by - Monday, July 01, 2013

As the current music industry stands, there are more independent bands that ever. 'Who needs record labels?' cry guitar toting four pieces all over the country, slogging away in home built studios, poring over handdrawn artwork, whatever it takes to maintain the integrity that has become so vital in the backlash against the manufactured pop of the early noughties.

That said, indie in it's more colloquially used guise, has never been more scarce. With Arctic Monkeys now an indisputable world dominating rock band rather than the relatable scallies they once were, and the likes of The View, The Enemy and Reverend & The Makers playing £5 entry gigs at 02 academy, one has to ask: where have the 3 minute, straightforward weekend anthems of 2005 gone?

Enter dublin four piece Raglans, who's latest single Digging Holes quite literally fills the gap where indie once stood, recovering the swagger of the past. Having worked their way around the gigging circuit with The View, The Courteeners and Haim, the boys are about to embark on their first headline tour in support of their single and to celebrate it as their first release on Cuckoo records. With a crossover into the bigtime threatening, SafetyInSound caught up with Raglans drummer Conn O' Ruanaidh to hear the bands back story.

SIS: Let’s start at the beginning: how and when did the band form? I heard that it all started in a festival tent…
Yeah, pretty much. I've been best mates with Rhos, our bass player for years. Ste, our singer, and Rhos met at this independent music festival we have here called Knockanstockan. Ste was there as a punter and Rhos was playing his last gig with his band at the time. They started chatting and jammin out Oasis songs on a one string guitar. A few weeks later Rhos arrived up to my house with Ste and we started playin together. Sean, who plays guitar, came a little later and here we are...

SIS:The inevitable question for an introducing feature: where did the name Raglans come from?
Unfortunately there's no interesting story behind it. Its just a word. Picking band names is the worst part of actually being in a band so once you decide on something its best to just go with it. It looks alright written down I guess.

SIS:You once described your music as indie folk pop, which artists inspire you? What makes you different from other bands that fit into this category?
We all listen to different stuff but share some common bands. Some folk, some indie, some rock, some heavy, some soft. We write songs that are fun to play and we get a vibe off and hopefully people have fun listening and get a vibe off it too.

I'm not sure what makes us different exactly. We like to mix up instruments and mess around with stuff like sticking a mandolin through an FX pedal and that kind of thing. We don't necessarily try to be "different" but we do try to be original.

SIS:You seem to put a lot of effort into your music videos; do you think strong visuals are vital for a new band?
Yeah, we work with a guy called Finn Keenan who is incredible. He's currently the official videographer for The Strypes and he's super talented. We've done all our music videos with him because he's just great to work with. He always has this vision and you've just got to trust him and throw yourself into it.

These days, when people want to hear a song they go to youtube so why not have a cool video to go with your song when people are listening to it? Also, we want everything we put out to be the best it can be and for people to get a hit off it. That, and the videos are so much fun to make!

SIS: You recently supported The Strypes and The Courteeners, were they nice guys?What was it like playing Academy sized venues?
Well, we've known The Strypes for a few years now. They're amazingly nice people, they're whole team are just great and they've always been great. So it was awesome to be back gigging with them. We couldn't be more happy/proud of them and their success. The Courteeners was a great gig too. They're n awesome band and the Academy venues are really nice. They're the perfect not-too-big-not-too-small venue and they're always loud so we like that.

SIS:If you could be on a bill with anyone, who would it be?
I know the lads would probably say Noel Gallagher. Hahaha!

SIS:What advice would you give to new bands starting out? What has been the biggest struggle and why?
Honestly, we're probably not the best advice givers ourselves. We're a pretty young band too so we're still figuring a lot of stuff out. So if anyone has any good advice for us let us know! If we had to say, it would probably be go out and gig and get in people's faces. As for the biggest struggle? Probably finding a van that doesn't breakdown constantly...

SIS:You seem proud of your Irish heritage, are there any bands from your area that people should check out?
There are so many bands from around our neck of the woods that people should check out! We're big fans of The Hot Sprockets, Enemies, Cry Monster Cry, Sorcha Richardson to name a few.

SIS:What are your plans for the summer? Any Festivals?
The summer is gonna be busy and we cannot wait. We'll be doing practically all the Irish festivals as well as heading over for our first UK tour in July before we release our first UK single 'Digging Holes' on Cuckoo records which we're very excited about! Then its back home to Ireland for more festivals and our Irish tour! Its gonna be awesome.

SIS: When can people expect a longer release?
Right now we've got the songs so its a matter of finding the right time, the right, people and the right way of doing it. It'll probably be sometime in late 2013/early2014 before we put out an album. Its very important to us that we do it right and that we're totally happy with it. You only get one debut album!

SIS: Lastly, in five years’ time, what would you like Raglans to be doing?
Playin gigs and writing songs... and a bit of world domination would be nice!

Listen to Raglans latest single Digging Holes below. For more information and tour dates, visit

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