‘Tuath‘ are an Irish language prog/ psych/ noise/ gaze band from Donegal/Galway & Dublin in the Republic Of Ireland who specialises in recording, producing & self releasing magnificent soundscapes through the medium of gaze! The outfit started off as just Robert Mulhern, sick and tired of being let down by other musicians, he got together with a band hell bent on exposing the Irish language to a bigger audience. He decided that his native tongue would help spread the word & be the vehicle that was needed to get the Irish language out through their songs! Eventually the project was minimised to just himself & Ashley Mobasser ( Saxophone) for recording purposes only, with session musicians coming on board for live experimentations! Their debut 7 track EP – ‘Tuath – An Taobh TAat(hail)‘ had its official release on 17th March 2015. We caught up with Rob & Ashley from the band and peppered them with a few question on influences, future plans & shoegaze! Check it out:
WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT THE FORMATION OF THE BAND & YOUR HISTORY?
‘Tuath‘ was started by me (Rob) in my sitting room in Galway, Ireland. At the time of recording & mixing it I was in the process of working on an EP for another band of which I play bass in called ‘The Death Letter Devils’. I was playing around with my loop pedal after a stressful day of mixing so I recorded some bland guitar chord progression for a song that will be on our second EP called ‘Poll Mór’,
I recorded drums, bass, 2 guitars and zero vocals for half of it and I used it to pretend that we were an already existing band and that we just needed a ‘new drummer‘ & ‘ bassist’ for it. Declan Huban(cracking drummer) and Dave Cigs(cracking bass player) fit the bill and off we went. My wonderful warrior girlfriend Rachel and I were running an open mic at the time and Ashley Mobasser showed up. We jammed over some Jazzy stuff and I invited him to be in the band. He accepted and off we went.
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
ASHLEY: Biggest influences are John Zorn, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver & Black Sabbath,
ROB: My biggest influences are Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Primus & Korn. I stopped listening to bands around the age of 20 because Techno and Dubstep seemed more interesting. I still don’t really listen to music but have really fallen in love with ‘The Northern Drones’ from Dublin.
DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND?
Our sound is quite varied and will continue to change a lot due to the fact that much of it is coming directly from my (Robs) back catelog of the best of failed projects from different parts of my development. At the moment electronics are starting to become more stationary but there is talk of a desert rock EP in the not to distant future. Our first EP was largely progressive, noise rock & shoegaze with some elements of Techno. Our second EP is doom jazz influenced and damn near metal levels of palm muted guitars! The lyrics are largely about depressing stuff but Ashley and I are thinking of doing a ‘Shadows’ influenced spaghetti western type of thing with whisteling and trumpets and some telecasters! Drum n’ Bass is a big influence of mine. Im going to donate money to the surviving Winstons members from the profits of our music. How much will depend on what I can afford, but we owe them a lot.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START MAKING MUSIC?
ASHLEY: What inspired me? Music was the only thing that gave my life a purpose and made me feel alive.
ROB: What inspired me to start making music was a few guys around me. My friend Eamonn McGee taught me the opening chords to ‘Tonight Tonight‘ by the ‘Smashing Pumpkins‘ & I was fascinated as it was the first thing I was able to do well & very quickly. Then I heard ‘System Of A Down’ and there was no quenching my thirst. Their first album has some of the best guitar work ever.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR THE WORLD TO HEAR YOUR MUSIC? WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH INTERNATIONAL LISTENERS?
The reason that I decided to sing in this band was because I didn’t think anyone else would see my vision correctly and I didn’t want to argue with anyone over the end decisions. Drawing on my experience in Portugal, a country whose culture is insanely rich and romantic and juicy and vibrant, all I could see everywhere were TV’s playing VH1’s nostalgic 80’s pop hits, like – ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ etc etc. This upset me, as people were just kinda singing along and nobody even spoke English. So this lead me to really see how much the English language is gentrifying culture accross the Globe. These people are being exposed to mind numbing drivel when they could be exposed to the beautiful culture of ‘Faro’ music and other such things. This is when I decided that hearing brutal music on the radio (sung in english) & seeing Irish people acting like ‘Tupac’ when they have probably never even seen a gun their whole lives, just made me think that We Are Having The Piss Taken Out Of Us so I chose our native tongue as a medium of vocalisation. I have strong feelings about it. Also, my main gripe with it is that the language is being destroyed by Nationalism and guilt. When I was growing up I hated the language because it was forced down my throat by Nationalists – specifically in my Secondary School. It was Nazism on a smaller scale. I also don’t care about 32 counties either. I think we need to leave them on their own. They have been living in the ‘Occupied 6’ for just as long as we foreign french ‘gauls(gaels)’ invaded Ireland for the first time and we invaded them first so Nationalism is just a tool that divides people and I could not care less about it. The Irish language is a beautiful, descriptive, floaty sounding language. It has with it – gutteral tones, lovely oohs & aahs that when combined with reverb and delay result’s in top quality sounds and rhythms. It also obscures the measuring stick for me as nobody can really be compared to me vocally because nobody has done this before. If you take the reverb and delay away then my voice sounds like a frog croaking. The message I want to send is that our language is class. Its upsetting that we are willing to let it die as a language. It is a window into the past & words are the amber that preserve the mosquito of culture and to lose that is to lose the history of an entire people.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE BANDS & ALBUMS?
ROB: SOAD, Toxicity – Unknown Mortal Orchestra(all of it), Primus – Tales From The Punchbowl, Deftones – Saturday Night Wrist, Black Sabbath – Paranoid, Tool – Aenima, Aphex Twin – Drugs, Tame Impala(All Of It), Fear Factory – Archetype, Format B -Restless, Meshuggah – obzen. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew, Phantogram – Eyelid Movies, Holy Fuck – both Lp’s…those guys are so awesome!, The Flying Eyes – Self Titles.
ASHLEY: Headhunters by Hancock, Ten by Pearl Jam, Cape Verdean Blues by Horace Silver & Aenima by Tool.
MUSICALLY WHAT ARE YOUR BANDS PLANS OVER THE NEST YEAR?
We plan to play all over the place! Release an album & 3 EP’s, do a live soundtrack for a silent film(all the cool kids are doing it) & the grand mission is to be able to afford better equipment to make it so we can play more dense sets live with visuals and head to europe and the states for a tour(s).
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
Del Chaney has spent the last two years not only fronting popular Irish Electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the Unsigned or Small Independent Label based Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Post-Punk & Post-Rock genre’s of music from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has hepled him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. He also currently writes for Canadian based online music webzine ReplicantEars. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.