“Melodies that are easier to remember than your own name” was how Goldenplec summed up The Statics début EP ‘Hidden Pigeon’ earlier this year. We caught up with frontman Liam Gardner ahead of the release of new single Alone. With newly announced support slots with Neil Hannon’s Duckworth Lewis Method in the bag it’s an exciting time to be static.
With his hair cut correct like Lee Mavers, Liam Gardner cuts the figure of the classic modern indie rock frontman in the vein of Ian Brown and Liam Gallagher with a similar knack for one liners “‘you’ve great hair can you play the bass? You like the La’s! You’re in the band'” says Gardner, jokingly telling the story of how bassist Thomas Nugent came to be in the band following a chance meeting at a single-launch by Dublin outfit Deshonos several years ago. But as he tells us putting The Statics together was far from an easy process with years of false starts and missed opportunities.
“Me and Daragh (O’Connell, lead guitar/vocals) used to be in a band called The Struts, but that fell apart. We’d just recorded an EP, planning its release, getting ready to push it out and the drummer just turned around one day and said ‘I’m moving to Australia after Christmas”. We were like what?’ says Gardner reliving the exasperating moment. “It just kind of dissolved after that” he continues, “me and Daragh always kept working together. We were a year on our own looking for drummers but they were all rubbish. Drummer’s are the hardest thing to find.”
Unbeknownst to Gardner and O’Connell following fruitless search which saw “a bunch of wasters audition” and fail to claim the seat. The answer was right in front of them all the time, in the form of hard-hitting stickwoman Jacqueline Campion. “Jackie was working with Daragh and he must have been moaning about how hard it was to find a drummer. On her last day she said ‘you know I play the drums.'” It was love at first paradiddle for Gardner. “She was just baiting the drums, you could feel the energy in the room. We knew straight away.”
Having finally settled on a line-up Gardner and co were hit by yet another setback. “We kept getting emails from school kids in England saying I seen you play at our school last week. Will you play in our school next, that kind of thing. We googled The Struts and found out that there was this children’s version of Guns ‘N’ Roses playing in England” says Gardner with derisive laughter. “I’m glad we changed it, that name was the past. The Statics’ was a brand new start.” However, Gardner is more than proud of The Struts’ musical output with the majority of the material being transferred to The Statics canon. “We kept that EP” and new recordings of those songs should make up part of the band’s début album.
Following the release of Hidden Pigeon commercial radio stations started to take notice with DJ’s such as John Barker regularly playing Hit and Miss and new single Alone, leading on to bigger and better things. “We’ve played with Pugwash a few times and they’ve really seemed to take a liking to us. They’ve been telling everyone that we’re great. They’re trying to help us out, introducing us to people and we’ll be opening for The Duckworth Lewis Method in The Olympia and Belfast thanks to them.” But, this won’t be the first time The Statics have played with a household name “The Strypes used to support us and now they don’t remember us” says Gardner jokingly.
“They opened for us in The Workman’s Club, great band, unbelievable musicians” continues Gardner, who is full of praise for the chart topping Cavan four-piece and he isn’t surprised in the slightest by their success. “We got let down by our support and we rang them and they came straight down. They’ve total dedication.”
This year’s Arthur’s Day courted much controversy but for The Statics Arthur’s Day was “one of the best days ever” according to Gardner. “We played three gigs; The Mercantile, The Stag’s Head and Upstairs in Whelan’s. The first gig was supposed to be indoor but the DJ wouldn’t move, so Kieran Black (promoter) just said ‘let’s take the PA outside’ and it was mental, jam-packed, much better than playing inside. Everyone was loving it, having a great time, dancing in the street. We got out of the car outside Whelan’s and people across the road started shouting ‘we love you, Statics, we do, we love you, Statics, we do.’ We were freaked out. It was a surreal moment.”
“Getting up in the morning, getting on with it really” says Gardner on the subject matter of new single Alone. “You could look deeper into it; mental health, depression, I suppose.” Alone is released at The Retro Revival Club In Sweeney’s on the 19th of October and you can catch The Statics supporting The Duckworth Lewis Method in Dublin and Belfast on November 27th and 28th respectively.