The Frontman of the Limerick Rock Trio Raging Sons Discusses the Band’s Upcoming EP, Surviving Harsh Conditions, Their Enivable Support Slots, and Much More

For over half a decade, the Limerick rock trio Raging Sons have persisted through line-up changes, near break-ups, a pandemic, and their members currently living in different cities. In March, they released their latest single, “Black Room.” Back then, their guitarist and vocalist, Fint Tynan, talked to Post-Burnout about the single, the Limerick music scene, how and why the band persisted, how they’ve changed in that time, some of the big-name acts they’ve played with, their upcoming EP, and much more.


The first question I wanted to ask was simply a bit about the background of the band, because I know you guys have been going for a while – in fact, there were a couple of times where it seemed like the band were on the precipice of breaking up and stuff – and, obviously, you guys persisted; there’s been line-up changes. Yeah, I was wondering if you could just talk a bit about the background of Raging Sons and where it’s come from?

Yeah, […] Colum [Kelly] and myself are the only original members of the band – so, Colum plays lead guitar and I am the singer, obviously – but Adam [Reeves]… – it’s funny, actually – Adam was playing with another band – Adam’s the drummer – so, he was playing with another band that we were doing a bit of a tour with around Ireland, and it just happened that, eh, [Laughs] that we really liked him as a drummer! So, we actually kind of…I don’t like to say we stole him, but something came up where our drummer couldn’t make a gig or something, and he ended up filling in and that was kind of the start of it. But, like you said, we’ve gone through a few different members – I think we’ve had four or five different members from day one when we first started playing together – but I think it was 2018 when we really solidified where we are at the moment, and then we kind of decided at that time that we were going to take…[Tuts] D’ya know, we’d kind of said.. – going back to old interviews and stuff – we’d say, like, “Oh, we decided to take it a little bit more seriously” or whatever, but I don’t know what that means, really. But we decided that we were just going to get into the studio and start recording some stuff, and I think that was…for me, that’s kind of where it all began, really, because everything leading up to that point was just a few young lads just meeting up, jamming in my parents’ shed, back in Limerick, which you have to do as well, you know? “Earn your stripes,” as they say. But that was the beginning, 2018. And then we decided we were going to start recording. We went into the studio with the idea that we were going to record a couple of singles, and that turned into an EP, and that turned into an album. I think COVID kind of maybe made that decision for us, as well, because we couldn’t really put music out there, we couldn’t really get a recording finished for the singles at the time, so we ended up going the long haul and doing an album, which we released right bang [Laughs] in the middle of COVID, as well, you know?

Yeah, it’s an interesting point you were mentioning there, about the album. The album was called 20:20, and it came out in 2021. Obviously, everyone’s plans were affected by COVID and stuff, but I think that’s interesting because you were mentioning that the project still persisted during the pandemic. What do you think it was about Raging Sons that kind of…I don’t know, that you found that there was something there to go, “No, this is still worth persisting with”?

Yeah, I think it boils down to us being friends, maybe, first of all, but then the material; I think the one thing that kept us going was that we felt that there was something there that was worth putting out there. And we always kind of felt that when things started to go well, we never capitalised on it. So, like, we would’ve had a few big gigs when we first started, almost to the point where we were spoilt a little bit. Like, we played the Olympia in Dublin and we played a few big gigs in and around Limerick, and it just seemed to happen overnight and it kind of came easy, but then I suppose what happened then was, we didn’t really capitalise on any of the big things. Like, we were played on national radio a couple of times and [started] getting a bit of traction – like the new kids on the block, nearly – and then we didn’t really capitalise on that. So, we ended up taking these longwinded breaks where we’d spent six months doing nothing, and then we’d be like, “Oh, we have to go back and do something,” and that always seemed to be the way. But I think it was the material; we all seemed to have a belief in it that kind of kept us coming back. And like you said there, earlier on, we actually did call it a day at one point, and then I think it was one night in Limerick, I met Adam – who’s the drummer now – and over a few pints, he convinced the both of us to give it another lash, and that’s when it really kicked off for us, like I said, in 2018. So…

Actually, you were mentioning there, yourself and Colum. You guys are both from Limerick. I think, if I’m correct, Adam is from Galway, is that right?

