cave ghosts

Popical Island has released its first 12″ record in The Community Games. Featuring tracks from Ginnels, No Monster Club, Cave Ghosts and Grand Pocket Orchestra, it fits right into the Popical barnyard. The album is launched in Whelan’s tomorrow, Saturday. It costs €5 or €10 with a copy of the record, which is just ridiculous value. (Buy the album here.)You can read more about what I think of the album here. I say in that blog post that the Cave Ghosts songs are my favourite on the album, so I asked Enda, the bassist, if he’d answer a few questions about the band: about how they formed, how they seem to be having more fun than a lot of other artists (smiling in promo shots!?!?), and what’s up with all the cat photos. The prolific Bobby Aherne (Ginnels, No Monster Club) was the brains behind The Community Games release, and also answered some questions, revealing what the album could have been called.

How did Cave Ghosts get together? Was it very natural?
We came together around this time last year after alot of replying to and posting various ads to separately. We eventually met and after a couple of practices decided it was worth giving a shot. Jen and Aoife write some great poppy hooks so obviously, as a drummer, I wanted to play bass and Connor, a guitarist, wanted to play drums. Probably not the most ‘natural’ move for us, but it’s been pretty fun so far!

Does the band make a point of being carefree rather than trying to be overtly serious: eg the cat photos? Is the aim of the band to have fun above all else?
That’s more or less it, the main reason for starting the band was to play some gigs, make some new friends and have fun while doing it. Enjoying it is a really easy thing to do when there’s so many nice and enthusiastic people around Ireland into helping and promoting new bands. We’ve got some serious (i.e. not cat) photos done now but we’re all pretty much into cat gifs so when Jen made the artwork for the demo, it was an obvious choice! It’s not all cats or fake board games though, there’s some sadder songs in our set but having fun is definitely a priority for us.

Cave GhostsBest Coast is the obvious touchpoint for Cave Ghosts? What other bands are among the main influences?
When we started the band, we wanted to make 60s influenced pop music so we all thought of the Beach Boys and The Ronettes as good starting points. But we all have different influences and when we come together, they show themselves in different ways. There’s also so much great pop and rock music coming out of Ireland at the minute, it’s really hard not to be influenced by it! We all really like Ginnels, September Girls, The #1s, Hunk, Sea Pinks and loads of others.

The Cave Ghosts tracks on The Community Games are all available on an online demo. Why did you decide to put these on the album rather than new ones and were you planning to rerecord that demo and release it on its own before The Community Games came about?
We were really happy with how the demo turned out – we recorded in ourselves over a weekend in September last year and were really excited for people to get a taste of what we sounded like, as we hadn’t played any gigs at that stage. Bobby from No Monster Club mentioned this project that his band, Ginnels and GPO were in the process of recording and asked if we’d like to use our songs that were already online to join their 9 songs and form this split album. We were delighted to be asked and feel that it’s nice that these first recordings of ours get a physical release that they probably wouldn’t have had and we’ll always have them on record, even if we do have to look at our faces while we listen.

What’s next for Cave Ghosts?
We’ve got a load of gigs lined up for April, starting with the launch for the Community Games upstairs in Whelan’s on Saturday. Windings have asked us to play with them the following Friday in Dolan’s in Limerick, then it’s back to the Outhouse for Record Store Gay, immediately followed by a really exciting gig in the Galway Arts Centre that night with Dott, Hunk and Adultrock. Then we’re back to Limerick with Lie-Ins the following Saturday!
New music-wise: We’re appearing on the Record Store Gay compilation with a cover of Robyn, which we’re really happy about and we’ve recorded a session for Phantom at K9 that should be out soon enough.

We’re also working towards having our own release sometime in the summer, it may or may not feature cats.

How did the Community Games come about? Was it just a group of friends thinking ‘this’ll be a laugh’? Hence the album title?
Bobby Aherne: I had just released an album with 46 songs on it, so the idea of making a new No Monster Club album was exhausting. We did, however, have three new songs which we were gonna release as an EP. Then I realised that Grand Pocket Orchestra also had three new songs ready to go, and Cave Ghosts had just put their first three tracks online, so then I just had to go “hey Ginnels, give us three new songs… I think I have an idea”.

As for the title, we came up with dozens of options and then polled for a favourite. The Community Games got 90% of the votes, so it was chosen over dozens of other options including ‘The Brainwash of Fishermen’, ‘Wet From The Bath’, ‘Six Mouths, Twenty Hands and Eight Feet’ and ‘Scatman Died From Yokes’.

Bizarrely, we realised afterwards that Aidan Walsh’s song ‘Community Games’ was most likely recorded in the very same room that our album was made. Cosmic.

Does the idea of your face being on an album in somebody’s record collection not weird you out? What was the idea behind the album cover/s?
Bobby: I desperately wanted a lifesize print of Ol Padge’s head, but I didn’t wanna come across as weird. This was the best idea I could muster. Obviously if I suggested that he should be on the front of all the album, it might be suspicious, so I came up with this convoluted scheme to achieve my desires. Same reason why our next album is coming out on limited edition Ol Padge sex dolls with download codes stitched inside the knickers.

Was there much argument behind tracklisting? Why not group each band’s tracks together rather than split them up?
Enda: We took the decision fairly early on that we’d like it to feel like you were listening to a full album rather than 3 songs from each band at a time. When Mark did the masters all started working on track-listings and this one just seemed to flow the best and fits into a traditional Side A/Side B split which we were looking for.