Interview with Stay Ok!

January 16th sees the release of the debut EP from fast rising Irish rock band Stay Okay! Bursting with well crafted melodies, eager hooks, and an infectious rock energy Time To Grow shows a band on the rise as they spread beyond their already enthusiastic homeland. We had the pleasure to talk to and find out about Stay Ok! and their exciting new release.

Hi and thanks for talking to The Ringmaster Review.

Thank you!

Firstly could you introduce the band members and tell us where and when you met and how Stay Ok! began?

Well there are four of us in the band: Timmy sings, Irtiza plays guitar, Alan plays bass and Kev plays drums. We all met in school just through some mutual friends and stuff, except for Irtiza. We had already started the band before we knew him, and after what seemed to be a hopeless search for a decent guitarist we were lucky enough to have a friend introduce us to him!

What were the inspirations that led you to have that need to make music?

I think it began as just a normal hobby kinda thing I guess. Playing music is a lot of fun so that’s obviously why we all started, but when it came around to us writing music to release and have people other than us to hear it became more of an outlet for us to express ourselves through.

You come from Dublin where there seems to be a vibrant music scene with some great bands emerging, is that the reality?

The scenes pretty good alright! Lately there’s been a good few bands branching out and touring the UK and even moving on to the rest of Europe too which is awesome to see. The standard is set pretty high here so it shouldn’t be long before a lot more local bands start making a name for themselves I’m sure.

How easy was it to spread outside to the rest of Ireland with your sounds?

It was pretty easy actually. We made some really great friends in bands in different places around Ireland so we were all able to help each other out with shows which let us reach out to new people. It’s definitely easier to do these things when you’ve got people helping you out!

January 16th sees the release of your debut EP Time To Grow. Does it feels like the accumulation of the past 2 years in that it is an introduction of this is us and this is what we can do as well as being a starting point for a new venture for the band?

We definitely see it as an introduction to who we want to be as a band, and hopefully that comes across in it! I mean it is just the starting point for us, so from here on in everything we do will hopefully progress more and more… and hopefully sound better too.

Please give some insight into the creation and recording of the EP.

As much as we wanted a killer sound quality and be able to take our time recording it we just didn’t have the money at all! But we were lucky enough to come across a reasonably priced studio with an awesome producer.

Did you go into the studio with the finished sound already in your heads or did it evolve during the process?

Since we were sticking to a pretty limited budget we had to make sure we were as prepared as we could be before going in to the studio! So we didn’t have much time in there to change much, but having the input of a producer listening to the songs with fresh ears helped us put the finishing touches.

How do you write songs? As a band or it is mainly an individual input?

The songs on Time To Grow were mainly written by Kev and Timmy. Kev would record the music at home and send it on to Timmy to put lyrics too and then we’d play them over and over like a million times as a band to finish them off. Now we kinda write more as a band though in the few songs we’ve been working on since.

What inspires the songwriting?

Timmy really just writes from experience. I think that the most important thing is that the songs we write are relatable. That’s when Timmy put pen to paper when it comes to growing up, friendships and family.

I am assuming you have a fair repertoire of tracks now how did you choose the four that make up Time To Grow?

To be honest we didn’t have that much tracks to choose from in the first place! And whatever other songs we did have sucked so it was literally just those four songs that were really worth recording. We really just wrote the four new songs that made up Time to Grow. They came at a really good period in our time as a band.

Towards the Finishline’ is our favourite track here can you give some background to the song?

Glad ya like it! We love playing this live. The crowd really seem to get into it! It’s one of those songs that is easy to listen to. The message is clear behind we feel. Nothing is impossible, sure look at where we are now. Bit of positivity for ya there!

Getting back to Dublin, do you think coming from there has shaped your sound in any way?

I wouldn’t say it has that much. Like we kind of tried to make the effort to not sound like anyone else from the Dublin scene so we’d stand out more, whether that worked or not I don’t know though! Because it’s such a small place, we have had to work harder to try and impress the listeners.

You are planning dates for a tour of the UK to promote the EP, any news on that?

We’re working so so hard on that at the minute. Right now the plan is to get over for a bunch of shows in the summer. Also if anyone reading this wants to help us make this happen, get in touch.

What can UK audiences expect from a Stay Ok! gig?

Expect us to try charm you into liking us with our Irishness and funny accents… But really we’d play our hearts out. First impressions mean a lot especially with new bands, so every time we’re playing somewhere new we really don’t hold anything bank.

