…it just brings it all together, in my opinion. [Nora vocally imitates the bassline, and Aaron and Daniel laugh] Yeah.

Well, as a relatively new drummer, did you find it difficult to come in then… – ‘cause I know Max has been drumming for several years now…

Daniel: Yeah.

…did you find it difficult to take over his parts? Or, how much of it did you kind of…?

Daniel: Yeah, a little bit.

…how much of it did you adapt to [your own style]?

Nora: He did it so well. He literally, like, sat down…I was really nervous because, obviously, I was really upset about Max leaving, because he was such a big part of our whole dream, but I was still like, “Nah. This has come too far, like. We have done too much, and we have put too much work and money into this.” [Laughs] Money! [Laughs] And I was just like…I was trying to look for other drummers and I heard that Daniel had offered. I never heard Daniel play drums, but someone said to me he’s the best drummer I’ve ever seen in my life, you know what I mean, like? They brought him in, and he definitely practised. [Laughs]

Daniel: Yeah. Obviously, I practiced! [All laugh]

Nora: I know! But, like, you know! He came in, and I was like, “OK, let’s start with ‘Two-Spirited,’” and he just went bingbingbingbing! And he just came in straight in and I was like, “Yeah! Yes!”

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: But, literally, so quickly, he adapted, like. Obviously, it took a while for some little yokes…

Daniel: Yeah. There’s definitely…there’s a lot of elements of Max’s playing… [The rest of this part gets cut off when Nora drops her bagel and we talk about this for a bit] No, I mean, obviously there were a lot of elements to Max’s playing that I couldn’t emulate, but at the same time, I don’t think I necessarily should have because I think, you know, everyone’s got their own sound. On, like, the technical bits, I did my best to practice them and get them as right as I could, but then there was some other bits where I just decided that’s a creative choice and then I’m going to make my own creative choice with that. So, yeah.

Photo by Ailbhe McCaughey
Courtesy of iNNUENDO

Yeah. And then, Nora, as one of the consistent members of the band, how do you feel adapting to new members, then, when they come in with their own sound and their own techniques?

Nora: When we were changing a lot, I really didn’t like it. I wanted to have people who were going to be there and, like, have their own, like…’Cause, like, obviously it’s good to have different, like…Obviously, we have so many genres in the music that we…like, we recorded, like, five songs a few weeks ago. They’re all so different, but, like, not…like, they all sound like us, you know what I mean? That’s the thing, you have to have a sound. Like, it’s different having different genres and a different sound, you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying.

Nora: There’s some bands that I know, like, you hear one thing, and then you hear the next one, you’re like, “That’s a completely different sound.” Like, they’re kind of very similar songs but it’s almost like they don’t know how they’re meant to play…not “play,” but like how they’re…what they’re meant to be as a band, do you know what I mean?

Yeah, you get the kind of individual quirks of the musicians…

Nora: Yeah, yeah.

…and I think that’s what adds consistency. I think I know what you’re talking about. I don’t know.

Nora: Like, this song that we’re releasing and the song that we did before…

Yeah, exactly.

Nora: …it’s so different. Like, it’s so different, but I feel like it’s still…that’s the way it’s going to be, you know what I mean?

Well, the first song [released as a single] was “Two-Spirited,” like, I mean, I think that was a great idea for a debut, because I think it really just sounds incomparable to anything that’s out there at the moment…

Nora: Yeah.

…like, it’s just very unique.

Nora: Yeah.

I was wondering why…’cause, like, you were talking about…– we’ll get into this a little bit – but your music is so different. Like, I was listening to your Grand Social set, it’s like each song was so unique and so different. So, why did you choose “Two-Spirited” as the debut? “Here’s how we are,” kind of?

Nora: [Laughs] So, we…there was a few reasons. I literally wrote the chords to that song, like, sitting in Trinity College, like, just about to…Oh! I think I was in work, actually. I work in Musicmaker, just down the road, and I remember I was just, like, showing a piano to a customer. I was just playing a few chords and I actually came back, like, “I actually like those chords!” They’re very compressed notes, like they’re all very close together, but they’re actually if you think…they’re all harmonically sound. It’s not like, whatever, a major seventh chord; it’s an Fmin9 and then it’s…yeah, it’s Fmin9 and then it goes to…I’m going to go really nerdy into it! So, I won’t! I won’t! But, em, it’s very inspired by…like, I’m really big into ‘70s and ‘80s kind of…like, I love Steely Dan. I’m mad into, like, a lot of different kinds of music. I’m mad into Queens of the Stone Age, recently, and Interpol. Like, a very…I have a very wide…but it’s all kind of mainly rock or, like, from, I think, indie pop, indie rock to, like, almost nu-metal, you know what I mean? So, when I was writing that song, or, like, when I was kind of writing the chords… – like, the whole song came together with all of us, do you know what I mean? It was like we had, like…the chords were my idea and then the melody was, like, there as well, but then the bass was such a big thing, like. The drums were a massive thing, it brought the whole thing together. Then Ben just adds this mad guitar solo, and it was just crazy. And, like, all of the…the guitar for most of it is just like, “Ding-dah-duh,” like kind of funky, almost, kind of…Yeah, it was just mad how kind of…it was so…it came so quickly. Like, that song was written in fifteen minutes, do you know what I mean?


Nora: [Shrugs and pulls a comedically bewildered expression] It was just there!

Daniel: I guess that’s, like, a pretty good indicator that it’s a good song.

Nora: Yeah, yeah! It just came so quickly. And then when we played it…like, the melody I wrote literally while I was writing the chords. I was like, [Hums the melody] and then we played it, and we were like, “That’s a banger!” Like, “That’s such a good song!” And it was our lightest song as well, we were like, “Do you know what? Like, might as well…” Like, we recorded it in a day. Like, we had it done in a day, you know what I mean? We recorded it in Ben’s house, like in his little shed…not shed, but, like, kind of back area in his house, and everything just came so smoothly. I think it’s also not a really instrumentally-heavy song. Like, obviously, you have all your bits, but it’s not like you need to put a load of effort into recording it, so that was a good, I think, starter song. Everyone, like, listened to it. It was, like, easy on the ears, you know what I mean? But, like, really a lot of the stuff that we have out, and especially that it’s taken a long time to perform it, it’s pretty heavy.


Nora: Do you know what I mean?

Well, I was listening to your…as I was saying, I was listening to your set, and there’s two [songs] I noted here. Like, one was “Max’s Song,” actually…

Nora: Yeah.

…which is a lot heavier, kind of hard rock sort of…

Nora: Yeah, yeah.

…and then the other one – I really liked this one. I can’t wait to hear the studio version – was “What It’s Like to Be Loved…”

Nora: Oh, yeah?!

…which had a bit of that ‘80s jangle to it and stuff.

Nora: Um-hum.

And what I noticed from your set is that there were many different avenues you guys could have gone for a follow-up, so why did you choose this one now, that is coming out?

Nora: I think it was, like, we liked…I’ve always liked that song and people will say either release that one or “Two-Spirited” before, when we started out, doing our own stuff. People would be like, “I love when it stops and it goes, Duh-duh-duh-dish!, and it’s just beside it, Dee-dee-dee! That’s so good!”


Nora: We kind of listen to what our audience likes. Like, a lot of the stuff that we do, it’s never really selfish, you know what I mean? Like, when we’re writing, we’re like this isn’t just to sound cool, like people are supposed to listen to this and be like, “That’s catchy,” “That sounds cool,” like, “I like how that goes there,” do you know what I mean? And the melody, it should be able to, like, play it back. And that’s like…weirdly enough, that’s a poppy element that we have to our sound. Like, obviously, we have that heavy guitar and heavy drums and, like, really intricate basslines and, like, synthy kind of stuff, but if we just had that but no regard for what people actually like listening to, no-one’s listening to it.

Yeah, I get what you’re saying. Like, I think that’s when artists get kind of boring, is when they’re just…they’re not thinking of the audience…

Nora: Yeah!

…they’re just…

Nora: But that’s a problem!

…showing off their own skills or dexterity or something like that, you know what I mean?

Nora: That’s a problem!

Daniel: If you were to write every song based on how good you can play…

Nora and Aaron: Yeah.

Daniel: …or if I was just to, like, do the fastest things that I can do on drums and not groove at all, people aren’t going to want to listen to that.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: Like, no-one’s gonna want to dance to that.

Nora: Like, Daniel changed a drum part to one of the songs that we just wrote, and before…[To Daniel] You know The Smiths-y one?

Daniel: Yes!

Nora: He changed it to this, like…

Daniel: It was like kind of a fast-paced, like [Nora vocally imitates the beat] four on the floor, like, dah-dah-dahdah-dah

Nora: And then I was like, “Nah!” I was like…We were all like…

Daniel: It didn’t feel right in the moment, and then we put it…we did it in half-time, so…

Nora: It was so much more…yeah!

Daniel: It was just a lot more groovy. You just felt a lot more like, “Oh! This is good!”

Nora: It’s not as technically hard to play.

Daniel: Yeah.

But you were talking about, with that kind of collaborative effort, and, like you were saying, Nora, that you don’t want it just to be, I don’t know, you, like, leading the band…

Nora: Yeah.

