Dublin-based quarter Galants – David Kennedy, James McDonald, Colin O’Dwyer and Ruairi Paxton – are gearing up to play their second Hard Working Class Heroes this weekend (Workman’s Club, 8.20pm, Saturday). I saw them two years at the Mercantile and really enjoyed them. They’ve just released a new single, ‘Evergreen’, and promise their debut album in the middle of November. I talked to them for the TPOE HWCH preview podcast, which you can listen to via Soundcloud (or iTunes) or you can read highlights of the chat below. (Check out our previous interviews with Shaker Hymn and Bitch Falcon)

So you’re kinda used to the Workman’s Club at the moment right? You supported Divan there at their album launch a couple weeks ago.
We did. The lads just asked us out of the blue, I hadn’t actually met any of them, they just sent us a message and asked if we wanted to support. We hadn’t actually gigged in a while so it was kind of handy timing. We were a bit rusty but enjoyed it all the same. They were pretty great actually, there was a good crowd in. It was a good warmup (for HWCH) considering that’s the venue we’re playing there on Saturday.

So the first time I saw Galants was a couple years ago, I can’t remember was it before of after the Cork band Hags.
Oh yeah I think we were after Hags in the Mercantile. We hadn’t been a band for that long at that stage so I think we were fairly surprised to be asked to play HWCH. That was a good gig actually, we enjoyed that. We got to meet the lads from Hags that day and organised mutual gigs down in Cork and back up in Dublin. It was good from that point of view.

Tell us a little about Galants and how you started.
I was living in London for a long time, and I moved to Ireland a good few years ago and kind of messing around playing acoustic guitars for many years. Kinda got bored with that and one day decided I wanted to make some noise, so wrote some songs and tried to find some lads to play some music with, mainly influenced by Creation Records era 90s, early 90s indie, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine, and then bits of Dinosaur Jr and all that kind of stuff. We very much wear our influences on our sleeve in that regard. Just writing songs and playing music we actually like ourselves as opposed to pander to anything to make anything particularly new or revolutionary; we’re being honest, honest songs, bit of melody, bit of distortion.

That’s kinda the MO of the band, at the moment, isn’t it?
Yeah, pretty much. Fair to say we’re pretty fond of our fuzz pedals and whatnot. Sound wise we go for the sonic onslaught approach more than being too refined. It actually makes most gigs unpredictable because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

You just released your first new music in a while, from your possible forthcoming debut EP. ‘Evergreen is the name of the track.
Yeah we did. We have recorded our debut EP which will be coming out mid-November so [last Thursday] in the runup to HWCH we thought it would be a good idea to get one of the tracks off there out there. So that’s streaming as of today on Spotify and Soundcloud.

It’s kinda funny that you say you’re getting ready to release your debut EP when I saw you two years ago at the new bands festival. Do you feel like you’re going to be a new band until you release your debut album? Is that how it works?
I guess so. I mean, from our point of view, we’ve never felt under any kind of rush to get music out there. I suppose part of any band is getting to a point where you get happy with your songs or your own style of songwriting or maybe a certain sound. It does take a while, to be honest. There’s never any point in rushing those things. The other thing about it is obviously we’re not a full-time band or anything like that, so the frequency with which we’re able to get together and rehearse, it wouldn’t be as much as if we were able to do it all the time so that has a lag effect on getting to the end goal of getting music recorded and out there, which is a long process.


Do you get to practice much?
We try. We aim to get together once a week, but everyone’s got different commitments and stuff so it’s always a case of trying to find that time during the evenings, during the week, where everyone’s free. So it’s not always possible. If we can get together we always will because we enjoy it so much.

So HWCH, you played it two years ago, have you been before, do you enjoy the buzz of it?
Yeah, yeah, I generally check it out. I mean, it’s a good festival. As much as we were ‘new’ when we played two years ago, I was looking at the lineup there today and there’s a load of bands on there that I wouldn’t necessarily have heard of. In that sense I’m looking forward to checking it out to see who’s new, and what sounds are being made at the moment. it’s almost like a refresh and getting up to speed about what’s going on in the music scene in Ireland at the moment.

Any tips on who to catch this year? Who are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to seeing the Belfast band Junk Drawer, who I think are coming down to support us at our launch when that’s announced fairly soon. I’m looking forward to seeing Adultrock. He is now playing with another guy and there’s live vocals and whatnot involved now so that’s all very exciting. He’s on Friday night in Tengu. And then I think I’m looking forward to checking out Talos as well, I’ve heard very good things about his live show.

Yeah, he’s really upped his game with the live show.
Yeah I’ve heard they put a lot of work into that over a long period of time, which I think production wise you don’t always get that thing with a lot of Irish bands so that should be worth seeing.

That’s another band who played a couple years ago and were like, that kinda worked, lets just keep going with it. It seems like what a lot of bands are doing at the moment, taking their time, finding their feet and eventually they are reaching the next level.
Yeah, exactly. I think it’s like I was saying, it’s just a time thing and you’ve just got to keep plugging away at it until you hit on something. You’ll probably find that a lot of the bands that played two, three years ago at HWCH, that they’re playing again, but they’ve reformed or changed name. There is a merry-go-round thing that goes on, but yeah, I think it’s the same thing that until you have the perspective of writing, playing music for a reasonable length of time, it sometimes takes that to find out what you’re actually aiming for.