Interview – Hermitage green

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Although they only formed in July 2010 Hermitage green have already accomplished things that other bands can only dream of. From sell out gigs to recording a live album, 2013 has seen them go from strength to strength. I caught up with band member Darragh to talk about the new album, performing on second captains, and what the future holds for Hermitage green.

You’re releasing a live album this month, what made you choose the Whelans shows to record and release?

Whelans is one of our favourite venues to play. It’s the perfect size for recording a gig and is one the most respected venues in the country. What better place to do it. The album is out on the 22nd of November.

What made you decide  to do a live album and not another studio one?

This is our debut album following our studio EP. We are very much a live band and it is at these gigs that our sound is at its most natural and, basically, where we create the sound we want to be associated with. Things are often different in the studio. There’s more pressure and playing can become a bit rigid so we decided to record where we are most comfortable – on a stage.

Were you nervous performing on those nights knowing that you were recording it to release?

There was definitely extra pressure yes but personally I wasn’t nervous just excited. We were probably a bit on edge the first night but after hearing some of the takes from that gig we knew we were onto something good so just went out a enjoyed ourselves the second night.

Is there anything that you would have done differently?

Not musically no. I would have put a parking ticket on my car though.

 Are you happy with the finished result?

Yes delighted. All the hard work has definitely paid off!

Are there any plans for a studio album?

Give us a chance to breath!!! No plans as such but hopefully around this time next year. We have loads of material so it’s just a matter of finding the right person to work with and the right time.

You’ve been playing a lot of sold out shows the last few months, would you like to be playing bigger venues or do you like playing to an intimate crowd?

Naturally a band will move towards bigger venues to play to more people but you can’t top a quiet intimate gig for me. I’d take that over a packed, noisy venue any day of the week.

You get compared to the likes of mumford and sons quite a bit, does this annoy you or do you take it as a compliment

Bit of both! It’s always flattering to be compared to one of the biggest acts on the planet. However I think it’s a very uninformed comparison that we, and lots of other acoustic bands, have to deal with. As soon as you play a guitar and sing some harmonies you are automatically trying to be Mumford. I think after listening to the live album people will move away from that.

You had  a weekly residency on the popular RTÉ TV sports show Second Captains this year, how did that come about?

Mark Horgan, the producer, got in touch during the summer saying that he’d love for us to play Golden Rule as the introduction to the show. We loved the concept of the show and are all big sports fans so it was a no-brainer.

You’re doing really well outside of Ireland, do you think you will move to follow it or do you plan to stay based in Ireland?

We still have lots left to do in Ireland so we’ll certainly be based here for the foreseeable future. However we love to tour also so any opportunities that come our way, we’ll take them!

You’ve played with a lot of notable artists over the last few months, who else would you most like to collaborate with?

THE STAVES! We’ve never met them but I feel like we have from spending so much time looking in their windows. Mick Flannery is a man I’d love to sit down and write with and same goes for Josh Ritter, both of whom we’ve had the pleasure of meeting.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Electric picnic 2013 with 7000 people in a sweaty tent.

2013 was a brilliant year for Hermitage green, what do you think 2014 holds?

Loads of festival, touring and an album that will knock your socks off!

On the 23rd and 24th of October this year Hermitage Green played two sold out shows in Dublin’s Whelan’s which were recorded for their forthcoming live album “Hermitage Green – Live At Whelan’s”. This video is a short documentary recorded behind the scenes and during the performances on the nights.

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