Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:42:36
Dublin's Kodaline find their own kind of perfection on In a Perfect World. It's a divine amalgam of stunning instrumentation and soaring hooks that makes the album so downright blissful at times. It's the best way to enter their world...
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Stephen Garrigan of Kodaline talks In a Perfect World, storytelling, movies, and so much more.
What's your take on In a Perfect World as a whole?
It's our first album. For us, it's really honest. We tend to write songs about things that happen to us, people, and places. Generally, it's very true-to-life for us. We're pretty proud of it. Each song tells a different story. There are songs about relationships. There are songs about going through tough times. You've got to push through it, and whatever happens happens. There are songs about traveling with friends. It's autobiographical. There's an emotional roller coaster. Some songs are happy and some are sad. That's only natural because you can't be sad all the time [Laughs].
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
I'm always trying to get across exactly how I feel. I'm really getting something off my chest. It could be happy. It could be sad. It could be anything else in between. I try to be very direct in what I'm getting across. "All I Want" is exactly where I was. Everything is very true. It's quite strange singing that song. It's about a personal experience. Every song is, but that was a hard one. I suppose that's the great thing about music. All you can do is express yourself, and it allows you to get things off your chest.
What's the story behind "Way Back When"?
"Way Back When" is a little bit sad, but it's more of a celebration. It's about growing up. A friend of ours passed away. You're looking back and celebrating your friends. Tough things happen, and they're going to happen. You're only going to live once so it's best to smile. All of the members in the band grew up in the same town, and we were friends before we played music.
That makes everything click.
We never planned anything out. We fell into it. We'd be jamming. We got our drummer out of convenience because he was the only person we knew who had a drum kit [Laughs]. Since we've played together for so long, it makes harmonies easier. Touring is great because we're just friends traveling the world, playing shows, and writing music.
Why did you choose the title In A Perfect World?
The concept of A Perfect World is a catch-22. For us, it's writing music and expressing ourselves through songs. That's as close as we can get to it. There's no such thing as perfection.
What artists shaped you?
I'm a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and Jackson Browne as well. I'm big into lyricists and songwriters. Our bass player is mad into electronic music. I worship Sprinsteen though. He's so prolific and still relevant. It's superhuman the way he plays shows at the age he is. He's "The Boss" really.
If your album were a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Wow, that's a really good question. You could sit on that question forever! Have you ever seen (500) Days of Summer. It's not a rom-com. It's more bittersweet. I like the story. Just the way a man goes through so many low points and highs, it might be that!
Have you heard Kodaline?