Giveamanakick return for a one-off gig on Saturday, August 10, to celebrate the 10th birthday of Out on a Limb. You can read more about that gig here, and hurry up and get your tickets – they won’t last long. Giveamanakeith and Steveamanakick were part of one of the best and most loved Irish bands ever, and I think there was genuine sadness that they broke up in 2009. Previously in similarly lauded Limerick band Tooth, Steve’s gone on to bigger things with Windings, who were nominated for the Choice Prize this year, OOAL’s first nomination, which had been a travesty. I did an email interview with Steve earlier this week about why giveamanakick are reforming (Ciaran’s subtle hints were a factor), their best memories, and how Steve’s stamina levels are given he’ll be playing with both Windings and gamak in the same night.
First of all, was it difficult to call time on GAMAK in 2009? Did you have it in the back of your mind that maybe we might be seeing GAMAK again?
It was difficult of course, but at that stage of our, um… “trajectory”, it was inevitable. Myself and Keith knew we had ticked all the boxes of stuff we’d wanted to achieve with giveamanakick, and it was duly drawing to a close around then. We still wanted to do an acoustic tour though, so we did that first. We had planned our demise i guess, over that last year.
I don’t think it was in the back of our mind that we’d be getting back together anytime soon in the future, but we actually laughed a few times at the incomprehensible notion of never playing music together again.
What were some of your favourite memories from the band?
Out first album launch at the now defunct Globe in Limerick I’ll never ever forget. The turnout and support was massive. People we hadn’t seen in years turned up to support us, it was crazy. We were very taken aback. Also, before all that, our first “big” gig was supporting Rocket From The Crypt in Dolan’s. That was special. After that gig we had a chat and decided we were going to make the band a real thing. Cos up until then, we had just been jamming and playing kinda haphazard noise rock shows whenever the opportunity arose. Also, seeing both our parents up in the balcony at the back of Dolan’s Warehouse at our final show, that was pretty great. There were times that maybe we’d forgotten how supportive and encouraging they were to us throughout the craziest of situations and scenarios with that band of ours. They’re seriously cool people.
How did the decision to play the OOAL birthday come about? Who instigated it?
Well, I knew it was coming, I’ve been there from the beginning after all. Ciaran OOAL kept (subtly) saying how cool it would be if some old bands on the label might get back together and play a few songs on the night. So I was Skyping Keith one night and mentioned it to him, and asked him if he’d be up for playing a few songs at it. He was, and happened to be coming home around that time as well. That was handy, cos he lives in Dubai now.
What does OOAL mean to you?
“Out On A Limb”
To me, It’s a kind of a support system, I guess. I’ve known those guys a really long time, they’re really good friends. I’ve been creating and playing music for longer than the label has existed, but since its existence, it’s got a whole lot easier for me. Being a “full-time” musician as I am, it can get a bit… lonely at times. Not in the conventional sense like, but you just might find yourself questioning what the hell you’re doing to yourself and those close to you, and even more importantly, why are you doing it? The answer is of because you chose to. But with the OOAL guys, they’re always there to back you up, and they’re genuine fans of all the bands on their label. They’re 100% excited and hyped about hearing with what your new stuff sounds like, what direction you’re going, what plans you have. They’re great lads. Be lost without them, I would.
Have you and Keith practised together yet? Can we expect any more surprises? Maybe some new songs? New masks?
Haha! Well, we’ve played a few times together over the past few years, just to see if we could still play our songs. We could. We haven’t practised for this particular gig just yet, but we’re looking forward to it. There definitely won’t be any new songs. We’re just doing this as a one-off kind of thing. It’ll be a lot of fun. I took my mask apart there last year actually, I better get new parts for it and put it back together
You are/were also in Tooth, who reformed in 2011 for one night only. Is it fun for you to revisit these things?
I was indeed. It’s great fun. I found that gig was a big challenge mentally, as we hadn’t played together in about 10 years. I was a bit scared to be honest, but I relish that shit though, and luckily, so did the other lads from tooth. We slipped right back in there as if 10 years never happened. It’s kind of amazing actually.It got me thinking that I’m a very lucky person to have been part of all these bands I’m in/have been in with all these great musicians.
Is there a big disparity between each of the three bands’ fanbase or are there people who will follow you through everything you do?
I’m not too sure. There was a great show of support for that Tooth gig, and I recognised loads of the faces at it from the last gamak gig too. But for the Tooth show, we noticed a fair few heads we hadn’t seen in aaagges had actually travelled from places we used to play like Batty’s (KnockRockStock 4EVA!!!) Roscommon, The 2 Paddy’s in Ballymahon, and Sally Long’s in Galway. That was amazing, we couldn’t believe those guys actually still remembered us. A lot of these faces we’d also see at Windings launches and stuff as well. So uh, we’re quite lucky to have support for our music. It’s a hard time at the moment to be expecting people to come out and spend their money at anything at all, so, y’know, you better give ’em something good!
Both Windings and GAMAK are playing the birthday bash. How are the stamina levels?
Shit man, I dunno! I’ve been cycling a lot, and drinking water and shit. I dunno, I guess we’ll see… Windings will be playing Indiependance, then hopping on a ferry that Sunday night and doing our first UK tour as support to Generationals, then arriving back again the day of the OOAL gig. Hectic, I love that shit.
Windings played a couple of new songs in Cork at the start of June for Stout Fest. Can we expect a new album any time soon?
Not a new album exactly, but you can definitely expect a new release soon. We’re pretty excited about it actually.
Finally, is this the definitive, final, last ever GAMAK gig? Or will ye be back for OOAL’s 25th birthday?
Haha! I dunno, never say never I guess.