One of our Faces of 2010, Take The Money & Run have been doing great things already this year on the back of their debut EP Loud. Pretty. Sad.. Next week sees them join Super Extra Bonus Party and The Cast Of Cheers for our free Love:Live Music Day show at the Mercantile in Dublin. We spoke to the band’s Neil Dooley…
Give us a bit of history of the band.
It kind of started when I met Sarah at a trad session. We used to play in cÃ©ili bands and grupaÃ ceols and started writing our own music together. Joey is Sarah’s brother and started out as our camera man at our first practices with Danny our drummer. He (Joey) moved on to bass and eventually guitar, when we recruited Joe Furlong to play bass instead. That was about a year and a half ago.
What’s it like getting a band going in Dundalk?
It is weird because we kind of started in Dublin. Our first gig was in UCD’s student bar at a -Battle of the Bands’ heat. That was before Joe had even joined the band and we were a four-piece. We won our heat and got a slot in the finals at Tripod in Dublin. It was completely surreal. We were only starting and found ourselves playing to a practically full Tripod! We were brought back down to size shortly when we lost spectacularly at the Trinity -Battle of the Bands’.
After all that we played our first gig in Dundalk’s Spirit Store and I guess you could say we grew up there for the next year. We played a lot of great supports and met a lot of great bands who helped us so much along the way. Highway67.net started up around the same time as we did and we cannot stress enough how important they have been in championing us and the Dundalk music scene. There’s a real strong community ethos in the town and it makes it very rewarding to be a part of it.
Is Belfast as strong as influence as Dublin?
Honestly, I guess we’re more immersed in the Dublin scene. We listen a lot to Phantom 105.2 and go to a lot of gigs around Dublin. I guess there’s a “Dublin or Nothing” mentality for young bands like ourselves who live outside the capital and it’s a little strange. Especially as we are right in the middle of the two cities. Belfast has an amazing music scene and it’s a shame we don’t get as involved in it as we could. I hope that we can get up there a little more in the future.
State first saw you at a Battle Of The Bands in the Spirit Store. Do you find it difficult to get noticed as a new band?
Definitely. It’s a lot of hard work and sometimes it seems like it isn’t going anywhere, even when it is. TTMR is our first experience as being in a band so it’s all new to us, booking gigs, sending press packs, making contacts and everything. We’ve had our fair share of luck though. Especially as we were never even supposed to play that battle of the bands. We got a call the day before saying that one of the other bands had pulled out and could we play. We went on to win it after that, which kick started our EP.
You seem to have a number of influences on the EP?
Yeah, I guess that’s true. -Venom’ is a good example. When it was brought to the band it was a really slow, really sad and mournful acoustic song. Danny and Joe came up with an almost electro dark dancey beat for it and the whole thing completely transformed. But I think it retains some of its origins. We all agree on Radiohead as the influence for pretty much anything too. We hate using the same idea twice so we tend to have quite a wide mix of styles and genres in our music.
You’re a bit spread out as a band now – does that prove a help or a hindrance?
It can be hard but it’s not a hindrance. We manage to get to every gig and practice and all end up back in Dundalk as much as we can. It can help in a way too. We can hassle our friends in Dublin, Maynooth and Belfast to buy CDs and come to gigs, as well as our friends in Dundalk.
How did your inclusion on our Faces of 2010 help you?
Hugely! We were shocked and flattered. To be mentioned in the same breath as Sleep Thieves, Two Door Cinema Club and We Cut Corners was really special. It’s helped us get a lot more notice and also gives us an excuse to talk to the other ‘Faces’ as we all have something in common. We’re hoping to organise a couple of gigs with some of the other guys too.
What’s the next step?
I think the next step really is to get more people to hear us throughout the country. We’re hoping that the EP will get some more radio play and Phantom FM have been great so far with that. We’d love to gig on a regular basis around the country and have as many people know our name as possible. Maybe even like us too.
This gig is for Love:Live Music Day – what’s your best live music experience as a band and as gig goers?
Our best gigs have been our EP launch in the Spirit Store and a gig we played in Cyprus Avenue down in Cork, that was really cool too. I saw Radiohead in Marlay Park in 2006 before they released In Rainbows, which was probably the greatest moment of my life ever. Sarah had a similar experience with her hero Ryan Adams at the National Stadium in 2008 I think too.
Take The Money & Run play Tower Records in Dublin at 1pm on Friday and the IMRO Showcase Tour at the Spirit Store that evening. To RSVP for Mercantile tickets head here.