No, it’s Colum that’s actually from Galway…

Oh, sorry! I got it reversed, by mistake! [Laughs]

…and Adam’s from Limerick, yeah.

So, are youse all based in Limerick now?

Well, no. [Laughs] I’m the only one in Limerick now. So, Colum was in college in Limerick when we first met, and Adam – who was a couple of years younger than us, or a few years younger than us – was, like I said, playing with a different band. So, we were all just sort of in the same circle in Limerick, really. But nowadays, Adam is actually living in London, Colum is in Galway, and I’m in Limerick. So, yeah, it’s hard, but, y’know, in some ways it’s actually kind of good because we were deadly for…Like, we’d organise a rehearsal or a studio session or something, and someone would always pull out, and that’s when we were all living in Limerick. But since we’re scattered around, whenever there’s something planned and in the diary, everyone has to make it, because there’s a man flying in from London and there’s another one coming down from Galway! So, it kind of gives it a bit more structure, like, which is kind of crazy to think, you know?

Actually, there’s a good point there. You were mentioning once you get formed as a band, there’s – I don’t know if you find this – but there’s a sense of confidence then, where it’s like, “Even if we mightn’t see each other for a couple of months, when we get back together it will be tight and it will still be good.” Do you find, say if you were to do a gig, do you guys meet up earlier than that to try and get some practice in, or are you guys just good to go on the night?

I think, back in the day, we used to maybe put too much pressure on ourselves and we’d end up rehearsing every day leading up to a gig, and you’d nearly burn yourself out, you know? Whereas now, I think once you have the bones of a set nailed down – and over the years of jamming together, we have a fairly decent repertoire that we can pull from – so once you have that base, it’s very easy to get back into a room and things kind of come together very fast, but I find when you don’t have that kind of repertoire, you don’t have the set in place previously, you can be banging your head against a wall because you’re thinking, “Oh, what songs do we know?” or “Can we do this song or can we do that song?” You just need that consistency of playing together, and that’s what we’ve gotten now. I think, over the years, that was probably a little bit more difficult, but because of playing together over time, it’s like riding a bike, as they say. You know, you kind of get in and you start going and it doesn’t take long for it to come together, you know?

Photo by Diarmuid O’Donovan
Courtesy of Jawdropper Music

One thing I want to ask, actually, just while I have you, is about the Limerick music scene, in general. One thing that I think is interesting as an outsider, looking in – I’m not from Limerick, I don’t live in Limerick – but I’m noticing that Limerick is becoming a really, really big hotspot for bands. Because it used to be, when I was a teenager, if bands came to Ireland at all, they’d play Dublin and Belfast and that was it, and if they played an extra city, it would either be Cork or Galway.


But now I’m looking at Limerick, through places like Dolan’s, through places like the Milk Market, The Big Top, so on, the Castle and stuff – and smaller places, like the Kasbah, and the Record Room, and places like that. The Lime Tree Theatre, and places like that – it seems to be a hotspot now for a lot of touring artists. It was, obviously, always a big city for domestic artists to play; if there was a tour of Ireland, Limerick would always be on it – but, as an outsider, I’m looking at a lot of tours, and Limerick seems to be on it a lot when [international acts] come to Ireland.

Yeah, I think a lot of it comes down to – you said it, there – is the Dolan family, because they run most of those venues that you listed there. Like, with Dolan’s Warehouse, there’s three venues on the Dock Road itself. So, you’ve got Dolan’s Warehouse, you’ve got the Kasbah, and you’ve got Upstairs at Dolan’s, which is all under that one roof, kind of. And then the Castle gigs are put on by Dolan’s as well, and they put on the gigs at the Milk Market. So, it’s kind of all through them. And I know that they put on gigs in the University Concert Hall, as well. Like, in fairness, they have the place hopping when it comes to live music. Like you said, there is some other venues since. So, you have the Record Room, you’ve got Pharmacia, you’ve got…Like, you’ve named most of them there. But, yeah, I think there’s always been a lot of talent in Limerick, you know? And I think that it is a musical city; when you think of The Cranberries, and you think of other big bands that have come out of Limerick. Like, you’ve got Hermitage Green now, as well, which are doing big things.

