Tuesday, October 18, 2011

INTERVIEW: Hermitage Green

Photograph by Tara Stanhope
Lately, just the words "Hermitage" and "Green" uttered together in the same sentence is enough to drive any young one into a ridiculous fit of hysteria. For a band that, in the last year, seemed to have come out of nowhere, Hermitage Green are now very much dominating Limerick's live music scene, more often than not leaving masses of adoring girls breathless in their path. Having met with the lads last week, however, I can certainly see that this talented five-piece band (made up of brothers Barry and Dan Murphy, Daragh Griffin, Felix Jones and Darragh Graham) are about much more than good looks and throwing out a mean cover version. In an interview that veered more in the direction of a casual and often hilarious chat, I spoke to Hermitage Green (minus Dan and including a very quiet and hobbling Felix!) about making their own music, taking on new challenges, and having an awful lot of craic along the way.

Elaine: We might just kick off at the beginning, lads. How did you all come together and start playing music?
Barry: Well, Dan and I are brothers, obviously, so we used to play together when we were younger. Darragh [Graham] and I lived above and below each other in an apartment in Annacotty and we became friends and started playing a bit of trad together. Felix moved down from Dublin and actually moved in with Darragh. Felix played the bodhrán, Darragh played the banjo, and we just started messing around. Daragh [Griffin] and Dan were mutual friends and used to play in the house together and mess around. My other brother owns The Curragower pub over on Clancy Strand and on a Tuesday night we used to be over in the back room there and just mess around. Six or seven of us would just play, have a jamming session. One night there was a game on up the road and a few people were in - and normally it would be dead on a Tuesday night - and they asked us to play in the bar. So we went out and played a few songs and from then on we started playing regularly in the bar, and then just started getting a few other regular gigs around town. We were asked to play Nenagh's in Adare and had to pull together a setlist for that; that was more or less our first gig. We just threw something together and it kind of just snowballed from there. Nothing was really planned or anything...
Darragh Graham: Yeah, we never really chased anything...
Daragh Griffin: We were lazy!
Darragh Graham: It just kind of took its course and we just ran with it.

Elaine: I read online that the band name came from the Murphy brothers being bitter about not having a green to play on growing up! Is that true?
Barry: Yeah, it is! The name of our estate is The Hermitage and we never had a green. We used to just play on the road but tried to build a green. There was this old field at the back of our house and we tried to cut the grass and the weeds and all that shite. My Dad made us cut it with a hedge clippers because he wouldn't give us his lawnmower. We got it down lowalright but it was like falling on knives! Yeah, so we just just jacked the idea, but we did have "Hermitage Green" painted across the wall. And I always just liked the word "hermitage" and we were looking for a name for a while...
Felix: I still think we should have went with "Felix and the Hot Rods"!
Darragh Graham: We were at it three months - I'd say it was three months...
Barry: It was ridiculous!
Darragh Graham: It was ridiculously long. We just couldn't come up with a name.
Daragh Griffin: We came up with a name at one stage and we told the crowd in Adare. I think it was "The Troubadours" or something like that, and we went out the next night to play having changed our name to "Hermitage Green" and the lad out there had a heap of posters up all over the place for "The Troubadours"! We were like, "Aaaah...actually...by the way- meant to say it to you..."

Elaine: Is it also true that you guys are self-taught musically?
Daragh Griffin: I'm self-taught, yeah.
Felix: I had a couple of lessons but nothing really...
Darragh Graham: You get a few pointers there but nothing...
Elaine: No formal lessons as such?
Darragh Graham: No, no weekly lessons as such; nothing formal like that.
Daragh Griffin: I would actually started on piano; that would have been my first instrument. I would have taken a few lessons on that but would have taken guitar on then myself. And it was the same job; I would have gotten a few pointers along the way but nothing formal really.

Elaine: Is it nine instruments you play between you all?
Daragh Griffin: I think it's about that, yeah.
Darragh Graham: You could probably add another one now; the harmonica! [points to Felix]
Elaine: Ah brilliant; I love the harmonica!
Darragh Graham: Yeah?
Barry: Guitar, bodhrán, djembe...
Daragh Griffin: Stomp box!
Darragh Graham: Tamborine! The new Felix 2012! Shaker, banjo...
Daragh Griffin: Dhol [drum], didgeridoo...
Elaine: Jesus...
Darragh Graham: Xylophone...remember that xylaphone?
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, it's a mixed bag!

