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Music: Interview with Tieranniesaur’s Pádraig O’Reilly

Posted July 6, 2012 by Andrew Clarke in Ramp Reviews

Ahead of their appearance at Popical Island Saturday 2012 this weekend, we catch up with Tieranniesaur’s Pádraig O’Reilly for some fat-chewing about double-jobbing, the Higgs Boson discovery, and moshing with Michael D. Higgins.


Hi Pádraig, how are things?

I’m busy, but busy doing things I like, for the most part.

Excited about the gig on Saturday?

Very much so. It’s sneaked up on us but I’m getting the buzz now. Feels like Christmas.

In a ‘Booze and Quality Street’ kinda way?

That is, not in a gaudy/commercial way… more in a family and friends kind of way. And a booze way.

So how’s the whole shebang going to work on Saturday? We believe there’ll be two stages – is Whelans not too small for two stages?

Not at all. We’ll be in the upstairs and the Parlour bar. The Parlour bar is amazing – it’s a bit like David Lynch directed a film set in your grandmother’s house.

The Parlour Bar? We haven’t heard of it.

It’s not generally open, as far as I know.

Ooh, swanky. The gig is to celebrate the release of the third Popical Island compilation, and word on the street is it’s going to be the last one.Why’s that?

Three is a good number.

It is, but so is seven.

We’d end up putting Jar Jar Binks in the next one. Also, we don’t want to bore people, least of all ourselves. We’ll still be bothering you to do something or other this time next year.

Good to know. Bar Mitzvahs and the like?

Brit Milahs, hopefully


Fingers crossed.

You’re in two of the bands who’ll be playing: Tieranniesaur and Yeh Deadlies. Is it not a bit of a headfuck being in two bands with a few members in common?

Those just have myself and Annie (Tierney, Pádraig’s wife). It can be difficult, but only because I wish I had more time to devote to both. I also rub the bass in Jonny Fun and the… Hesitations.

We love that name. It would be a tragedy if anyone ever wrote it without those hesitant ellipses.

Jonny is a speech therapist.

That’s even better.

The only film he’s seen in the cinema since I’ve known him is The King’s Speech, and he saw that three times!

Even though Tieranniesaur and Yeh Deadlies have a different sound, are there ever any issues when it comes to songwriting and deciding which band gets which choon?

Not really. There have been one or two things which flitted between the two briefly. Musically, Tieranniesaur is mostly about boiling away flab and finding where the groove lives and Deadlies is a lot less lean, I think. Annie generally sings quite differently too and there’s pretty different subject matter.

The groove is in the heart, everyone knows that.

The heart of the pelvis. Here. [sends on link]

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That sounds good and all, but we’re watching The Killing right now. The Danish one, because we’re cool.

You are cool. Annie is watching Drive.

We HEART drive. Now we feel bad for taking you from it.

I’ve seen it.

You didn’t like it?

I loved it.

You’ve gotta love that Real Human Being song at the start.

Annie keeps playing that song in the van when we’re on the road.

A guy we know thought it was ‘Real Human Bean’ and drew a cartoon about a real human bean, inspired by it. And the ‘and a real hero’ line he thought was ‘Anto Rio Hiro’, so that was the name of his character.

I think I thought it was ‘human bean’ when I was very young. Maybe you implanted that memory, though.

Maybe. On the topic of science, are Popical Island as a collective happy about the Higgs Boson Particle news this week?

Yes. We’ve always supported Higgs and we’re very happily that he finally found that bassoon.

We initially thought Higgs was a bosun – making him a particularly middle-class pirate.

Either way it would make sense.

More sense than a tiny little thing that explains everything but can’t make us toast or prevent us needing to wee all the time. Useless fucking scientists!

Maybe we can use all the empty space for storage? I’ve got loads of crap lying around.

Clean it up, that’s unhygienic.Back to serious matters. Tieranniesaur had a particularly successful year, releasing your debut album, playing at Electric Picnic last year, getting nominated for the Choice Music Prize and playing the main stage at Body & Soul. Any particular highlights for you?

We’re mad busy with festivals this year. Body & Soul was great. I really enjoyed Sea Sessions. The best bits are usually gigs, I think. And the messing around before and after.

Was Michael D moshing down the front?

Ha! No but we met him. Our bassist Ian did a real time photoshop! That’s probably pretty obscure for your readers. There’s a Facebook group of people photoshopping Ian into things. He did a photo shoot for Camden Crawl and out-smized Miss Ireland.



That Urban Dictionary link says that ‘to smize’ can mean ‘smile with your eyes’, or can mean that you have ejaculate in your eyes. That would be sad for Ian, if that’s what it means in this case. However, that photo of you guys with Michael D is wonderful.

Yeah! That’s Joey the van driver on the right.

Ah, we hear he’s something of a hero.

He sure is!

Is it a case of “what happens in Bundoran stays in Bundoran”, or can you share any tour stories?

I can’t. Don’t think it would be appreciated.

Fine, we’ll just mark this section as {redacted} and we won’t say another thing.

It would be for the best.

Right, what was it we were we talking about? Music or something?

So, it’s going to be a great day. It’s usually not too busy early on and it’s kid friendly. We had loads of them running around in the day time last year. Later it gets a bit messier.

That’s cute. The kids running around – not the messiness.

There were colouring books and the like, and there’ll be pizza at some point. The running times are up on Nialler. Did you like the compilation?

Yeah, it’s great. Lotta really strong stuff there.

Anything you hated? ;)

No, nothing we hated at all. Life’s too short to hate.

True. I think it’s the best one we’ve done.

Having seen the running order, we’re nowwondering how you are going to manage the gig if Tieranniesaur and Jonny Fun and the… Hesitations are scheduled to be on at the same time?

What an oversight! Actually no, there are pretty short sets. Most bands will play their compilation song and a few others. It keeps the day zipping along with so many bands and gives the feeling that it’s really about the compilation. This year will be grand, the last two years it was all on the one stage so changeovers were really tight. But that was part of the fun – everyone got into the spirit and got stuck in and pulled it off!

Sounds like it should be great.

I think it will. The idea is to have a good flow to the whole day too, rather than having a headliner type situation. The upstairs in Whelans is next to the smoking garden and we had sun the last two years. Not that smoking is in any way condoned.

Finally, with the likes of Tieranniesaur, Squarehead, Yeh Deadlies and Patrick Kelleher having broken through to the mainstream, who do you think might be the next group to do so from the Popical crew?

Land Lovers have probably done as much as any you mentioned, in fairness.

That’s true. Our apologies to Land Lovers.

And I think all of those are pretty far from being mainstream! BUT I would say the #1′s from the compilation will make a fuss; I love them anyway. Ginnels certainly deserve all the adulation in the world (their album is out on Popical later this year) and Mumblin’ Deaf Ro is brilliant- he’ll have an album on Popical this year.

Pádraig, you are one of the great gentlemen of glamorous indie rock ‘n’ roll. Thank you for taking the time to talk to Ramp.ie, and the best of luck on Saturday.

Thanks, hope to see you there!

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Check out our preview of Popical Island Saturday 2012 here.

About the Author

Andrew Clarke

  • http://twitter.com/ElleEmSee Laura C

    I was counting down the days until ‘smize’ made it onto Ramp.ie. I’m delighted

  • Andrew

    I had never heard of this phenomenon before. I owe so much to Pádraig.

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