Life’s been pretty peachy for TabloidTv these past few weeks.
As the band’s debut EP ‘Mixed Messages’ continues to gain traction throughout the country, their new track Let’s Dance was nominated Song Of The Week on RTÉ 2XM. 2XM’s In Colour presenter Darren Cleary also recently name-dropped the band when talking about “immensely talented group of musicians who are consistently producing top tunes.”
Not bad for a band doing it entirely off their own backs.
TabloidTv are made up of vocalist Mark Young, guitarists Paddy O’Donohoe and Ian Rankin, drummer Ultan Murray, and bassist Senan Dobey. The lads started the band as way of staying in touch when they finished school, and their name reflects their, eh, ‘fondness’ of reality TV.
“Jeremy Kyle inspired the name”, they laugh, practically in unison. “It’s good hungover television.” Other inspirations behind the name included, but were not limited to, Scooby-Doo and pizza.
“We could possibly have ended up being called The Mystery Machines,” Ian suggests.
The lads admit that they’ve only started performing and recording seriously in the last year and a half. ‘Mixed Messages’ was released on 13 November last year.
“We worked with Francesco Gatti on the EP in Storm Studios”, Mark says.
The insight TabloidTv got into the recording process in studio was invaluable.
“He also does the production for All Tvvins, and they’re deadly!” affirms Ultan, “They were mixing their album when we were recording ours. They’re both really nice guys.”
With an arsenal of songs ready and waiting, the band didn’t find their time in the studio to be particularly stressful or time-consuming.
“We went in with our best songs, narrowing it down to eight, then five. It went very smoothly, surprisingly,” Ian says.
“We’re pretty collaborative,” confirms Ultan. “We have two main songwriters in the group, but it’s usually Paddy who brings the main bones of a song to the rest of us. He’ll show up with some words, some rhythm and the basic melody. Mark’ll fix up the melody and the guys’ll write the guitar that they think fits it.”
Despite their recent successes, the guys are quick to acknowledge the struggles facing new bands starting out.
“It’s the same for everyone, but establishing a loyal fan base is hard. All our friends are students at either end of the county. It can be hard to get them to come to any kind of gig”, according to Mark.
“With the scene being so small, it’s kind of a vicious circle”, Ultan chimes in, “If you don’t have a group of friends who are into music and going to gigs, no one will hear about you, because nobody’s going to your gigs. Word-of-mouth is still huge for new bands.”
Striking the balance between maintaining their creative momentum while relentlessly touring has also been a challenge.
“If you’re gigging regularly, obviously you don’t really have time to be writing new material”, Ultan says, “It’s only possible when you’ve a few weeks off. That’s when you can bring something to the other guys’ attention.”
“Writing songs is always so much fun, especially the way we do it, because everyone has their own input. Collectively, if we don’t like a song, nobody has an ego about it.”
The boys are list Beyoncé as one of their inspirations, albeit with tongue firmly in cheek. However, a band they are quick to praise is Raglans.
“We see them live regularly. They’ve come exactly from the position we’re in now. They just started gigging, built up a fan base and their album is fantastic. They genuinely seem to have just gotten a great break.”
Looking to the future, TabloidTv are due to play the Ballinamore Fringe Festival in Leitrim in August, and are continuing to gig around Dublin.
“Maybe we’ll get a manager. We won’t rule anything out,” Ultan laughs.