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A live man who plays the bass from Crumlin
He's not a Christmassy guy, he says, but perhaps the season has made Jape's Richie Egan reflective. Patrick Freyne talks to him about the past, present and future.
Patrick Freyne, 11 Dec 2008
He trails off. Jape’s music is also marked by a joie de vivre which, it turns out, comes from a slightly darker place than is immediately apparent.
“Around the time of writing the second album, I had this realisation of the reality of death. Some people say it happened to them a lot earlier in their lives, but that was the year it happened for me. But you go through all that and you come out the other side and then it doesn’t feel so bad and you start feeling happy to be alive a lot more. You start to appreciate it. A lot of the songs on the record are about being alive,” he laughs, “but they’re all about death when you get down to it.”
And making the most of life, for Richie Egan, means playing lots and lots of music. As well as writing new songs for Jape, his old comrades in The Redneck Manifesto are also thinking of recording again.
“Someone told us recently that RMG had money for us which we never collected,” he shakes his head. “We’re not lazy when it comes to writing songs, but we’re lazy about things like that. So we’re thinking of going back over to the Blackbox studio in France to do another studio album. We have eight or nine new songs we think are really good. Being in a band with other people is good for you and I miss it sometimes with Jape. I think maybe a lot of singer songwriters have never been in a band where people just go ‘that’s shit’ – not out of meanness but to make things better. It’s very healthy. But at the end of the day, the only thing you have to do is look yourself in the mirror. Dublin’s a small place and you can walk around here like you’re cock of the walk very easily if you want to, but at the end of the day you know if your songs are no good. I believe that everyone making shit music knows in their heart that what they’re doing isn’t great... even if they’re very successful. They’re probably weeping on their big pile of money at night.”
Richie Egan has no such concerns. He doesn’t have a big pile of money. And he’s pretty content with the music he’s making. He’s looking forward to his Tripod gig on the 18th, Christmas in Sweden with his girlfriend, and not playing on New Year’s Eve (“I’ve done gigs every New Year’s Eve for the past few years so it’s kind of a relief. Everyone is always so hammered”). And if he’s lucky he might have scored a number one with his Christmas single ‘Phil Lynott’ (“I wouldn’t be placing any bets on it,” he says, laughing). Any advice for the Christmas season? “Keep the head down and eat the turkey.” So to sum up –‘bah-humbug’ but in a life-affirming, punk rock kind of way.