Interview: Delorentos

 
 

Delorentos’ Kieran McGuinness discusses the joys of a good breakfast with Fionn Claffey

Delorentos’ recent self-released album Little Sparks has seen them reach the top three in the Irish music chart. It has received glowing appraisals to date with many five star reviews. With numerous gig listings next month, it’s no wonder that the band’s guitarist and vocalist Kieran McGuinness was unfortunate enough to mix-up his regular Weetabix with a dreaded, shredded variety. Fortunately Otwo’s expertise extends beyond music and culture; we were on hand with our vast knowledge of cereals, offering the ‘soupy’ hot milk remedy to a grateful Delerento who reckoned: “That is the highlight right there”.

Outside of his cereal woes McGuinness and his fellow Delorentos, Ross McCormick, Ro Yourell and Níal Conlan are recently back from their European tour which included gigs in Germany, Spain and Holland, each of which are particularly famous for having an international football team which has beaten our national squad by four goals in recent years. Thankfully we can compete internationally on the music scene with the likes of Delorentos.

They are just back on our shores now in the process of yet another tour. “It’s good to be back,” McGuinness muses, as he begins espousing the comforts of home. These home comforts are most missed when he faces a language barrier when touring abroad. He felt that his lack of Spanish left his on-stage monologues unappreciated.

This has been one of the best years for the band and they are ambitious about the upcoming shows from the positive reception they have gotten from recent Irish gigs and the rave reviews received with the new album. Delorentos are set to make a bigger splash in the Irish music pond this year.

On touring in Europe, Yourell has said he thinks the Irish music scene is restrictive and limits the financial prospects which might be available in other countries. McGuinness however, disagrees with this notion: “If you’re trying to make a fortune by making music well then you’re in the wrong business. If you want to make money in music you’re better off buying shares in Ticketmaster.”

When it comes down to the music, McGuinness is confident that it doesn’t matter where you are and how much you are making. He appreciates his good fortune and the opportunities they have had as a band to play internationally as well as well as their domestic stature, however. “Every time we play somewhere new there is a renewed excitement”.

McGuinness sees each gig as another experience for the band to leave an impression as they did in their most recent stint in Amsterdam where they hadn’t played for two years yet still drew a sizeable audience. They will be heading state-side this March and McGuinness hopes to visit Mexico and South America while there. Give him a map and a pin and he would play in that country, he says. There is no border control for Delorentos.

Everyone in the band is involved in the song-writing process and McGuinness describes this as a filtering procedure, where everyone has to be in agreement with a song before they sign off on it. It can work both ways according to him: “It can be the best thing, but it can also be a pain in the arse sometimes.” This Delorentorian method works well for them, he assures us, and they know when it is finally filtered down to 12 songs that they have a collection of quality material, with Little Sparks as the evidence of this.

McGuinness talks about the close-knit nature of the band jokingly recalling their bike rides and hand-in-hand beach promenades but reveals that sometimes tensions do build and they would be left “punching the heads off each other”. They quickly cancelled the custom band-sized bed they had on order from Ikea in case they would kill each other, not long after the band started. They have moved beyond their friendship to a brotherly relationship now though, which comes with but both up and down sides, as they know each other’s pet hates which is often exploited.

Regarding the ‘last ever show’ in 2009, McGuinness states that it was not due to band relations but rather that they felt they were caught in one direction, though “unfortunately not the same direction as One Direction” and that it wasn’t really working until Yourell came out and said he wasn’t going to continue the charade. Upon further discussion they realised they liked playing together and would prefer to continue it in the future. After a short timeout they resolved their differences: “Delorentos were just at that stage in the relationship where after breaking up with your other half, they arrive on the door with chocolate and roses and you realise they’re a keeper.”

So after all the chocolates had been eaten the band decided to take it as an opportunity to write better songs and to play better gigs. Music clearly means a lot to McGuinness and the rest of the members of Delorentos: “You’re in a band, the envy of your 15 year old self so you push yourself really hard, and try your best to be interesting and creative as a band… not to add to a general noise.”

It is for this reason there is no particular ‘spark’ in question in terms of creativity for the Delorentos boys: “Sparks are not Disney-esque explosions… They are the subtle little things which form relationships”. They took these subtle little things into their song writing and combined with their hard work. This is required “to do things in new ways with instruments that have been played before and chords that have been used before,” according to McGuinness.

Delorentos have been part of many of the Gaeilge festivals, translating some of their songs for the cause. “Our national language is something we have always been interested in… It may not always have been cool but there are loads of bands doing it”. This is particularly down to Yourell, who having gone to an Irish-speaking school is a proud Gaelgeoir. From this he is very influenced by the Irish language and previous music which he brings into the band with him.

There is little rest for the four-piece but McGuinness reveals that his plans for the rest of the day revolve around playing guitar with his fellow guitarist Yourell who is sitting in the background eating beans on toast. He contributes a quick rendition of ‘Óró, Sé do Bheatha ‘Bhaile’ amidst a mouthful of Bachelor’s finest. Regarding the future of Delorentos, there is definitely no worries of a lack of fibre in their diet.

Delorentos play Vicar Street on December 21st. Their album, Little Sparks, is out now.

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