…and I was wondering, like, now as the unit is, as it exists now, I think it’s…would I be correct in saying this band now, as it is now, is kind of the most consistent?

Nora: Yeah! Oh, yeah! It was hard when Max left, and I was worried, because John is such a good friend with Max, that he’d leave too.

Yeah, they’re in Vahedi together.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. He stuck with us and I’m so…appreciative it so much, and it adds so much, as in like the sound. Like, he’s added…our bass players that we had before, like, they weren’t really mad into it, like, music on its own or even playing the bass. But John’s a fantastic guitar player. He just picked up the bass, like that [Clicks fingers].

Yeah, he’s insanely good. I saw…I haven’t seen iNNUENDO live yet, but I saw Vahedi at Fibber’s, and, like, he’s just insanely good.

Nora: Yeah, and he’s so good at performing.


Nora: And he did…he does all of our mixing…

Oh, really?

Nora: …and he mastered the track, as well.

Daniel: Oh, yeah, yeah. He did…he does everything.

I didn’t know that!

Daniel: Yeah, like…

Nora: He did the whole recording. When we were recording, he did everything.

Daniel: We were recording an EP there, a few weeks ago…

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: …and he did all of that.

Oh, shit! Well, you know John, he’s, like, so modest…

Daniel: Yeah.

…you’d say to him, “Did you do that?” and he’d say, [Doing an impression of John] “What? Yeah!” [All laugh]

Daniel: Yeah, exactly!

“Oh, yeah!” [Laughs]

Nora: He’s so amazing! And do you know what? Like, Daniel has been such a…like, he’s nearly come in and just taken it, and that’s what I needed; like, people who just wanted it really badly, wanted to be part of it, not “really badly!” [All laugh]

“It’s this or nothing!”

Nora: “This or nothing!”

Daniel: Just iNNUENDO!

Nora: Yeah. But it’s so nice to have that now, because we didn’t have it before. It was so like, “Ah, yeah, I’ll do it for a bit. I don’t mind.” But it was, like, I’m so into this, you know what I mean?


Nora: I’m mad into this, and…

Daniel: And I think a lot of the new songs are really exciting.

Nora: Yeah! They’re like…I’m like, “Oh, I can’t wait to hear that!” “I can’t wait for that to come out!”

Daniel: Like, the opening song that we did [at The Grand Social]…

Nora: Oh! The opening song!

Daniel: …by far, it’s my favourite song.

Nora: It’s so…! It just…that came together so quickly, as well.

Daniel: That one also came together in, like, a day.

Nora: It was written on piano as well, and I remember when we were…when I was writing it on the piano, I sent it in…[To Daniel] You weren’t in the groupchat at the time, but…Were you?!

Daniel: I was, yeah.

Nora: You were. It was so ‘70s, like, [Hums an upbeat new wave melody] and then I was just like, “But this can’t be like that. Like this has to be, like…”

Daniel: I remember you sent that into the groupchat, and I was listening to it on my phone, and I went, “Hold on a sec!” I was…I was in my room and I just…I went out into my shed, and I sat at the drums and I was like, “I know exactly what I have to do…”

Nora: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

Daniel:  And the drum part has not changed since.

Nora: It’s so good!

Daniel: It’s exactly what I did. It just, like…I just heard it. I was like, “Oh, that’s going to sound really, really good.”

Nora: But I think…that was never the case before. No-one would be excited; do you know what I mean?

Yeah. It was just like, “Well, I’m just doing this as a side gig” kind of thing?

Nora: Yeah. But now, I literally feel like everyone’s excited about what we’ve done.

Yeah, and everyone wants to make it the best sound it can be.

Nora: Yeah! And I think that’s the trouble that we’ve had compared to other bands, so much inconsistency. And I really…that, like, really upset, and I think it upset, like, the people who were a part of it for so long. Because it was like, “My God!” Like, “This could be something!” Because I feel like we’re trying to be different. We’re not, like, being different to be like…you know…I don’t know. Like, we’re not doing it to make a…make a…

A statement or something, or…?

Nora: A statement, yeah. We’re doing it because I feel there’s a gap…there’s such a gap in the Irish music scene right now for, like, this kind of music. Like, I feel like everything is so…almost, like, all the stuff is, like, sad or kind of dreary, it’s, like, the same genre, and all the stuff that’s, like, kind of upbeat, same genre. It’s either like indie rock, or, like, strummy guitars, like, whatever. The same kind of guitar, bass, drums.

Or kind of aggressive postpunk?

Nora: Yeah, or aggressive postpunk.

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: You know what I mean, like?

Daniel: Based off…

Nora: Fontaines [D.C.] or Gilla Band or, like…very shouty, shouty.

The one thing…I was thinking about this, actually, when I was reading your electric press kit that you gave out, and I think it’s an interesting thing – I wonder if you guys agree with me on this – I was thinking back to the initial punk movement of, like, the 1970s, right?

Nora: Yeah.

And that opened the doors for, like, avant-garde music and that went in various different avenues: it went in the initial postpunk movement; it went in the avenue of new wave; it went in the avenue of New Romantics; even indie rock and stuff like that. I think, like, now…do you think, like, now that postpunk music has become mainstream in Ireland – you see Fontaines headlining big venues across the country; Gilla Band, The Murder Capital, so on – now there’s going to be a similar thing where, “OK, we’ve proven that you can…you don’t just have to make indie rock to get on a radio anymore; you can do whatever the fuck you want, you can be as experimental and as interesting as you want. Now let’s take that and go in different avenues”? ‘Cause I kind of see what you guys are doing as maybe the new wave variant of…like, in comparison to the initial punk movement. It’s sort of just a new direction, you know?

Nora: I think it’s a new direction, but, at the same time, it’s very inspired.

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: Like, people don’t realise that.

Daniel: I mean…yeah. It’s kind of a question of, like, “How original is anything?”

Nora: Yeah. Nothing is original.

Daniel: There’s so much inspiration from, like, everything.

Nora: It’s just a combination.

Daniel: Like, that first song, “Down to Three,” it’s, eh…

Nora: [To Aaron] From the…from the live set.

Daniel: The opening one that we did…


Daniel: [To Nora]…you wrote that piano, and it’s…like you say, it’s very ‘70s inspired…

Nora: Carol King, almost, like.

Daniel: You hear Carol King. A little bit of, like, maybe even ABBA, I would say.

Nora: Yeah, yeah!

Daniel: And the drumbeat, I got that main idea from a Villagers song.

Nora: Yeah. It even kind of sounds a bit like the start of “Call Me.” [She vocalises the galloping guitar part of “Call Me”]

Daniel: Yeah! So, like, that’s Irish folk, Swedish pop, eh, American…like…

Nora: Classic rock.

Daniel: …classic rock…

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: …all in just the one thing. So, it’s like…

Nora: Yeah. There’s much different things. And that’s what I’m saying, like…Man! I’m actually…I’m so, like…it annoys me! It doesn’t “annoy me” annoy me, but, like, it kind of irks me. Like, I’d go to a gig and there would be a band playing, and everyone would say, “They’re so good!” and it’s like, “I have heard this!” Like, the amount of music I listen to is astronomical. Like, I listen to about two-hundred thousand minutes a year. That’s like a third of my year I’m just listening to music, you know what I mean? And I’m listening to some, like, “I’ve heard this before.” Like, “I have heard this before.” Like, I’m not going to name any names, because…


Nora: …we’re not going to get cancelled! [All laugh] But, I’d just be there like, “I’ve heard that before. I’ve heard that before. That’s like that and that’s like that.” We don’t want to be like that we; we want to be like, “I’ve never heard that before” or “That kind of sounds like that, but I don’t really know what it sounds like.” And I’ve sent our song off to a few of my friends and I’m like, “Who does that sound like?” and they’re like, “I don’t know.” Like, I know what the inspiration for me…we all know what the inspirations are. Like, there’s a lot…there’s a bit of Queens of the Stone Age in there, I think, maybe a little bit, especially with the synths and everything…

Daniel: In “Haven’t Got a Clue”?

Nora: Yeah, and “Down to Three,” the one we’re talking about.

Daniel: OK, yeah.

Nora: “Haven’t Got a Clue,” yeah, definitely, a little bit. But there’s also mad, melodic stuff going on there. Like, it’s hidden in the background, but it’s there, you know what I mean, like? Like Ben’s solo on that song, on “Haven’t Got a Clue,” crazy!

Daniel: I love it.

Nora: He never played that before and I heard it and I was like, “Holy shit, like!”

Daniel: It’s just…it’s one of those solos that fits the song so well.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: Like, it just works perfectly.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: Like, I can remember it, like, even…well I’ve probably listened to it like a million times, but it’s just crazy, like, and it’s so musical, and I think so many bands in Dublin are missing that inherent musicality.

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: Some people are just doing it for the craic, or they’re doing it ‘cause it’s cool.

Daniel: Or there’s a lot of people who maybe are going for that whole postpunk thing or doesn’t have to have a melody or a structure, and then taking it to an extreme, which of course is cool…

Nora: It’s mainly rhythm based.

