PlayIrish's final installment for June comes coupled with an insight into the life of one of Ireland's most successful bands – Delorentos. Through the eyes of singer and guitarist Kieran McGuinness you can see how America has always been a strong influence on this musician from north Dublin.
"I was always obsessed with America. I loved the TV – especially "The Cosby Show." For whatever reason, I dunno...the family environment, the fun they seemed to have, I just identified with it. As an adopted boy who looked different from everyone in my family, I always figured that the reason everyone looked so different to each other on the show was because they were adopted too. Growing up in north Dublin and having a birth father from the Mediterranean also meant I was the darkest kid in the school, and I got a hard time for it. Coco Pop or Choc Ice was what people called me, and occasionally worse. I dreamt sometimes that I had a connection to these cool Brooklyn kids, and maybe my birth family was African American New York too?
"As I got older I moved away from my obsession with American TV but still, as soon as I was old enough, I spent a summer in New York on a J-1 visa. One of the first days I got there I wandered around visiting the Brownstones where "The Cosby Show" was set, hoping to bump into Tempestt Bedsloe, or Lisa Bonet, or even the man himself. Recently, it’s become clear that maybe Mr Cosby wasn’t the gentleman he appeared to be back then, and the perfect American life they represented was perhaps confined to the studios, but I’m still a little obsessed, and I’m lucky enough that we’ve been back as a band every year since we formed.
"I’ve made tons of American friends and I met my future wife in a basement bar in New York.
"In our music we can’t help but respect huge influences coming from America and we spend tour after tour watching documentaries in the van of seminal American acts – from The Funk Brothers to Bruce Springsteen to the Pixies and Sonic Youth. When we did our last tour of the US we were excited about the gigs in New York, and Texas and everywhere else, but the highlight was the tiny basement of an Irish bar in Memphis. There was only basic equipment and sound so we played a different set to normal and we played it loud! The venue could have been anywhere in the US that night – we were the foreign guys trying to impress with sweat and guts and the audience were uncharted territory ready to be conquered. Nights like that remind you why you play music – for the connections you can make with people you have never met and might never meet again. The same kind of connection, I guess, that a small Irish kid can have with a New York family 3,000 miles away in a different world...."
Kieran McGuinness | Delorentos
Since 2007 Delorentos have released three critically acclaimed albums; 2007’s "In Love With Detail," nominated for Best Album at both the Choice Music Prize and the Meteor Awards, 2009’s "You Can Make Sound," which as well as hitting number 2 in the Irish charts won Entertainment.ie’s Album of the Year; and 2012’s "Little Sparks." As well as their recording success, Delorentos have always been a touring band, and since 2007 have played extensively in Ireland, as well as the UK, Europe and North America.
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IASCA is the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Based in Ireland, their members are the Irish music writers of all genres – artists, songwriters, composers and lyricists. Their goal is to represent their members, support them, protect their interests and create an environment where new talent can thrive.PLAY IRISH is an IASCA initiative to promote Irish music both at home and overseas. This playlist is brought to you by the IASCA, visit their website here: www.iasca.ie.