Interview: No Monster Club

Bobby Aherne of No Monster Club is pretty damn close to how you would imagine, based on the output of his band No Monster Club. He’s funny, modest about the music he makes and very self-aware.

No Monster Club’s latest album, People Are Weird has been receiving considerable acclaim around Ireland since its release and when I meet him, Bobby is in the final stages of preparing for the album’s launch night in Bello Bar on the 14th of March.

He’s full of praise for the three acts that are to join him on the night, but none more so than Mr. Rosso, who, according to Aherne, shares the same musical ethos as No Monster Club.

“There’s a small scene in Dublin that I discovered about two months ago with this guy called Henry Ernest. He just turned eighteen and he’s tapping into music I love and he’s doing what I strive to do. I’m really excited to see them play live for the first time.”

People Are Weird is the most potent example thus far of what No Monster Club are about; it’s fun and addictive with songs that are liable to take wild tangents off into underappreciated or unfashionable genres of music.

“I wanted this album to have a more uniform sound, almost like a solid drum machine beat throughout, because in the past albums have been recorded in different places at different times and some songs would be garage pop songs and others would be better produced so we’d end up with a real mish/mash of sounds.”

Taking inspiration from retro Nigerian pop music like Victor Uwaifo and Dizzy K, People Are Weird describes the trajectory of emotions in the guitar riffs more so than the lyrics. Working alone on a No Monster Club album for the first time, Aherne was able to let the stream of consciousness music he is known for go wild.

“The joy of this album is that I got to do it all on my own, I got to exercise the control freak in me. I’d organize the skeleton of a song and then maybe one night I’d be messing about with the keyboard at 1 am and I’d add a load of layers to it. That’s the most fun part of music for me.”

“I rarely take a break; I play in three other bands as well, in Women’s Christmas, Ginnels and with a guy called Paddy Hanna. They all have different approaches to songwriting so collaborating with them definitely helps me when I go back to my own music.”

The consensus seems to be that this band will make it big but despite all the media attention the new album has been getting Aherne is still wary of the exterior pressures that come with popular acclaim.

“I’ve been making music for so many years now and none of the bands I really love ever broke through, they just had a few people in the know. I wouldn’t feel right, a lot of bands have a vibe where they’re gonna split if they don’t make it big, I just want to keep making music the way I am.”

Bryan Grogan

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