Patrick Kelleher is an experimenter/freak folkist/sonic mood adjuster originally from Glendalough, Co. Wicklow but now holed up in 236 South Circular Road, home of the Box Social. His debut album You Look Cold has just been released on Osaka Recordings and it’s genuinely one of the most exciting bodies of work to emerge from an Irish artist in recent times. Combining frosty electronica, worn-sounding lo-fi acoustic efforts, a dollop of drone and stacks of tense energy, You Look Cold will at the very least serve as an indicator of how wide a palette of sounds you can get away with using in the process of making a unified album. You will find him at the aforementioned Box Social on June 14th, and launching his album at the Academy 2 on June 18th
Patrick Kelleher – Wintertime’s Doll
Patrick Kelleher – He Has To Sleep Sometime
Q 0.5 How are you?
Very well thanks.
Q1 Nowadays, when everybody has a decent computer and gear is more available, it’s much easier for anyone to make music and have it heard quickly – does the bedroom music explosion devalue music at all by making it so easy to do?
I don’t know but i don’t see why it would. The music itself was always easy to do. Spoons, pots, pans, etc. We’re just fortunate now that we can be heard by many people more easily than in the past.
Q2 Is downloading a good thing? Does the fact that it’s possible to get so much music so easily and for free make it more disposable at all?
I suppose I sometimes treat it as though it were disposable by downloading and copying albums and not bothering to listen to them at all in some cases. But people’s work is not usually disposable I think.
Q3 Is there anything that makes your music quintessentially Irish? Is it intentional?
Perhaps there is but i don’t think I would recognise it. There is no intention.
Q4. Do you find it difficult to self-edit or to step away from your music and look at objectively, when you’re recording by yourself?
Yes I do. I used to rarely let other people hear my music and found myself constantly against a brick wall. Now I make them listen to songs until they’re sick of them. The best way, I think, is to go by instinct but also by the reactions of friends/people whose music taste you like.
Q5 Is there a Dublin scene, or even smaller genre-based scenes? Are you a part of one?
There is a scene and there are smaller scenes. I don’t know if i belong to one, too early to say perhaps?
Q6 Name a non-musical influence on your music.
Q7 Take one of your songs and explain the process of writing it from the beginning to the finished article.
‘Wintertime’s Doll’ from the album – I got a Zoom H4 recording device from my parents for christmas and i was playing guitar and making noises through the mic with loads of reverb effects because I was trying out the machine. then I recorded four notes on the guitar over and over again and borrowed my sister’s violin, tuned the strings so that they would play in the right key when open, and just slowly added in layers of violin sounds.
I did some Perry Como-style crooning over it, with whatever words would come into my head at first, then re-wrote, over the next couple of days, lyrics that I felt suited the spirit of the music.
I wasn’t happy with the timing of it so i started again, recording the guitar to a metronome on cubase. I eventually recorded the sound of that metronome and used it in the song. All in all it took about 2-3 days with me rarely leaving the room. An anti-social way to spend St. Stephen’s Day methinks.
Q8 Has music criticism ever influenced your music, or at least made you think about it differently? I mean proper reviews, but also blogs or even just hearing someone you don’t know talk about you.
I haven’t had too many reviews yet but it makes me feel more confident when people say they like my music. And it’s easier to make good music when I feel confident. If people say they don’t like a song, for example, I immediately start to doubt whether i should put it out. But over time you get a general idea of what you are comfortable playing/releasing.
One can’t necesarily make good music all the time.
Q9 Have you ever felt guilty for trying to get other people to take an interest in your music, if you aren’t making the effort with new music yourself?
Q10 Would you call yourself a traditionalist with regard to music, either as a listener or in how you go about writing/recording/performing?
Hmm. I succumb to the sweet sweet sounds of pop a lot when writing music, so I sometimes worry that I’m not being progressive enough. But I think it’s not clever to try and force ‘progressiveness’. Always my favourite music, regardless of it’s orientation, is that which I almost feel I have heard before, or feels familiar, but I can’t quite put my finger on where or when. So I enjoy trying to imitate sounds that give me such a feeling.
Q10.5 What’s something you’re listening to right now?
Lipstick – Watch Me Do My Thang
From the ‘White Men Can’t Jump’ Soundtrack