- 01 Feb 19
Rising stars PowPig on their stunning brace of EPs, taking inspiration from Tommy Wiseau, and encountering Leo Varadkar.
Genre-splicing Limerick act PowPig seem destined for an incredibly bright future. Currently a name on many taste-makers’ lips, their aptly titled second EP Buzz Buzz felt like a real statement of intent, whilst their debut run of festival shows last year was reputation-making. Throw in a recent appearance at Other Voices’ IMRO Other Room, and a famous fan in the Taoiseach, and you’ve got a band on the cusp of very big things. Their only stumbling block? The bane of most readers’ existence at one stage or another, of course – school.
“We’re all really excited that people are enjoying our music,” says PowPig’s Anna Marie Rooney. “But of course it’s juxtaposed with school and everyday life, so we can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We have to prioritise school, there’s no way around it. We have to say no to a lot of gigs, but we meet up as frequently as we can. During the summer we can meet all the time, but now that most of us are in sixth year, we’ve had to cut back. It’s almost as if we’re starving ourselves of music and each other’s company. For now it makes sense. We have our own ambitions with school and college, but all of us love music and would love a career in it.”
Formed in 2017 when Anna and her bandmates Andrea Mocanu, Laura Drennan and Leah O’Donnell met at the educational programme Music Generation, PowPig already have a brace of EPs behind them. Fusing alt-rock, post-punk, jazz, outsider pop and more together, their finest recorded moment thus far is ‘Ode To Wiseau’. A tongue-in-cheek tribute to Tommy Wiseau’s notoriously naff movie The Room, it’s become a live anthem.
“Tommy Wiseau is pretty much our hero! We had the music floating around for a while, but the lyrics weren’t working. We ended up watching that movie and we were so inspired by it. Leah, who is the singer of that song, wrote down the words and it took off from there. It’s so fun to play live, as usually everyone in the crowd knows the ‘Oh, hi Mark!’ line, and it’s really energising when they sing along to it.”
And speaking of live shows, one of PowPig’s performances last year earned the four-piece a new follower in the form of Leo Varadkar. Anna tells us that their meeting with the Taoiseach was just another day in the weird and wonderful world of the band.
“The strangest things happen to us when we’re together,” she laughs. “We performed a few songs to tie in with this podcast about the abortion referendum, which was something that was very important to us, because it affected us more directly than a lot of other political issues. Leo showed up at it and it was a weird hour! He was like ‘Nice to meet you’, but I bet he doesn’t even remember taking a photo with us. We’ll always cherish those couple of moments though...”
This year, PowPig look set to be your new favourite band (if they weren’t already) and Anna fills us in on their plans for world domination. “Three of us are going to college in September and one of us is starting sixth year. Two are hoping to go to Dublin and the other two are staying in Limerick, so it’s going to be hard, but we’re hoping to release an album in the summer, and this February/March we’ll have two singles out on Out On A Limb Records. They’re in the process of being mixed and mastered.
“It’s weird listening to our EPs now, as those songs feel like they’re so old, despite our second EP only coming out last May. We’ve grown so much already – we can’t wait to release the new stuff and go on tour this Easter.”