Clondalkin man's leap of faith paying off for California based ONOFF

DAVID Hurrell took a leap of faith in 2013 when he moved to California as the bassist in the rock band ONOFF, and now the Clondalkin native's decision has paid off as the band's American fan base continues to swell.

After bringing their vibrant brand of rock to numerous American TV show performances, ONOFF are now preparing to release their new album on May 26.


David, a past pupil of Moyle Park College, took some time out to speak to The Echo about living Stateside, being a musician and why you can't beat a good pint of Guinness.

What's your best memory of growing up in Clondalkin?

I have many favourite memories of Clondalkin growing up, from spending hours with my dad fishing off the side of the Grand Canal, spending time at my grandparents' house where our whole family would meet most Sundays, to hanging out at friends' houses.

Unlike most I actually loved school, both St Joseph's and Moyle Park College - perhaps that's largely to do with the exceptional quality of the teachers from both.

I was a musician in the choir at the Church of the Immaculate Conception for a few years while simultaneously performing with a number of different bands, honing my skills as a musician both in the studio and live.

I've also always loved Clondalkin in the winter time, it's got a certain beauty about it in my opinion.

When did ONOFF first form?

ONOFF first formed in 2001, but I wasn't a member at the time. I joined a few years later when the old bassist quit. The band was originally a four-piece pop punk band but our sound and line-up has changed now, to what we consider the best it's ever been.

In 2013, your band sold all of their equipment in Ireland ahead of moving to California. Was it nerve-wracking or exciting to be selling off the band's equipment ahead of the move?

Yeah Paulie, Stevie and myself had to sell our amps, pedal boards, drum gear and my PA to help pay for our plane tickets. It was definitely nerve-wracking.

That was equipment we had spent years building up. Musicians are kind of like hoarders in so far as they build up and accumulate their tools and equipment over a number of years, and hate getting rid of any of it.

What prompted the band to decide to move Stateside?

The American music industry is number one, that's where we felt ONOFF's product needed to be shopped. When we write new material we try to cater our music to the US market.

Of course we all got into music because we loved playing, and that's always how it should be, but the industry we are in is called the music "business". And it is all about business for us right now.

It's incredibly hard for original bands to break any real ground and sustain their careers full stop but for an industry as tiny as Ireland's it's damn near impossible and it's a real shame because there's so many amazing original artists in Ireland that just don't get anywhere.

ONOFF have already toured Europe multiple times and have been featured in numerous music magazines in Europe, but to sustain a career out of it and get your music out there for the world to hear you need to put a lot of time and work into this industry - which is why we are here in the US in the biggest music industry in the world.

Is there anything that you miss about being based in Ireland?

I miss a good pint of Guinness! And of course my family and friends. It was equally hard on them, but they know this is what I love to do and they have shown nothing but love and support.

I think support from friends and family is very important in this industry.

They will always be your first and last fans and they will always be brutally honest with you, which is exactly what's needed sometimes.

What has been your best experience as part of ONOFF so far?

I'd have to say my best experience so far with ONOFF has been performing on live US television. And performing at the NAMM show in Anaheim. It's definitely something I look forward to doing more of in the near future.

You recently released your new single 'Keep That Fire Burning', what has the reaction been like?

We released our new single 'Keep The Fire Burning on March 11, you can go and check it out on our YouTube channel ONOFFmusictv.

The video has gotten a great reception and we're very pleased with it. All of the people standing around us in the music video are actually all fans and friends of ours who showed up at a secret location in Northern California near Sacramento to help us shoot it.

You'll also be releasing a new album in May, what can you tell us about it?

Yeah we are releasing our new album on May 26 which will be available on iTunes and in hard copy form from our website

We are playing an album release show on May 26 in the legendary Bottom Of The Hill venue in San Francisco, where acts such as Green Day have performed.

Our new album is our best work to date - Paulie, Stevie and myself really feel as though we have crafted the ONOFF sound in this record, if that makes any sense.

There's a song for everyone and every mood on this album. Absolutely no fillers! We recorded it in San Jose's ton Freq studios and we can't wait to release it.

To find out more about ONOFF check out their website 

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