Elaine: If you could sum it up, how would you describe your sound?
Barry: I like Dan's one!
Elaine: What's that?
Barry: The bastard child of Susan Boyle and Daniel O'Donnell!
Daragh Griffin: It depends on what you're talking about really; is our originals or the covers?
Darragh Graham: Our originals though...
Elaine: Yeah, go with your originals.
Daragh Griffin: The originals...it is a tough one like. Majorly influenced, personally, by John Martyn. He'd be my Number 1 influence pretty much.
Darragh Graham: But they don't sound like John Martyn, though.
Daragh Griffin: Ah there's one that does...
Darragh Graham: Which one?
Daragh Griffin: 'Live On'.
Darragh Graham: 'Live On' maybe, yeah.
Daragh Griffin: But they don't really sound like John Martyn, no.
Darragh Graham: The rest of them don't sound like 'Live On'!
Daragh Griffin: I know...fuck you like!
Barry: Definitely your guitar playing is like John Martyn.
Daragh Griffin: Yeah. That's my major influence anyway. We're definitely not aspiring to sound like anyone in particular, like to sound like this band or that band. There are bands we like, like Arcade Fire or Mumford and Sons, but we don't aim to sound like anyone specific. Every song has kind of been quite different to the last one. There's about nine or ten songs written at this stage, and with them we've brough bits and pieces together, so it's a bit all over the place to be honest with you!
Elaine: So a real mixed bag then?
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, pretty much.

Elaine: You guys play a wide range of songs, from traditional numbers to more contemporary songs, so you appeal to quite a large audience. How is it going from playing to a bunch of auld lads one night to playing to a bunch of students in The Scholars [pub on University of Limerick campus] the night after?
Darragh Graham: It keeps it fresh. If it was the same every night you'd just get sick of it.
Elaine: And do you have a preference?
Darragh Graham: They're so different...
Daragh Griffin: It depends on the mood. Some nights you're in the mood for a big gig and you want a big crowd in front of you, and other nights you're praying there'll be about ten people there you'll sit down really calmly and listen to you, and you'd be delighted with that. It really varies.
Darragh Graham: Some of my fondest gigs were in the early days when we were in The Curragower and, do you know the bar?
Elaine: Yeah, I do.
Darragh Graham: Well we were just in the corner and there'd be one table free, one table busy, and one or two in the far corner taken up. You could hear a pin drop sometimes and we would just really enjoy it. There was no fuss at all; it was just chilled and relaxed. But then again, Elaine, if you were to ask us what were our Top 3 gigs, all three would be thumping gigs!

Elaine: What I like about you guys is that when you take on a song that isn't your own, you don't just rehash someone else's work; you really make your performances authentic and unique. Is this a principle you apply when taking on all of your songs?
Daragh Griffin: Pretty much, yeah. I don't think we'd ever try to do a song the exact same.
Barry: Because we're an acoustic band as well- and we tend to pick songs that aren't acoustic- they're always going to sound different.
Daragh Griffin: And the other thing is, half the time we just don't learn them right! We just turn it on, start to play along and just figure out our own version of it. And then we might add in or take out a small bit. It's just learned that way...like I don't think any of us have ever used tabs or anything like that.
Darragh Graham: Yeah, you see most of us learn by ear, so things maybe get lost in translation as well. It's half that but it's half...like I don't think I would call it a principle, but that's just the way it seems to have happened for us.