Daniel: …but sometimes it feels like you’re just doing it because…

Nora: Just ‘cause.

Daniel: …it’s cool.

Nora: You know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying. I’ll say someone off the record when we’re done, don’t worry, [Laughs] who I think you’re talking about. Yeah, but, no, but also one thing I was wondering was, do you think that you guys as a collective – ‘cause, like, [to Nora] you were saying how much music you listen to, and you have your own inspirations – everyone’s kind of pooling their stuff together and I think you’re already getting people with versatile tastes, but multiplying it by four and everyone’s bringing multiple tastes. How do you feel that differs then, with each member, then? Because, when it comes to the songwriting process, my understanding is that it’s very open, it’s very collaborative.

Nora: Oh, yeah. No, it’s completely collaborative.

Daniel: Based on my experience in the last while, it’s been entirely collaborative. Like, not one song has been written by one person.

Nora: No, no. Never. And I don’t ever want it to be like that, you know what I mean?

How much give-and-take is there, too? ‘Cause if someone added a part that you didn’t like, would you feel confident in saying, “Eh. I don’t like that”?

Nora: You’d say it. People would say it. And say if one person’s unsure – like, a lot of the times I would be like, “I’m not sure about this”… – but then when you have that…people saying, “No, I like that” or “Let’s do this. Let’s do that”…Sometimes there’s songs that…we’ve dropped a few songs that I think either one of us would start being like, “Ah, I’m not sure about that one, now” or like, “Hmmm,” you know what I mean? It’s too complicated or it’s too this, like, we drop it, you know? If we’re unhappy, we completely drop it. There’s no point in playing something that you’re not passionate about, you know what I mean? And I feel like our set now…maybe there’s one or two songs that I’m…

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

Nora: A bit like, “Hmmmm. I’m not happy with that. Play it for the time,” you know?

Daniel: But it’s…that could also be a…if I’m thinking of the same song you are, it might just be an element of it’s only recently written.

Nora: Or even…yeah, but you know “Jaegermeister”?

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: That song has been…we’ve had that and brought it back and people have been like, “I love that song!” and I’ve been like, [Makes a wincing hiss].

Daniel: It’s one of those ones that just hard to make it fit.

Nora: Yeah, it took a while to write, as well. Like, that was kind of in the works for a while. We were…if we’re talking about our origins again, when I started in Trinity, I kind of wanted to bring the band back, ‘cause the last gig that we played before the summer holidays after the Leaving Cert – ‘cause we’re only in first year – it was just the covers stuff. I started it up again with three members. Was it three? No, it was four. We got Max back in the band – he started again because he left for a while – we got him back in, and that’s when we were like, “We’re not doing covers anymore.” We were…we spent a few months writing some songs, we had a rehearsal every week or so. We had six songs, and then we were…I had had been kind of doing a lot of connection work…“Connection work?” Networking! [Laughs] In Workman’s! And I had met a load of BIMM bands, and this band called Grooveline wanted us to support them, because I had known the main guy and he was part of it, and, you know, we were…at the time we were kind of a bit more funk-based, but I don’t know. Not “funk,” I don’t even know. A bit more…a bit more groovy, if you could say that. But these songs were so new, you know? We only had two original ones that we had been doing before, so there were four extra ones, four extra originals that came out of nowhere. “Max’s Song” was one of them, “What It’s Like to Be Loved” was another, “Two-Spirited” was another and…[To Daniel] What was the other one?

Daniel: Oh, the slow one in open D.

Nora: Oh, yeah, I had an open D one that I kinda based off Jeff Buckley. We dropped that one as well, because that one was like, “Ah, we’ll probably do that in an acoustic set in fucking fifteen years or so.” [Imitating a generic rockstar voice] “We wrote this back when we started!” [All laugh] Yeah, so, we had that, that gig, and that was the start of our original stuff. That’s when it was, “We’re batten down the hatches, now. This is starting.” [To Daniel] He wasn’t here for it, but when we started, it was crazy, like. It was mad, because literally, like, a month later we were like, “Fuck it. Let’s do our first headliner.” We had done one gig with our original songs, and the other ones were mostly covers with two originals.

Daniel: When was that?

Nora: We had that gig with Grooveline, December 6th, and our first headliner was the 12th of January.

Daniel: What, this year? 2023?

Nora: No, this year! Yeah, 2023!

Daniel: Really?!

Nora: First time was 2023.

Where was that?

Nora: Workman’s.

Workman’s? OK.

Nora: We sold 230 tickets, and we got Raw Cuts, the band that were playing after us in our first ever gig, to support us, ‘cause they hadn’t played a gig in ages.

That’s a power move. [Laughs]

Nora: We also got pants on fire to play with us, as well. So, that was a…that was a really nice line-up.

Daniel: I remember wanting to go to that gig, but I didn’t. I don’t remember why. Maybe I was working or something.

Nora: He’s not a real fan! [Laughs] He’s just in the band! So, yeah, that was a class gig. We had eleven songs then, [Laughs] we dropped half of them and we combined a lot of them. Like, now, “Jaeger…” not “Jaegermeister,” there was another song we had…”What It’s Like to Be Loved” now is completely different.

Daniel: So different.

Nora: It’s a combination of another song that we had that was very funky, disco-y, and I really liked the melody line, it was like [Hums the piece], I was like, “I need to do something with that,” and I remember the chorus that song – for “What It’s Liked to Be Loved” – was so boring, it was like, [Hums the original chorus] and it was like, “God, like! Come on!” Anyway, so, I added that to that and weirdly enough it was the same chorus, so I was like, “OK, we’ll just do that,” and then that worked out for the best. Then after that, we had another gig, it was a success, then we released a single. We had another headliner in Whelan’s, upstairs, sold it out…

Daniel: That was to release “Two-Spirited.”

Nora: Yeah. Sold it out. It’s just mad, like, you know what I mean? Like, if you think…in fact, I’m thinking about it now, I’m like…our first ever all-original stuff was December. Next headliner was January. The headliner after that, February…

Daniel: I didn’t realise that.

That’s insane. Like, that’s such a quick turnaround, yeah.

Nora: …what?! You know what I mean? And then we did a shitload of support gigs. Like, we supported CIRCA at The Thomas House, and we also played another gig at The Grand Social doing…em, Trinity College Society, this society, picked us to rep them, ‘cause we sent them a video of us in Whelan’s, main stage, and they picked us and we got second or something, I don’t know. Grooveline actually won it! [Laughs] The one that we had supported, they won it! Fair play to them! Em, but yeah, so we did that, then we did a lot of supporting. We played in Galway. We played a few charity gigs; we played Give a G.A.F., we headlined that, but we were just constantly building up how tight we were, how the songs were, so when we play our…when we finished doing support gigs…we did a few Ex Oh…we did an Ex Oh gig, we did a Sleepover Club. We did, like, a load of promotional comp…“companies”? I don’t know what they’re called. Promotional company gigs!


Nora: Yeah, yeah. Then we took a hiatus, ‘cause Max left and we were like, “What do we do?” you know what I mean?

Well, I like how that stuff doesn’t crush the momentum; you’re still going throughout all that. I mean, there’s that dedication there, but, like, you know, you’re talking about, like, Max leaving and different members and stuff like that. It seems like the turnaround is very quick, it’s like, “OK, we’re not going to spend three months out just learning the new songs,” or whatever.

Nora: No. No dilly-dallying, man. Time is money, like.

Daniel: Yeah, I don’t know, I spent, what? A week and a half learning all the songs…?

Nora: And then we started writing a new song. We wrote three new songs with Daniel.

[To Daniel] But do you think that’s a good way, as the newest member, that kind of sink or swim mentality…?

Daniel: But I’ve always loved that. I thrive in that environment where it’s like, “I’m going to get this done because I have to. I don’t have a choice.” And, like that’s why I’ve always…like, I’ve developed my ear a lot because I’ve always put myself in those situations, ‘cause I think that’s what makes….that’s what makes that difference…

Nora: Magic happen, as well.

Daniel: …like, the good musicians and the really, really good musicians. Not that I’m saying I’m a really, really good musician, but I’m saying I’m working towards it because I know that that’s what they all have to do, you know? Like…yeah.

Nora: Em, you know what’s weird? Is that I think we all think that we’re good, you know what I mean? There are so many bands who would be like, “Oh, if you say you’re good then you’re just a bunch of wankers,” you know what I mean? I just think you have to have that confidence that what you’re doing is actually good…

Daniel: Yeah. There’s confidence and then there’s cockiness…

Nora: And there’s arrogance, yeah.

Daniel: You’ve to thread the line in-between, you know?

Yeah, but [to Nora] I think, also, that shows confidence on your part, too, when it’s like if you have someone like Daniel coming in, it’s like, “OK, you have to learn these songs…” Because I actually remember when I was in a band – like, years ago when I was a teenager – we had a gig coming up and then our bass player – we had, like, a new bass player coming in – and we were like, “Oh, you need to learn, like, these five songs for a set or whatever,” and he just didn’t. I was like, “Fuck sake,” so we had to cancel the show.

Nora: Yeah. You don’t want that.