Yeah. And yourselves!

And ourselves, hopefully, yeah! [Both laugh] We’ve another step or two to go! But, yeah, what I found surprising was that when we first started playing, the amount of talented people, the amount of bands, the amount of really talented bands that are playing in Limerick, you know? And a lot of them love to just play in Limerick, and you don’t really see them moving too far out of that, like, you know? Which is kind of a testament, in a way, to the scene, you know? But, yeah, I think that over the years…like, I said, with the Dolan’s thing as well, like Dolan’s is such a prestigious venue, and then when they’ve added in the Castle and stuff like that, you see bands…like even this summer alone, you’ve got big international bands coming to Limerick; Snow Patrol are playing, Liam Gallagher’s playing, Paolo Nutini, you’ve got Paul Weller who’s playing, Johnny Marr, d’ya know? There seems to be a bit of a shift, and I don’t know if it’s people’s taste or what, because I would’ve always said that Limerick is more of a like R&B, dance kind of…Like, the students, d’ya know? You’ve got the big colleges and stuff like that. Whereas I think guitar-based music is making a bit of a comeback, and all for the better, in my opinion. [Laughs]

[Laughs] Well, speaking of guitar-based music, obviously last week [at the time of the interview] you released your latest single, “Black Room.”


This is following “Talk” and “Feel Love,” which are kind of the three post-album singles that have been released thus far. What I think is interesting is that each single is very […] distinctive in its sound, but I think there’s a continuity between them through the imagery. Each album has…sorry, each single[‘s artwork], I mean, has an old-timey photograph with a white frame around it.


I was wondering […] is this leading up to a bigger, collective project, or are these three singles just linked in this way to you guys? How do you feel?

The idea would be an EP is what’s coming in the summer. But it was more, with the album, it was written over such a long period of time that it was very hard for it to be a conceptual project; it was kind of a bit of a mixed bag. And I think one thing that was a challenge for us with the album was that we were still in the process of developing our sound and trying to put that stamp on songs that hadn’t been written in the same block of songs. You know, you could have a song that would be three or four years old, you could have a song that’s three or four months old, and just trying to get some continuity in that. So, when it came to getting the album out, it was like, “Lovely, that’s done now and we can focus on what’s next.” So, these singles, these batch of songs, have all kind of been written in and around the same few months, or year, or twelve months, whatever; the same period of time. For me, as the lead songwriter, I’d say I had a concept in mind, that it was going to be revolving more back to our roots. Like, that’s why “Talk” kind of seems a little bit more stripped-back, maybe, than some of the other stuff on the album that’s synth-driven and electronic nearly in some parts. So, “Talk” was kind of like stripping everything back and baring the soul nearly a little bit, and there’s references in the lyrics to going back to your roots and that kind of thing. And “Feel Love,” then, was in a similar vein, you know? It was more of a youthful love song, in a way, you know? And then “Black Room” was, I suppose,  the culmination of the album’s sound and our stripped-back sound, and kind of getting back to what we feel like our sound is. So, “Black Room” is more what we would say we are, you know? And then, with the EP coming, the whole picture will be clearer, you know, when we release the EP. And we’re hoping to maybe put a couple of stripped-back acoustic tracks on it as well, where it all began really, because every song you hear was written on an acoustic guitar or written on a shitty feckin’ keyboard or something, d’ya know what I mean, like? It’s all very…That was where it all started. So, we’re trying to get a little bit of that across on the EP, you know?

Like you were mentioning earlier, there were line-up changes throughout the band’s lifetime, and now it seems to be the most…correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to be the most kind of core trio that it’s been for a while; the three of you guys have been working together consistently. Do you find that makes it easier, as a songwriter then, to be able to play to the other members’ strengths or kind of know…I don’t know, kind of know what their sound is? It’s kind of hard to explain to people who weren’t musicians themselves, but you can have two people play the exact same song, but it always just has a little difference. I can’t really explain it.

