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Ireland's Jaded Sun formed in 2003 and their first album, released in 2008, gained wide praise - recognition that increased with the band's live gigs. Currently preparing album no.2, the band's Damien Kelly answers our questions ...

Jaded Sun

Could you tell us please what are you currently up to?

We are currently writing and recording demos for our next album which we are planning to record this Autumn/Winter. We also have a 4-track EP in the process of being mixed that we recorded a few months ago so we should have that available in the next few weeks.

Have you been pleased with the reviews and fans reaction to 'Gypsy Trip'?

Yes, we have been amazed with people's reaction to Gypsy Trip. Some reviews have said that it's “the best debut rock album ever” and things like that, which is very humbling.

When we had finished recording the album we were happy with it so we are just glad that others are on the same page as us.

You played a gig in India. How did that come about and was the audience reaction any different than say a European one? They are metal/rock mad in certain parts I know!

The gig in India came about when the organisers came across us after hearing some songs and reading some reviews on the internet.

The gig was a festival held on a college campus and they have a different headliner every year so it was a privilege to have been asked to headline it.

The audience reaction was amazing, they were into our songs right from the start until the end. The reaction was similar to any other European gig we've played, the only difference being that there were a few thousand more people there than what usually come to our shows, and it was about 95% blokes.

Your website/blog/Twitter/Facebook are used a lot by the band to keep in touch with fans, update them etc. Does being more accessible to the fans than say bands were back in the 80's and 90's help raise your profile more?

Yeah, it helps to raise our profile a lot more of course. It's great that fans can listen to, or download your songs from anywhere in the world at any time, and can be constantly updated with a band's every move, anywhere you go, directly to a person's mobile phone.

But it's now the same for any band, and every band promotes themselves in these ways, so no one really has an advantage.

It still all boils down to who is the best band and who has the best songs. I'm a firm believer that “the cream will always rise to the top”.

What have been the most memorable live shows for you and why?

We have been blessed as a band to have played some truly memorable gigs. Croke Park supporting Bon Jovi was fantastic for a number of reasons – it was our first outdoor gig as a band, it was in our local stadium and we were supporting two world famous rock bands.

Another memorable show was in Zagreb, Croatia when we headlined a St. Patrick's Day festival - a beautiful country with beautiful people who treated us so well.

Other memorable gigs we've played are – the Zwarte Cross festival in Holland, an outdoor gig in Gran Canaria where it rained for a song or two, and the recent show in Kanpur, India - Gigs that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.

How hard/easy is it for Jaded Sun to get a decent run of gigs together? Also is it easier to get say a support slot with a more established band after you have had such a good reaction to your debut album?

Well, in Ireland it's pretty hard for us to get a string of gigs together simply because there aren't enough venues in the country to warrant a substantial tour or run of shows, especially venues that appreciate rock music.

That's why we love to gig in the UK or mainland Europe where there are plenty of towns and cities that love their Rock. It's still tough to get support slots with bigger bands though.

We reckon it's all about being in the clique and who you know in the business, so we're working on that. We also reckon bigger bands won't give us support slots because they fear we will blow them off the stage.

Are there any other newer bands out there that have impressed you?

For this type of question I can only speak for myself, because the music I listen too doesn't always come across in the music that we, collectively, make.

There are not too many new bands from Ireland that have impressed me. I'm very impressed by the debut albums from the likes of Fleet Foxes as Florence & the Machine. Other than that, I'm still trying to catch up on listening to all the fantastic albums from the past.

Have you seen an upswing in the interest in metal and rock over the past couple of years? Has the internet helped get your music out there or in some ways e.g. illegal downloads has it made matters worse?

I have seen an upswing in the interest in rock and metal in the past few years and the internet has helped the music to become available on a wider scale.

It has also meant that because there are more bands out there, the standard has had to improve in order for bands to become successful, which can only be a good thing.

One bad thing is the matter of illegal downloads. It cripples the potential of small independent, to middle sized record labels, making any sort of money. I feel it's highly detrimental to the emergence of any new talent and it's something that has to be stopped somehow.

Who are the band's main musical influences? What made you all want to be in a band?

The influences within the band are extremely varied. Starting with myself, my influences would be along the lines of British Rock and Indie such as Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, Zeppelin to Oasis, Supergrass, Arctic Monkeys, Stone Roses and so on.

Sean, our guitarist, his influences would be more along the lines of U.S. rock such as G'n'R, Black Crowes, Hendrix, Velvet Revolver, etc.

Eorann, our other guitarist, his influences would be closer to Southern and country rock such as Skynyrd, Eagles, Tom Petty, Allman Brothers, etc.

John, our singer, his influences would have a bit of a grunge feel, the likes of Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, REM, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, etc.

Aaron, our drummer, would be more new wave with influences such as Biffy Clyro, Muse, Slipknot, 65 Days of Static, etc.

This mish-mash of influences can lead to a bit of conflict when writing sometimes, but getting the right balance is what we feel gives us our sound.

Message for your fans...

Our fans deserve to be canonised because of their patience. But now, our fingers are well and truly out, the shit is scrubbed from underneath our fingernails, and once this album is finished, we'll be back rocking some new tunes out in a town near you very soon.

Ten for 10

Interview by Jason Ritchie, June 2010
All rights reserved.

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