Q&A with Steve Garrigan

Kodaline's on the fast track to super-stardom, with fans like Courtney Cox and Harry Styles! Singer Steve Garrigan took a moment to catch up with us about winning over fans, his favorite albums, and getting over his fear of sushi!

-Adam Downer


GGM: Congrats on the release of your second album Coming Up For Air. The reviews have been strong for the album and you've been applauded with taking a chance with a new sound. How would you describe the sound of the album? Were you nervous at all experimenting? 

SG: On the last album, I don’t think we had a “sound.” If anything, it was more acoustic and piano-based. But when we went into the second album we simply decided to not make the same album again, and made a choice to experiment with electronic stuff, like electronic drums, stuff we never used before. We also used a kid’s choir on the album in one song. We had a big producer, Jacknife Lee, who’s worked with everyone from U2 to Taylor Swift to R.E.M. and he really encouraged us to mix up our game a little bit. With the new album, I think it’s different from the first album, but not too different. If you like the first album, you’ll like the second. The songs are there. 

GGM: You worked with Harry Styles on the album, he wrote a song called “Make it Feel Right” to some that might seem like an odd pairing. How did that collaboration come about? 

SG: We were in LA, and it turns out Harry is quite a big fan of ours. He listens to our music all the time! He came to one of our shows and we hung out with him. On a day off, we went to the studio for a bit of fun writing songs. Harry came along, and we didn’t have any plan really. We weren’t thinking about an album or putting a song on a One Direction album. We just threw together a song, and he’s a great writer! It was surprising to us, because you know what it’s like. A lot of boy bands don’t write songs. Turns out he’s very talented there and it was a lot of fun!

GGM: Another famous celeb you are set to work with is Courtney Cox she'll be directing your next video "Love Will Set You Free." Courtney is not really known as a video director. How did she come to direct? Are you excited to work with her?

SG: When we were in LA, we met Courtney through a mutual friend. We hung out at her place in Malibu for a few days and she’s amazing. She has a piano and we were playing and writing. She encouraged us to sing songs. It was really nice. You never see her at home—even if it was really strange for us! You know, that’s Courtney Cox at the dinner table. That’s Monica from Friends! We were big fans of the show at a young age, but she just put us right at ease. We put a song out we wrote with her fiancée, and she directed.

GGM: You're heading on the road to promote Coming Up For Air, how excited are you to play these new songs live for your fans? What can we expect from the show?

SG: We’re very much a live band. If people like our album or are just curious about us, our live set is completely different. It’s what we’re best at. We love to play live. Listening to our album is one thing but our live show is a completely different experience.

GGM: What are you jamming right now?

SG: Right now, that’s a good question. I’m lovin’ Mumford and Sons’ new song called “Snake Eyes.” There’s a guy supporting us at the moment named Gavin James, a singer songwriter from Ireland. His voice is incredible. He’s only released one live album, and that’s incredible. Listen to his voice. It’s something else.

GGM: What are some of your favorite albums of all time?

SG: I’d probably say Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. I really love Plastic Beach by the Gorillaz. I’m a huge Adele fan as well, so I’d say 21 as well. I know one of the other guys would say LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver. It’s incredible. It would’ve been amazing to be at that last show in Madison Square Garden.

GGM: Favorite TV shows?

SG: I like The Returned. It’s really cool. I also love Bob’s Burgers. I love American Horror Story. I’ve seen every season.

GGM: Favorite movies?

SG: I’m a huge horror fan, and I just saw It Follows. It’s amazing! I haven’t seen a horror movie that good since The Ring. The first time I saw The Ring, I snuck in, and I instantly regretted it because I went with my friend, and we kept ringing each other going “Seven Days…” I didn’t sleep for a helluva lot more than seven days, I’ll tell you that. But It Follows is the first horror movie in a very long time that actually made me feel really, really on edge. It’s so simple too! No big budget, no massive special effects. Just a really scary and great idea that’s brilliant.

GGM: Favorite books?

SG: I love Mitch Albom, who wrote Tuesdays With Morrie. He’s got a new book I’ve been reading for a while called The First Phone Call From Heaven. He makes complicated ideas very simple, and he sucks me in.

GGM: Favorite restaurant in the US?

SG: Funnily enough, I can’t eat sushi. I have a weird thing about fish, but when I was in LA, Courtney took us out to Nobu, really fancy stuff, and it’s the only place I’ve ever ate fish in my entire life. The only reason is because Courtney kind of forced me to eat it, but it kinda worked because I like sushi now!

We went to a place in Washington last night, Ben's Chili Bowl, which has amazing chili dogs. And every time we go to America or LA, we go to Five Guys and In-N-Out. It’s not super-healthy, but… (laughs).

GGM: Favorite clothing brands?

SG: All Saints. I pretty much wear that. That or Kooples, a store in the UK. Any time I’m in New York, we go to All Saints though.  

GGM: Last thing you splurged on?

SG: Hmm… Every time I go shopping for something I really need, I come back with something stupid (laughs). I think I bought a Macbook Pro and a keyboard, a little studio set up to bring on the road. I brought a miniature bass ukulele in Philadelphia for now reason. Usually it’s something stupid like that.

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