If just one big thing comes from the EP and tour what would you hope for?

We’re not really expecting anything that big to come from the EP to be honest. All we want is for people to listen and maybe get a friend to listen too. That is the most important thing to us right now! We just want people to listen to what we have to say because what it really comes down to is the passion we have in our songs.

What are your current personal listening pleasures?

The Dangerous Summer and Deaf Havana are favourites for most of us at the minute. But as individuals we kinda have a crazy mix, it’s a common thing to go straight from a Taylor Swift song to an Asking Alexandria track if one of our iPods is on shuffle…

Big thanks for sharing your time and about the band with us.  Can we get you to leave with firstly any words for your existing and sure to be new UK fans?

Thank you for wanting to talk to us in the first place! Pleeeeeeeease keep listening and please keep spreading the word about us and introducing people to our music. That’s literally the only thing that makes playing shows for us possible and it’s so cool that people do it! Also come talk to us on Facebook and all those other sites too, we’re nice!

And any dark secrets about each other we should be told about?

Alan is bald and has to wear a wig until he gets a hair transplant.

 

https://www.facebook.com/stayokay

Check out the Time To Grow EP @ http://www.stayokay.bandcamp.com/

Read the EP review@ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/stay-okay-time-to-grow-ep/

RingMaster 06/01/2012

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Stay Okay! – Time To Grow EP

Since their beginnings in 2009 Irish rock band Stay Okay! has been on a steady strong ride of attention and acclaim leading up to their debut EP Time To Grow. The quartet wowed audiences as Dublin took them to their hearts with further afield in Ireland following close behind. There has been a deliberate and even pace to the band’s evolution as they formed and defined the sound that they knew was them using a constant attack of gigs to not only amass a firm underground following but also shape what they were creating. Released January 16th Time To Grow is the first step in bringing the band into wider seas and an immediate wave to grab and earn more than a passing glance.

Stay Okay! play music that is from the heart with accessibility from open melodies and eager hooks that smile and wink at the listener as they lay an invitation at their ear. The bands passion and emotional intent from song and lyrics is obvious and at times as infectious as the rock/pop sounds that leap from the EP. The tracks within Time To Grow connect without tearing down walls and leave an unforgettable reminder with their addictive flavours and energy. Though it would be fair to say the band have still probably further travels on their journey to find a distinct sound that lifts them clear of the rest the release shows they are heads above a great many and has marked them for a close and enthused attention ahead as they develop further.

Opening track ‘Lay Your Worries To The Grave’ thrusts its broad shoulders through the ear with pounding rhythms and urgent riffs and energy. To be honest the track at first was not as immediate to engage as the subsequent tracks. It bristles and pulses with great intensity and attractive melodies but the vocals from Tim Chadwick in the slower moments felt disengaged to the song, like they were in a parallel version. This sounds worse than it is and only meant the song had to woo a little which it ultimately did with ease after a couple more plays.

Towards the Finishline’ takes over with an increased adrenaline and hypnotic charm and emerges as the EP’s best track. With a punk edge and flowing burst of teasing guitars from Irtiza Malik and pulsating basslines from Alan Ferns the track is a winner from the opening chords. Chadwick gives an intense vocal delivery to enhance and thrust forward the lyrical content. Here and throughout the release the drums of Kevin OShea punctuate and punch the song with control and skill completing a display of four musicians in confident ability and sureness.

The remaining two tracks lower the pace a touch but increase the emotive feel oozing from song and vocals. ‘My Day’ wraps itself around the senses with warmth and attentive care. Still buzzing with more moody basslines from OShea and striking guitars from Malik the song shows a wider flare from the band as it expresses more open emotion than before. The same can be said of closing track ‘Time To Grow’, a slow heartfelt song that expands upon the senses with an array of arresting melodies and vibrant energy. Chadwick unleashes full range of his ability and shows he is an emerging vocalist to take note of and gives intrigue as to his approach in ‘Lay Your Worries To The Grave’ when his delivery was not as fluid and instinctive as on all other three tracks.

Time To Grow is an impressive debut and clear indication that Stay Okay! will be repeating the success in their homeland across the UK and beyond over the coming months. With tour dates planned to support the release 2012 should be a big one for the band and an increasing amount on new eager ears to their sounds.

Check out the Time To Grow EP @ http://www.stayokay.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 06/01/2012

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