Elaine: You have a really varied set list, going from playing songs from bands like Elbow to a song from Timbaland, and then you might go from Mumford and Sons to playing a rendition of 'The Auld Triangle'. How do you pick these songs?
Barry: With the Timbaland track, Dan used to play that himself on the guitar.
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, he called down to me about three Easters ago and just started playing it in the corner.
Barry: He was playing it before we ever had a band!
Daragh Griffin: And I asked him how he came up with it and he said, "generally if I just hear a song..." Remember when we did 'Sweet Dreams' properly? We used to stand in the kitchen and play it!
Elaine: Brilliant!
Barry: Yeah, we had a synthesizer for a while and we used to do 'Sweet Dreams'. We used to turn off all the lights in The Curragower and get the candles...that was one of the best gigs. We were all acoustic and then would turn techno for four minutes!
Darragh Graham: Lately though it's kind of been, if a song suits us... Like at the start it was, "Yeah, we'll try that, we'll try that", but lately it's more that if there's a three or four part harmony in there, or if there's a bit of a folky kind of sound to it...
Barry: I think the harmony thing is what we look for mostly though, isn't it?
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, it's definitely what we look for if we're looking at doing a cover. What's the new one? It was performed by Soggy Bottom Boys, it's called 'Man of Constant Sorrow'. We kind of picked that because it has really nice harmonies, which you kind of have to really search for sometimes. That's why 'The Auld Triangle' and the Fleet Foxes ones suit. They're challenging but they definitely make things more interesting because they have a three or four part harmony. When it goes right it's unbelievable, but when it goes wrong it's an absolute nightmare! You're kind of wearing your heart on your sleeve by playing them, but it definitely makes it more interesting for us. It wouldn't make it fun for us if everything we played, we played perfectly easy...
Darragh Graham: Yeah, plus there's no real lead singer as such. Daragh and Dan sing, and then Bar's always singing something as well, so the fact that there's harmonies in there means the three of them can sing at the same time.

Elaine: The one I'm particularly interested in asking you about is Florence and the Machine's 'Cosmic Love'. That is quite a demanding female vocal that most male-fronted bands wouldn't touch! What made you guys choose to take on that song?
Barry: That was Dan again. I don't know when he did, but he definitely came up with that himself.
Darragh Graham: I remember at the time it was very popular and then he said he reckoned he could do it.
Barry: He was in a house with a bunch of lads and one of them, Fintan, was obsessed with her...
Elaine: With Florence?
Barry: Yeah. I remember Dan saying, "Everyone's gone mad into this fucking Florence and the Machine", and he didn't like it at all. Then one day he just started playing that song and all of a sudden we were like, "Ah...we like it!"

Elaine: The next question was kind of aimed at Dan...
Barry: Ah sure go on; I can speak for him! I'll just have to make my voice sound a lot deeper, like this [speaks in a low, monotonous, Dan-like tone..!]
Elaine: Haha, okay! So, some of the songs you choose to play, the guitar parts and the riffs are quite technically challenging., for example the Rodrigo y Gabriela numbers. Are these songs chosen deliberately for that reason?
Barry: He loves a challenge. He's said that in a few interviews. The bigger the challenge, the better it is for him. He has unbelievable thickness. We live together and I wake up some mornings and all you hear is a metronome going "tick, tick, tick, tick" and he's there with this new song, this Rodrigo y Gabriela number and it's got a lick in it. And he reckons if he gets this he can pretty much nail everything your man can do. And it's just like this [mimics the sound of a guitar lick], over and over again. I swear, I am listening to this sound for the last month! But it just gets faster and faster, and he could just literally sit there for hours and hours doing this. When we were growing up, we'd come home at lunch time from school and I'd be in watching telly or playing the computer and Dan would be in on his guitar. And he was 11 or 12 years of age.
Darragh Graham: I remember asking him one time, because he's quite accomplished, "Man, how much time did you used to put in?" and he said there was a year, 6th Year in school, and he just couldn't handle the Leaving Cert, and he said he would spend six hours a day on his guitar. [Looks to Daragh Griffin] And you would have done that level too, at one point, wouldn't you?
Daragh Griffin: Not quite six hours! I had a life!!
Darragh Graham: I think he just got to a certain level and when you're at that level then, you just want a challenge, so I'd say that's where he's going with it.
Barry: I actually thought him to play the guitar.
Elaine: Did you really?
Barry: Yeah...he was better than me after two weeks.
Elaine: Really?!
Barry: I'd say so, yeah! That's my claim to fame right there!

