Interview with band The Academic: 'Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy is my favourite song'

Daily / Interview - 01 August 2019 10:00

Tales from the Backseat is the album of band The Academic

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The Academic are an indie rock band from Westmeath, Ireland formed at the end of 2013. Their debut studio album, Tales from the Backseat (2018) was nominated and shortlisted for Ireland's Choice Music Prize for Album of The Year for 2018. We interviewed the lead singer and guitarist Craig Fitzgerald: Dean Gavin is on drums, and brothers Matthew and Stephen Murtagh on guitar and bass, respectively.

Q. Your recent album is “Tales from the Backseat”. Please can you tell us about this project?

A. Tales From The Backseat is a collection of songs that we began writing while we were teenagers but only finished recording just as we were turning into our twenties so it really is a body of work that was shaped and influenced by those formative years. We eventually got around to getting into to record last year after spending the best part of the 3 years on the road touring. We recorded the biggest part of it out in Los Angeles and finished it off at Abbey Road in London which was one of the best experiences we have had as a band.


Look at the Gallery: Band The Academic

Band The Academic

Q. Is there a common thread that binds all the songs?

Yeah definitely, the songs generally focus on coming of age. That battle you face when your becoming a young adult but want to stay young a keep life simple. 

Q. Your album is Indie rock indie pop. Which models have you inspired?

We love all walks of indie music spanning from indie pop and then more alternative experimental indie. We started the band on a love of what was happening in New York in the early 2000s with bands like the The Strokes and Interpol and while those early influences remain our musical taste has definitely broadened as we have got a little bit older.

Q. The critics appreciated the album. Are you interested in the judgment of the critics?

A. Not really if I’m being honest. I think it’s great when people like the music and write nice things and thankfully that has been the case for the most part with us but your never gonna impress everybody so there’s no point worrying about it too much.

Q. In song “Bear Claws” you mention: “Take all my money and meet me on the sidewalk, / If you don't show then I'll know”. Why? 

A. That lyric is all about trust, putting your faith in somebody and hoping they show up for you.

Q. How and where did you write the songs? Was there a particular or funny episode you want to tell?

A. I wrote a lot of these songs in my bedroom in my mid-teens, some of the songs I was writing around the time I was 18 were usually written suffering from a hangover from the night before…

Q. Noel Gallagher, Pixies, The Strokes, Twenty One Pilot have chosen you to open the tour. You can tell us how the meeting took place and how the experience was?

A. The experience of supporting all of them was amazing, especially as a young band starting off... the excitement was real. We learned different things from each of them, it made the dream feel real and give us even more of an appetite to be coming back to those venues and headlining those stages ourselves.

Q. What is your favorite song in absolute?

A. Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy is my favorite of all time.

Q. And your favorite Italian song?  

A. My favorite Italian song is Sparring Partner by Paolo Conte... surprised?

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