let us say grace...GRACE!
(aka National Prayer Breakfast) are about to release their heavy drinking
anthem Loaded from their splendid recent album This
Is My Truth And It XXXXX Me Up. Quite apt really, as the album
itself is loaded with stupendously brilliant tracks like 1000
Helicopters and Black Chevy (parts I and II) amongst
other corking little numbers that will get your ears smoking in a matter
of minutes. Daragh Keogh, one multi-instrumental third of the Dublin
based trio was kind enough to answer my questions, even after I had
nearly killed him by ringing his mobile, Larry Duff like (Father Ted)
whilst he was driving. Here is the resultant article.
AD: Youre currently on tour. How are you enjoying it, and what
have been the standout moments so far?
Its going cool, although weve just cancelled two gigs in
London so that we can mix the next single Loaded. We just
played in Oxford last night, doing a thing for Truck Records, and that
was really cool. The highlight of the tour has to be when we played
Cork and our guitarist rocked! He was running like a lemming onto the
roof and then hanging from it. Now thats rock n roll.
AD: Youve recently been to Nashville and France for musical
stimulation, not least because of the great Serge Gainsbourg. How did
those trips inspire you, and why is Serge such a major influence?
DK: Well, the Nashville thing was just Patrick and Paul. I was the
third of the band that never went. Theyre both massive country
fans theyre a bit like a cross between the Misfits and
Johnny Cash. With Serge Gainsbourg, the thing I like about him is that
hes a strange breed of French pop and continental pop is
so much more appealing than English pop. In fact, nobody else has ever
managed to make so much fucked up pop than he has. Hes way more
rock n roll than any rock n roll bands!
AD: Im chuffed to bits that youre saying this, to be
honest, as Lhistoire De Melody Nelson is one of my
favourite all time records. Anyway, VH1 have recently been screening
the 100 most shocking moments in music,. What has been the
most shocking moment in npbs career to date?
DK: Oh thing we couldnt possibly repeat! No, to be honest,
theres been nothing shocking. Were very boring Im
afraid but were working towards it. Then again, it depends
on how youre defining shocking. Weve had plenty
of gigs where weve basically been hammered and generally sounded
really, really bad. I remember one gig when we were attempting to play
a cover of The Ramones song I Wanna Be Sedated after
a skinful. It was all over the place and there was at least one instrument
going continually for well over six minutes. That was pretty shocking
AD: Apparently you recorded This Is My Happening And It XXXXX
Me Up in just four days! How did you manage that?
DK: It was two days actually
AD: Bloody hell. Never trust the sodding internet
DK: I suppose it took longer than that in a way, as wed taken
about two or three months working on about forty, fifty songs, and we
started to narrow it down to thirty that we worked on in the garage.
So in that respect we did all the work beforehand. The first album took
a very long time, you see. We wanted this one to be different, so we
just did a straight session and banged it down there and then. It was
a totally different discipline. Well do the opposite again for
the next album and record it all properly in three months after spending
a day or two writing all the songs.
AD: Ok, so if Westlife approached you asking permission to record
one of your songs as their next single, what would your reaction be?
DK: It would be Right then, how much money could we get out
of this? I honestly wouldnt have a problem with it.
AD: Oh honestly man, have you no conscience? How can you sleep at
night? Would I do it? God yes. Id even shag the ugly one if it
would get me a hit single. Anyway, youve earned rave reviews for
both albums, and singles likewise. The Irish Times even called This
Is My Happening
one of the most important albums of the
year. How do you maintain such high standards, and how would you react
if you started getting really BAD reviews?
DK: Well we HAVE had some really bad reviews. I dont know,
you just tend to ignore them even the good ones. We hardly ever
read a review and think YES! Thats where were coming
from, and sometimes its hard to figure out what the reviewer
was on! We got a great review in Kerrang! Magazine when Backyard Babies
did a guest slot on the albums page. Actually their guitarist
did the most amazing thing on stage where he threw his guitar twenty
yards to his roadie whilst putting his next one on at the same time!
That was really cool.
AD: So youll be learning that one now will you, for your bass?
eventually. Anyway after the Kerrang! Review,
we got one in Metal Hammer, and we thought we might get a good one in
there too. Then I remember Patrick looking at it and saying Er
wouldnt bother reading THIS one if I were you! Still, we
always sem to get more good reviews than bad, so were more than
happy with that.
AD: Your website claims that Patrick resembles a latter day Elvis
Presley. In what way exactly?
DK: Well, hes got a rockabilly quiff at the moment. Normally
he looks like a bearded Charles Manson
or a cross between him and
Brendan Behan. He looks more like an early Elvis at the moment actually,
although he hasnt quite got the bone structure
AD: Apparently there was a bit of a palaver with the police while
you were filming the video to Feeding Frenzy some time ago
DK: Ha ha, yes. The idea was that were at this petrol station,
and were doing a piss take on the whole garage hold up
scene, where everyone else aside from the robbers is wearing a balaclava.
Wo weve got the shopkeeper, the customers, and a woman with a
dog all dressed in balaclavas. This was in the middle of the night,
and wed previously got permission from the guards to film it.
The real shopkeeper was watching it all so there was no problem there.
Anyway, this guy came into the petrol station, filled his car with about
a pennys worth of fuel, looked in at the scene and drove off very
quickly. What we hadnt realised was that this would look like
a REAL hold up to passers by and the police turned up and surrounded
the place. We had to explain what was going on. They werent too
happy about it either, I can tell you!
Huh. Typical bloody rozzers. No sense of humour whatsoever. I remember
one pulling me over for speeding after Id been playing snooker
with my mate Alex. Once the bugger had questioned me, he thought it
was hilarious to say Hes not Alex Higgins, is he?
How excruciatingly funny. Anyway, talking of funny one of the
other questions I asked Daragh was which cartoon characters he felt
resembled each band member the most. His answers were the baby out of
family guy (for all of them), Roger Ranjet for Paul, and a cross between
the detective in the Pink Panther cartoons and Dick Dastardly from Wacky
Races. He has no idea why. You dont need to know either. You just
need to know that you need to have This Is My Happening
in your CD collection very, very soon.
Interview and transcript by Tone E