Elaine: Coming back to your own music now; who's the songwriter of the group?
Barry: [Motioning to Daragh Griffin] This man here.
Daragh Griffin: That's myself.
Elaine: Where's the inspiration for the songs coming from, Daragh? Is it a Rubberbandits thing where you're going around our lovely Limerick looking for material?
Daragh Griffin: Haha, it's not quite on that level! But it is funny that you say it, because you do find yourself in situations these days where you're kind of looking around and thinking, "That's make a great song". The last one I wrote was about sitting down on the Sunday of Electric Picnic. Those weekends I kin dof come full circle; I was depressed and dying and I was sitting on the ground, with Dan actually. We were after watching Gemma Hayes, Dan fell asleep and I was kind of looking around me. And it started getting sunny and everyone around me was happy out and I was sitting in a field at Electric Picnic and I thought, "What the fuck is wrong with you; will you cop onto yourself?!" So I kind of cheered up a bit and saw these purple and red flags and it kind of inspired me, so I came home and wrote a song about Electric Picnic and that whole trip, and called it 'Red Flags'. So inspiration can come from different things like that. It can come from anywhere. I had a number of ideas in my head when I first started writing songs, like of things I wanted to do. I wanted to make up a story; basically just take this completely fictional story and put music to it. And we've a song called 'Gibson' and that's where that came from. 'Live On' was essentially the first song I'd written with the band. We had been playing for about six or seven months and I had the guitar part for about two or three years and I wanted good lyrics to put with it. I got writing one day and I kind of wrote a verse, and I was happy enough with it. Then the rest of the song is actually about overcoming writer's block, writing a song and then getting to the last verse and being really happy with it. It just kind of went from there really. So that was the first song I ever wrote and it's just kind of gone on from there...
Darragh Graham: Explain 'Golden Rule' to her!
Daragh Griffin: 'Golden Rule'? 'Golden Rule' was...
Darragh Graham: In The Office [pub in Limerick].
Daragh Griffin: 'Golden Rule' came about in The Office, yeah. We were in there one night; I don't know who I was with...
Darragh Graham: We were playing a gig, man!
Daragh Griffin: No, it wasn't during a gig; it might have been after a gig or something.
Darragh Graham: No, it was.
Daragh Griffin: No, it wasn't, man.
Darragh Graham: You said it to me right after the gig!
Daragh Griffin: You sure?
Darragh Graham: Yeah.
Daragh Griffin: I don't think so, man! The way I remember it anyway, I was out one night and we were standing around having a pint or whatever, and there was this girl who was all kind of looking over and smiling...
Elaine: I'd say you guys get a lot of that somehow...
Barry: Awwww...
Daragh Griffin: Ah...I don't know about that! I'm convinced it wasn't after we played though...
Darragh Graham: Oh yeah?
Daragh Griffin: Yeah. So I went over and said, "Hello, how's a going", or whatever, and she was like, "Ah...I've a boyfriend!"
Elaine: Haha, burn...
Daragh Griffin: So I was like, "Good luck to you so, love. You've just been winking at me there for the last five minutes..." So that's where 'Golden Rule' comes from.
Darragh Graham: Her boyfriend was standing right behind you.
Daragh Griffin: Haha, right yeah. So 'Golden Rule', the lyrics are basically about not wasting your time on these kinds of girls, and girls don't be looking at every lad in the club and just be waiting for them to come over.
Darragh Graham: It's one for the lads.
Daragh Griffin: And then Barry shifted her for me anyway... Ah no, only joking... She told him to fuck off!

Elaine: So you guys supported The Stunning a fortnight or so ago in The Big Top, and you've played with Mumford and Sons before too, right?
Barry: Jammed with Mumford and Sons...
Elaine: Jammed...right. What were they like actually?
Barry: Legends...
Darragh Graham: Really nice guys.
Elaine: I think I was there...that was the Dolan's Warehouse show, yeah?
Barry: Yeah, that's right.
Elaine: So if you guys could pick any one band to support; if you could just horse all your stuff into the back of someone's tour bus and take off for the summer, who would it be?
Barry: They're a fucking serious bunch of lads; I would love to go off with them.
Darragh Graham: They're great craic as well...
Barry: Great craic...good laugh on the piss...great music. Other than that, I wouldn't have a clue. I'd go away with anyone to be honest with you! Anyone that's up for the craic!
Darragh Graham: I'd say them anyway; definitely. I really like their music...
Barry: Maybe Iron Maiden.
Elaine: Yeah, you could sing them to sleep at night...
Barry: Yeah! Definitely Mumford though.
Elaine: That was a savage gig as well.
Barry: Absolutely savage...

Elaine: Am...is it true you confused Marcus' girlfriend [Carey Mulligan] for Laura Marling?
All: Haha, yeah!
Barry: I did do that...
Elaine: What, you just rocked up and were like, "Laura, I love your music..."?
Barry: Haha, no... One of my mates was there and he was calling the band "Mumford and Brothers" or something. He hadn't a clue who they were and he was like, "Róisín [his wife] was onto me...has one of these lads a famous girlfriend?" So I said Marcus did, and I knew who Laura Marling was. I was going to see her in Cork but she had cancelled that gig a few weeks before. And I knew he was going out with her, but I knew in my head it wasn't her because it didn't look like her. So I said, "Yeah, that's his girlfriend down there", and my mate said his wife would like a photo of her and if I minded asking her for one. And I met them at Electric Picnic so I was like, "Sure I know them, I'll go down", thinking I was great. So I stroll down and say, "Laura, how's a goin'? I'm Barry..." And she said, "I'm Carey". 
Elaine: Did you feel like a right knob?
Barry: I just froze; I didn't know what to say. You could see she was really pissed off, and I just tried to laugh it off. And I could see my mate coming over from behind her with the camera held up, and I was like [does a cut-throat gesture], "No, no...stop!" And then I met them in Dublin later that week and Marcus was like, "Thanks so much for the other night...yeah, thanks for making my girlfriend cry". He said they had a big massive fight.
Elaine: I wonder if she really did cry...
Barry: Apparently they did have a big fight though.
Elaine: In fairness though, they nearly overlapped.
Barry: They did! And they're both small, and blond, and famous.
Elaine: Laura Marling is brilliant though; I love her music.
Barry: She's class.
Elaine: She gets around too though.
Darragh Graham: Does she?
Elaine: Well, she was with Charlie Fink from Noah and the Whale. He produced her first album and she sang on theirs, and then she broke up with him and was with Marcus Mumford, who I may have produced her second album. And apparently they all knew each other growing up and were friends. She's gotten around the group...
Barry: Good on her!
Elaine: Well maybe Carey's here to stay anway; they're engaged.
Barry: G'way!
Darragh Graham: Are they?
Elaine: They are.
Darragh Graham: I saw her recently...is she in Drive?
Elaine: She is, yeah. That is a brilliant film.
Barry: I saw this horrific film a few weeks ago that she was in, one about organ donors...
Elaine: Oh the one with Keira Knightley, is it?
Barry: Yeah, the one she got nominated for an Oscar for.
Elaine: Yeah, that was a little bit shite. But Drive was incredible.
Felix: Does he drive stolen cars in that one or something?
Darragh Graham: No, he does bank jobs and things like that; he's the driver. It's quite Quentin Tarrantino.

