As part of Otwo’s Dublin Bands on Your Doorstep feature Eva Griffin talks to No Monster Club
Hear ye, hear ye, Bobby Aherne lives. Despite a 2012 “experiment” in the form of an album reportedly from the grave, Posthumous Hits, he hasn’t left us yet. After creating a tragic back-story to a 46 track cassette tape (yes kids, those still exist), Aherne was exposed and then scolded by people who were annoyed he wasn’t dead: “This is a real shameful promotional stunt. Someone who really did die and didn’t want to should get to trade places with this prick.” Well, online commenter, your wish has not come to fruition, and rightly so.
Aherne’s brief flirtation with ‘retirement’ hasn’t impeded him from churning out an astonishing amount of releases since he began “haphazardly” making music. On February 3rd he’ll drop his 16th release, People Are Weird. Initially working under the moniker Dublin Duck Dispensary back in 2006, he grew understandably tired of the self-inflicted tongue twister and made the switch to No Monster Club. Another advantage afforded by this new name, Aherne explains, is that it “enables the project to remain loosey-goosey, with a revolving line-up, guest musicians, or even members of the crowd getting up onstage to join the Club for the night.”
This club’s specialty is crafting brief moments of madness that whip ballsy punk into a broken blender with 80s one hit wonders. No Monster Club come armed with a back catalogue to soundtrack “a dream holiday gone very wrong” that is charmingly rough around the edges. Aherne compares his sound to “a broken Sega Mega Drive hooked up to a frazzled old amp” that he incorporates into live shows thanks to his collaborators. His casual philosophy is that “any old eejit can do it [make music]” and he refuses to do things “properly” like the talented rebel he is.
One crucial aspect of Aherne’s personality forming the backbone for his musical endeavours is a simple appreciation for having the craic. “Literally nothing makes sense, so I have a pretty hard time taking anything seriously,” he says of his lyrics. One listen to latest single ‘Arms Across America’ confirms this. Aherne spends a decent chunk of the upbeat little number musing on the possible presence of a lava lamp. Sure, why not?
If your tongue is suddenly aimed and ready to spit the venomous label of ‘pretentious hipster’ at him, you may want to hold it. Aherne’s brand of oddness “isn’t exactly Weird Al Yankovic” and he comes equipped with a simple explanation for his outlandish lyrics. “I guess I just don’t want add to the landfill of empty songs about ‘my heart’ or ‘the stars’ or any of that nonsense.”
Next up, Aherne is toddling over to Switzerland and Italy with his cool club to promote the album, before returning home in March, then off to tackle America with some fresh tunes. The big question remains; will he ever stop being such a mad yoke and sing about serious real life stuff? Not likely. “I just wanna sing about lava lamps, ice cream and getting my head chopped off.” Phew, that’s just what we want to hear.