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The Riptide Is High
One of the defiant young bands in Ireland in aeons, The Riptide Movement have gone from busking on Dublin’s mean streets to getting radio airplay in Turkey! Now, with their second album safely nestled in the Irish top 10, they talk about the struggle for recognition, the perils of busking –and their plans to conquer America.
Craig Fitzpatrick, 25 May 2012
“You go to England and play on a bill as the only Paddies with five other bands,” he adds. “You’re the underdog immediately but you go on to smoke every single one of them. They’re up to nothing. But then you play Sweeney’s or The Mercantile with a group of Irish acts and every other band is jaw-droppingly good. We get on really well with the likes of The Hot Sprockets, Ham Sandwich... they’re really down to earth.”
There’s clearly nothing else they’d rather be doing. When pressed, Tuohy reveals that he was studying law and previously worked as a plumber, whilst Gar opted out of life as a chef. “No offence to anyone doing it, my dad’s a chef as well, but it’s a fucking nightmare of a job! It really is. It’s endless.” Tuohy glances sideways with a grin. “It’s a pressure
Not that life as a touring musician is all giggles, groupies and TVs being flung out hotel windows. It hasn’t been the easiest of rides and their experiences as a young band – good, bad and ugly – inform their latest work.
“We’re all easy-going so we don’t hold grudges against anybody,” says Tuohy. “Which helps, because we’ve had more than a few bad experiences. With the first album we were naive about the industry. We thought we could just bring it out and the radio would immediately love it. In reality, that doesn’t happen. There’s a lot of politics involved, whereas I had always thought it was just about the music.”
For The Riptide Movement, that is what it’s all about. They are musicians first, musicians second and musicians later. They have committed themselves to the life. And that commitment is beginning to repay itself. Mal’s mood brightens. “It’s made us grow as a band,” he says. “We’re comfortable within ourselves now and set up nicely for our future. Sure, it’s difficult. No matter what you’re doing, whether it’s music or working the tills in McDonald’s with the aim of getting to the main office in New York, if you put your mind to something, you can achieve it. Where there’s a will there’s a way. And we’ve learnt a lot along the way so, looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.”