Elaine: So, speaking of getting around, you lot do too...
Barry: Yeah, we're complete hoors...
Darragh Graham: Some of us, yeah...
Elaine: Total hoors altogether! I mean around the country and that. Have you any funny stories from the road for me?
Barry: Jesus...
Darragh Graham: Well, we went up to Galway for the Oyster Festival, and we ended up going up the night before, because we don't really get out ourselves together that often. So we ended up going to this beer house- that's what it was called, actually, The Beer House. They had all these different kinds of beers and we started going for the strongest ones...
Barry: This was at 9:30pm now. And none of us remember even leaving this place at 11pm.
Darragh Graham: Yeah, so we went in at 9:30pm and around 11pm we left, but none of us can remember leaving, or going to three other pubs, followed by a club and then Supermacs, followed by another club...not a thing. And then we woke up the next morning, having stayed in a hostel, and I kind of rolled over and looked around and he [pointing to Daragh Griffin] was missing, Dan was missing, and you [pointing to Barry] were up and gone in search of your phone?
Barry: I'd lost my phone, yeah.
Darragh Graham: So I was just lying there on my own...
Elaine: Except for the tiger in the bathroom, stripper had just left the room...
Barry: Dead children everywhere...
Darragh Graham: So he was just wondering aimlessly around town and Jess, our manager, was going absolutely nuts. She was on the phone calling everyone, trying to find the lads, trying to get me out of bed. She drove my car, because I wasn't capable of driving yet, and we headed down towards the gig...
Barry: This gig was at 12 o' clock now...
Elaine: Oh jesus...
Darragh Graham: And I just see him [pointing to Daragh Griffin] and Dan just strolling down the street with a breakfast roll and a Coke, or something. They were still langers, with stains all down their tops; two disgraceful looking yokes...
Barry: We all had to go change before we could play; we were a state!
Darragh Graham: I don't know how we played that gig...
Barry: We played this gig drunk, right? And there was this dance floor in front of us; they had set up this dance floor as a playground for children. There was kids playing giant Snakes 'n' Ladders and Dominoes; it was so bizarre! It was like Alice in Wonderland or something!
Elaine: Sounds like a bad dream!
Darrah Graham: Yeah, it was like, "Is this real life?" We stumbled through the gig and as soon as we finished it, the second we finished, there was this massive brass band setting up by the side of the stage. So the second we finished, this massive sirens came on and just blew our heads off and we just couldn't handle the sound of them either.
Barry: Other than that we haven't been too wild, have we?
Darragh Graham: Kilkee night maybe?
Barry: The gigs tend to get messy afterwards, a few of the good gigs.
Darragh Graham: There's been one or two disasters of gigs, where one or two lads will show up absolutely hammered. I remember one time, actually, Paddy's Day...
Barry: Ugh, don't mention the P word...
Darragh Graham: See Daragh [Griffin] does the sound, right? 
Daragh Griffin: Why'd you let me do sound this night, man?
Darragh Grham: Because none of us have a fucking clue how to do it! So he did it, right? It was pluuged in down here [leans down to his feet], and he as tapping away as he was playing. But kept hitting off the plug and everytime he did the whole sound system would just go down because the plug would fall out. And he'd be like, "Don't worry lads; I'll get this". And with his guitar- he's a lefty, right? So he'd reach down, swipe across the sound desk and turn all the levels and that, and then plug it in and we'll start playing again and all you can hear is Daragh [Griffin], you can't hear him [pointing to Barry]; it was just a disaster!
Daragh Griffin: There's a picture actually taken 20 minutes after the gig that I got an awful slagging for. It was just up in the back room with my Dad, friends, and I'm just asleep. That was the night after we got to jam with Mumford and Sons. We played with them and then went down to Pier One and then went home. And I got up the next day and went straight to the pub. I was in The Curragower by about 1pm and I was trying to ring the rest of the lads to please come in and take my out of there!
Darragh Graham: That's one of the best things about doing this; it's great craic playing gigs. 
Barry: Arthur's Day was brilliant. We were inside in Fla's [pub in Limerick] and it was mental. Brilliant craic altogether.
Darragh Graham: Another time we went down to Kerry, actually, in the early days. It was the first time we went out of Limerick and that was brilliant fun as well.
Barry: That was last February, yeah. That gig would still be in the Top 3 I think.
Darragh Graham: Yeah, we were just in this tiny little pub, ceiling was just above your head. Everyone that was there was just thumping off the ceiling and there was just a really good buzz...
Barry: People dancing on tables and everything.
Darragh Graham: Yeah, that was the party after. It was great craic.

