Courtesans will be headlining Dublin’s On The Rox venue on Friday, July 27th (tomorrow night) with support from Vendetta Love. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster priced at €12.oo (inc booking fee) for more information, please visit, DME Promotions or click this link.
OD – Let’s start at the beginning and tell me how the band came together?
SAFFIRE – Firstly, big love Overdrive!! The band came together (as is often the case with these things) by pure luck, Sinead (vocals) and Agnes (bass) hooked up via mutual friends shortly joined by myself which they already knew from way back yonder, then Vikki (drums) joined soon after, the last and youngest member.
The four of us seemed to not fit at all, but fit perfectly at the same time. We were just ships passing in the night, that stopped, jumped on each other’s boats, and pillaged all the land for rum and humus… And a sense of belonging.
OD – The first time I came across the band was at Bloodstock last year, did you find that your performance really raised awareness of the band, especially in the UK scene?
SAFFIRE – This turned out to be a very pivotal moment, it was great to chat to you amidst the chaos of Bloodstock! For us, it was amazing to be asked to play, but we were quite surprised as we saw ourselves as a ‘heavy‘ band as opposed to a “metal” band.
So, it showed us two things, that the organisers are keen to experiment with the genre and then the reception from the audience was incredible, as we were really unsure prior to the gig how we were going to be received. So, without doubt, it raised awareness of the band, but still very much on the underground scene.
OD – I’ve heard the term ‘Doom-Pop’ floating around when it comes to describing your sound, what would be your best definition of the band’s sound?
SAFFIRE – That term has definitely entertained us and we did adopt it at one point, at that time it was the only thing that could describe anything close instead of “metal, hip hop, drum N bass, jazz, R’n’B, gabba, metal-core, pop music with a hint of classical influence” – or something to that effect. You know how it is.
We think ‘doom-pop‘ was due to the dark vibe we create but keeping hooky melodies in the mix. It’s always a tricky question determining the genre of what we do. We all have quite a dark side to our personalities but are extremely eclectic in our musical tastes. What would you say?
OD – You had the pleasure of opening for King 810 last year, can you tell me about how this came about?
SAFFIRE – Pleasure indeed. We couldn’t believe King were playing the same festival, at that time King was on our playlist every day. I love how divisive they are in their performances and content. You can watch any old band, but to engage people is (in our opinion) a crucial facet and they do it well. After their Bloodstock show we ran up to Eugene (Gill, bassist) shook his hand, exchanged a few words and went about our business, we subsequently bumped into David (Gunn, vocals) and chatted for a while in the media tent.
Fast forward a few weeks after Bloodstock and King 810 announced their UK tour… So Sinead sent a little message to Eugene on the off chance they might want us to be their support. Don’t ask, don’t get, right? When the tour support announcement went out there was a lot of backlash wondering why King 810 decided to choose us. We were treated well by the King fans, the shows were electric and our teams got on well.
Quote of the tour: “They’re off to go and do some angry scissoring now!” – Said a King fan about us at our Oxford gig. Definitely our favourite quote.
OD – For the few dates that you were on the road with the guys, did they check out your performances for any of the dates?
SAFFIRE – It was hard for them to escape! It was cool to see them at the wings, watching on. Little bit nerve racking but they often had a sneaky peak.
OD – Given the chance, who would you love to tour with and why?
SAFFIRE – If we had a band vote it would probably be Deftones or maybe Run the Jewels, Deftones because for us they have such a unique sound something which we always aspire too, I think we’d die if that happened, that’s like the entire bucket list right there. Run the Jewels because they are boundary/genre breakers too.
OD -We understand that the dates you did with Wednesday 13 went down very well. Have you been in touch and are there any possibilities of hooking up for some dates in the US?
SAFFIRE – Yes we exchange the odd “hello, and how’s your father?“We have been in touch and we’re going to do the European leg of their tour but unfortunately, the numbers didn’t add up. We really enjoyed being out on tour with them, a very lovely and funny band of graveyard gentleman, even their sound check entertained us every evening. We would also love to tour the U.S. but once again it’s making it viable. Sending love to Wednesday 13 crew!
OD – The debut EP, ‘Better Safe than Sober’ was released last year, and I know that you have been busy working on the album. At what stage are you at with it and can you guesstimate a release date at this point?
SAFFIRE – We possibly write differently to other bands, we kind of write and record as we go, we have recorded six or seven songs and have another seven or so at a more basic stage, we may well look at a label option this time around so we are potentially looking at a spring 2019 release.
OD – I’ve heard ‘Monkey Logic’ and there’s a noticeable aggression there that was not so prominent with the material on the EP. Would it be correct to say that there is more of a visceral angry approach to the new stuff with reference to the lyrics and overall sound?
SAFFIRE – Not sure if it’s an angry approach but there is definitely a lot to be angry about in the U.K. and around the world at present. Not a time for anyone in the arts to sit on their laurels but a time to express how they feel about the situation. So, yes, you will find there are many songs on the new album that are expressing how we feel and sometimes we definitely feel like shouting.
OD – This will be your first show in Ireland later this week, for anyone that has not see Courtesans before, what can they expect from the live show?
SAFFIRE – We have a few things to say, will take the audience on that journey. There’s been a lot of unrest for a lot of people by a few monkeys with no logic. Thus, we are really looking forward to playing in Ireland and showing everyone how we get down.
OD – What are the plans for the rest of the year?
SAFFIRE – We have a couple of other festivals coming up but our main focus is completing the album we love playing live but right now we want to produce a piece of work that we are extremely proud of. The new songs we have been writing maintain that dark vibe but we have been bringing in more of that urban feel, something you haven’t heard before, something to think about.
Win passes to Courtesans debut Irish show in On The Rox, Friday, July 27th! All you have to do is share this post on via your social media as a ‘public’ post and tag a friend to bring to the show. We’ll pick the winner at 12pm tomorrow.
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