Interview with Steven Garrigan from Kodaline

Twitter: @PeteHatesMusic
Childhood friends often dream of being in bands, but those lofty dreams barely make it out of the basement. I always wanted to invent a time machine, but my future self advised me there’s no money in it. However, childhood friends from Dublin formed a band and are reaping some rewards for their efforts.

The Irish band are Kodaline, and so far have an EP to their name, with another EP and a full album both following in March. However, it is this one EP and their excellent video for All I Want which has caught the attention of many, and landed them a prestigious nomination for BBC’s Sound of 2013 shortlist, as well as landing a song on the somehow still running hit TV show, Grey’s Anatomy.

Kodaline (Credit - Josh Shinner)

Kodaline (Credit – Josh Shinner)

The band, consisting of Steven Garrigan (vocals), Vinny May (drums), Jason Boland (bassist), and Mark Prendergast (guitar), hit New York on Thursday January 31, before heading back to the UK for some shows in February. PeteHatesMusic caught up with Steven for a round of questions over email before their year gets even more hectic. No spoilers (since people apparently don’t like those, as my black eyes can attest to), so start reading.

PeteHatesMusic (PHM): Congrats on making the BBC’s Sound of 2013 shortlist, as well as the PeteHatesMusic Good Bets for 2013 – I’m not sure which one is more prestigious. Did the Sound of 2013 nomination come as a surprise?

Steven Garrigan (SG): Cheers, yeah we didn’t expect to be on either, so it means a lot. Hopefully it gets our music out and into the ears of more people. It’s pretty cool.

Kodaline – All I Want

PHM: The song and video for your track All I Want has been quite a success. How bad should I feel if I look exactly like the guy from the video? (note to prospective lady friends – I don’t look like that guy, honest)

SG: Well the old age saying answers that question ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. As cliché as that quote is… I hope it cheers you up.

PHM: How did the Grey’s Anatomy song feature come about? And – not to be sexist – but as a guy, do you even like Grey’s Anatomy?

SG: We went over to L.A a few months back and played for a few people, they liked us and decided to put ‘All I Want’ on the show, funnily enough we ran into Billy Joel in a bar over there too… but I suppose that’s another story. We’ve never watched Grey’s Anatomy but we do like the music they have on the show, so it’s a cool feeling that they chose a song of ours for it.

PHM: As the music industry changes (thanks, illegal downloading!), bands are now licensing their music to television and commercials. This used to be considered holy / sell out territory. Having done this yourself with Grey’s Anatomy, do you think fans’ views are changing and more understanding?

SG: I’ve been introduced to alot of great music through films and television programmes, it’s a great way to discover new music, for instance I discovered a guy called Warren Zevon and his song ‘Keep Me In Your Heart’ from the film ‘Funny People’. In short, it’s a way to discover music.

PHM: Complete this sentence – All I Want…_______?

SG: Are gloves and scarves
Before the cold tears me apart
the heavy snow in Birmingham
was not apart of my weekend plan
I’m cold….and I have to walk to rehearsals.

PHM: Becoming successful with only 1 EP must make the set lists for the live shows a little repetitive. How excited are you to have new songs that the crowds will know?

SG: Playing gigs is fun in general, although I can’t wait to release the album, it’s out on the 25th of March, will be interesting to see how people react to it, hopefully they like it.

PHM: Why is your next EP being released a week before your debut album? You’re not afraid of Kodaline overload?

SG: We write a lot of songs so we decided to put a few on another EP before the album.

PHM: 2013 promises to be another busy year for the band – what do you hope to get out of 2013 (besides ‘alive’)?

SG: To play to as many people as possible, that’s pretty much it. Well, also to write more and to buy a decent pair of gloves.

PHM: The question every band loves – what does the name “Kodaline” mean? Google and Wikipedia have not been overly helpful.

SG: It’s very personal, we’d like to keep it a secret if that’s ok.

(note: oh come on!)

PHM: What’s the biggest misconception about Irish music or Ireland’s music scene?

SG: That everybody knows each other; it’s not that small a place.

PHM: Besides Kodaline, what bands should readers of PHM be rushing to check out?

SG: Tame Impala are great, Lianne La Havas, Little Green Cars, Hudson Taylor, and Gabrielle Aplin to name a few.


Not only will we finish with Steven’s recommendations, but we’ll leave you with Kodaline’s brand new video for High Hopes, off of their High Hopes EP out in March. The video stars Liam Cunningham from Game of Thrones (he’s Davos Seaworth), and features a runaway bride, and an ending that I won’t spoil for you (because no one likes spoilers, as I painfully noted earlier).

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Kodaline – High Hopes

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1 Response

  1. Maura Garrigan says:

    Very intetesting intervi