Frontman of Dublin’s Saints Boulevard, Brian Moriarty, talks to Harry Ó Cléirigh about David Bowie’s passing, setting up Indie labels and the Dublin music scene.
Erring on the poppier side of post-grunge, three-piece Dublin rock outfit Saints Boulevard’s music is as eclectic as it is indebted to the genres it seems pleased to emulate. Glam metal and post-grunge seem to be the most obvious influences with Pearl Jam and Def Leppard coming to the fore, but tracks like ‘Feeling I Wanna Feel’ seem to be influenced by a more authentic, hard rock sound.
The band’s frontman, Brian Moriarty, admits as much himself: “I guess the biggest scenes that struck me growing up was the Seattle grunge scene and the L.A. hair metal scene. I loved the aggressive guitars and the attitude these bands had. Especially the likes of Pearl Jam and Def Leppard. I would definitely mark those guys as my biggest influences growing up.” To this day, Saints Boulevard have not strayed too far from the key musical influences of their formative years, with Moriarty adding that “I still find these genres so relevant to our sound.”
This is not to say that their influences don’t come from further afield. “Bowie was for me an icon and his death was a devastating loss. His lyrics really struck me throughout so many of his songs and Mick Ronson’s guitar playing was phenomenal. The whole glam scene has always intrigued me, as not only did I love the music but the focus on the image itself really defined so much about society in the eighties.”
“It is truly your own integrity that will bring about opportunities.”
Not content to leave their musical careers in the hands of fate, Saints Boulevard have emulated their Seattle grunge icons and have gone down the more DIY route in recent months, establishing their own label with the other bands within their collective: Lifecycle Records. “Lifecycle Records is an indie label we started ourselves with our mates. It’s really more to put our bands on the road through extensive gigging more than distributing our music. That stuff is as easy as ever in this day and age.”
The DIY approach that is evident in Saints Boulevard’s sound management largely translates into the manner in which the band conduct themselves on stage and their attitude towards playing live. “Forget about which A&R scout is about, or who is down to play Electric Picnic this year, for me it’s all about the music. I find that the DIY attitude is essential if you want to make an impact.” says Moriarty. “It is truly your own integrity that will bring about opportunities. That’s something I have learned ever since I began playing in Saints Boulevard.”
Working within the restrictions of a three-piece band, Saints Boulevard find their limited instrumentation rewarding as much as they find it difficult, remedying any perceived lack with gusto and aggression. “Playing live at points can become limiting, especially with our guitar parts, but the aggressive playing style of this band helps provides a big sound, and we do everything possible to make our live sound as big as possible!”
Having received some decent airtime both in Ireland and the UK In 2015, expect to see Saints Boulevard gigging in Dublin in 2016, with an EP surely on the horizon.