Astro Boys


Ciara Doyle and Grace Duffy meet upcoming Irish act God Is An Astronaut

Irish three-piece God Is An Astronaut are something of a family affair, as frontman Torsten Kinsella tells otwo. Kinsella shares guitar duties with his brother Niels, and their father’s musical background ensured the boys grew up in an artistic family. “My father is a bass player. He played on the showband scene in the Sixties, so he taught us how to play. We’re all bass players and guitarists here.”

The brothers shared musical tastes growing up, something which aided their coming together in the band. “It was always kind of similar,” says Torsten of himself and his brother’s palettes. “Niels was into bands like Metallica and I was into AC/DC. Then we kind of both, as time progressed, got into electronic music like Massive Attack.” As for their working relationship, Torsten explains, “I think we have an understanding after working together and being so close since we were young kids. We’re pretty much on the same page these days, we don’t fight anymore anyway – of course when we started off we did but we seem to have a good understanding now.”

Torsten also discusses the band’s live show, including their use of visual elements. The band have used this aesthetic part of their live set in the past to stand out from the pack. It is something they’ve had to tone down in recent works, but fans can nonetheless expect a spectacular arrangement from the band’s live set. “In Ireland I think it was always very hard to entertain audiences with just audio because it is a very pop-orientated market,” muses Torsten. “The visuals always helped to get the idea of the track across. We used them for many years and it definitely helped the music, but we ran into a kind of crossroads where we felt it was very hard to update the visuals. We’re not exactly a film company where we can just keep coming up with new footage every week! But we decided to go for a bigger sound experience for this year and we’re working on much bigger sound and the light show.”

The band’s music is described as post-rock instrumental, though Torsten explains this was more a result of circumstances than a conscious decision. “I think it was more of a natural [decision] because we weren’t good at singing and we weren’t good at lyrics. When we were writing our first album, we decided we should just do what we’re good at and we fell into this whole post-rock market. We didn’t know anything about it so we added something a little bit different to the marketplace. It’s a very dedicated scene.”

Accidental rock stars perhaps, but intriguing ones – you can’t go wrong when your name comes from an iconic movie quote.