Interview with Boa Morte – Part 2
by Killian Laher
No More Workhorse caught up with Cormac Gahan and Bill Twomey of Boa Morte in advance of the release of their fourth album, The Total Space. You can read Part 1 of our interview here.
NMW: Are you planning to do any touring?
Bill Twomey (BT): The plan was to have a launch show in Cork and do Dublin, but we’ve actually had to push that out by a couple of months. But we definitely will play it in Cork and Dublin. We went to London with the last album as well, because the record label is in London. We’ll probably head over there, play a couple of gigs around London at some stage. We find, even though we enjoy playing live, that our music tends to translate better on record, the arrangements can be quite layered and complex.
If we were playing 100 gigs a year or 50 or 30 gigs a year, I think we could probably put a lot more into the live show and make it do justice to the layers that are there on the album. But we enjoy doing it and it’ll be great to get to Dublin. We played Dublin only once for the last album launch. But for the Cork gig, we were going to do something very different. Unfortunately, we’ve had to postpone it. We’re really interested in doing gigs in really ‘different’ settings because I think our music lends itself to that.
Do you think the music scene generally is in a healthy state?
Cormac Gahan (CG): Yeah, I think so. There’s no shortage of music that we’re listening to in the last couple of years. I don’t know if it’s been Covid or whatever, but maybe we’re digging deeper and looking at artists that I wouldn’t have been familiar with previously, like Alabaster dePlume and people like that. There’s probably a greater number of influences on the new album than there would have been on our previous albums. So hopefully they’re all in there somewhere trying to get out.
BT: There’s a good dynamic within the band where our drummer Maurice is huge into hip hop and really extreme noise. Whereas Paul, the other singer, is into a lot of melodic, not singer songwriter, more traditional songs. Cormac likes avant-garde. I like to delve into lots of different stuff as well. One of the great things about meeting every week is you’re constantly sharing who you listen to, who you’ve discovered in the last couple of weeks. It’s a massive source of inspiration, listening to new artists that you just discovered.
CG: We’d probably start by having a couple of beers and just chatting about music, and maybe an hour later we finally start to play music at our practices.
Outside of music, is there much else going on with the two of you?
CG: I’m a lecturer in UCC, so I’m pretty busy, but there’s still plenty of time to play music. We’re all working regular jobs and trying to fit things around. That’s why, as Bill said, sometimes things come up that we can’t do. We can’t commit to big, large numbers of gigs and things like that. It’s frustrating on the one hand, but we need to pay the bills. We’re realistic about why we make music and how we make it happen.
BT: One of the things as well is that three of us have kids who’ve come through those really demanding years. The amount of free time that creates when they start to move through the teenage years and beyond, it creates so much more space in your life to do the stuff you love doing.
CG: That might explain the delay between albums one and two. Younger kids basically!
Do you guys buy physical music?
CG: I’ve got thousands of CDs and I still buy CDs, especially for very quiet music, funny enough. And especially long albums as well. I’m not a big fan of these sort of four sides of vinyl that are 15 minutes each. You’re constantly hopping up to change it over. But I still buy a lot of CDs, and a bit of vinyl.
BT: I still buy a lot, yeah. There’s been a bit of a boom in record shops in Cork in the last four or five years. I’ve got a load of CDs, but in the last three or four years, I must admit it’s been practically all vinyl. It’s a… mindful experience. It’s probably the same playing a CD, to be honest, taking it out of its package, putting it on. You’re focused on that for the next 30 or 40 minutes, and it encourages you to put these distractions to one side, and get away from everything. If you’re listening to it in headphones around the house, it’s a completely different experience.
What do you guys think about streaming?
BT: There’s so much music that we discovered through streaming that we would never have discovered otherwise. Cormac has been pushing the move to Tidal from Spotify amongst us over the past while. That’s probably worthwhile. It’s better quality, but as well as that, they pay the artists a lot better.
CG: They seem to pay the artists about three and a half times more than Spotify. It’s still not a huge payment. But for some artists, not us, but artists who are maybe getting €10,000 from Spotify, potentially, you would get €30,000 from Tidal, which would make a lot more of a difference if you wanted to do this professionally. If you can pay more, they should pay more. There’s no going back on streaming now. But it’s good to be able to check out things before you buy. I think it’s a good policy to buy things that you like.
BT: Bandcamp is such a great platform. It’s not the same experience as Spotify or Tidal, but it gives artists exposure to a global market that it would have been impossible before. We put the album on presale on Bandcamp at the same time as the single went out on a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had preorders from Australia, Switzerland, the US, Sweden. It’s bizarre to me in some ways that you can tap into a global audience like that. That would have been impossible ten years ago.
Boa Morte release their fourth album, The Total Space on March 3rd.
Leave a Reply