Cracking the Code


Do you hear that, Mr Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. Jake O’Brien chats with Irish outfit Codes’ front man Daragh Anderson

Sometimes one fears a certain level of pretense when preparing to interview a band described as ‘indie-electronic music’. Launching into conversation with Codes’ frontman Daragh Anderson, though, all fears are laid to rest.

Describing the band’s music, Anderson wades through the complex formula of their sound. “It’s sort of soundtrack music, mixed with electronic music, mixed with stadium rock.”

With this in mind, the vocalist and guitarist goes on to discuss his early influences – a list that reads like a receipt for an obese family’s weekly shopping. Music from every walk of life and era ranks among the registered items. From the Beach Boys and Queen, through classical inspiration from the likes of Phillip Glass and Tchaikovsky, Anderson likes his aural musings thick and thin. “I guess the short answer would be…everything is an influence in one way or another, be it good or bad, be it what not to do or what to do.”

Moreover, it becomes evident that Anderson has retained a meteoric level of modesty amidst himself and his cohorts’ rise to prominence. Codes book-ended their ascent with a spot on the IMRO stage at Oxegen ’08, and gigs in the Odyssey Arena and O2 in January 2009 as opening act for Keane – performances which have “now been benchmarked as the biggest gigs.”

To ignorant writers like myself, playing a venue such as The O2 would be similar to the pressures of waking up naked in Dundrum Town Centre at peak shopping hour. Yet, for the singer on the other end of the line, it is an entirely –surprisingly – different experience. “It’s funny, I thought it would be [daunting], but I think it’s a little more disconnected than you would feel at a more intimate show.”

This man cannot be fazed. Or can he? While considering the recording of the band’s debut album Trees in Algebra, Anderson recounts general difficulties: “We had a couple of tough moments because we were on a really tight time scale and because we were recording it on our own money.” However, this ensured the band were “really clinical about the decisions” they made in the studio.

Anderson has found a rational solution to the pressing problems of the recording studio. “Once you let go and you realise that you’re not trying to record the song as a definitive thing… you’re capturing it as a moment.”

Thus, the mist clears and we can see the daylight. The frontman brings a striking clarity to the shallow levels of a venal industry. His simple reasoning and rationale allow for an honest understanding of a truthful band. That said, one can only guess where Codes will go from here.