MY focus turns to the Dublin boys of Saarloos…
as they discuss their debut single, Changes. I learn more about the scene in Dublin and what it has been like supporting some huge names (including Bon Jovi) – they look ahead at gigs and where we can catch them play.
I ask the guys how they got together and how they spend time away from music; whether they are coming to the U.K. to play; what it feels like having a debut single out there; if there is more material coming later in the year – the guys end the interview by selecting a song that means a lot to them.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! It’s been great. We’ve been busy promoting the single and we’re blown away by the response it’s getting.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re a three-piece band from Dublin. We’ve been together about six months. We all have similar tastes in music and have known each other a long time. Andy and Craig went to school together and Brian and Craig met on the pub scene in Dublin (Craig likes to think he brought us all together!)
Talk to me about your debut single, Changes. What is the story behind it?
Like every great story, it started with a cup of tea! Literally, Craig was making a cup of tea when the chorus just popped into his head. He recorded it on his phone (well; after finishing the tea). A couple of days later, him and Brian sat down and it was finished within a couple of hours.
Is it exciting putting the song out there?! Did you know, instinctively, this song was the first you wanted to be released?
Yeah. It’s exciting/nerve-wracking! We put a lot of work into the song and we were really happy with how it sounded but you never know how it’s going to go. We knew straight away we wanted this as the first single because it was a new sound for us: going from an acoustic act to a full band.
Might we see more material coming in the future months?
We’re currently working on an E.P. and we’re in rehearsal rooms most days writing and practising for the upcoming tour.
What is the craic like in Dublin? Is it a great place to play music – with lots of like-minded folks?
The craic is 90! Dublin’s great for music; Brian and Craig spent years bashing the guitars in Temple Bar. There are loads of great places to play original songs in front of live audiences - Ruby Sessions and Zodiac Sessions are two well-known open mic nights that have always been supporting up-and-coming artists.
How did Saarloos get together? Was it love at first sight?
Brian and Craig were two solo singers doing their own thing. After doing years of cover gigs, they decided to create a band. Andy was a late addition to the band, he knew the guys a long time, so he fitted in nicely. We’re very fortunate that we get along together – it makes it easier when you’ve to spend ten hours a day in a room going over and over songs.
You have already supported big names like Bon Jovi and Daniel Beddingfield! How much of an impact has that had on your ambitions and confidence?
Great question! Playing in front of that many people is terrifying and amazing. It drives you to be better and work harder to get the opportunity to do it again. At the same time, it’s great to come back and play small shows and connect with the audience.
Do you all share musical tastes? Which artists do you count as influences?
For the most part, our tastes are very similar. Brian probably has the most eclectic taste whereas Craig has always liked the sound of an acoustic guitar so stuck to the likes of Coldplay and Snow Patrol. Andy is a massive Dolly Parton fan!
Where are you heading on tour? Where can we catch you?
We’ve a busy June planned! We start in Belgium at the end of May and finishing up in Zurich and playing shows in Germany, the Netherlands; Milan, Paris and Copenhagen. Super-excited!
Do you reckon you’ll come to the U.K. and gig here at all?
Yeah. We just got back from London playing Never Fade Sessions with Newton Faulkner. We’re playing in London’s 02 Shepard’s Bush Empire on 9th June. We’re hoping to do our own headline show there soon.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
By the end of the year, we hope to do our own tour around Ireland and add in shows in places like London, the Netherlands and Germany.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Last year Craig and Brian got to support Gavin James in the 3Arena in Dublin. Playing in front of 16,000 people was surreal!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
We’d love to support Coldplay, but Andy’s holding out for Dolly Parton! As long as there are a few cold Coronas in the fridge we’re happy!
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Never turn down a gig…and enjoy it!
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Craig is a pond aficionado - seriously, he loves them! Andy loves the outdoors. You’ll find him on a bike in the mountains most Sunday morning. As for Brian?! He couldn’t be more chilled!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Craig: JCB Song - Nizlopi
Brian: Time - Tom Waits
Andy: Islands in the Stream - Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers!