Representing Irish youth in a remarkably well-dressed manner, Cavan quartet The Strypes have established themselves as a tight, spritely group of performers, dispensing their infectious musical energy wherever they play. From the humble beginnings of a home-recorded cover EP, created back in the distant past of 2012, the lads were snapped up by Virgin EMI and quickly blasted out their aptly-named debut, Snapshot, offering an adrenaline-filled throwback to 1960s blues-rock.
After a number-one album in the Irish charts with the smashing Little Victories, the band has quickly matured, and this newfound attitude is brilliantly conveyed in their latest work: Released last month, Spitting Image continues the band’s allusions to rock royalty, but displays a new maturity: Producing fast-paced, sharp rock ‘n’ roll is indeed this band’s speciality.
Northern Exposure caught up with the band at this year’s stellar TRNSMT Festival, and had a natter about everything, aside from the band’s top fashion sense, and where they get their lovely checked-suits.
You’ve been together since 2010, when did you feel like you got your break?
We did a festival, called Flat Lake Festival, and we managed to get on the bill of that. It was the first gig where as we played, the crowd got louder and louder, and the response was just amazing. It was the first time we felt like we played a proper gig as a proper band. Then we were asked back the next day, to the same festival, to play the big stage, so that was all very exciting. Since then, it’s sort of snowballed from there… We figured that was the moment.
You supported The Killers last night at British Summer Time, what was that like?
Yeah, it was really, really good, it was amazing. We were first on the bill of the main stage; we didn’t really expect anyone to be there, as it was so close to the doors opening, but there was a massive crowd, (we think because of the weather, so people were down for getting there early). It was an amazing reaction, and we were happy with the performance too. We think we picked up a few new fans. It was all pretty chilled out. [The Killers] didn’t arrive until we left, ‘cause we left to come up here last night, so we didn’t get to see them live…
Are you looking forward to supporting Liam Gallagher?
Yes! It’s the biggest gig we’ve ever played in Dublin as well, it’s in this aircraft hangar with ten thousand people; the largest gig we’ve ever played in our home country…
Can you tell me about the new album, Spitting Image?
It came out on the 16th of June, we recorded it in November gone by, in Rockfield Studios with Ethan Johns, he’s produced Bryan Adams, Kings of Leon, and loads of amazing stuff. There was a yearlong writing thing, from January/February of last year, we started to get this together and we wrapped up touring of the last album. So, we spent the summer doing bits here and there, and we got it all together, sent it to Ethan Jones… It was a really amazing process, it was the first time we felt like we’d made a proper album in one go; the last time it was stop/start, coming and going as we were touring, this was the first time we made a concerted effort of actually making a piece – we’re very proud…
Where’s the inspiration come from for the new album?
I guess from being at home. We didn’t really do a lot of gigging last year, ‘cause we were at home writing, so a lot of it’s from our experience. There’s a lot of suburban angst in a lot of the storylines, so I guess it’s from being at home and having a bit of time off the road.
Are you touring the album?
Yeah, we’ve just wrapped up the UK tour that we’ve been doing last three or four weeks, and this is our last jump for now, with the European festivals over the rest of the summer, and one in Japan. We’re playing The Garage in Glasgow, then doing London, Brighton, Newcastle, so we’re looking forward to that. We’ll be touring the album pretty much until March of next year, it’s all happening so fast. We were in Sheffield just last week, at The Plug, a fantastic place. We did The Leadmill a few years ago, a savage venue… T in the Park was the first actual English festival we did, and it was amazing, really fun.
We’re doing this Portuguese festival, on a small island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, if we come back from that. If that’s our last gig, we’ll make it a good one…….
Spitting Image is out now, on Spotify, on iTunes, on compact disc, possibly on laser-disc, and on vinyl, if you’re one of these trendy, modern kids.
The Strypes are also touring a variety of the UK and European venues through to October, with the likes of Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds to name a few.
Have a gander, and get down to witness your favourite young Irish quartet.