Acrobat are an exciting Dublin based band. With their new EP ‘Flux’ climbing the iTunes chart and garnering serious attention GoldenPlec caught up with three out of the four members recently for a chat.
Plenty of bands have that one stand out moment in their lives that makes them want to be involved with music. The guys of Acrobat are no different. With Jakob and Naoise both waxing lyrical about the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s famous Slane concert and the Nirvana classic ‘From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah’ respectfully. “I remember getting a real insight into what a band should sound like. Listening to a studio album is a totally different beast. It is more polished but live is so raw,” Naoise tells us.
Mark, on the other hand, found a band a little bit closer to home to draw inspiration from. “I remember taping a U2 show from their Zooropa tour that RTE were playing on the radio. I can vividly remember sitting down and listening to it over and over again. As far I as I was concerned I was at that gig. At that stage U2 were still doing some really new and interesting stuff in music and it impacted on me.”
The talk of U2 leads the interview in the direction of the media backlash they received on the release of their latest album via iTunes. Acrobat are unflinching in their opinion of the entire situation. “Nobody was forced to download it or keep it. People weren’t strapped down to a chair.” In an era where musicians regularly release music via Bandcamp, Soundcloud or their own personal websites the Acrobat collective think the media hype was unwarranted. “They are no different to any band. They have a collection of songs that they want people to hear. That’s what it boils down to. Some people will just hate anything that is associated to U2.”
With another exciting EP under their belts the topic of the writing process inevitably creeps into the interview. Within the band all ideas seem to be accepted and dissected to see what works. “It is all very democratic,” Mark says. “This EP was a bit different to the previous one because everyone had an input on it. With the previous one it was just myself and Naoise because we hadn’t really written the songs with a plan of playing them live.” Bringing their songs through a “development process of five or six stages” gives a very polished sound to the entire EP. “We wanted to make sure we got to a point where we all felt happy and proud of what we had created.”
The recording process for the band followed a similar flow but at times passion got the better of the band. “In order for anything to be exciting and interesting there needs to be arguments and screaming at some point. The entire process can’t be a success without some gnashing of teeth but it always ends up being a fairly reasoned process,” Mark tells us with a grin.
With the quality of music in Ireland reaching a new level in recent years and the ease of access to new audiences thanks to social media the band are well aware of how important change and growth is. “With the boom in Facebook and Twitter in the last few years it doesn’t make sense for a band not to be online. If the quality is in the music then social platforms can really boost a band.”
Over the last few years Acrobat have played on stages ranging in size from local bars to festival fields. The intimacy of small shows is something the band enjoy. As with any band the allure of “massive sound systems” is a huge thrill. “The big stage is probably what we enjoy most. But as with everything a balance of the two is really important,” Naoise tells us.
After taking part in the new Guinness Amplify initiative the band are happy to see more options for new music to be seen. “There are so many nights around Ireland where if you have an EP you can get stage time. In terms of getting paid you need to have a strong following. A pub or venue needs to know that they can cover their costs with the amount of people you bring to their door. Taking the step to the next level in venue is impossible without these types of events.”
As a band the idea of pressure is not something they relate to. “we want to get our name out to more people and play bigger venues. If anything we put ‘pressure’ on ourselves to work harder and progress more. If you want to succeed there is no other way,” Mark tells us.
With a new video in the pipeline the band are not prepared to sit back and wait for success. “We always intended to follow up quickly once we released our first video for the EP. We don’t want people to forget us. That’s why we are releasing the second single in the middle of November.”
With concerts being planned for venues all around Ireland Acrobat are not a band that are going away anytime soon. A desire to “play as many gigs as possible” will see this four-piece gain a foothold in the Irish music scene before long.