If it wasn’t for his father, Brian Hogan wouldn’t be here today. Literally, of course, that goes without saying but it is also true of the musical journey of the Kila bass player, now also front man with new band Preacher’s Son. Father Larry was prevalent in the Irish 60’s folk scene with his group We 4. In 1974 he scored a number one album Simple Song Of Love, which led him to preaching and teaching through music before he died in 1998.
For Brian, it was an unorthodox childhood.’I grew up surrounded by music’, he remembers, ‘prayer meetings, strangers, friends and more music.’ Although his father’s music history was rooted in the kind of music that Brian would eventually come back to, the young Hogan was more interested in the rock end of things. ‘I have an early memory of asking my dad for some ACDC and Motorhead albums, as he was a DJ on RTE radio at the time, but he came back with Meatloaf as he thought the others were somewhat ‘unsuitable”, he laughs.
From there it was a short step into following in his father’s footsteps, musically at least. ‘I started gigging, with my father, brother, cousin and others, at about 12 when I was handed a bass (which was officially position ‘runt’ in the band) and have been making a living from those four strings ever since – Adam Clayton once advised me, two strings too many! We gigged around Holland and Spain at various Christian festivals but spent most of the time trying to indulge in more shall we say secular activities. Having spent some years working in animation I realised music was the way forward and after a year with Disney, anyone would. Various bands ensued such as Illywhacker, PAMF, The Galloping Hogans until I finally joined KÃla.’
That last decision proved to be a crucial one. Ten albums later plus a number one single alongside U2 and the Dubliners, Hogan and his brother Lance are still intergral to a band who have done more to push the idea of traditional Irish culture than perhaps any band since Planxty and Moving Hearts. At the moment though, the time has been deemed right for him to follow Kila members Ronan O’Snodaigh, his brother Colm and piper Eoin Dillon and launch his own project – Preacher’s Son.
‘I decided it was time to do it myself (albeit with four others) and put my music out there, play guitar very loud and shout my head off, as no one else is going to do it for me’. The other three he mentions have all had their moments too. ”On drums is the beautiful Emmaline Duffy Fallon, (formally of Engine Alley fame) who can also train your dog. We met playing in The Pete Pamf Band some years ago and are officially ‘the best rhythm section in Ireland’. As I’ve taken over Guitar duties I found JÃ³se Carlos Anselmo Flores from Seville, Spain on bass, Fralilan Moran Mendive from Cuba on percussion and on keys and Guitar Darah Munnis from Dublin, I think me and Darah need more names.’
The band are currently mixing their debut album Life, Love and Limb, which should be released by early summer. Those expecting something along the lines of Kila though will need to do a retthink. ‘I’m very influenced by the simplicity of Blues, the melancholy of a ballad and the sweat of a loud guitar, the riff and the voice to express feelings of love, hate, pain, passion, all the things that make life worth living. It’s kind of an ACDC-ABBA crossover sort of Johnny Cash doing Talking Heads kinda thing’. Sounds interesting… ”My music is not for the head but for the Heart, Soul and Booty to get the juices flowing and to awaken the inner Voo Doo in each and every one of us…… Amen!’
Preacher’s Son play the Purty Loft, Dun Laoghaire on Friday.