Catching Up With… is a new series whereby I ask 21 questions to figures from music, theatre, TV and film. First up is Galway based Clare musician Daithí Ó Drónaí.
MERE MONTHS AWAY from the release of In Flight, his eagerly awaited début album, 24-year-old musician Daithí Ó Drónaí is busy putting the promotional wheels in motion for a record that he has laboured over for three years. However, a busy schedule hasn’t stopped the Clare man from practising in this year’s Trócaire Live gig at The Grand Social and supporting a charity close to his heart.
“The line- up, this year, is great. Trócaire ran the line up by us before we committed and we were just really impressed with the diversity of the performers. I’m just jubilant to be doing it and with the type of music that’s featured for the gig, Trócaire Live seems to be going for a real good fun night: a light- hearted night. It needs to be a celebration of Trócaire.
“We’ve a little bit of work with them before and it’s been great, but Trocaire has been with me my whole life. I grew up in Clare and the Trocaire box was always a real household thing: it’s the first thing that I think of whenever someone mentions Trocaire to me, so it’s been a charity that I and my family have been contributing for some time, as have so many other Irish people. Growing up in Ballyvaughan, there’re a grassroots feeling about Trocaire: it was always featured in our homes, our schools, our church…it seemed to be one of the main charities that I was involved in when I was a child.”
What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Finishing my first album, which I’ve been working on for about three years.
When did you first realise you wanted a career in music?
When I started playing in bands in boarding school. Any time I wasn’t studying, I was playing bass in bands. It seemed something that was so enjoyable and required little effort.
In three words, describe the five minutes before you walk on stage.
Nervously freaking out!
How do you wind down after a gig?
I have a really strong group of friends that have been with me for a while who hang around after shows. We play late, so we’re never home early!
In three words, describe the live scene in Ireland.
Incredibly forward thinking.
Whose career do you envy and why?
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs (Orlando Higginbottom). He’s got a great ethos. He doesn’t define himself by genre: he just wants to make people dance., which he’s been doing for years. That’s the way I want to go: to create dance music for dance music’s sake and not get hung up on sub-genres or where it should be at any given time.
Vinyl or digital downloads?
Digital downloads for the moment, but I’ve just recently started to collect vinyl. All my favourite stuff is on vinyl, it’s fast, I can get to it immediately.
What is your favourite record shop in the world?
Bell, Book and Candle, Galway. It’s local and the people in there are so unbelievably enthusiastic about music.
Name one rare record you don’t own, but you want more than anything.
Prosumer’s remix of Murat Tepli’s ‘Forever’. I think they only printed a couple of hundred copies on vinyl. I’d love to own that one.
Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.
Anything from that first studio that Daft Punk had in Paris. It was such a special time in dance music or anything from Studio 54.
What is the one thing in your life that you couldn’t go without on a daily basis?
I live out of my laptop. I freak out if I’m not near the laptop at any given time: I carry it every where with me. I create all my music out of the one laptop and everything that I have on the laptop is backed up by about four or five hard drives, so if I didn’t have my laptop I’d have nervous chills and I’d freak out!
Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Record: Swim by Caribou. Book: On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Film: Searching for Sugar Man
Name one overrated TV series and one underrated TV series.
Overrated: True Blood. I never got that show at all! Underrated: Oz. It’s up there with The Wire.
Pick the director and lead actor for a biopic about your life.
Wow…we’ll get Matt Damon to star as Woody Allen and me to direct. Who wouldn’t want to see Woody Allen making a music film? He’d romanticise it all.
Describe the perfect night in.
Playing video games until very early in the morning and nothing else.
Describe the perfect night out.
There’s a scene of people in Galway having nights out where nights out wouldn’t be the norm, which is great. Places outside the city limit like Innisheer. Galway’s always had great nights out in some form or another.
Where did you grow up and what are the best and worst things about that place
I grew up in Ballyvaughan, Clare. Best things? The scenery, which I never appreciated when I was younger: beautiful. The worst thing? If you want to go to anyone’s house, you have to drive like 15 minutes! So you’re social life built on the internet.
What is your biggest fear?
Getting to a point where I wouldn’t be able to create anything.
Who is the person in your life without whom your life wouldn’t be the same?
My mom. When I was growing up, she shaped me as a person.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you, so far?
My whole family have an ethos of never giving up. It’s developed as continually upgrading. When it comes to living shows or recording, I never allow myself to enjoy the level I’m on; I’m always trying to improve to the next level.
If you could give one piece of life advice, it would be…
Do what you love. I see way too many people my age getting stuck in jobs that they do for money. Never get complacent do what it is you want to do. Otherwise, you’ll regret it.
Trocaire Live takes place this Saturday 10th May in the Grand Social. Tickets are €10 via entertainment.ie/tickets