Elaine: Is there any rivalry between the Murphy brothers?
Barry: Oh we kill each other.
Elaine: Do ye really?
Barry: Absolutely kill each other. We've been just living with each other, been in each other's faces 24/7. Daragh [Griffin] moved in last week so we're just in a little Hermitage Green bubble. He's kind of the referee of the house now. So, yeah... Dan has got little brother syndrome.
Darragh Graham: He's not here to defend himself though.
Barry: It's hard to believe, but there's four years in the difference between us. He looks ten years older than me...
Elaine: I thought he was older.
Barry: Ha! I love it! Put that in the interview there...
Elaine: What, that he looks shocking old?
Barry: Yeah, "Shockingly, Daniel is older..."
Darragh Graham: Ah, Daniel dyes his hair as well...
Elaine: Does he?
Darragh Graham: Yeah...Just for Men.
Barry: Every night before we head out, the sound you hear coming from the Hermitage Green bus is [mimics the sound of a hairdryer], and that's Dan inside blowdrying his fringe...
Felix: He does sunbeds as well...just to top up his tan.
Darragh Graham: But yeah- that's Dan!
Elaine: And would the rest of you not move in as well?
Felix: Maybe one day, yeah.
Barry: We'll be sharing beds at that stage.
Elaine: You should get a little Volkswagen camper van like Lisa Hannigan...
Barry: I have one! Brilliant!
Elaine: Haha, have you?
Barry: Yeah, and it's green! I'm just getting the tyres sorted on it now. It's a 1979 Volkswagen camper.
Elaine: Lisa Hannigan's is a deadly little yellow one and she's got this sunflower on the front of it...
Darragh Graham: Cool...
Barry: I'm gonna get a H and a G on it.
Elaine: The girls will spot ye a mile away so!
Barry: It wouldn't get us very far though.
Felix: Like the last time we broke down...
Barry: Yeah, we went to Kinsale a while back and broke down half-way there. I was like, "Fuck"", but then this bottle of beer comes through from the back seat. We all just start drinking.

Elaine: Long-term, what are your plans? You're obviously putting an album together, yeah? Are you gonna go with an EP first or release a full-length?
Barry: We don't really know yet.
Daragh Griffin: We're unsure. 
Barry: We're gonna put some new videos up on YouTube now, videos we just did today. And another one then in two weeks time. We'll see how they go down and try put something together then. We haven't really set out a plan.
Daragh Griffin: We're probably gonna try do both because the first set of covers went down so well as videos. So we always planned to do the originals as videos. I think it'll be the make or break of us really. I'm kind of...I'm optimistic about them going down well, the originals. But they will make or break us. On top of that then we're going to try at least do a decent demo and send that off to different people. We kind of have maybe ten or eleven written and have two or three half-written. I figure if we get a decent pot of twenty to pick out of, that'll be brilliant.
Elaine: And beyond that, just world domination...
Daragh Griffin: World domination!
Barry: We're looking at going somewhere for New Year's; maybe New York...
Elaine: Maybe you'll get an invitation to the Playboy Mansion.
Barry: Yeah.
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, infest the place with Hermititis...
Elaine: Nice...
Barry: We're going to Florida for Paddy's Day next year, for ten days. We're going to Fort Lauderdale...
Elaine: For Spring Break!
Barry: Yes! Found out that the other day...
Felix: Is it?!
Darragh Graham: Is it Spring Break?
Barry: Yes!
Felix: Crackin'!
Barry: Yeah, so if we get to New York at New Year's and then onto there. And then next summer, we'll travel, travel, travel...
Darragh Graham: The way it started off it just kind of happened. We won't be going mad, busting our balls trying to get somewhere. 
Daragh Griffin: Ah go on- try it!
Darragh Graham: Hopefully something will just fall into place.
Barry: What happened to "Once September's over, it's all music"?
Darragh Graham: Yeah, but I'm going to do it for enjoyment.
Elaine: But you're going to play over [in Florida and New York], right?
Barry: Oh yeah.
Darragh Graham: We've four gigs lined up in Florida in ten days.
Barry: Yeah we're playing the 12th, 14th, 16th, 17th, and we hope to do a similar thing at New Year's. That's the most exciting thing going on with us at the moment, you know, besides playing the Lodge [UL-associated night club at the Kilmurray Lodge Hotel in Limerick] in an hour!
Elaine: Wow...might get some knickers thrown at ye so!
Barry: Duuuurty knickers! A pair of GAA ones...
Darragh Graham: We'd an even better one last night; we'd a chicken fillet thrown at us!
Elaine: A chicken fillet?
Darragh Graham: Yeah, you know those fake boob things?
Elaine: Oh yeah, I know what they are...
Barry: Haha, do you?
Elaine: Well, I don't wear them or anything! So, did you get one across the head or something?
Daragh Griffin: Yeah, he tried to catch it in his mouth...
Elaine: Was it warm?
Barry: Haha! It was!
Elaine: Nice... 

To find out more about the lovely lads in Hermitage Green, follow them on Twitter here, visit their YouTube channel here, or stalk them on Facebook here.

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