Editor’s Note: This interview was edited for clarity and length.
Best known for their hits, “All I Want” and “High Hopes,” the Irish indie rock band Kodaline has released its first single of 2020. After finishing up their UK tour, the band dropped “Wherever You Are,” which takes inspiration from being on tour and away from loved ones. Their last album, Politics of Living, was released in 2018, and after an Instagram post from the Kodaline’s account hinted at new music, fans believe “Wherever You Are” is a glance at an album soon to come.
Kodaline is comprised of Steve Garrigan, Mark Prendergast, Vincent May Jr. and Jason Boland. I sat down with drummer, Vincent May Jr. to find out more about their recent single, upcoming album, and performing live.
Ariel Zedric: First and foremost, in a previous interview it was said that the name “Kodaline” doesn’t actually have any significance, it just sounded cool. If you could give “Kodaline” a definition, what would it be?
Vinny May Jr: That’s a tough question! I guess if we could write a definition it would be something along the lines of “genuine, emotional music.”
Who are your biggest influences?
Anybody and anything! We find influences in people, art, music, literature, photography. As long as it makes you feel something that’s a good starting point! But I guess to give you a few musical influences: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Etta James and Aretha Franklin.
How did you each get into music? How did you find each other?
I started playing drums when I was 9 and met Mark and Steve through skateboarding in our local town! We started a band for a Battle of the Bands in our school and just stuck together.
Walk me through your music creating process, about how long does it take? Do you each have strict roles in music writing or do you spend most of the time collaborating?
Really hard to say, some songs happen in minutes, and some can take weeks if not months to get right and others get left behind! There’s no foolproof way of writing but we usually start with an idea on acoustic guitar or piano and go from there! We all chip in whenever; there’s no wrong answer.
Given your recent single, “Wherever You Are” takes some inspiration from being away on tour, how was the UK tour?
Yeah, it was great, it’s been a while since our last tour around the UK, but it went amazing. What was really surprising was that for so many people, it was their first Kodaline show!
What’s your favorite part about performing live shows?
Tough to narrow it down, but it has to be seeing people’s reactions to hearing their favorite song of ours and going crazy and just hearing the crowd sing along!
You have an upcoming concert in Maya Space, Pattaya, Thailand scheduled. Will that be your last performance for a while or do you have another tour planned?
Yeah pretty much! We are finishing off our fourth album for the next few weeks, and then we will be announcing a few tours for the end of this year.
The director of the “Wherever You Are” music video, Riley Blakeway, did a fantastic job emphasizing the emotional component of the song. What was it like working with him?
Yeah, he was great — he listened to the song and got the emotion of it straight away! He had this really sad and amazing story that happened to a friend of his, and it fits so well with the song. Videos have always been a huge part of what we do, and it is so important that the video compliments the song!
Based on a New Years Instagram post, you seemed to be teasing a 2020 album. Are there any details you can share about the new music? Is “Wherever You Are” a sneak peek into what fans can expect?
Yes, there will be a fourth Kodaline album this year, and that’s all I can say! We will be releasing another single or two beforehand also.
If you could give young aspiring artists one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s all about the songs. Don’t write to impress other people — impress yourself first!
Feature image courtesy of Lorraine Long