Exactly, yeah.

Nora: I booked that show in April, in The Grand Social, and we just finished our last supporting slot, and we were doing exams, so we kind of took a break. But then there was a whole lot of confusion about Max, if he was going to stay or if he was going to go, and if John was going to stay, and I was like, “I do not…” Like, I was like, “Look, I booked this gig, like, this is our biggest gig yet,” you know what I mean? The fact we were headlining, and we had really good support acts playing, as well. Like, JaVill are class.

Daniel: And Blue Slate, as well.  

Nora: Blue Slate are really good, as well. Very different but they’re all really good musicians. So, I was like, “Man…” I just…I was so…I just wanted it to happen. Like, “I want to make this happen,” do you know what I mean? So, I was looking for drummers, like, lit…the day I found out Max was leaving, I was like, [Clicks fingers] “Who’s next? Who’s coming along? Who’s going to help?”

It’s like a conveyor belt? [Laughs]

Nora: Yeah! [Laughs] I had two main options…actually three, but then Daniel came along, and I was like, “I think this is for the best and I think he fits us the best,” because he knew all of us, as well. You didn’t know John that well?

Daniel: I knew John…

Nora: A little bit.

Daniel: So, like, Max and Ben are in my course, so we knew each other really well. So, when Max was like, “Man, I don’t know if I can stay in iNNUENDO. Like, I just have so much going on,” I was like, “That’s…like, you know, fair enough. I’ve watched…” I don’t know. I went to, like…

Nora: You went to a lot of gigs.

Daniel: I went to three or four of your gigs?

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: I kind of…I already knew the songs from listening and watching them play, and I knew Ben because I played with him in college, so I guess John was the only one I knew the least, but, again, I had been to a good few Vahedi gigs and I knew John, like I had spoken to him and stuff. So, it wasn’t exactly like we were strangers.

Nora: Yeah, and the other people I knew, they didn’t know anyone. But Max actually recommended Daniel to me, as in like, he was…He came into the shop one of the days and I was still kind of looking for people to play. He was like, “You know…” Oh, no, I don’t think…I think it was actually Dylan…

Daniel: Oh, was it?

Nora: Yeah, Dylan, a guy who works with me and is in the same course as Daniel…

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: …he actually goes…I was talking about not having a drummer and how I was stressing out, like, really stressing out, ‘cause I do a lot of the events management and promotion and stuff like that, so I was dealing with the guys at The Grand Social and I had to be, like, giving them an answer. And then Dylan goes, “I think Daniel was talking to Max and said that he’d do it,” and I was like, “Yeah! Why not?” But The Grand Social gig was class. It worked out really smoothly, actually. There was like one or two tiny issues, but other than that, like… We got the videographer in. She had everything we needed. Fantastic.

Yeah, and actually the set-up was really sick. I was watching the show, and the stage set-up was really sick, too. I thought it was really good.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. It looked pretty good, yeah.

Daniel: The Grand Social is one of the best venues in Dublin.

Nora: It’s amazing.

Daniel: I think it’s got the best sound in Dublin.

Nora: Yeah, it does.

Daniel: I think it’s the best.

Yeah, because even with those nominal spaces, I’m always very invested in the people who can really create a visual spectacle, which I think you guys did a really good job of.

Nora: The funny thing is, is I asked them…

Daniel: I don’t know who did the lighting, but I want to give them a fucking handshake. They were so good.

Nora: Yeah, no, honestly. I actually asked them to turn down the lights, because for the other acts they were very high, but it’s very warm. I was actually sweating all over myself.

Daniel: I had sweat in my eyes. Like, it was dripping down ‘cause it was so warm.

Nora: And I was wearing…I was basically wearing nothing, like, a tiny skirt and a top, and I was like, [Imitates gasping for breath], and I was like…I actually said to them before we started, “You need to turn the lights down as much as you can,” they were like, “Grand,” and it actually looked so cool, do you know what I mean, like? The videos we got from that are amazing, like, they really add to our C.V., almost. Like, we’re relatively new. Like, I would say we’ve been around for almost three years, but we’ve only started, like…

Daniel: Proper.

Nora: …at the end of last year. I would say iNNUENDO only really started at the end of last year.

Photographer uncredited
Courtesy of iNNUENDO

So, when it comes to actually…with the band now – the core four members now – even with that now, you have that consistency, how do you work around everyone’s schedule to do shows? Because you were saying you were doing stuff out of county and all, and I would assume it’s something you want to do…like, grow outside, like, you’d probably want to do Europe and the UK and stuff like that, as well?

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: It would be ideal, wouldn’t it?

Nora: Yeah, it would be…

I know you said your focus now is Ireland, at the moment…

Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: Yeah, definitely focusing on this…

…but, at the same time, Ireland has a ceiling, you know what I mean?

Nora: We’re all going to college here, you know? We’re all…I’m very busy with…I’m trying to get Schols next year, I probably won’t get it, but, em, I’ll try anyway. Like, we all take our college life and our work life very seriously, as well. My job’s class. I don’t want to sacrifice that because, “Oh, I want to do a gig” in somewhere else that’s going to be half-full, you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying.

Nora: I, like…I don’t know. Do you mean scheduling as in for practicing and stuff?

Well, I just mean for the four of you guys, like, trying to actually do anything. It could be practicing, it could be live shows, anything. Like, you were saying, Nora, you do all the kind of wrangling, let’s say, of getting everyone together and doing the shows and the booking and stuff.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. I mean that’s only…that’s a different aspect from the musicality. Like, I think the main part of being in a band is actually how you work together. I think the hard part is just making it happen, and I think someone needs to do that, and I think I’ve always done it, so…you know what I mean, like? It works out, and I think I’m a bit bossy, you know what I mean, like? And I make…but I think I just make things happen, like. If it weren’t for somebody being at the front being like, “We have to do this…”

Yeah. Nothing would get done.

Nora: It does not mean that…I would never, like, kind of be the one saying, “I want this to happen, so it’s got to happen…” [Our conversation gets temporarily diverted by a fly flying near our food] If we actually want this to work, you need to just be in it, I think.

Aaron and Daniel: Yeah.

Nora: But anyway, yeah. Scheduling is fine. Sometimes it’s hard to get to people, but with Daniel being…Daniel’s great at replying; John is great at replying; Ben’s a bit iffy, but we’re working on that! We’re building on that! Em, as long there’s communication there…

Daniel: Yeah, it’s the communication. It’s the most important part.

Nora: Because before… like, in April, it was so bad. Like, I didn’t know what was going on, and because I didn’t know what was going on, it was just like, “The fuck is going…? Like, what am I going to do? Like, what’s…?  Are we playing a gig? Are we even a band anymore? Like, what’s happening?” You know what I mean? But, literally, I think the inclusion of Daniel…like, Daniel has been such a help – and I’m saying this to you! To your face! – em, [Laughs] For one, I think it just would’ve fallen apart if we didn’t have someone…another person that was in it, because I think too many people were too unsure. But I think once we kind of riled that up and got…

Daniel: Well, I mean, there’s no point in being in a band if you’re not going to try to be as creative as possible and involved, because that’s the only way the music is actually going to be any good, is if you’re actually involved.

I wanted to talk about your new single then, “I Haven’t Got a Clue.” One thing I noticed, was it mastered or mixed by Ivan Jackman?

Nora: So, basically, it was mastered by Ivan Jackman, but we decided to go with John’s master instead.


Nora: I did get a master done by Ivan, and I liked it, but it was just a bit too compressed for our liking. Ivan’s great, he did a great job with “Two-Spirited,” but I think we’ll just say…I might actually change that because I had that on the bio before we picked John’s master. But, yeah, it’s not mastered by Ivan. It’s not mixed by him either. [Laughs]

Oh, no!

Nora: I will change that now, so thank you for reminding me. I forgot to do that. Whoopsies!

Well, one thing, I had no idea that John masters…I worked with the guy for, like, a year now…!

Daniel: Oh, John is so good!

He’s so modest about this shit, like! [Laughs]

Daniel: He’s just…he’s got a great ear for it. Like, yeah, we heard his master, we heard Ivan’s master, and then there’s also…when we put it up on DistroKid, there was an option for them to master or whatever, and we listened to all three of them, and, like, in my opinion, John’s one was the best. Like, it just sounds top quality.

So, what do you think actually having an in-house kind of producer like that – “in-house” in terms of actually in the band and has an investment in the music – how do you think that kind of helps your music, then?

Nora: Having us do it ourselves?


Nora: [To Daniel] What do you think?

Daniel: Well, I think there’s definitely a more personal element to it. Like, you can get across exactly what it is that you wanted…

Nora: Yeah!

Daniel: …because you’re the one who did it. Like, there’s no middleman. It’s you and then it’s the music. That’s how it works.

Nora: That’s the main thing. Like, if you have someone else there, obviously people who know what they’re doing, it helps the whole…it helps the whole production. Obviously, it’s nice to have a producer, but I think having John as our producer actually just elevated the whole thing, altogether. Because, yeah, he knows what he’s doing, he knows what we want, he knows…we were preproducing “I Haven’t Got a Clue” for, like, the last few months, because, obviously, we were doing a load of stuff before, but he was asking me all the time, “What do you want that bit to sound like?”, “What do you want that bit to sound like?”, “Give me references.” And then, when he mixed it, he just knew, you know what I mean? It took a long time to mix because we were all doing our own things.

