Kodaline: "it's hard to complain when you have the dream job"

Kodaline: "it's hard to complain when you have the dream job"

Drummer Vinny May chats to YP cadet Renee Chan about staying positive, touring the world, and finding inspiration in new places

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Irish rockers Kodaline don't take their success for granted. Photo: Dave Ma Photography

Writing songs, travelling the world, and inspiring people with your music … sound like a dream job? Well it's a dream that came true for Irish alternative rock band Kodaline.

Back in 2005, lead singer Steve Garrigan and guitarist Mark Prendergast started a group called 21 Demands. Drummer Vinny May was next to join, and in 2011 the band changed their name to Kodaline. Bass player Jason Boland didn't join the group until 2012, but the group quickly bonded through their live performances all around the world.

"We're extremely lucky to be able to travel to different places and make even more stories together," May says to Young Post. "We get our inspiration from people we've met, places we've been, and experiences we've shared as individuals and as a group."

The group released their first studio album In a Perfect World in 2012. The album's lead single High Hopes, which reached No 1 on the Irish Singles Chart, is about arising from difficult times one faces in life.

"Be positive," May says. "Life is never as bad as it may seem, and it's a gift, so live each day as best you can."

Many of the band's songs, such as All I Want, which was featured in the popular movie The Fault in Our Stars and the television show Grey's Anatomy, serve as inspiration to their fans.

"We're very positive people, although it may not seem like it in our songs," May chuckles. "Every song we write is about a way of getting through something and venting our emotions."


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Following the release of High Hopes, the band began a world tour, where they continued to write songs.

"We never really know what it's going to be like when we go to new places, so we just hope that people would enjoy the show," May says. "Meeting new people with stories can become inspiration for songs."

And it shows. Just eight weeks after their tour, the band recorded their latest album, Coming Up for Air, which was released in February.

"We didn't really want to take a break, so we went straight back into recording," May says. "We wanted to just push ourselves to try and make things different sonically, and we're really happy with how it turned out."

The band credits Irish producer Jacknife Lee for helping them find this new direction, as he encouraged them not to be afraid of trying new sounds and instruments.

The first single from the record, Honest, reached the Top 40 UK Singles Chart.

The album's second single, The One, was actually written by Garrigan the night before Kodaline's engineer, Phil Magee, got married. Although it was supposed to be a one-time performance, the band played it for a fan's on-stage proposal at one of their concerts. It has since become a hit in the UK, perhaps because it is such a personal song for the group.

"If we don't believe in a song, why should anyone else?" asks May. "It needs good meaning and a factual story behind it. If we can't relate to it, then why should we expect anyone else to?"

The group will be performing their new songs throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States until October, but they still go back home occasionally to spend time with family and friends.

"It's a bit of a struggle finding the balance between being on the road and at home, but it's hard to complain when you have the dream job," May says. "We're very lucky to have been given the opportunity to do something we've always wanted to do since we were kids."

Kodaline will perform in Hong Kong on Tuesday at KITEC

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
On cloud nine with Kodaline

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