We caught up with Castlecomer bass player Joe Kennedy while he was at home in Australia to briefly discuss the cover track.
How did you make the bass line your own from the original version?
There is a lot less chordal movement in my version of the bass part, especially in the verses. It helps to drive forward and root the sound. It gives a lot of energy making it more about the movement than the changes.
What bass did you use and how was it recorded (direct, amp, both)?
I use a 60th Anniversary P bass and I go directly in through a Tech 21 Sans Amp Di. I love the control that I can get with the drive, and blend knobs.
Five-piece band Castlecomer has released their self-titled debut album on October 5, 2018 via Concord Records. Brimming with blissful energy and infectious hooks, Castlecomer follows the band’s remarkable rise from the pubs of Sydney to the Spotify Global Viral Chart, where their single “Fire Alarm” hit #6 on its way to racking up nearly six million streams. The track has garnered widespread airplay and drawn comparisons to The Strokes and Daft Punk, with Rolling Stone Australia praising the band’s “amalgamation of emotion and unashamed catchiness.”
Recorded primarily in Sydney with producers Adrian Breakspear (Gang of Youths) and Jean-Paul Fung (Jet, Silverchair) and mastered by Joe LaPorta (The Weeknd, The Killers, Foo Fighters), Castlecomer is equal parts rock and roll abandon and meticulous pop craftsmanship. Chock full of contagious, arena-ready anthems, the album conjures up its own escapist world of young love and big dreams, all fueled by explosive guitars and hypnotizing grooves. Lead single “All Of The Noise” shimmers as it barrels forward, mixing thoughtful beauty with raw power, while “Move” pairs lead vocalist Bede Kennedy’s silky smooth vocals with a disco-tinged arrangement that’s pure 1970’s joy. Castlecomer also offers the band a chance to show off the versatility that marks their exhilarating live shows, where punk snarl (“She Knows”) and stripped-back tenderness (“Leaving”) meet undeniable dancefloor jams (“Make Love Make Music,” “If I Could Be Like You”). No Castlecomer concert would be complete without a tear through “Fire Alarm,” though. It was the first song frontman Bede Kennedy wrote for the album, and the one that changed his life.
“When I wrote ‘Fire Alarm,’ I decided then and there to quit my day job and focus solely on music,” says Bede (pronounced BEEd). “That song marked this cathartic moment where I really put a stake in the ground and committed to going all in. For the next twelve months, I did nothing but write for nine hours a day, every single day”
The band would go on to perform hundreds of shows and festival dates Down Under, building up a devoted fanbase and honing their set into a concentrated blast of pure energy and ecstasy. By the time they got to SXSW in 2017, Castlecomer was ready to take America by storm, and over the course of eight shows in three days, they laid the groundwork that landed them management, a booking agent, a publishing deal, and a record contract.
“We didn’t know anybody in the industry,” says Bede, “but we felt confident that if we had the opportunity to get onstage in front of a lot of people, that would be enough. We’re like the poster boys for what you can achieve at South By Southwest.”
Castlecomer has never been lacking when it comes to drive and ambition, and their tenacious belief in the potential of their band goes all the way back to its earliest days. Comprised of four cousins and a close childhood friend, the group began playing live during their teenage years and took their moniker from a plaque mounted outside their grandfather’s house, one they later found out referenced the Irish village his family had emigrated from. Much like the band’s music, their name possesses deep personal meaning while still retaining an air of evocative mystery, hinting at places they’ve never been but still somehow course through their veins. Australia’s in their blood, too, and Sydney will always be home, but after signing with Concord, the band took a leap of faith in early 2018 and moved to the United States.
For more visit: Castlecomer