All the Luck in the World
OVER the past few months…
I have interviewed a lot of artists who have chosen to move to/reside in different countries. All the Luck in the World began life in Ireland but are, now, settled in Berlin. I ask them about the German capital and how life differs there; how their diaries are looking for this year/next; if there will be new material coming soon – and whether the guys are returning to Ireland for Christmas.
I find out more about their new single, Golden October, and how it came together; what we can expect from the forthcoming album – a glimpse inside a passionate and talented young band.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
All good, thanks! It’s been a long time since we released anything - so there is this natural buzz that we almost forgot about.
It’s a good feeling...
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
All the Luck in the World are made up of Neil, Kelvin and Ben - along with an evil camel mascot. We’re from Ireland but currently residing in Berlin most of the time.
Golden October is the name of your new track. Tell me a bit about its inception…
The track, itself, was one of the first songs we worked on after releasing our previous album. It came from a kind of ‘forgive-and-forget’ concept: wanting to accept shortcomings and move forward, positively. The title, while being a nod to the seasons, is a reference to a particularly creative autumn that we had as a band - in which we began to form a bunch of new songs.
It is the first single from your forthcoming new album. It has been a few years since the debut album. Was recording the second album quite an intense experience, would you say?
It was intense!
We put a lot of time into it; learning as we went. Overall, this yielded results that we can be proud of – ultimately, making all that time worth it. To be honest, that’s what we love to do - so there is no real question of it being worth it or not. We racked up a lot of hours in a little home-studio that we built in an old shed; with a fold-out couch and a tiny heater that only caught fire once (I think!).
It was fun.
What can we expect from the record in terms of themes and subjects examined?
We were very particular throughout the writing and recording process: constantly looking for points of interest or things that excited us. We refused to rush anything. The songs range from personal experiences to stories of friends; to entirely conceptual characters and situations.
Aspects of nature also come to the fore - with particular reference to our environment back in Ireland.
How did All the Luck in the World get together? What was it that bonded you all?
Neil and Kelvin met in school, playing music together from, probably, fifteen years of age. Neil formed the band in 2011, playing mostly by himself - until both Kelvin and Ben joined in 2013. Our taste in music and similar interests are probably the things that bonded us.
Since then, we have grown up together a bit in terms of music and learning - so we’ve impacted each other in that sense immensely.
You are in Berlin but passed through County Wicklow. Is Berlin somewhere you always wanted to get to? Was moving to Berlin what finally led to the album being completed?
We’ve done a lot of recording in Berlin over the last few years. I guess the plan was to eventually get over here. It didn’t feel like a risk or anything. Having spent so much time here before: it just felt very normal. It definitely helped us get the ball rolling on releasing new material, but that also coincided with finishing college and other personal issues that were, perhaps, slowing down the release of a new album.
Is Berlin quite a captivating place for a young band? Would you recommend others go over there to live?
I think so. Whenever we had spent time in Berlin the past, we were very productive and creative. This is probably a cliché, but something about the nature of the city is conducive to creativity. But who knows; we can’t speak for everyone - perhaps Berlin bands are craving an old woodshed in rural Ireland!
They each have their value to us.
Do you all remember the artists you all listened to as children? Were there particular acts that stick in your mind?
Some of it is unmentionable, I'm sure, but ones that stuck might include Bob Dylan; The Frames, Damien Rice; The Strokes, Bloc Party; Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes; American Football and (Sting and) The Police.
IN THIS PHOTO: The Japanese House
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
Oh, and Andy Shauf has become an absolute favourite in the last year or so.
If you each had to select the album that means the most to you; which would they be and why?
Fionn Regan’s The End of History
Another Wicklow native that has soundtracked some of our most significant developments, as people, in the last seven or eight years.
Folk at its best, in our opinion.
Bon Iver - Bon Iver
It is an album we’ve bonded over for as long as we’ve known each other: the soundtrack to many car journeys and collective goosebumps.
Youth Lagoon’s The Year of Hibernation
It is also a favourite. Simple and perfectly melancholic.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Do as much as you can on your own. Learn how to use at least a basic recording set-up and utilise all the advances in technology and social media. It seems pretty obvious and it’s, of course, not that easy - but we are much better off having learned some of these things. We still have a lot to learn - but you have to start somewhere.
The main thing is writing and producing work that you’re proud of.
Where can we see you play this year? What dates do you have coming up?
We are currently planning our touring for the year. Nothing to be revealed just yet...
How much fun do you have on the road? Is it somewhere you all feel ‘at home’, as it were?
Well, we haven’t done any overly-lengthy tours. The longest was eight or nine days, so I guess we haven’t truly tested our stamina.
We have had some really great times on our travels for sure. Very much looking forward to getting back out there soon.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you all have plans already - or will you be busy working?
We’re looking forward to heading back to Ireland for a couple of weeks and spending some quality time with friends and family. We will be preparing some stuff and, no doubt, rehearsing a bit - but nothing major planned.
Maybe some carolling, if the mood strikes…
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Bobby by (Sandy) Alex G
Content as a Cog by Comfy Coffin
Fortunate Child by Villagers & Nico Muhly
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