The Academic talk Croke Park, touring and guilty pleasures

Rebecca Breene McDonnell

The Academic were the supporting act for the Rolling Stones in Croke Park this summer.

Following on from their debut album, Tales From The Backseat, released back in January of this year,  The Academic, and their frontman Fitzgerald have been met with warm responses from critics and audience alike. With a similar sound to both The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, there was no doubt that The Academic would comfortably nestle into a certain rank of popularity.

The Academic has had a busy schedule this year, what with supporting The Rolling Stones in Croke Park, and headlining the Iveagh Gardens, not to mention their own live tour. Fitzgerald inevitably deemed these two monumental events as highlights of his year, along with the icing on the cake that was meeting the Rolling Stones. “Just after we played we got escorted over towards the dressing rooms, and we met them for a photo and about a brief one minute conversation. It was a minute and it felt as if it were ten [minutes].” When asked if the enormity of the crowd in Croke Park made him nervous, his response was not surprising.

“I actually was. I don’t normally get nervous but I was shaking in my boots.” Surprisingly humble, and clearly grateful for the opportunity, Fitzgerald explains how his family and team felt when they caught wind of the Croke Park news. “Everyone was so thrilled. We always get put forward for shows but we never expect it. When we get good news like that, we want to prove that we’re worth taking the chance on”

Their schedule for the rest of the year seems hectic, touring over the next couple of months and he explained that they were “heading back over to the States [in November] for a headline run”, and they’d be back in mid-December to finish off the tour in one of Fitzgerald’s “favourite indoor venue in Ireland” to play, Vicar Street.

Although, don’t brace yourselves for any new releases in 2018. When asked if there was anything planned, Fitzgerald responded; “We’re currently writing music, and doing a lot of crappy demos. We have songs that we’re currently, kind of, testing a little bit but we haven’t sat down to play anything yet.”

Finishing up with some quick fire questions, Fitzgerald admitted that he doesn’t really have a particular song that he prefers to perform on stage.

“It changes nearly every tour. Usually every tour there’s [also] a song that you don’t really like playing also.” He said.

When asked about what contributed to their fame and recognition in such a short space in time, Fitzgerald commended the Delorentos for being a band that really helped them within the Irish music scene. With the acknowledgment that he was talking to someone in the media, he acknowledged that radio was a great platform to sell tickets and play their songs.

“Kindness from other musicians, radio, and we have a lot to thank for Aiken Promotions, they’ve given us so many chances” have been the main things that he thinks have helped elevate The Academic’s status within Ireland and the U.K. When asked about his guilty pleasure, Fitzgerald gave the safe answer of Dirty Dancing. Similarly, his favourite band of all time was, in fact, the Beatles.


Rebecca Breene McDonell

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