Cork/Sheffield/Leeds pop-punk/math-rock trio Ganglions are playing a few dates around Ireland this week – they’ve played Cork before, including at Quarter Block Party earlier this year, but this is their first proper tour, with dates coming up around England too. It’s all in support of their second EP, Thirsty, released on the Audacious Art Experiment. I chatted to Eimear, Brian and Chris for the latest episode of the TPOE podcast, which you can listen to on Soundcloud and iTunes, or whatever podcast app you’re having yourself (I go in for for Podcast Republic, for what it’s worth). Below are some highlights of our chat – you’ll have to listen to the interview to hear their thoughts on one of the most divisive issues in Britain and Ireland today: Irish crisps vs English crisps.

Ganglions Irish tour dates:
27/9 – Dublin – The Bowery
28/9 – Cork – The Poor Relation
29/9 – Limerick – Pharmacia
30/9 – Galway – Roisin Dubh

On new song ‘My Wife Won’t Stop Flirting With Me’
Brian: No, none of us have wives.
Eimear: How it started was, Chris kept getting this spam email and the title was ‘My wife won’t stop flirting with me’ and it was from this pastor Randy, who’s this Christian man that was emailing Chris and being like ‘You should watch this video to see what made my wife go crazy. She just won’t stop flirting with me’. Obviously we didn’t watch the video.
Chris: Never click on those links.
Eimear: Obviously.
Brian: I never give my credit-card details to watch a video online.
Chris: So I’d written a riff and then we had this title for the song, and it came from that.
Eimear: Then we wanted to figure out what we wanted it to be about. It’s taking the point of view of a character…
Chris: Whose relationship isn’t exactly going the way he wants it to with his wife.
Eimear: Yeah, but he’s like looking for advice about it in magazines and clickbait articles and stuff like that and they’re all shit because that’s what’s in the world: Shitty articles and Cosmo magazines where people are like ‘oh you should be doing this or else your relationship’s a failure’.
Chris: Or top ten sex tips, all these listicles of things you need to be doing to keep your relationship
Eimear: And it’s all completely conflicting but people just want to keep the machine going of more and more advice and magazines you have to buy.
Chris: Sells clothes, sells magazines, sells t-shirts.
Eimear: Exactly, it sells everything.
Brian: Agony aunt stuff. Like why is the Guardian doing agony aunt stuff? I stopped following them because of that. It’s ridiculous – I want the news.
Eimear: Just the media in general, Eoghan

Oh well I wouldn’t know anything about that. Wow, I thought it was just a very funny thing but it’s a pretty serious subject matter.
Eimear: We’re glad that it’s funny because we were worried people would take it seriously and thing it’s just saying that women are shit. Because that’s kind of what it is as well but it’s in character.

On songwriting
Chris: We sit in a room together and scribble things in our notepad.
Brian: It ends up being semi-serious I think, most of the songs. And I hate taking bands too seriously cos I don’t have any fun when that happens. And the movie quote, we already had a song called ‘Peas’, Eimear had come up with that, they just watched a totally different movie. I was watching this movie and this guy just went on this spiel about peas and it was hilarious and I just put it in the song.
Eimear: We always write the lyrics last. We’re quite an instrumental-focused band, but obviously we’re all into our vocals and our pop melodies and stuff, but it’s always instrumental first, and then we just look around for stuff to write lyrics about basically.
Brian: I don’t think we intentionally do it. We could be in a cafe in Leeds, having dinner, and the menu’s written hilariously: ‘Friday’s dish – it’s very popular, number one, very nice’.
Eimear: It’s a Turkish Mediterranean restaurant, Cafe Oranaise. Shout out to Cafe Oranaise – if you’re ever in Leeds…
Chris: There’s some serious ones. Brian and Eimear wrote one about George Hook being an idiot.
Eimear: ‘Say No More’s inspired by George Hook, the first one off the last EP.
Brian: It was cool before he was suspended.

On releasing new EP Thirsty on cassette
Chris: We wanted to do something that was a physical thing, people who come to shows and want to support bands. There was a rift in Ganglions about who was up for tapes. Me and Eimear were both up for tapes.
Brian: I was not.
Chris: Brian’s a millennial.
Eimear: He’d never seen a tape before we made this EP.
Brian: I can tell you three tapes I had when I was younger: ‘She Hates Me’ – Puddle of Mudd, ‘Bad’ – Michael Jackson, and ‘A Little Respect’, the Wheatus version. All on tape.
Eimear: That’s not bad.
Brian: And I enjoyed them.

