How did it all start for you?/ How was your journey to what you do now?
I suppose like a lot of people, my journey in music is one of growing up, sort of...
Playing music with my best friends in a garage as teens, setting up a band, studying painting at Art College, and then taking up the band again more seriously.
Then by 2015 Video Blue started when I decided to continue making music on my own, following the end of said band. It's been a busy, educational, creative and sometimes difficult 5 or so years since.
Above all, 2 albums and 3 EP's later, it's been the most fun and rewarding life experience so far. I've played live more in the last 5 years than I have in the previous 15 (I'm 32).
You meet, connect and collaborate with some amazing people on this journey. It's great to be independent.
How did an Irish man like yourself end up in good old Hackney?
I moved to London almost a decade ago with the band. That was it. The sort of romantic but necessary thing to do: move to London, and give the band a go.
The band didn't last, but friendships, life, art and work in East London did.
Please tell us a bit about Volumes and how you became involved in that project?
I had heard Will White's previous contribution to the Volumes project, 'Grief is the Thing with Feathers', over a year ago and loved it and the concept.
I developed a few ideas and pitched it to Volumes (Natalia Maus), she responded and went from there!
Why did you choose “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly' by Jean-Dominique Bauby and what makes that book so special to you?
It was a book that really left an impression on me. Upon hearing Will White's contribution to Volumes, I immediately thought: ''I wanna do this, but with '...Diving Bell'.
I first read it a decade ago whilst a student at Art college, I picked up a paperback copy in-between lockdowns in the Summer of 2020.
Upon revisiting, I was taken by how uplifting and spirited this great book is.
It's themes of perseverance, sense of place, reflection, separation and anxiety resonated strongly with me. A story of the vast potential and magic of the human mind in a locked-in state, unwittingly became an essential lockdown-read.
Funnily enough, I'd never seen the Julian Schnabel film adaptation; so I waited until I'd mastered the finished EP to watch it over Christmas last year.
It's brilliant by the way, and has a great soundtrack.
Please elaborate on the process of recording – you ended up making these in two places..here in London and in your native Ireland?!
Most of my music is recorded in a home-studio situation, with the exception of bigger recording studios being used for things like drums, guitars and other bits.
But this EP was made entirely in a home set-up. This included where I quarantined in Ireland before Christmas 2020. This location was very fortunately located on the coast, with the Irish Sea a 15 minute walk away.
Sounds from this wintry beach as well as our monotonous, domestic dishwasher back in the flat make up part of the field recordings within the track 'Beach Club'.
There was so much detail within the Book which demanded sonic exploration: Certain chapters, either conjuring Bauby's memories or present struggles, suggested a meditative ambient soundscape. Movement and machinations within the book, the sounds of the equipment keeping him alive, became touchpoints also.
I'm sort of used to having a mobile set-up, especially when a lot of the skeletal work in my music can be achieved using a midi keyboard, and basically all of the possibility of working with my computer. It's very liberating. I'm always playing around with ideas on the computer with my headphones, be it in bed, in an airport lounge, on a long train journey, wherever.
Being in that remote location for a lot of this EP's creation did filter into the hopefully very meditative and ambient music within.
What do you try to communicate to the audience through your music?
Mood and tone - All great music, and certainly all the music I love can enhance or elevate moods.
This EP is not a great example of my words and lyrics as it is mostly instrumental, but with my lyrics I try to do the same: aside from singing tunes I have some spoken-word tracks which are all about setting a tone, and feeling, with detail and heart, no matter how abstract.
Different music does different things, but if I can convey a sense of emotion through what I do, then I'm somewhat happy.
You combine electronica and alt-pop...please tell us a bit about your musical influences.
There's so much, but I'm obsessed with the Post-Punk period. That spirit of adventure after the Punk explosion.
I love the repetition of Neu! and Can, and the broader Krautrock acts, like Harmonium and Kraftwerk.
90's U2 and Radiohead made me want to write songs.
I spent my twenties being obsessed with everything from The National to Aphex Twin.
Sparklehorse, David Kitt and Beck are pretty important to me in how I navigate musically as Video Blue.
But the two biggest influences on Video Blue are probably New Order and Brian Eno.