Daniel: Yeah, it was the timing as well…

Nora: It was terrible timing. Max left…

Daniel: …exams and college, Max just left, it was…

Nora: …we had a gig we were organising. We wanted it…we wanted the single to come out the day…a few days before the gig, so we could promote it, but I’m actually kind of glad that didn’t happen now, because now we’ve had time to promote the single on its own instead of…because we did that the last time, with the gig and the single, and we didn’t get on any Spotify playlist because we didn’t have time because we put the single out too close to when it was coming out, you know what I mean? We, like, uploaded it too close, so we didn’t get on any playlists. All of the plays we got, like, around 4,000, were based on people we knew listening to it, so if you think about that, that’s quite good for your first single, especially the fact that people were…people were only listening to it because they knew us. People were listening…and I was looking at the stats, like, we have at least five plays every day, so people are just like…actually being like, “Oh, I like that song! I’ll put it on!”

Well, is that flattering then, when it’s kind of…it goes beyond your friends’ circle, and you see…? So, maybe even, looking at the analytics, you probably even see it in different countries, people listening to it or whatever. Do you find that flattering or is that something you don’t even really comprehend or think about?

Nora: Well, we’re hoping that this single, since we had it out…we had it uploaded three weeks before it was meant to come out, so I was able to pitch it. I had our account set up properly this time. It’s all learning, and learning through, like…I pitched it to the Spotify yolkies. I’m really hoping this time we get a lot more outreach. People know about us but, like, they only know our one song, they’ve heard our one song, and they’re like, “It’s very niche.” And, like, this song is a bit more, like, “OK, we’re reaching out to people now that like other kind of genres.” Especially, like…obviously Dublin is so full of alt-rockers, like, “I love Nirvana. I love Queens of the Stone Age. I love Foo Fighters.” Like…so this one is a bit more inclusive, almost, do you know what I mean? I mean, like, you can like us if like this and you can like us if you like that, and that’s why we’re so psyched, because we recorded all these and they’re like…they hit The Smiths, the Smithsist people, the song is literally called “Smithsie!” And you hit the people who like…stuff like…that’s terrible! What’s “Max’s Song”?

Daniel: “Max’s Song”? It’s definitely harder that most of the other stuff.

Nora: Yeah, we have a full thrash metal bit at the end.

Daniel: And then we added that…that was so funny!

Nora: [Laughs] I was laughing on stage!

Daniel:  I actually, like…I apologised to Max. I was like, “I’m sorry we did that we did that your song, but it’s so fun. It’s so fun!” [Nora vocalises the bit] Who was it that said, “Oh, that needs something at the end”?

Nora: John! [Laughs]

Daniel: We were in rehearsal, John was like, “Yeah, that needs something at the end,” and I was like, “Hold on,” and then I just did, like, a blast beat and he was like, “We’re doing that!”

Nora: And I was just there like, “Ah, lads!” and they’re like, “Nora! Let it happen!” I was like, “OK!”

Daniel: Yeah. She really protested that one, but we wanted it to happen. Me, John and Ben were just like…

Nora: I was like, “OK, it’s a democracy! It’s fine!” [Laughs]

[To Nora] Do you think working at Musicmaker, like, kind of…? I don’t know. Like, you see so many different musicians, perhaps with different genre interests. Do you think that, like, diversifies your palate, in the sense that you kind of have to, I guess, help customers who have different interests and different wants, or do you think it’s just more…?

Nora: It’s made me learn a lot.


Nora: Oh, yeah! I’ve learnt so much about production, microphones, amps, guitars, everything, so that when I’m in rehearsal, or even when we’re setting up, I know where everything goes. Especially in soundcheck, like, in soundcheck in the other day…

Daniel: Yeah. God, that was so stressful! Awww!

Nora: But, like, I just went to work and set up the pianos in, like, two minutes, you know what I mean? Bang, bang, bang. Like, I knew where everything went. Also, because I’ve been gigging so long, but Musicmaker I think helps with, like, I meet a lot of people every day in the shop, and I know about different viewpoints. Actually, it has helped with seeing what people are into, seeing the demographic of musicians. It’s mostly male that would be listening to our kind of music, weirdly enough, especially going to our gigs, and people who would come in and shop in Musicmaker would be the kind of people who listen to our stuff, ‘cause it’s a lot of rock or live music kind of stuff, like, amps, guitars, pianos, whatever. Nothing classical, really. But yeah. I don’t know. I think it’s good in some ways. It’s good for connections. It’s good for kind of…I talk to a lot of the older guys who are working with me. They gave me Ivan Jackman’s name. I always ask them for advice, “What do you think I should do with this?” ‘cause a lot of them were in bands, like semi-successful bands, before. Like, Rob [Reilly] from Acid Granny, he’s like doing the rave in a trolley and mad techno music, and Gavin [Purcell] from Bicurious – do you know Bicurious?

Yeah, I know Bicurious, yeah, yeah. I actually saw them in that fuckin’ place in Rathmines that doesn’t exist anymore. I forget the name of it. But, anyway, sorry. [Editor’s Note: For anyone who cares, the place I was thinking of was the wonderful The Bowery in Rathmines. R.I.P. Gone but not forgotten x]

Nora: Yeah. Well, he helped with doing my EPK for the first time. He was like, “This is what you should do. You should put this, blah, blah, blah.” If I wasn’t working there, I wouldn’t have a clue.

Yeah, I get what you’re saying. Yeah, I mean, I think you guys are talking about cutting out the middleman, like you have your own producer; obviously, you’re doing gigs, just booking yourself; you’re doing your own EPK; you reached out for this. Yeah, do you guys think you can be successful just completely internally, just doing everything yourself, or…?

Daniel: It’s hard to know.

Nora: I don’t know. I don’t think so.

Daniel: It’s hard to predict te future, you know?


Nora: I would like a manager, though, because I’m telling you now, this shit is getting on…like, getting heavy on my shoulders, and I’m there like, “Oh, my God! What if this doesn’t happen? And what if this person doesn’t come? And…” and I’m very meticulous with this kind of stuff, so it’s a lot. It would be nice to have someone who has all the names, who has all the PR, who can say, “I’ll book that gig for you. You’re playing then,” blah, blah, blah. That would be so nice to have that.

Daniel: But I think…

Nora: For now.

Daniel: I do also think…

Nora: We’ve done a good job.

Daniel: Yeah, we’ve done a good job, or you’ve done a good job…

For what it’s worth, your EPK is better than a lot of professional ones I get sent.

Nora: Really?!

There’s so many times I get EPKs, and there’s just so much information missing and stuff like that.

Nora: Yeah, it shouldn’t be…Like, I don’t know, I think it’s all the stuff we learnt…I’ll put this in a nice way, all the stuff we’ve learnt is looking at how other people have failed.

Yeah. Yeah.

Nora: So, I’ve learnt that certain songs don’t work, certain ways of playing doesn’t work, certain styles or genres wouldn’t really work live, or…I’ve seen the way other people promote themselves and I’m like, “They’re getting no likes on that post. People aren’t looking at that, people aren’t listening to that.” And then I look at people who are doing well, and I’m like, “What are they doing?” You know what I mean? And I feel like a lot of big promoters that are out there, that are older than us, or they’re kind of in the older times of promotion and Instagram, they don’t know how it works, but I’ve been obsessed with Instagram since I was 13 years old, you know what I mean? Like, I’ve an unholy amount of people that follow me for no reason, but only because I know how to post things, you know what I mean? So, it’s just…it’s a combined experience. Like, we have John, who’s mad into producing and crazy good at what he does. We have Ben, who’s also the same…

Daniel: Ben is really good at producing and, like, mixing, as well.

Nora: Yeah, and he writes like crazy. Like, he [Clicks fingers] just comes up with something.

Daniel: He just writes, yeah.

Nora: Then we have this fella, who has like the best fucking pitch and ear I’ve ever heard in my entire life, you know what I mean? So, it’s just everyone has their own…I think…

Sorry, Daniel, you have to pay Nora a compliment!

Daniel: Yes!

You’ve got, like, four free ones!

Nora: It’s OK! It’s OK! He doesn’t have to! He doesn’t have to! I mean, I think I don’t do much apart from just being passionate about it.

Daniel: But I think that’s…that speaks a lot more publicly than any of the three of us do. Like, the way that you’ve managed the band in the…however long you want to say that the band’s been around for, it speaks a lot to you and how much you care about the band. So, I think it’s very important. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t have anything, you know?

Nora: Yeah, but, at the same time, you gotta be passionate about it.

Daniel: Yeah!

Nora: And that’s…that’s the moral of the story!

Daniel: But, I think, like, that kind of really encapsulates…and, I know, yeah, obviously, a manager would be a great help, but I think it really encapsulates a lot of what is happening right now, at least in the Dublin music scene.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: There’s so much importance on being self-made.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: Like, nearly every band that I’ve seen – whether it be Workman’s, Whelan’s, Grand Social – they’re all self-made.

