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Guitar Pop From Ireland
Spearside is a new Irish three-piece led by brothers Oisín (vocals/guitar) and Cian Walsh (vocals/bass), along with Dylan Zoivich (drums). The band produces all of their music from their own home-studio in Trim, Co. Meath. To date they have released a handful singles and the new four-song EP, Remember, No Regrets.
Oisín Walsh Interview
There are a lot of great bands playing guitar pop around the world these days—but there are many different terms for it. How do you describe your own music?
Oisín Walsh: I like to say ‘rock and roll’ because it's more of an ethos than a genre, and generally people know what you’re getting at with that label. We would describe a certain single as having a genre of sorts but we wouldn’t necessarily attach that same label to our band as a whole. We like to keep things very open in that regard.
We try to avoid describing ourselves too much because we never seem to get it right anyway! I would say our last three singles are very power pop influenced but others tend to label us as more garage/psych rock.
As far as I can see, when bands are asked to describe themselves the answer is always going to be how they want to be perceived rather than what they actually sound like.
“Often the only way to fall neatly into a ‘genre’ is to attach yourself to a trend in the industry or a revivalist movement and just read off a script. Our goal is to keep things as open and dynamic as we can musically.”
How do you feel about genre labels in general?
Oisín Walsh: Trying to attach a specific label to your group can be dangerous because firstly, it’s never accurate, and secondly, it sets up expectations for your audience. People often come to our shows and say we sound heavier than they expected or that they didn’t know we play long jams in the middle of the set because we’re supposed to be a power pop band or something.
A lot of the music we love tends to fall outside clean cut categories so we try to do the same. Often the only way to fall neatly into a “genre” is to attach yourself to a trend in the industry or a revivalist movement and just read off a script. Our goal is to keep things as open and dynamic as we can musically.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Oisín Walsh: I can’t speak for everyone in the band but for me, some of my biggest influences have to be Rory Gallagher, The Undertones and Ash. All three are completely on their own in their style of music. No ‘70s rock guitar hero played like Rory, no other punk band sounded like The Undertones, no ‘90s grunge/alternative band approached songwriting the way Ash did. Despite their obvious differences, to me all three are emblematic of that certain endearing nature that can only be found in Irish musicians.
Rory Gallagher—“Walk on Hot Coals” (Irish Tour ‘74)
The Undertones—“Male Model”
Ash—“Jack Names the Planets”
What's the local music scene like where your band is based? Any other local bands we should know about?
Oisín Walsh: We’re lucky that the underground scene in Ireland is really vibrant at the moment and live music has made a massive comeback since the pandemic. Our good friends Unstuck just put out a new single called ‘Working Man!’ that is well worth checking out. I recorded and mixed that single and their previous two singles in my studio. Beauty Pageant are another great new Irish band that only have a couple of singles out!
What's happening for your band right now? What's next?
Oisín Walsh: We’ve got some shows coming up soon in London which is big for us because we’ve never left Ireland. We also just put out a Bandcamp exclusive EP with some of our heavier material if people want to check that out. Other than that we’ll have some more singles coming out this year along with plenty of more shows, standard fare.
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