Who are you and where are you from?
Ronan MacManus of the Brand New Zeros from London.
Who are your favourite artists from home?
Luckily I live close enough to London to catch most artists I like at some point as they all play here. Favourite London artists historically would be The Clash, The Jam & The Who but there are so many unknown smaller bands that we see all the time on the pub circuit.
What’s it really like touring?
An exciting, punishing, adrenalin roller coaster.
What’s your favourite city/town/venue to play?
We played some great venues on the Elvis Costello support tour, no london date but a couple of highlights were Brighton and Carlisle (my Mum’s hometown). I’ve been lucky to play places such as The Royal Albert Hall & indigo at the O2 in London, Beacon Theatre in New York, the Glastonbury festival and even on the pitch at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
What’s your ideal festival line-up?
I’d start with some acoustic sets from the likes of Glen Hansard, Ron Sexsmith, Foy Vance & Diana Krall. Then step it up with some Squeeze, Lemonheads & Neil Finn. I’d then have Oasis and The Jam reform just before Pearl Jam headline. Of course the Cronin lads would be in there and I’d have to include the brother, Elvis Costello. If I’m allowed to resurrect deceased artists then I’d need another few pages to list them all!
What has been your biggest achievement of the year?
Recording the album in Drumlish with the Cronins has to be the highlight, we achieved so much in the three days we had, we are very proud of it.
What has been the worst moment of the year?
Luke injuring himself while working in his barbershop and nearly cutting his finger off. We had to cancel a European tour and shelve all plans. Thankfully he got full movement back and can still play the guitar.
What was the worst piece of advice you were given?
You should wear these clothes or have this haircut, it’s all rubbish. Focusing on that stuff too much is distracting from the important thing which is the music.
What do you do to relax?
Listening to music and podcasts, mostly comedy and interview podcasts. I don’t get much chance but it’d be a few pints in a quiet pub mid week with a few mates. Hard to beat creamy pints of Guinness and a good laugh.
What are you reading?
My brother’s (Elvis Costello) book Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, only just started it.
How about TV, anything good on the box?
Don’t watch much telly it but I sky-plus a few things like Later with Jools Holland, Blue Bloods, Jon Oliver’s US show Last Week Tonight. Guilty pleasure would be watching repeats of Friends and catching the odd episode of Eastenders.
Do you have a favourite YouTube video?
I like the acoustic stripped-back live videos of all sorts of music artists.
What website do you visit most?
I like scouring Spotify for new music, I always then buy it properly if I like it, it’s really important to put money in the pockets of the artists you like so they can keep producing music. It’s such a simple concept but people forget that it’s a two way relationship.
What is your favourite:
Pearl Jam – Ten.
Pearl Jam – ‘Black’.
Lost classic song?
‘Dignity’ by Deacon Blue (is that lost?).
Do they still exist?
Who is your favourite current artist?
Foy Vance is an unbelievable talent.
A new artist that you are most excited about?
There’s an Irish girl in London called Elly O’Keeffe, what a voice! Check her out, seriously!
What was the last great gig you have seen?
Pearl Jam at Milton Keynes Bowl was amazing! Outdoor venue in the summer, great band, great songs with a few great mates and few pints of cider. What a night that was!
I’ve been lucky to have never seen any really bad ones. If I had I still wouldn’t bad mouth them.
What should we expect from your Irish shows?
Passion, energy and hopefully a good laugh along the way… Definitely a pint after!
Brand New Zeros will play Whelan’s on October 23rd, Sat 24th at Number 1, Mullingar, Sun 25th at Monroe’s Live, Galway, Mon 26th at Crockets on the Quay, Balina, Co Mayo and Abner Brown’s Barbershop on October 27.