Nora: Yeah, and the bands that I don’t respect are the people who…they have a name in the industry. Obviously I respect them still, they’re still playing, they’re doing a good job, but there’s some bands who are getting a lot of traction just because their dad knows somebody, or their dad is somebody, or their mother used to go out with someone who did this and that and that, and then they’re supporting these massive acts, and you’re just there like, “Are they good? They’re OK.” “Do they have any real passion? Ehhhh!” I think it’s mainly for the girls and the money, do you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying. Yeah.

Nora: And it’s like, oh, my God! Like, when is there going to be a chance for people who are so into it and have been working at it, you know what I mean? We’re lucky, you know what I mean? Like, we’re lucky with the stuff…the traction we’ve gotten, you know what I mean? In six months, like!

Well, I think also, it isn’t just luck, it’s ta…

Daniel: It’s luck and hard work.

Nora: Yeah.

It’s luck, hard work and talent, I think, and making good music. I mean, I think that’s something you guys haven’t lost sight of. I mean, it’s so crazy to me, I go to random gigs, and you hear such sick musicians, just playing shows, and there’s like 15 people, and it’s like, “What the fuck?”

Daniel and Nora: Yeah.

I don’t know. I try to do my bit, I guess, to promote and help, and I reach out to some acts that I think are sick, and go, “I saw you guys at this show. If you want any press…” but even then, my traction’s limited too, for the meantime, I’m trying to build my shit, too, but there’s so much sick stuff going out, I really wish there was more ways for it to get traction. I mean, there are shows now. I think radio and television have been a little better at…

Nora: Radio’s…I think radio isn’t great at promoting stuff.

Daniel: I think…yeah, well…

Nora: Like, we don’t get…We got Dan Hegarty from [2FM’s] The Alternative and we got John Barker from [Dublin City FM’s] Tilt, they put our stuff on the radio, and they will again, they said they’d do it. Sorry, what were you going to stay?

Daniel: Well, I’m just saying, like…yeah, today or yesterday, someone asked me…was like, “What do you want to do with music, like?” ‘Cause I was watching Daisy Jones & the Six, and she…it was the scene where she’s in the car and one of their songs come on the radio, and she turned to me and she said, “Is that your dream? Do you want to hear your song on the radio?” and it’s like, at this point now, that’s not, like, “The Dream,” because that’s not really how it works anymore.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: It’s just the way music promotion and things like that have evolved. That’s kind of not where it’s at anymore.

Nora: Where it’s at is, like, the live stuff.

Daniel: Yeah. I think we need to…and there is already, but there needs to be so much more importance put on live music, because that’s where the experience is.

Do you think there’s a place for people…because I’m thinking of a show I went to recently, actually, I won’t name names, but I listened to their studio production and it’s fucking great, like, the music is really good, but just as live performers, they’re not quite great yet. Where, it’s not even the music, the music sounds fine, but just like bantering with the crowd or that kind of shit, it’s just not like they’re really not there yet. Do you think there’s a place for good musicians who can’t necessarily translate that live?

Daniel: Yeah, of course. I mean, like, look at people like, for one example, there’s…how am I forgetting her name? [Clicking fingers]

Nora: Ohhhh!!

Daniel: “Wuthering Heights.”

Aaron and Nora: Kate Bush.

Daniel: Kate Bush. Who, what?, never…played, like, one or two live shows ever?

Nora: Yeah, but she still performs amazingly.

Daniel: But she is still so famous.

Nora: But then again, that’s name’s and…

Daniel: No. OK, but there’s…

Nora: …and she got your man from Pink Floyd to produce her album, like.

Daniel: …but there is a place for it is what I’m saying. I think there is, definitely. You know…there’s session musicians who play in the studio, who are just probably better musicians than either of us could ever be.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: And if they can’t translate that live, it doesn’t make them any less of a musician, you know?

I get what you’re saying, yeah.

Nora: And especially now…

Daniel: Jimmy Page was a session musician in the studio before Led Zeppelin, for years.

Nora: I think the main focus with music now, though, is playing live.

Daniel: Yeah, and especially if you’re up-and-coming.

Nora: Yeah. Like, you want…record labels and stuff, they’re going give you the funding, they’re going to give you the management, they’re going to do all this stuff for you, but they’re still the ones, like…what they’re working towards is people going to your gigs, people paying you, you know what I mean?

Daniel: Doors.

Yeah, ‘cause there’s no…even with the recent boom in vinyl…and, like, streaming, it’s just, like, there’s no money in it, whatsoever…

Nora: Nothing!

Daniel: No.

…and, like, even with the boom in vinyl, it’s not enough to recoup. It is all live.

Nora: It’s nothing. And it’s merch, as well.

Daniel: And, also, the fact that vinyl is so overpriced, like, insanely so.

Nora: It’s just plastic discs, like! Jaysus!

Daniel: You go into Golden Discs, and you’re paying, like, €50 for a Nick Drake vinyl, which of course I would, but I don’t want to, like. [Laughs]

I get what you’re saying. And, actually, recently, like, as we’re speaking here, HMV just reopened in Ireland, and people are like…and I went to it and it’s just like, I don’t know…

Nora: It’s a record shop!

It’s so unspecial! [sic]

Daniel: Yeah. I’m in another band called Eppie, and we played at those…they did, like, that “live and local” thing for the first few days, and we played there, and it was…like, it was an interesting experience but, at the same time, it was like, “Yeah, it’s just a record shop.”

But, even then, I was looking at HMV and like their primary focus…like, I remember the old Tower Records that used to be there, it’s now on Dawson Street…

Daniel: Dawson Street, yeah.

…yeah, but it used to be on Wexford Street. No, sorry, Wicklow Street. Wexford Street is…

Daniel: Yeah, yeah.

I get the names mixed up. Anyway, when that used to be there, like, they had to open a café for a bit, remember? And even the new HMV, their whole stuff is figurines and…

Daniel: Yeah!

…that’s their whole refocus.

Daniel: Yeah! There’s so much pop culture kind of stuff. I walked into it, and it almost reminded me of, like, GameStop.

Yeah, yeah! I was thinking of that, too! Before GameStop…it’s almost like they got their clearance stock! [Laughs] ‘Cause GameStop just closed, HMV reopened, so it’s like, funnelling their shit into there! [Laughs]

Daniel: But, I mean, it is exciting to see that kind of shop opening again.

Nora and Aaron: Yeah.

Daniel: It’s just a s…not “a shame,” but it’s just…

I think there’s a lot of nostalgic reverie.

Daniel: …we all expected it to be different, and it’s not exactly they way people expected it to be.

I went into and I was like, “Yeah. It’s basically what I expected.” [Laughs]

Daniel: Yeah, yeah. It’s just lot of LED, and it’s kind of like dark mode shop…

Nora: I like that they have a stage in there now.

Yeah, that’s sick.

Daniel: Yeah, that’s good.

So, I guess just kind of wrapping up then, what do you have planned for the future? Obviously, you have this new single coming out.

Nora: Yeah, we have this single coming out. We’re not going to be playing…I don’t think…we have no gigs planned for now. The lads are away, like.

Daniel: Yeah, I’d say there would be a show, late August…

Nora: Yeah, late August.

Daniel: …at the very least.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. So, I think we’re focusing on the single now. We’re taking a bit of a break. I fucking need a break, man. Jesus!

Yeah, absolutely.

Nora: Bruh! Like, I don’t think I’ve had a day where I wasn’t thinking about band stuff, you know what I mean? I need…I need to just go home and be like, “That’s there now. I can sit back.”

Daniel: Yeah, especially while we wait on this new EP now to be finished.

Nora: Yeah. So, we have these five songs partly recorded. We’re going to probably bring out another single, maybe mid-Autumn, October, something like that, maybe. That’s three or four months. Yeah, [Counts the months to herself], yeah, October, November, something like that, and then bring out another one in February, after that. So, we’ll bring out two more singles, and then the end of next year – like, the academic year – probably around something like June or May, we bring out the EP. But we want to give it a good build-up. We don’t want to just go, “Bang! There ya go!” no-one’s gonna fucking listen to that. If they’re like, “I like that song off the EP. I like that one, as well,” and then give them three more and say, “There’s another three for ya, there. Have that.” But we do want to…I want to…we would really like to get some more gigs done by promoters and, like, people who are booking gigs, ‘cause I know there’s a Whelan’s thing on – I actually know the guy who’s booking that – but we weren’t ask and it’s a bit of a pity because we would’ve loved to…well, obviously we weren’t able to, ‘cause we’re not around right now, but we would’ve liked to be asked. We don’t really get asked to do stuff and I don’t know…it might have to do with the fact that we’re pretty…not “independent,” but we’re pretty, like…

Established, maybe?

Nora: Not “established,” but our shows are quite like…we’ve headlined a few shows, you know what I mean? We’re not much of a support act. We can be a support act.

Daniel: I wouldn’t mind doing it.

Nora: I wouldn’t either, but I feel like that’s not our label anymore. I don’t know what our label is. I feel our label is a bit weird because we’re not really like anyone, so if people were looking for a postpunk band or an indie rock band, they wouldn’t come for us, do you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying, yeah.

Nora: I feel like…yeah. We’d like to be considered for a more kind of “supporty” or whatever. It would be nice.

Daniel: Those support gigs…the co-headliner ones where they have just kind of three bands playing.

Nora: Yeah, that would be nice. But I think we haven’t been considered for that because we’ve been doing so much, you know what I mean? People won’t book you if you’re doing a shitload of stuff, you know what I mean?

Do you think in a way your sort of versatility – which is, I think, your unique selling point – but, simultaneously, do you think it ever screws you over when it comes to things like that, where it’s like, “Oh, we want three people who sound like Fontaines. Or we just want three people who sound like, I don’t know, just like soft indie rock,” or whatever it is? The fact that you guys are so, like, doing your own thing, are so unique in that sense…

Nora: It’s hard.

…it doesn’t categorise.

Nora: Yeah, it’s hard because, like, even when we supported Grooveline, we don’t sound like them. We’re not similar to them at all.

Daniel: Yeah, Grooveline are so different. [Laughs]

Nora: And the bands that…CIRCA, we’re kinda like, we’re even a bit heavier than them. Bees and Sawdust in Galway, we’re not like them at all, you know what I mean? They’re a bit more punky, kind of pop punk. All the other stuff we’ve played, we never really sounded like anyone, so it’s a bit hard to be like, “These would go well together.” I think Blue Slate and JaVill were really good picks – [Rolls eyes] on my part! [Laughs] – no! I just knew the guys. I knew the guys in the band, and I wanted it to be a big production and it was, and it worked out really well; we sold a good amount of tickets and it was packed, but I think they’re the closest…I think Blue Slate and JaVill, if they were combined, they’d be similar to us, do you know what I mean? You’ve got the melodic kind of stuff with JaVill and, like, very kind of “chordy,” and you have the heavier stuff with Blue Slate, but it still has that melodic element. That’s why I really wanted them to support us, because they’re both class, you know what I mean? But, yeah, that’s…We’re focused on the record and recording for a bit, so, hopefully we can actually use that, that we’ve recorded and, yeah, we’ll see what happens with the gigs. I mean, it’s all quiet in summer, anyway. Not a lot of people are doing a lot right now, but, em, we’ll see how it goes after the summer, anyway.

Would you be interested in doing nationwide tours or are you just focusing on Dublin?

Nora: Ehhhh….

Daniel: I don’t mind. I would love to play outside of Dublin.

Nora: Yeah, I would like to play outside of Dublin as well, but, also, I’m weary of attendance. Yeah, I don’t want to…

Daniel: As in people not coming?

Nora: I don’t want to play a gig and there’d be no-one there. We don’t want that. I guess we could manage it well by getting local bands to support us and I could definitely make that happen, but I think we do want to do a few more support gigs and actually get our audience. Because when you’re playing headliners, people know you already, you know what I mean? But with the supports, we got a load of followers from that, you know what I mean? And I kind of gauge how we’re doing on our Instagram, you know what I mean? Because people are…on your Instagram, you have everything. You have all your links, you have photos, you’re, like, talking about stuff you’re doing. So, I’m not looking at the Spotify so much, I’m looking at our Instagram and how people are actually interacting with our socials and with what we’re doing, you know what I mean?

That makes sense. One thing I wanted to ask – it just came to my head there – do you think by releasing, say, a series of music that’s so diverse from each other, you’re sort of in a way engineering the audience you want, in the sense that you don’t want an audience that just wants to hear “Two-Spirited,” you’re engineering ones who are…?

Nora: Who like actually like our music.

Well, who are open to new ideas and experimentation, almost.

Daniel: I think I get what you’re getting at, where it’s like sometimes there’s…a band will have a really big following, ‘cause they make a certain kind of music, and then if they decide they want to change the direction, ‘cause the music they’re playing is getting boring, and then half of that following goes, “Huff! We hate this!” I think that’s really important.

Nora: I think I’d like people to like us for how we sound and who we are, and the actual music that we make, it doesn’t have to fit any genre. ‘Cause I know for a fact, if I was to show you my playlist – like, I actually will show you my playlist! – it’s literally, like, you have bleeding Steely Dan, The Smiths, then it goes to Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake. Like, have a look at that. [She hands Aaron her phone with her playlist open]

[Reading the playlist out loud] Echo and the Bunnymen, The Divine Comedy, Wings, Joy Division, Clutch, John Lennon…that’s insane!

Nora: If you scroll down, there’s Stevie Wonder in there, like…

This is just a single playlist. [Laughs]

Nora: Yeah, there’s Queens of the Stone Age…

Yeah. Alice in Chains…

Nora: Alice in Chains…

…Inhaler, Bob Dylan…

Daniel: Yeah. How long is that playlist?

Nora: It’s about eight hours long. And Interpol. Do you know what I mean? And the point is, my point, I love listening to lots of different types, and if you ask most people these days, “What do you listen to?” “A bit of everything.” No-one wants to listen to, gugha-gugga-guh, you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying. And you’d think that would make you guys a perfect fit then, for a bill, because they’re like, “Well, shit, if everyone’s into versatile music…”

Nora: Yeah!

I think streaming culture’s a lot to do with this too, because – this is something I talk about a lot – but if people only had physical media, be it vinyl or CD, and digital media wasn’t an option, people are just going to stick to the shit they know they like.

Nora and Daniel: Yeah.

It’s like, “Well, I know I like this artist, I’m just going to buy their stuff.” Where now there’s no real risk.

Daniel: I know for me, my playlist is about forty hours long, and it’s all different shit, because that’s just…that’s the streaming culture. It’s like you want to listen…you want something new to be fed into you, like.

Nora: You want to be sitting there, one minute, kind of being like, “Ah, Jaysus,” then in the next like, “Yeah!” You know? You don’t want to…unless you’re in a really bad mood, you just thrown on…you listen to Interpol over and over again, like.

I get exactly what you’re saying. So, do you think people are more receptive to that now? In a way, do you think iNNUENDO could even exist at a different time before the average person, let’s say, had such a versatile music taste?

Nora: I don’t know. Well, The Beatles existed.

Yeah, that’s true.

Nora: Like, The White Album, it’s fucking everything.

But even The Beatles would cull fans…

Nora: They’re my biggest influence. The Beatles are, definitely. And sometimes they inspired me – I don’t know about the guys – but they definitely inspired me when writing and singing and listening to not stick with one thing, you know what I mean? [Inaudible] But then, like, bands who are inspired by The Beatles…like, David Bowie is another huge influence for me. He inspired so many people to branch out into different things. Like, David Bowie did a fucking different genre every year, do you know what I mean? Ziggy Stardust then he had The Skinny White Duke– Thin White Duke, whatever – then he was doing Young Americans and then he ended up doing that mad, experimental shit, you know what I mean? He had loads…then he did the ‘80s disco kind of shit, you know what I mean? Then he went into full Blackstar, which is crazy, avant-garde shit. That’s what he wanted. He wanted to keep people on their toes, you know?

Yeah, he didn’t want people getting complacent.

Nora and Daniel: Exactly.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. But, at the same time, it’s not even about…like, it’s about your audience and everything, about what people think, but it’s really about yourself, as well. If we didn’t like what we were doing…and before we didn’t really…before Danny came along and before we were playing proper shows, we weren’t really…there wasn’t passion there. There wasn’t like, “I’m happy with this.” It was like, “We’re in a band, I guess,” you know what I mean? It wasn’t a thing.

But now it is a thing, and it’s like…

Nora: I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with it. Yeah. I’m going to do my darndest to make things good, you know? Well, we all are. I’m talking about myself in a promotional kind of way, but…

Daniel: I mean, music writers, there’s always…I don’t know about you, but, like, I’m always discovering new kinds of…

Nora: Yeah. There’s always more.

As singers and songwriters, do you think it’s important to…? Actually, let me ask you this, what do you think the balance between delving into music history and learning from the music of yesteryear, versus remaining with the popular music of today and being contemporary, what do you think the balance of that is?

Nora: I think that…even Elton John would say that…Like, for songwriting and melody writing, I do a lot of the melodies. The guys do a lot more, like, a good amount of the chords and the structures and everything, but Elton John – my dad told me this yesterday! – he said that if he hadn’t played or listened to Debussy or Ravel or played classical piano, he wouldn’t have been able to write. That was in the ‘70s, you know what I mean?


Nora: Now, because I think we’ve all listened to so much music, we’ve all properly analysed, like, whole albums, the way people were playing, the way things were being done, we’re able to put that into our own stuff. When I’m writing, I’m not thinking, “What did they do?” I’m thinking…it’s just in my head. Like, everything I’m playing, it’s like a combination, it’s tiny bits of everything put into one, and you know it’s going to sound good because you’ve heard something like that before, you know what I mean?

Daniel: Yeah. It’s like practice makes permanence. You internalise things when you listen to them, and especially for musicians, the more that you play…like, playing covers, doing other people’s music, playing that is so integral to being a musician.

Nora: Yeah!

