Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell
Young, ambitious and with an energetic live show to boot, the Amazing Apples play Róisín Dubh this Sunday, May 31. The Galway quintet will be celebrating the release of their debut album A Little Sense, which was recorded in the esteemed Grouse Lodge studio in Westmeath.
On the day of this interview, Amazing Apples have just heard that they have made it through to the final six of the Hot Press Big Break competition. The outright winner will make the cover of Ireland’s premier music magazine.
“We’re delighted, but the main thing is the advertisement that you can get out of it,” says fiddler and co-frontman Eanna Fahy. “If we won this, it would be a great way for us to get our name across to a wider audience.”
As part of the competition the band went to Dublin to shoot two videos for Hot Press. While there they also shot their own video for their next single, On Your Own.
That was shot by Bold Puppy productions, and directed by experienced camera-man Kevin Minogue.
“Our drummer’s girlfriend was in college and worked with Kevin,” says Eanna. “He shot our first video years ago when we were just experimenting and releasing stuff for the craic. We just kept in touch with him because he’s great to work with and has a great eye for detail.”
Shooting videos, doing your own promotion – there’s a lot of extra-curricular work in a modern band. Does Eanna find that it interferes with being a musician?
“It’s just the way it is, especially when you’re independent,” he says. “The organising and taking care of everything takes up an awful lot of time. It can be an annoyance. We’ve a lot of things to focus on, tracks, doing your own PR and advertising. But it keeps you busy!”
Busy is the word to describe this group which started out some years ago as a covers band before deciding to focus on their own material. And they are attracting influential fans.
On Your Own was produced by Joe Chester, a talented musician who was part of the sublime Hedge Schools.
“He came to one of our gigs in Róisín Dubh last year,” Eanna says of Chester’s involvement. “He was really happy with what he saw, but thought he could make some improvements. I think mainly people might’ve known us as a folky band, but that element is kind of drifting out now. We’re going more electric, more indie. We’re still using the same instruments, but in a different way.”
Making the album involved pre-production in Eanna’s shed at home in Craughwell, where the band recorded 17 demos with Joe, and then whittled them down to the final 10 tracks.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.