Music Interviews

Q&A: Brian’s Ken Sweeney

Brian: Ken Sweeney

Brian: Ken Sweeney

Following the release of Brian‘s second album Bring Trouble, the quiet, resolutely unstarry Ken Sweeney has been lauded in the press. Now he’s been nominated for best single of the year in The Irish Music Awards – and is up against U2 and The Divine Comedy.

We caught up with Ken again for a Q&A sesh to hear what he’s been up to since last we spoke…

How’s the writing and recording of the new album going?

Just writing songs at the moment. Probably more guitar orientated. I really like to do the album quickly. Conor Brady, the Dublin guitarist, who I’ve been working with lately, will be on it. He just lifts the songs, he can play Boyfriend to a T which is always good. I want the new album to have that old Brian feel and be full of space. I saw Smog lately and they blew me away.

What’s the new album going to be called?

Yeah, like I’m going to tell you! No, I never disclose titles to early on. I wanted to call the first album Curtains and Tindersticks beat me to it. I wanted to call the band The Libyan Jets but the music wasn’t really like that.

Any UK gigs in the forseeable future?

I’ve done a show with Mark Eitzel of American Music Club in Dublin and that’s about the last gig I’m going to do for a while. I need to just forget about everything. I just like wandering around Dublin and getting ideas. I just want to let some time pass before I play in England again and the next album.

Who are you listening to these days?

The Vulgar Boatmen‘s Opposite Sex. Jesus I never knew they were this good. The new Revenants album Septober No Wonder is excellent. There’s a song on it, Scott Miller Said, about the death of Stephen Ryan’s father. It’s so beautiful I’d love to have written it.

I saw a band called Pugwash lately in Dublin who had the most amazing songs. I’d love to get their album.

Musically, where do you want/expect to be this time next year?

Playing in a covers band after being sued by Setanta. Only joking!

Musically back somewhere closer to home. I’ve made that commercial record (Bring Trouble) and I can relax now and tell myself I gave it a good go… I can’t complain about the way Bring Trouble sounds. We’re actually up against U2 in The Irish Music Awards for Single of the Year (with Turn Your Lights On) and that’s something I’m not sure will ever happen again, whatever the next record sounds like… Back to making a small, beautiful, sad album for Setanta. A record for me and if anyone wants it, that will be a bonus!

• Brian’s Bring Trouble is out now through Setanta.

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