Somojo Magazine

The OurZ

EP “It’s Not Livin, Though I Could Be Wrong”

Hi guys, how are you?
We are only just tremendous at the moment. We are working very hard on driving The OurZ steam train forward. We are loving the challenge.

Would you mind introducing us to your band members?
Gerard Smith - Vocals
Shane Kinsella - Guitar
Brandon Edwards - Drums
Gary Healy - Bass

How long has the current band line up been together?
8 months.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
Nobody has yet been able to categorise our music. Nobody has been able to put The OurZ in a particular bracket. As result we have branded ourselves. From the moment we started playing together we have always agreed that we play, Dirty Rock N Roll music!!!

What have you been up to recently?
Recently we have been solely focused on putting together our debut EP. We launched the EP on Friday 22/10/10 in front of a packed house in our hometown Balbriggan, Co Dublin, Ireland. We have been promoting the EP ever since with our own particular style of High energy, Dirty Rock, live shows.

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
The OurZ fans can look forward to a great 2011. In the next month we are heading back to Ashtown studios to finish recording our, yet to be titled, Debut album. We expect to have the album finished and ready to release early 2011. As we are funding this release ourselves, the OurZ fans will have to be a little patient, but rest assured, It Will Be Worth It! We will be touring extensively to promote this album as soon as we get the songs out to the world.

How did you meet each other?
Gerard & Shane are founding members of The OurZ. They have been playing together for the last two years. Gary & Brandon have being playing music together in various different bands since 1989. Brandon joined The OurZ in 2009 when the original drummer Zeke immigrated to Australia. In early 2010 Gary asked Gerard to sing in a cover band he was putting together for some gigs. That band(The Electric mayhem) was the first time all 4 of us played together. The early rehearsals were magic. We all just seemed to play together perfectly. In March 2010 Gerard & Shane asked Gary to join The OurZ. We have been playing together since.

How did you come up with your name for the band?
In our hometown, Balbriggan, when you meet someone you know, you greet him by using the slang phrase “Alright Our Lad” So people from Balbriggan have gained the nickname “Our Lads” Gerard & Shane shortened this down to “The OurZ”

Did you always want to be in a band?
All of us have being playing music since a very early age. I(Gary) have been playing guitar & bass guitar since I was 8 years old. I played in my first band at the age of 12. Not only have we always wanted to be in a band, we have also always wanted to be in a Rock band.

What music did you listen to while growing up?
All of us have grown up listening to Rock music of varying degrees. Our influences include, Van Halen, Status Quo, ZZ Top, Tom Petty, Black Sabbath etc.

How long have you been involved with writing & performing music?
We all started out in different Cover bands. This is the normal way that the majority of musicians get to play music in Ireland. Gary & Brandon recorded their first demo in Pulse recording studio, Dublin in the summer of 1993. A 3 track demo of original Heavy Rock tunes. The band was called “Indian Head”. Gerard & Shane have been writing & performing original music for the last 2 years.

Are you self-taught or did you have lessons?
All of the members of the band are self taught musicians.

What is your current equipment?
Shane plays a Gibson, Les Paul, Robot Guitar(It tunes itself, fascinating stuff) and Marshall amps
Gary Healy plays an Ernie Ball, Music Man, Stingray Bass and Trace Elliott amps
Brandon Edwards plays Gretsch Catalina Maple series drums & Meinl cymbals
Gerard Smith plays a Gibson, Les Paul, Marshall amps & Shure microphones.

If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
We’d skip buying the equipment, take the money and spend the lot on beer & women instead.. YEAH YEAH

The OurZ

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
We use all of the same equipment except Gary, who uses Ampeg SVT Bass amps in the studio. They’re far superior amps for getting a full, fat, chunky, Rock N Roll bass sound on record.

Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
Our songs generally start with a guitar riff from Shane. He is quite simply a genius at coming up with dirty Rock Riffs. Gerard then dips into to his huge catalogue of lyrics and adds a melody to Shane’s Guitar parts. We then take these ideas to the rehearsal studio(The Bat Cave), where we pull them apart, kick them around, change tempos, change them back, have a good argument, make up with each other and Taa Daa!!! A classic Dirty Rock song from The OurZ

Which software/recording process do you use?
Eh!!! We hand that all over to our recording engineer/producer from Ashtown studios, Dublin, Tommy O Sullivan. He uses lots of very complicated looking machines, with far too many buttons & screens etc. Whatever he ever he does, the end product is magnificent.

Would you sign with a major record company?
It would have to be the right deal with the right company. Not a lot of major label’s support the type of music we like to produce. I see an independent label as a far better option for The OurZ.

Do you have any new recordings planned?
In January 2011 we are heading into Ashtown Studios to put the finishing touches to our debut, as yet untitled, album. We can’t wait to get these songs out into the world.

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
Having very little money can be a bad and good thing for a band. In one way it is very frustrating when a band can’t afford to record their tunes in a professional studio. However if you manage to get some cash together, you can find good deals with good engineers. We can’t afford a top producer, so at the moment we are co-producing our album with our engineer, Tommy

Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists?
God no….