Definitely. I think when you first start playing with musicians – because, no matter what people say, every musician has an ego. Like, everyone has their own way of doing things – and I think when you first start playing with someone, you’re feeling out their little nuances, and you’re feeling out what makes them tick, and what not to say, and what to say, kind of thing…

It’s like a game of Operation. [Laughs]

Yeah, exactly! Yeah! [Laughs] So, I think now that we’ve…Like, we’re best mates, like – me, Colum, and Adam – we’re best mates; like we go out for pints together if we’re around in the same town or whatever, and we talk to each other daily, you know? It’s not just like a lot of bands here, where they meet up and play and then they don’t talk to each other for six months; we talk every day. So, I feel like we really know each other, as well. So, we could go into the studio and no one’s afraid to make suggestions. So, like, Adam would say to me, “Oh, you should do this,” or…I think when you first meet someone and they say, “Oh, you should do this,” you kind of nearly take it as an insult, but we’re kind of past that now, where we can make suggestions to each other. To the point where Colum Kelly, even…[Laughs] Colum, the guitarist – who cannot sing, by the way! – did some vocal stuff on a couple of the songs, you know? Or we’ve all done group vocals on some of the songs, or someone might have an idea for a specific drum part or a guitar part, like. Maybe less so drums, because Adam is the drummer, whereas I play guitar and maybe the lads would have a suggestion for me or vice versa. So, I think it’s a very healthy relationship we have now, you know? And I think it stems from being mates, like, and being friends, and trusting each other in that way, you know?

Totally. Actually, could I add on to that a little bit? I think on top of being mates and being familiar with each other and things like that, I think there’s also a maturity that grows, just naturally, for everyone. Obviously, as you grow older, a lot of your ego is stripped away, and you do kind of become… – at least this is my perspective – but you do kind of become more receptive to other people’s ideas and other people’s thoughts, where, I think when you’re young and kind of green, there’s that kind of attitude of…I don’t know, defensiveness, perhaps…


…that I think just kind of mellows out over time. Do you think that’s a factor, as well?

No, I think in every walk of life, you’ll encounter that;  not just in music, like. But, no, definitely. I know that in the past, even with myself maybe starting out, it’s like you have this kind of…it’s almost like an insecurity, rather than an ego. It’s like, “Oh, I should know,”  “I should have all the answers,” or “I should know what I’m doing here,” but, like…It’s like starting a new job – forget about music for a minute – and you go in and someone says, “Oh, you should do this.” Like, you can take the constructive criticism on board and better yourself or you can hide away and take it as an insult, you know? And I think that’s…You’re dead right in that respect; like, I think we’re past that. And that’s why they say, I suppose, a bit of wisdom goes a long way [Laughs] in any walk of life, you know?

Well, we talked already about the longevity of the band, and, obviously, I think it’s great that you guys are so persistent through the geographical changes, through line-up changes, through everything. It seems like it’s something that’s going to continue growing for a while, and, obviously, you guys don’t even have to be in the same city anymore [Laughs] for it to persist. I was wondering, for you, what do you think the future of the band is, whether immediate or distant? Or are you thinking about that or are you just taking it day-by-day?