But no wonder you turned against them!
Eimear: But there’s a real DIY thing about tapes as well. Punk bands and stuff making tapes and more experimental musicians making tapes.
Brian: I think they look pretty nice. Now I’m OK with the idea. I would never buy one. It’s just not my thing.

The start of Ganglions, about two years ago?
Eimear: I moved to Sheffield, where Chris already lived, from Cork. Brian had just moved from Edinburgh, orginally from Clon, to Leeds, around the same time. We went to a punk rock gig.
Brian: In the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds…
Eimear: It was Chris and Brian’s first time meeting, it was my first time hanging out with Brian since moving to the UK, and they had loads of musical interests in common. ‘Oh yeah, do you like this band, blah blah blah’. And then we were like ‘let’s jam’.
Chris: I’ve been playing guitar for ages but I’d started writing some new stuff based on listening to more mathy bands – Eimear had introduced me to Enemies so me and Eimear had had a couple jams and sent some tracks to Brian and said do you want to practise? We had a jam and it went pretty well. We wrote one song that sounds like – well we called it ‘Enemies’, it sounds a bit like Enemies – and another song like the Bronx, but we dropped that one.
Brian:
We could start a hardcore band at a different time.
Chris: Yeah I think that’s the dream of me and Brian. So had one jam, that’s great and then our first gig was January 2016 at the Audacious Art Experiment, and it was Eimear’s birthday and we had a joint birthday party with a friend. Eimear, her prerogative, put us onto that. We all have similar music interests so it seemed to work.
Brian: I was looking for a band when I moved to Leeds and these guys are my saviours.

Is this your first Irish tour?
Eimear: Yeah. We’ve played Cork twice before and this will be our first time playing outside of Cork. It’s our first Irish tour and our first tour. We haven’t really toured the UK. We’ve played around the UK but haven’t done a tour. We haven’t played Newcastle, we haven’t played Liverpool, we’ve never played Brighton or Bristol.

You guys are doing the pop-punk, math-rock thing that was so big in ireland a few years ago, with Richter Collective and stuff, but it seems like it’s died down a bit. Any thoughts on that?
Eimear: You’re just living in the past.
Brian: The sad thing is I wasn’t even into it back then. I was such a punk rock gig. I was just into American, fast punk rock, ska for a bit, when I was much younger.
Eimear: Yeah it sucks basically.
Brian: You still have Alarmist who are really good, Enemies kind of style.
Eimear: And there’s still bands like Redneck Manifesto, Yonen, Chancer. There are bits and pieces.
Brian: And you have And So I Watch You From Afar, of course. Which is heavier than Enemies.
Chris: For the math-rock scene, you can check out the Fecking Bahamas compilation, you can listen to some obscure Irish math bands.
Eimear: Fecking Bahamas is a math-rock blog and every year they release a compilation of a different country, and last year they did Ireland. There’s, what, 25 bands on it. So they are out there, but there doesn’t seem to be as cohesive a scene as there was ten years ago. In Cork that was centred around the Quad and Livewire presents and even Myrtleville as well a little bit, so I guess it just depends on who’s around.
Brian: They had the tropical math-rock sound, and I think we’re a little more tropical, emo, pop-punk kind of thing. I think we’re between two genres that kind of hate each other a little bit.
Eimear: It’s quite nice.
Brian: You have all these twinkly bands with amazing guitar riffs – they’re not even riffs, they’re just solos throughout the whole songs – Algernon Cadwallader is my favourite band in that genre, or Glocka Morra. I think math-rock has a tradition of being seen as pretentious, like prog-rock. Like you have to be properly trained to play it or something.
Eimear: It is almost like classical guitar, you need to know your scales. You have to have 55 pedals, and all this kind of shit.
Brian: So I feel like we abuse the math-rock genre a little bit, elements that are math-rock.
Chris: When you talk about being part of a scene, I think, I personally enjoy being part of more the DIY [scene], it goes into punk-type stuff. It’s just a bit more DIY than the math-rock scene. It’s still DIY but it gives across the image of a more polished trpe stuff.
Eimear: More elitist.
Chris: But we play loads of DIY shows. There’s a great place in Bradford called the 1 in 12 Club that puts on DIY all-dayers. And we’ve played in Sheffield, DIY venues. The scene around that is really inclusive, you get a lot of feedback when playing shows.
Eimear: There’s way more women playing, and visibly and outwardly queer bands in the DIY scene. So we find it quite weird to play more math-rocky gigs where it’ll be like I’m the only woman playing with six bands. You’re like ‘c’mon, surely, surely you could’ve booked a different band’.