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
Our recording sessions are a pleasure to be involved in. We are quite simply the easiest band in the world to work with. We know our songs inside out & backwards, so we waste no time in the studio. The recording process just makes you a better musician.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
We are first & foremost a Live band. Bono once said about U2 “Live is were we live”. This is very much the case for The OurZ. With that in mind we really believe that our recordings should try to reflect our live show.

Do you any favourite tracks from your album?
Our fans have given us feedback from seeing us live. The majority of them love the song “You Not Me”, the most
Gary’s favourite song from the album is “Nasty Conscience”
Brandon’s favourite song is “Virtue”
Shane’s favourite song is “Midnight Friend”
Gerard’s song is “Cryin Eyes”

Who are the main songwriters for the band?
The songs generally start with Shane & Gerard’s ideas. However the band have been writing as a group since March 2010

Do you have a method for writing songs?
Our songs generally start with a guitar riff from Shane. He is quite simply a genius at coming up with dirty Rock Riffs. Gerard then dips into to his huge catalogue of lyrics and adds a melody to Shane’s Guitar parts. We then take these ideas to the rehearsal studio(The Bat Cave), where we pull them apart, kick them around, change tempos, change them back, have a good argument, make up with each other and Taa Daa!!! A classic Dirty Rock song from The OurZ

Do you write songs only about personal experiences?
Gerard-Yes most of the lyrics that I write are taken from past experiences

The OurZ

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
In the very early days of the bands songwriting career, before Gary & Brandon joined, songs used to take weeks & weeks to put together. However nowadays songs are generally brought to life in 1-2 rehearsals. This is reflective of how well we play together.

Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
We would love to have people like Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons, The Edge, Dave Grohl collaborating or performing on some of our tunes. All of these people are musicians who we have massive respect for.

Who are your favourite songwriters?
Bono, The Edge, Dave Grohl, Sting, John Mayer, Joe Bonamassa, Phil Lynott. Anyone who writes really good tunes.

Which countries have you gigged in?
Ireland, Holland, Spain

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
I believe that there is the best support for our style of music in central Europe. Rock music is huge in countries such as Germany & Holland. However the UK would be a really great next step for The OurZ. Unfortunately there is absolutely no support for good Rock music in Ireland, where we live. This makes it really difficult to get our music heard. We are very grateful to online radio stations such as Somojo radio who support what we are doing.

Who would you like to tour with?
Biffy Clyro, Arctic Monkeys, Wolfmother, Rage Against The Machine…..Hell anyone rock band that’ll have us.

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?
We do the majority of our promotion on the road. The more we play live, the more people love the tunes. We also use the usual online sites, Myspace, Facebook, reverbnation, etc. The songs have been picked up by several online radio shows in the UK, US, Canada & Turkey. We really appreciate this support

Which music promotion websites do you use and do you have a favourite?
Our favourite promotion website is Revernation. We control the other sites from Reverbnation. And of course Somojo. A really good station to hear unsigned artists.

Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
It is great to have these sites. When we started to play music years ago, there was absolutely no way to share your songs with the world.

With all the various websites out there for independent and unsigned artists, is there still something that is missing from them that you think would benefit the lesser-known artists?
Mmmmmhhh Dunno really

How do you relax?
We go to see other great bands. Our favorites include, The Humbuckers, Half Shot, Mitzi Turbo, The Bowsies,

Have you ever entered any ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?
No, however we will be performing in the Dublin heats of the Emergenza festival. If we make it through these heats we will be heading to Germany for the festival.

What's your best/worst experience at a gig?
The best gig we have played so far was the launch of our EP “It’s Not Livin, Though I Could Be Wrong”, in Harbour Knights, Balbriggan, Co Dublin. A brilliant night of Dirty Rock N Roll. We never have bad experiences at gigs. We are so confident in our live performances that things run smooth.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
We don’t really get nervous but the adrenalin does flow. We get really pumped up. We don’t like to calm down from this. Our live shows are high energy so adrenalin is a good thing.

What are your day jobs if you have them?
They are far,far too Boring to discuss. I would not like to ruin this interview by including anything that doesn’t involve dirty Rock N Roll.

Would you like to be full time working musicians or are you happy with things as they are?
Our ultimate goal is to get out of the employment Rat race and concentrate full time on our tunes. We believe that our songs will be loved by the majority of people who hear them.

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
Not Yet, NOT YET!!

Is composing for film or tv something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
If the movie or TV show was Rock N Roll enough we’d be up for providing the soundtrack.

Is there anything you'd like to add?
We’d like to leave all your readers with this little bit of advice. If you all like really good music, please remember that not all of the great bands in the world can be heard on mainstream radio. Not all of the greatest songs in the world will be found on the shelves of your high street music shops. Great unsigned and independent artists are out there. You just have to look in the right places. A great place to start is Somojo radio.
Support unsigned bands, Listen to there songs and give them your feedback. They will appreciate it.
The OurZ

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