Vinny May: We just landed in Atlanta about five seconds ago. (Laughs) We just got off the plane.
ABC: Do you plan to do anything before your set at Music Midtown?
VM: No. We have a lobby call around 10:30. Then, at 12, we are getting picked up from our hotel. The festival tomorrow is our first stop. We are on tour around the states for the next five weeks. It should be a lot of fun. Tomorrow is the first show of that run.
ABC: How many times have you toured in the United Sates?
VM: This is going to be our fourth or fifth headline tour around the States. About three years ago, we did a support tour. We supported The Airborne Toxic Event and that was our first trip to America. Then we came back about six months after that and put on our own tour. We come back about once or twice a year. It’s a big place. You have to commit a lot of time to it.
ABC: What do you do when you aren’t on tour in America?
VM: On tour in another continent really. We released our second record, “Coming Up for Air,” this year and we’ve been constantly touring since then. We did a UK and European Tour and now we are on our five-week American tour. We just came off the summer festival season in Europe and we were in Asia for a little bit as well. Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. We’ve been kept pretty busy, but we have some time off after this American trip before we head back around Europe, so we are looking forward to that.
ABC: What do you do in your time off?
VM: It’s a mixture of taking it easy, like rest and recuperation time. Just a little down time to spend some quality time with out better halves, family and friends. Then we will normally end up back in the studio to work on ideas. We will always take two weeks around holidays, but we always end up back in the studio to work on new material. It’s hard to stop doing something you love doing. Song writing and making music together is just something we all love to do.
ABC: Do you have a specific studio in which you like to record?
VM: No. We change. It’s fun to record in new places. There is a studio in our hometown called The Mill. We go there to demo ideas. It’s more [about] wherever our engineer is. His name is Phil MaGee and he engineered our first and second record. We’ve known him since we were like 15.
ABC: What is the difference between your first record and the new second album?
VM: We didn’t want to make the same record twice. We wanted to push ourselves musically. We worked with some people that took us out of our comfort zone and introduced us to some new things and new ways of working. It was a lot of fun. In music, there is no wrong answer. It’s just a question of taste. You just had to realize that. We had fun with it ourselves and wanted the music to be interesting to us. We have a pretty high [expletive] filter. If we all don’t agree on it, then it’s not going to make the record. The songs that are on the record are songs that we all love at that moment in time and that are why they made it to the album.
ABC: What can we expect to hear from you at Music Midtown?
VM: Four guys on stage playing music. We don’t have a gimmick. It’s just four of us playing honest music. We want to give the best representation of the record, but it’s not verbatim. We change things when we play live. Certain bits get extended out. It just changes to make them kind of fun.
ABC: Have you built the set list for Music Midtown?
VM: No. We haven’t for tomorrow. (Laughs) We’ll probably do it half an hour before we go on stage.
ABC: How do you build your set lists?
VM: It depends if we’ve haven’t played some songs for a little while or whatever worked at the last show. In the end, there is no wrong answer. It’s just trial and error. The set we are playing now is a set we’ve been working on throughout the summer. It’s a festival set with a lot of tempo. You work a set differently for festivals. You want to keep people entertained and have them gravitate to you as they are walking by your stage. You have to grab their attention for them to stick around.
ABC: How would you describe Ireland’s music scene?
VM: Extremely vibrant and healthy. Ireland’s music scene has never gone away. The spotlight maybe hasn’t been on Ireland in a while, but every few years the attention gets drawn to Ireland. There’s a load of singer songwriters from Ireland, so the music never goes away.