Em, I think there was a time in our younger days or when we first started playing together, where we probably thought, “We’re going to take over the world, and we’re going to be touring here, there, and everywhere,” and I think that – going back to the amount of talent that’s in the country and beyond – you start to think to yourself, “Wow! These people are so talented and they’re…” – it depends on what you consider “making it” is, but –  “…they’re just playing in their hometown, and they’re happy doing that,” you know? So, I think that we put an awful lot of pressure on ourselves [in the] early days to kind of be the next The Cranberries, or be the next U2, or whoever, you know? But I think that you kind of get to a point where you say, “You know what? If I get to play music with my mates and play some venues, and people like it and people are into it, d’ya know,  we’re happy,” you know? Like, last summer was probably the first time that we actually went out and tried to book a few festivals, and we played a few last year, which was great; we played with some big bands, as well. If I look back on the years that we have been playing, we’ve played with some really great Irish bands. Like, we’ve played with The Riptide Movement, we supported Hermitage Green there in December, in Limerick, in the Market, which is 2,000 people or whatever. [Laughs] We played with Basement Jaxx last year, [at] a couple of festivals. Like, Gavin James, [The] Academic, we played with The Stunning. Like, I could go on and on and on. It’s not until you kind of step back and you realise that you’ve done more than a lot of people and you should be happy with that. But, I suppose for the future, like this summer coming up now, I think it was a tactful thing to release the single at this time, because last year, when we released “Talk” – pretty much a year ago; it was, I think, the third of March last year, so we released this one on the first – and, off the back of that, we seemed to book a lot of gigs and festivals and stuff, like. So, we’re hoping that this summer will be busy, and then we recorded…We did a headline gig in Dolan’s Warehouse, last year, where we recorded the whole gig, so we’re planning on maybe putting out a live release – it will probably be an EP – but we’ll say that kind of period between the end of summer and Christmas, we’re probably going to put out the live stuff and, after that, we’ll see. We haven’t had a whole lot of time for…- personally, myself, anyway – …for writing too much in the last twelve months because we’ve been so busy, you know? So, for me, I’d like to take a little bit of time to sit down and start writing some new stuff and see where we go from there.

Perfect, man. I guess the final thing I’ll ask, you were mentioning that you’re planning on releasing an EP and you’ve […] released three singles over the course of the last year. Do you guys find you’re more of an album band or are you content with singles? How do you feel about that? […] I find some bands are either one or the other. I don’t know how you feel about that.

I think, being old school, the dream was always to record an album, you know? I grew up listening to albums and it was always like, “This is the new album.” You didn’t even really  hear about EPs, really – like, EPs were kind of for up-and-coming bands, maybe, you know? – and singles were nearly like EPs in themselves because you used to have the main song and then you’d have two or three B-sides on the single, you know? So, for me, it was always like recording an album, that was always my dream, personally, to record an album, and we did that. But I think the way things are gone now, with […] music being released digitally on Spotify or whatever else, I think you have to remain relevant, nearly. So, unless you’re Kings of Leon or Arcade Fire or one of these…Muse or something, like, you kind of have to remain relevant, you know? So, I think that’s why you see a lot of bands now releasing singles, singles, singles, and, at the end, it’s going to culminate [sic] in some sort of album, probably. But I think the days of recording an album, disappearing for two years, and then recording another album, I think they’re kind of gone unless you’re one of the big boys, so it’s not so much what we prefer, I think it’s what’s necessary for us, and I think at the moment what’s necessary is to keep putting stuff out, so if that means singles, great. If it means an EP or it culminating in an album down the road, then that’s the way we go with it. But it’s all about content, now. Sure, you know, yourself!

Yeah! [Both laugh] Well, actually, something I want to ask you, just based on that, is I sometimes worry that if you’re following a band who plan on putting out an album, obviously streaming culture dictates that you put out the singles beforehand.


I often wonder if that makes the release of an album less special because by the time it comes out, you’ve have half the album, already. You’ve already heard it. [Laughs]

Well, I think that we kind of went a bit old-school with it because we put, I think it’s eleven tracks on the album, and I think we released four… – we released “Tonight,” “Breathe Easy,” “Square One,” and “Someone Else’s Love” – so, we released four of those. That was the thing that I was worried about, is that you put out all the singles and then there’s no surprise, you know? Because that’s what I used to love about buying albums back in the day, is you’d hear one or two singles and then you’d get the album, and you’d even release singles after the album had come out, you know?

Yeah, yeah.

But, yeah, I think that we were conscious of people getting their money’s worth, in a way; that we didn’t want to give them everything before the album came out, so you still had six songs which you hadn’t heard once the album came out, which I think is…You know, it’s fair, like. I’d be happy with that, so we were conscious of that.

Raging Sons’ latest single, “Black Room,” is now available on all streaming platforms. You can find all of the band’s music, social media accounts, and live dates here.

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