Five & Five: McGalligog
McGalligog is pioneering the metal genre in Ireland, where metal scene isn’t particularly large. The bands blend of Thrash and Death metal is taking a footing though and they’re getting support both locally and worldwide. We got a chance to ask band members Ollie Deegan and Darren Tully a few questions recently about the bands album ‘Powered By Death’, which we had the great chance to review, and the band as a whole.
1. What artist/bands/songs/albums influenced you?
Ollie – I’ve always been a bit “riff addicted”. Iced Earth were the first band to chug their way into my playing style. Beforehand I had the usual Megadeth/Metallica mix of rhythms. Wintersun and Ensiferum have encouraged me to explore other genres more thoroughly before forming an opinion. Immortal are another favorite of mine. I like wandering songs and am a fan of extremely driven mixes. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of prog tech death such as “The Faceless”. On top of that, Revocation are another band that have again changed my writing style. I’m always looking for the next riff.
Darren – There are a few albums that have influenced me Powerslave by Iron Maiden was the first metal album I ever listened to and it got me hooked Beyond the Dark Sun by Wintersun opened me up to the a whole new world of other types of metal. Before then I was firmly in the clean vocals camp, but Jari’s vocals coupled with the epic melodies struck a chord with me I became less reluctant to listen to bands with Black or Death Metal Vocals and now I can’t get enough of them.
Most things by Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott was such an amazing song writer he produced such a great variety of Songs
2. What are you listening to right now?
Ollie – The Faceless, Revocation, Tommy Emmanuel and a bit of Vinnie Moore. It changes regularly however, both Revocation and The Faceless have been on repeat for a few weeks now.
Darren – My tastes change depending on the kind of mood I’m in. This week I’ve listened to a lot of Emperor, Bruce Dickinson, Kila and Soulline. Next week it could be radically different.
3. What’s your favorite show/performance been as a band?
Ollie – The Seine of Limerick in 2010 is one of my favorites. We had a prime slot on the bill and the crowd were just inebriated enough to loosen up and head bang the necks off themselves. Goslar in Germany has to top it though. It was the last night of our German tour in May 2012. Brilliant crowd, fantastic stage, sweaty as all hell. Amazing.
Darren – Two gigs really stand out New Year’s Eve 2009 at the Phoenix in Kildare it was an amazing atmosphere and a memorable night overall there’s a few good stories like how I got wasted and wandered off, they had to track my footprints in the snow to find me. Then there was Glosar during our tour with Ill-disposed in Germany this year, everything came together, we were really psyched and pumped up we went out onstage and gave it our all, our set was really tight and the venue was packed and the crowd really got into use we had some jumping up on stage to head bang with us it was one of the most memorable nights of the tour.
4. If you could give emerging artist any advice, what would you tell them?
Ollie – Network like there’s no tomorrow. Everyone can offer something and you never know who will give you your next gig. Also, test the market with regard to printing physical CD’s or leaving your work in the digital realm. It will save a lot of cash. Other than that, just enjoy the people you’re working with
Darren – Network get talking to everyone who’s putting on gigs or playing a lot of gigs it’s the best way to get asked to play some yourself, and it can also get people to spread the word about our material.
5. If you want people to remember one song from you it would be…
Ollie – Jewel of a thousand worlds. It has a great flow, also the riff is rather strange. I like it a lot.
Darren – The sound of speed I think it’s one of our most interesting songs because there is a lot of interesting variation in it and despite this it retains a recognizable structure.
6. The name McGalligog is pretty stand out for a metal band, what is the history behind it?
Darren – Myself Ollie and Matt went to college together, at that stage they were jamming together and starting to write stuff, but I wasn’t involved yet. We had a Dutch lecturer called Dr Van der Burg who had really bad English and had trouble pronouncing Irish names there was one girl called Sarah McGallagher and he called her Sarah McGalligog. As a joke I said “Why don’t you call your band McGalligog” it actually stuck.
Ollie – Like Darren said, it just happened and we stuck with it. We’ve been slated by plenty of folk for it but, our music does the talking for the most part.
7. How is the metal scene in Ireland?
Ollie – Underground and limited at best. There are a ton of fantastic musicians around however. It lacks the infrastructure of a more established music community.
Darren – There are a lot of good bands out there but for the most part it’s underground if you had no interest in the scene you would only vaguely be aware that it existed
8. How did you guys approach the writing process of Powered By Death differently than Delusions Of Madness?
Ollie – Delusions of Madness is a collection of favorite live songs from our early days. We’d jammed and written them together. Powered by Death took us into our own heads a little. We wrote a lot of it individually and brought it to the practice room to work on. It’s typically a theme based style I write with in mind. Matt focuses on structures and melodies that complement each other. It began as a collaborative effort between myself and Matt that eventually turned into songs recognized as “Ollie songs” or “Matt songs”. Our styles are different but match up in the right areas.
Darren – For Delusions of Madness we sort of plucked the songs out of a pool of demos Ollie and Matt had put together in the early days. For Powered by Death the songs were more focused and refined with better structure, for the most part they all conformed to a theme.
9. Do you have any tour or pre-show rituals?
Ollie – Extreme yawning seems to be one we all do. It just happens before each show. I like to drink exactly 3 and 3/4 beers before going on. Gets me loose, but not tipsy.
Darren – For me I like to mingle with the crowd and take in the other bands I play a gig I like to have fun it carries through when you get up on stage to play.
10. What is your favorite track off the new album to play live?
Ollie – When we get it right, the GraveDigger is my favorite. Our only fully slow song.
Darren – Steel meets Steel, Matt’s solo while the rest of us go silent before coming back in always gets a good rise out of the crowd.