Interview: Tung in Cheek (Written)

Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life bring you an interview with indie rock band, Tung in Cheek.

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1. Hello! Thank you for taking the time to chat to us. First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started.

Andy Burke (vocals) and Eoin O’Shea (guitar) have been playing together since the beginning of secondary school. They played together in a band called The Klares where they played in various Irish and international gigs and festivals before eventually wanting to follow a new path. With that, they decided to start from scratch with a new band name and new members. Chris Brady joined the band in September 2018 on the condition that his name be changed to ‘Brody Hopkins’. For the next year, the band jammed and recorded home demos, experimenting with various sounds and styles in the search for their own sound. Between Andy Burke’s unique, aggressive singing style which took a lot of influence from hip hop, Eoin O’Shea’s experimental approach taken using guitar pedals focusing on warmer, smoother melodies than before, and Hopkins’ extensive experience behind the kit as well as various other percussive and non-percussive instruments, the lads had the ability to experiment in a variety of different styles whilst still having their own unique sound in each.

In October 2019, TIC recorded 2 tracks (TIC & Command Z) in Darklands Recording Studio, Dublin. The band played various gigs around this time, including their first headline in Bello Bar, various support slots, and a headline in the Workman’s Club. However, they had barely gotten going when Lockdown hit Dublin (the same day Command Z was released), which stalled the band for a period of time.

With the return of live gigs, Gavin Dunne began playing bass with the band in October 2021. Gavin, originally a guitar player, adds a fatness to the sound of the band which the band had been missing. With the departure of Covid, the band played a huge number of gigs, including a sold out London gig in the MAP Studio Cafe in July 2022. As well as this, the band did a Ireland/UK tour in October November of the same year.

2. Someone comes to you and asks you to sum up what kind of music you play – what do you tell them?

I would say we are an energetic indie rock 4 piece with hints of pop and punk. Each band member has a varying approach in terms of clothing, attitude, and musical influences which has led to a wide variety of genres we have dabbled in over the past 2 years. We have always been persistent in producing dynamic live shows that reflect us as a whole as well as individually. Our music and vibe could be defined as unapologetic.

3. What’s currently going on in your camp? New releases? Tours? Etc.

We have a lot on in these coming months, particularly May, as that is when we drop our debut EP “Knockoffs & Dummies” and go on tour. We dropped the first single from the EP in March, that track is called “Rib Cage” and is on Spotify etc. It has been well received and got some air time and notable reviews. We have the second single from the EP coming out in mid April called “Lucid”. We are really excited about this one as we were pleasantly surprised how well it turned out in the studio after a very last minute decision to record it. The 5 track EP will be available in full mid May. We have a tour planned with some dates around Ireland and a trip to London too. We are playing the following cities at the following dates in May: London 7th, Bray 12th, Cork 19th, Galway 21st, and Dublin 25th.

4. What has been the most positive experience of making music to date for you?

I think our debut London show that we sold out last summer was a fairly mind blowing experience for us. We were in two minds about actually going ahead with it as it was a bit of hassle to get over and back but it couldnt have been more worth it. I dont think we had really realised how many people we knew there.

5. Likewise, what has been some of the more challenging aspects and how have you overcome them?

Inevitably, our music won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Sometimes people don’t always have nice things to say, for instance when we put out our music some people went to the trouble of telling us they didn’t like it. Which can be hurtful in the moment but I guess it says more about them as a person if they want to try to put an artist down. We try not to take ourselves too seriously and usually find comedy in such scenarios.

6. How do you handle the modern expectations of being in a band? Always online, having to put out content constantly, your success measured in likes and follows?

Interesting question. It can definitely get a bit all consuming. I think all of us at different stages have taken opportunities to digitally detox which is important. When the feedback to the music you put out is good, it makes it all worthwhile, however it does seem like at present the modern band really has to market themselves well on social media.

7. What’s something that really ‘grinds your gears’ about the industry/business these days and what would you propose is done to combat it?

The pressure to get on playlists on Spotify.
How terribly Spotify pay artists.
How terribly we have been paid for some of our gigs – especially gigs where the tickets aren’t cheap.

8. Speaking directly to listeners – what would you ask they do to help support your music?

Come to our shows, see us live and chat to us after the show. And share our music with anyone you think may enjoy it to help us get discovered by new listeners.

9. Outside of the music, what’s do you do to relax?

We all try and stay relaxed enough. We are all quite sociable and enjoy meeting friends for pints or going to gigs and festivals. We try to support other emerging artists who are in similar positions.

10. Where can people find you?

We can be found on all the main social media and streaming platforms. But instagram is definitely the one we use the most to keep our listeners updated.

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Author

  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!