- 11 Feb 08
Jim Corr-endorsed four-piece Karrier have wowed the Dublin indie circuit and supported Pink at Malahide Castle. Now, the band are looking to make a big impact with their debut album.
The day that Hot Press speaks to Karrier, EMI announce their decision to axe 2,000 jobs, thus hammering yet another nail into the coffin of the music biz. The mood within the industry is dark, fearful and pessimistic. It clearly isn’t a good time to be a new band.
“Yeah, we’re scared,” admits Karrier’s frontman Phillip Kirk. “Record companies aren’t financially viable anymore. Yet there’s no better medium to get your music out there, to be pushed and promoted and show that you have a seal of approval.”
The Dundalk/Dublin group formed in 2004, when the music scene was only feeling the first tremors of irrevocable change.
“Jim Corr is a good friend of mine, and he was saying that everything’s completely changed since The Corrs started.”
Did his famous friend have any advice for Karrier?
“Yeah, run away from the industry as quick as possible!” he jokes.
But the foursome are not about to give up on the dream they’ve been following since their formation in 2006. Giving a heavy tip of the trendy trilby to American soft rock legends like Goo Goo Dolls and The Rembrandts, the group certainly have a niche in the Irish market. That’s exactly why they’ve already performed to thousands of people, having supported Pink when she came to Malahide Castle last summer.
“It was mindblowing alright,” grins Phillip. “You always imagine playing in front of a crowd like that – it’s every musician’s dream. And it’s amazing to know that we are able to do it without making bloody fools of ourselves.”
Though they were first on (“which meant the crowd were raring to go”), there was no concession to the early hour when it came to nerve-calming procedures.
“The only way I could describe the nerves is how it might be if you were preparing to parachute off a jumbo jet,” mulls Phillip. “So I drank a bottle of wine before going onstage. I then went into Pink’s dressing room where there was tons of champagne and wine, and nicked a bottle. She wouldn’t have noticed.”
The dutch courage worked a treat – Phillip loved every minute of their show.
“We’ve played some amazing venues, like the Sugar Club and The Village in Dublin, but nothing can prepare you for an experience like that,” he enthuses. “From now on, we’re going to insist on only playing massive outdoor shows!”
While their booking agent tries to sort that one out, the group – completed by Brian Holmes, Darren Joyce (guitars) and Steve Ryan (drums/keys) – are busy on the studio front. They’re due to record their album in March, with a taster out in single form in April, having signed to But! Music Group, who’ve previously promoted gigs by Elton John, Whitesnake and Bryan Adams among others.
“We’re really looking forward to going into the studio,” Phillip elaborates. “We’ve been writing songs solidly for the last two years, so only the best are going onto the record.”
Their tunes, he explains, are what singles the band out from their competitors – and let’s face it, the four-guys-playing-rock-music category isn’t exactly sparsely populated.
“Our songs are about love, women, love, women and drinking,” he jokes. “They all tell a story – the words and music of a song portray a three minute story. We really feel it when we play and sing, we completely get sucked into the mood of the song.”
The only other act he thinks has the same quality is Paddy Casey.
“I was in New York a few weeks back and saw him play. When you watch him, you definitely know he means what he’s singing. He’s amazing.
“Hopefully we’ll get to his level, but it’s all about luck. People say you make your own luck but we’ll see – I’ll know for sure this time next year.”