Director lead singer Michael speaks with meg.ie about being dumped by their record label, broken hearts and bouncing back.
You made an impact on the Irish scene with your song Reconnect, I have heard people describe the lyrics as quite dark. What do you make of that?
I guess so, I guess it’s pretty much an approach that we take. Especially the second album it’s a lot darker. Songs are mostly about, you know, problems and relationships not working out and stuff like that. I guess it’s a slightly more interesting approach to things, rather than songs about how nice love is and things like that. So I would definitely agrees with that.
Are they from a broken heart?!
(Laughing awkwardly) Yeah I suppose so yeah.
You were dropped by your record label after your first album had gone platinum in Ireland. How did you feel about that?
It’s a funny one, the album was never released in the UK and we ended up with a little bit of time after the release of it where we were trying to get it released in the UK, but the label weren’t that interested. I guess they kind of thought the success in Ireland would translate over, but that’s not really the way it works. So we were stuck for along time not being able to do much outside of Ireland. So that’s what we’re looking forward to this time, spending a bit of time in Europe. We’ve got world wide distribution of this album so we have a little bit more freedom to travel around a bit more as well as still playing gigs here. We love it here, but it is small and it’s hard to make a living here.
What about the States, have you any plans to try it over there?
Actually North America is the only place we don’t have distribution. Maybe if we get a song on Greys Anatomy (laughs).
So how are the fans reacting to your new album?
It’s been good. [At gigs] We’ve been doing probably mostly new songs. People who have the album and people who don’t, it’s been great. People coming up after gigs and asking what song was that. The last song on the album is about 8 minutes long. It’s got a piano sound and it builds up to a big repetitive crescendo. People like it a lot.
You must have a different vibe about this album. You didn’t have the comfort of a record label backing you up, it’s all you.
It’s kind of been a while since we’ve been playing gigs, so we’ve been raring to go and get these songs on the road, so we’re loving it at the moment.
Do you feel like it’s a bit of a “I-told-you-so” to Atlantic Records?
(Laughs) I wouldn’t say that. I think the whole, sort of playing field is changing for a lot of bands and a lot of record labels. They’re not really making the money they used to. It makes it hard for independent bands like ourselves. You never really know what percentage of your music is being downloaded. Live music is what is reverts back to and that’s the way it’s going.
Do you think there might be a new record deal on the horizon or are you going to stick with yourselves for the moment?
We’ll stick with ourselves for the moment. The album is released on our own record label and then distributed by a company called eighty eight global, who have contacts all over Europe and the UK. So we’re going to take it territory by territory.
And what’s the feedback been like? Have you played many gigs on mainland Europe?
No not really, we were booked into a festival in Germany, but the whole thing was cancelled due to lack of funding. Our single is coming out in the UK in September. Moment to Moment is out now in Ireland and then Play Pretend comes out in Ireland and the UK come September.
Can you explain the background to Play Pretend?
A lot of the songs are kind of dark and bleak. Sort of romance and relationships, it’s sort of you’re interested in somebody and they don’t necessarily feel the same way or take it as seriously as you do, you know, and I guess the way you’re kind of pushed and pulled in a situation like that.
You have some footage up on your website from recording down in Leitrim, so what are your jam sessions like? Is there one person who always comes up with the lyrics or how does it go?
Well generally I’ll write the song and we’ll spend an awful long time, you know, after the song is written, just sort of fine tuning it. It took a long time with this album, probably about 2 years, which is maybe too long. But we pay a lot of attention to detail, try not to let anything slip by. We’re certainly not ones for wigging out or jamming, you know we don’t really like a messy sound. A lot of it is very minimal, very to the point.
The album is currently available to download. Check out their website for more information. www.directormusic.com