Irish indie boys The Academic are one of our favourite new bands here at One on One, so we were chuffed to be able to sit down with them at Barn on the Farm Festival to chat about their new single, touring the UK, and headlining Father Ted conventions:
You’ve just put out your new single, Mixtape 2003 – how would you describe it to someone who hasn’t heard it?
Craig Fitzgerald (vocals and lead guitar): It’s kind of a summery, nostalgic throwback to the early indie days. It’s called Mixtape 2003, so it’s just an attempt at going back to that kind of music. I mean, we were only young – like, really young – in 2003. It’s really just an homage to all the bands we were too young to appreciate at the time, but that we really got into a few years later.
You’re also touring the UK (for the first time!) in October. Looking forward to it?
Yeah! We’ve just announced three dates – Glasgow on October 5th, Birmingham on the 6th, and London on the 10th – and we can’t wait. We’ve never done a headline tour here; we’ve done support tours for Circa Waves and Twenty One Pilots, but we’ve never done a headline run, so we’re really looking forward to it.
What’s your favourite thing about playing live?
Matt Murtagh (lead guitar): Just seeing people singing your songs back to you. It’s very special.
Craig: Especially at half past eleven in the morning, haha! We opened the Main Stage today, and we were on pretty early, so we were really surprised by how many people actually came down to see us. We really wanted to play this festival again – it was definitely one of our favourites of last summer – so we were really happy to be able to come back and to see so many people turning up for our set.
When are we going to get an album from you guys?
We’re not sure! We’re working towards getting another release out after we’ve finished off all of the tour dates we’ve got booked, but we’re not sure what it’ll be. We’re mostly looking at singles at the moment, and that’s purely because it’s so hard to find the time to go and lay down four or five tracks while you’re touring – you just can’t be in two places at once. There’ll probably be another single, and then an EP, and then we might even get round to putting an album out.
‘We are working up towards an album; it’s just a case of picking the tracks.
With the EPs, you have to decide whether or not you want to include any of the tracks from them on the album, and that can be tricky. I’d say that we should have an album out at the start of next year. Hopefully, anyway…
If you could each be in any other band, which would it be and which instrument would you want to play?
Stephen Murtagh (bass): I already have my answer for this! I’ve always wanted to be the rhythm guitarist in Dire Straits, purely because you can just sit back and let Mark Knopfler do everything. It’s a great job!
Matt: I can’t play the drums, but I would love to be the drummer in the E Street Band, just because it looks like so much fun.
Craig: I’ve always had an up-and-down relationship with playing the guitar. Some days I love it, and then some days I hate it, so I think I’d just like to ditch it and be Jim Morrison.
Dean Gavin (drums): I was going to say the drummer in the E Street Band, too… Damn. I’d settle for being Black Francis out of the Pixies, though.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you?
Craig: We were booked to play a festival in Hamburg called the Reeperbahn Festival, and during the day we got called up to do this German TV show that’s hosted by an old MTV presenter called Ray Cokes. We arrived and were told to stand outside this theatre, and then a camera crew came out and walked us in. That’s when we were told that we were live on German TV. It was a weird one.
Matt: We also did a strange show when we were about seventeen… We’re from a small town called Mullingar in Ireland, but about twenty miles away from that is a town called Edenderry.
‘You know that show Father Ted? Well, we were booked to play TedFest.
It was basically a festival full of people dressed like characters from Father Ted, so we played to a tent full of people who were dressed like Father Ted and Father Hackett. Slightly strange one.
Can you describe each other in three words?
All: Oh, God. Okay… Well, Dean’s a particular, clean, and a machine. Craig’s twelve, benevolent, and cute. Stephen’s goofy, solid, and – because it’s one of his favourite songs – Wannabe. Matthew? Matthew’s free, frantic, and mostly fringe. Done!