Daniel: Like, I said, for that “Down to Three” song, the inspiration where I got that drumbeat from was a Villagers song. Villagers are an entirely different genre to what that is, but, like, I…that’s just one of the things on my playlist, and I’ll listen to it when I’m practicing drums, and if I hadn’t done that for the hours that I’ve been doing it with loads of other songs, I wouldn’t have…Like, I didn’t think in that moment, “Oh! It’s like that Villagers song!” It’s like, “I’m going to play this beat that I know sounds really cool,” but it’s already in my head. You internalise that from transcribing other people.

Nora: And if you’re to get really deep into…I did a module on pop music in Trinity, and this philosopher, [Theodore] Adorno, he was talking about standardisation and why pop music is popular.

Yeah, I think I read something like that back in the day.

Nora: Yeah, yeah. He was basically saying that people love familiarity. Like, people love hearing stuff that, you know, they feel like they’ve heard before. Like, a lot of music gets very standardised, that’s why it’s like…everyone likes it because it sounds the same, do you know what I mean? Like, they have the same three chords. Like, even this song playing right now [Points to the café speaker which is playing some tune that’s too low in the recording to discern] you have, like, your jaunty little chord changes and everything. Pop music is for the people, it’s for the masses, but if you can take the aspects of pop, which is what people like and people have heard, like ABBA, everyone loves ABBA! People don’t realise…

I’ve talked about that before. No-one dislikes ABBA!

Nora: …they’re doing something right, like!  And everyone’s like, [In a mocking voice] “Oh! ABBA’s cringe!” but everyone likes ABBA!

Daniel: If “Dancing Queen” comes on…

Nora: Everyone is going to know it! You know what I mean? That’s the thing though, like, you learn from the people that are good. You can add the bits that are a bit different, like, you know, that not everyone would listen to, put it into that and that makes it different, but if you’re able to make something that inherently is, like, a universal like” or I don’t know how to explain it…

Has a universal appeal?

Nora: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Then you’re sorted, like, you know what I mean? I feel like people are missing that these days. People are just inherently copying other people instead of using their creative input and using their actual brains to make something original but make something that…it’s original but it’s also familiar.

Daniel: And that’s what the bands who are doing well are doing,…

Nora: Yeah!

Daniel: … is they’re doing familiar but original.

Nora: Yeah.

Well, I also think of, in a way, music is a lot less centralised now, and in that decentralisation, you can get what you guys are doing, which is, like, “I’m going to get a bit of everything,” but at the same time you can also get into a comfortable funk of, like, “I’m just going to listen to twelve hours of punk. I’m just going to listen to twenty hours of metal” and not diversify your palate, in a way. Do you think there’s any negative aspect to that kind of decentralisation or do you think it’s really given people full power now? ‘Cause even when I was a kid, I remember listening to… – when I started listening to a lot of music – I was like, “Why the fuck wasn’t this on the radio?” You know what I mean? Like, stuff I was actually interested in.

Nora: I think that helps you find the best of that genre. I do that sometimes; like, sometimes I listen to an album over and over for a week.

Yeah, so do I.

Nora: I was listening to Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther…[To Daniel] Do you like that album?

Daniel: I haven’t heard it.

Nora: Oh, my God! It’s so good! But I’ve just been listening to it and being like, “What are they doing? Like, how? What the fuck?! Like, every song on this album is incredible!”

Daniel: I mean, yeah, for me, the last two weeks, I’ve been listening to basically nothing but Ye Vagabonds’ newest album, Nine Waves. Just, like, the production and the songwriting is just, like, fucking gut-wrenching, it’s so good. So, like, I don’t think there’s any negative aspect to this decentralisation. Like, I think it’s absolutely necessary to know people have full freedom to listen to whatever it is they want. Then it’s entirely up to each individual, like, to decide what it is that they want to do with their music or what they want to listen to. Like, people who don’t play music can just listen to whatever they want because they can. There’s nothing stopping them, and I think, yeah, it’s like the freedom of music. Like, you need to be able to do that, otherwise you’re going to be stuck in your life.

Nora: Yeah.

Daniel: I think it…if it was…when it is centralised, it creates a barrier between people. Like, think of, say, the Blur versus Oasis debate. I’m sure there were people who actively hated other people because they liked Blur when they liked Oasis. So, I think the fact that that’s…obviously it’s still a thing, but it’s less of an important aspect of society now, I suppose. You’re actually more liked if you like more types of music, so I think that’s fairly important.

Nora: Yeah.

Yeah. And I guess one thing I’ll ask you, Nora, as… – I keep saying…I feel like Columbo, like, “One last thing!” every time – how much do you think it’s important to listen to things – you were mentioning ABBA – stuff that had mainstream appeal, that has longevity, in terms of multigenerational appeal, versus stuff that may be more obscure and that people didn’t listen to and it didn’t resonate with a mainstream audience, for whatever reason, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of it?  Yeah, I was wondering how much…? How much, like, do you try to study pop music, in terms of, “Here’s what was popular and here’s what resonated with people and here’s what didn’t?” and trying to extrapolate a sound from that, that you think is interesting and unique?

Nora: So, what are you asking? What exactly are you…?

I was wondering, just for you, as an individual, how much do you think it’s important to study the music that was popular in the past and how much of it do you think is also important to find what was obscured and what didn’t resonate?

Nora: I don’t…I think that…I think something like…I never studied anything on purpose. I never was like, “I’m going to listen to this now and see how it is.” My dad is kind of the person who got me into a lot of music that I like now, and he was showing me lots of things that used to be relatively popular, that he would remember, you know? But then he’d also be like, “This is a classic. You need to hear this,” you know what I mean? And I feel like you need to have the balance of, em, listening…like, properly listening and actually just liking the music, you know what I mean? Like, you can listen to something and take inspiration from something, but if you don’t like it, there’s no point in, like, sitting there and trying to listen to what other people like, you know what I mean?

I get what you’re saying.

Nora: Because there’s no point in trying to make music that you don’t like, you know what I mean?


Nora: But at the same time, yeah, I don’t know if it will answer the question, but obscurity isn’t always the most important. If a song is good, it’s good. If a song is interesting, it’s interesting. XTC, they were very kind of underground, but people don’t know most of their stuff, apart from “Making Plans for Nigel,” but that stuff’s incredible, you know what I mean? But it just didn’t reach the framework…it was too complicated for the time, you know what I mean? Like, no-one wants to listen to mad polyrhythms and, like, hidden, intensely, like, kind of intricate song structures and stuff like that. Like, no-one wants to listen to that all the time. Maybe a few, they did have a good amount of followers and listeners, but people won’t listen to that now because they think, “Oh, it wasn’t any good. It didn’t get a load of traction at the time,” but, no, it’s amazing and it’s a huge inspiration for a lot of people. But, yeah, I think there should be a good balance between the two, but don’t listen to anything…don’t listen to something ‘cause you think it’s cool; listen to something because it catches your eye or you hear a bit of it and you’re like, “Oh, I like that,” and then go into it. Don’t just do it because it’s obscure. Like, a lot of people do that now, you know? [Putting on a pretentious voice] “Oh, I like this pretty small band from a pretty small town in Swansea, and they’re, like, really good, and I really think…” blah, blah, blah.

Sometimes I do think certain music has a certain barrier to entry and once you get past it, you’re like, “Fuck! It’s some of my favourite music ever!” Do you ever have that, too? I was like that with Shellac. When I first heard Shellac, I was like, “This is fucking weird. Like, I can’t get this, I can’t get why people like it,” now they’re one of my favourite bands ever. Sometimes it’s worth breaking through a bit.

Daniel: It is. I think it is worth breaking through. Like, OK, I study jazz now in college, and, two years ago, I’d have told you I hate jazz. “It’s just people who don’t know how to play their instruments making randoms noises or whatever.” I could not be more wrong. Like, it’s just not what it is. And it took those two years to mature as a person, but also to mature musically, where you break through that barrier, like you were saying. There’s a barrier there but once you break through it, then the limitations are…

Nora: Endless.

Daniel: …gone. Like, it’s just, you know, “Oh, fuck! This exists and I never knew about it and, oh, my God, it’s so good!”

Nora: And then it adds so much to what you’re used to hearing.

Daniel: So, I do think it is worth it. You definitely need to…

Nora: You need to branch out. It’s important to branch out because that’s when you’ll find the stuff that you love the most. Like, I had never heard of Midlake, now I’m a massive fan of all their shit, you know what I mean? Now I can’t stop listening to them. So, yeah.

Perfect. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we wrap up or do you think we have all bases covered?

Nora: Em…

Daniel: Listen to “Haven’t Got a Clue”!

Nora: Listen to “I Haven’t Got a Clue,” and, yeah, be yourself. Be inherently yourself. I think that’s what we all are, we are inherently ourselves. We’re not trying to be anyone else.

Perfect. Thanks very much for your time, guys.

Nora: And we rock!

Daniel: [Laughs] Thank you for your time.

iNNUENDO’s latest single “I Haven’t Got a Clue” is out now on all streaming platforms. You can keep up to date with the band on their website, Instagram and YouTube.

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