Up-and-comers The Screws are ready to make their mark on the Kilkenny music scene.
In the run-in to Christmas, Ian McDonnell of Mc Gig Photography caught up with the four-piece for some shots and questions, so here’s your chance to meet The Screws.
What is your creative process like?
Matthew (Vocals/Guitar): Our creative process is about to change a lot, as Liam, our lead guitarist, joined quite late into the songwriting process. We all try to bring ideas to the table and work collaboratively, rather than one person calling the shots.
It’ll be interesting to see how our songwriting process differs next time round seeing as it’ll be the first time the four of us have sat down and written from scratch.
Liam (Guitar): I think we all seem to have slightly different creative processes so I can’t really answer for the lads but if I were to speak on my own process, I generally start with a chord progression and see how I like that and if you can make a song sound like a song with just chords the rest comes handy in theory.
Andy (Bass): I’ll sit down with a bass or guitar and just play randomly until I come across something I think sounds good.
I’ll then try to branch out from that myself or show it to the lads to see what they think.
Leon (Drums): Usually an hour of fleshing out little ideas until one of us gets thick and calls it a day. Eventually, something gets written.
What first got you into music?
Matthew: Believe it or not, Guitar Hero III on the Nintendo Wii. I had already been taking guitar lessons since the age of 10, but my interest in the guitar wasn’t there.
It wasn’t until I got Guitar Hero III at the age of 12 that I really fell in love with music and, in particular, rock music.
Liam: What first got me into music was in a programme I used to watch when I was younger a character claimed he could burp all 7 minutes of stairway to heaven so I looked it up and never looked back.
Andy: A few of my friends were playing together and I had recently gotten into listening to rock music at the time. They needed a bass player so they asked me to come play with them.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Matthew: Catchy, Energetic and Interesting. I like the think that the music we create wears its influences on its sleeve whilst also displaying some interesting ideas. The four songs of our EP Take Vienna represent what we believe to be our most interesting and catchy work.
Liam: I’d say the music we create is generally alternative rock/ indie rock, nothing too heavy really just mainly focus on melody.
Andy: I like to make music that makes me feel some sort of emotion when it’s being written. Could be happiness, sadness, excitement etc. If I don’t get a feeling from it I’ll just scrap the idea.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
Matthew: I sing in the shower pretty much every time. Moreso, I tend to chatter rhythms in my teeth and hum basslines. In Time started out as me chattering the drum rhythm in my teeth in the shower. I quickly hopped out of the shower and recorded a beatbox of the rhythm into the voice memos app on my phone.
After I finished my shower, I started a demo of the song and three hours later, In Time was written.
Liam: I don’t sing in the shower because I can’t sing
Andy: No I don’t sing in the shower.
Leon: Bit of Joe Dolan from time to time. Especially before a night on the beer.
Who wold you most like to Collaborate with.
Liam: Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead)
Andy: Kevin Parker (Tame Impala)
Leon: Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Matthew: There’s a lot of saturation. It’s very difficult to get noticed without support from your local community. We have been happy with what we’ve put out and the reaction to our material, but we would definitely like to go further.
While it is primarily the internet that has gotten us going, it’s very difficult to break through the many thousands of other artists competing with you.
Liam: I think the Internets impact on the music business has been good and bad probably, makes it harder to be noticed because there’s a million other people doing what you’re doing but it’s great for the few people that get really lucky and the right person sees what potential they have and gives them a chance.
Andy: Harder for musicians to make money as there are less a lot less physical purchases of music.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Matthew: The Strokes, without a doubt.
Liam: If I had to choose one act to open for I would choose The Smile.
Andy: Arctic Monkeys.
Leon: The Cure.
What is your favourite song to perform?
Matthew: I love performing our own songs. Sometimes when you play a cover, it sounds brilliant the first couple of times you play it but it grows tiring very quickly because it doesn’t really feel like you’ve achieved anything.
I never seem to get tired of playing our own stuff. Perfect Chemistry and Violet in particular I love performing.
Liam: My favourite song to perform is violet, I wrote the music for it when I was 18 and I brought it to the lads and Matthew did new lyrics and we added a few bits to enhance it. It’s a really simple song but I think it can sound very powerful especially at the volume we play at.
Andy: Perfect Chemistry
Leon: I like playing the songs from our EP the most, if I was to pick one it would be Violet, particularly the end of it.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Matthew: A great nugget from Martin Bridgeman – so what and who cares?
Liam: Martin Bridgeman met up with us to give us advice and the big thing I took home was asking yourself “so what, who cares”
Andy: Never make the same mistake twice.
Leon: Don’t be spending too long thinking about small things, your first instinct is the right one.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
Matthew: We do! We will be performing in the Set Theatre on the 25th of March, supporting ‘Live Forever’, Ireland’s leading Oasis tribute act.
Tickets are still on sale on set.ie. We also have a gig in the James Stephen’s Clubhouse in Larchfield coming up, with a date to be confirmed.
Liam: We have a gig that’s been postponed in the village club but there’s hasn’t been a new date decided yet, we also have a gig in the set theatre in March as part of Kilkenny Indie Collective’s 2022 whole year event where they’re getting in tribute acts from some of Manchester’s biggest bands, which we are all huge fans of.
Andy: James Stephens Clubhouse date TBA, Supporting live forever Oasis tribute in the Set March 25th 2022.