Tuesday 29th January saw Greyface crowned the winner of UCD MusicSoc’s Battle of the Bands in Whelan’s after a close call finish. The band, made up of vocalist Roy Geary; guitarist Sean Keogh; bassist Oisin O’Keeffe; drummer Korey Thomas and keyboard player Lughaidh O’Brien; formed gradually after Roy met Sean while photographing his previous band. United through a love of metal music, their various different tastes began, and continue to influence their sound, giving them a different sound from your generic screamo band. Their stage persona’s are brash and bold, comprising of dark makeup, gothic outfits (featuring a fetching pink dress) and a loud and proud attitude. Offstage, however, the lads are more subdued, but still as in love with music as their stage characters. Roy met with Otwo a week on from their win, and explained the foundations behind the band, what is coming next and what he thinks UCD can do to nurture bands like theirs.
The band have all adopted stage names to go with their outlandish personas. Geary is ‘Shaye Saint Lawrence’; Keogh is ‘Icarus’; O’Keeffe is ‘Evra Von’; Thomas is ‘Éalú’ and O’Brien is ‘Sluagh’. These are all tied in with the concept of ‘Greyface’ itself; letting go of your inhibitions and losing yourself in the music. While they all have similar music tastes, they differ in certain areas, giving them their unique, alternative sound. Hip-hop, rap, indie and classic rock are all influences, and Geary explains that all of these have contributed to their tracks. “Our tastes have all evolved a bit, Greyface is where we meet in the middle,” he explained. He stressed the importance, for him personally, on the quality of lyrics over the sound, and how they are inspired by the likes of David Bowie in terms of their stage performances. “We’re very into the theatrical side, it’s certainly a big part of the show. We don’t like limiting ourselves down to anything in particular (in terms of influences).” The performance they put on in Whelan’s was certainly very Bowie-esque, and other influences such as twentyone pilots, Alice Cooper and Weezer could also be heard throughout the five song set.
Whelan’s came alive during Greyface’s performance, the crowd all moshing together and reciprocating every one of Geary’s yells. He tells me that while he loves playing venues like Whelan’s and The Academy, the dream is to play bigger shows. “For me it would have to be the 3Arena. I say that strictly because I’ve seen so many shows there and everytime I go to see a show I imagine how great it would be to play there.” He also cites The Olympia and Wembley as two other goals, as well as playing at more festivals, particularly in the U.K. The immediate future for the band is busy, with a future gig planned at Whelan’s Midnight Hour as well as plans to go into the studio soon and begin recording. “We’ve recorded stuff in the past but this time we’re working with a producer, James Darkin, so we can put a more polished finish on it, so we’re really looking forward to seeing where that goes.” With their fantastic, raw live sound, it will be interesting for us to see how this translates onto a recorded piece, with the lads hoping to record an EP after working with Darkin.
We also had a chat about what they would like to see UCD do to promote homegrown bands more. “It’d be cool if the college had regular contact with venues to help get guys who want to get started playing more, like Midnight Hour at Whelan’s; people get paid for that which is a great incentive.” Also mentioned was the Fresher’s Week bandstand, which Geary noted was played by Irish band Otherkin this year, to a near empty field. “I think part of the issue is promotion, it would be great if the college made people more aware of the live music on campus. I’d love for UCD to be known for having a band culture.” Geary also suggested The Clubhouse having a live night once a week in order to promote and encourage more UCD based bands and artists. As for UCD acts we should be looking out for? MYTH, also featured in Battle of the Band’s final, are one of Geary’s highlights, a four-piece alternative rock band whose sound mirrors the likes of Wyvern Lingo.
Greyface are sure to have a bright future, and with future gigs and recording planned, they are certainly on the right path. Their unique, live set is one that has to be seen to simply be experienced, and Roy, while being sworn to secrecy on the exact details, says that what could be their biggest gig yet is in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Certainly one of the most exciting live bands UCD has to offer, it will definitely be one not to be missed. Our chat ends with a final discussion of keyboard player Lughaidh’s animated dance moves, reminiscent of Bez from the Happy Mondays: “He’s been banned from moving away from his keyboard,” assures Roy. “Maybe DanceSoc will let him in.”
Greyface play The Academy’s Greenroom on 5th March.