Heroes In Hiding releasing debut album Actor

By Aideen O'Flaherty

INDIE rock four-piece Heroes in Hiding attracted the attention of RTE last year with their infectiously catchy track ‘Hospital’, which was written about frontman Joe Carroll’s near-death experience when he fell out of the back of a moving coach onto a motorway.

Now the band, whose sound also incorporates subtly layered electronics, are excited to release their debut album ‘Actor’ after the success of their ‘Curtains’ EP in 2016, which contained the well-received single ‘Hospital’.

hereos in hiding

The talented musicians are also seasoned live performers, who have played numerous festivals along the length and breadth of the country, and they were selected to perform as an opening act for one of Picture This’s sold out Olympia Shows last year.

The four-piece, who rehearse in Walkinstown, consists of Terenure-based Liam McCabe on bass, Rathfarnham native Cian Donohoe on drums, Oisin Jacob on electric guitar and Joe Carroll on vocals and acoustic guitar.

Liam told The Echo about how it feels for the band to be releasing their long-awaited debut album, and where they mined their inspiration for the songs on ‘Actor’ from.

How does it feel to be releasing an album?

It feels really great to be releasing an album, it's been a long time coming. Having previously released a number of EPs we’re delighted to finally be releasing a full-length record. It's just something that we’ve always wanted to do.

We are still very much ‘album people’, and felt that for ourselves to be taken seriously as a band we had to write an album that we felt represented us and that we could stand over as a body of work we were proud of.

How did writing and recording ‘Actor’ compare to making your EP ‘Curtains’?

The recording was almost identical to ‘Curtains’. For both records we recorded everything in our studio in Ballymount and had it mixed by Martin Quinn from Jam Studios in Carnaross, Meath. The one difference this time was that we also recorded the drums in Jam Studios.

Martin is an incredible engineer and he has a beautiful studio so we decided to take advantage of that this time around. The main difference with the writing was that we were writing with an overall theme in mind.

In the past we would write until we had a collection of songs that we felt would work well together as a cohesive release. This time around, seeing as it was our first full-length release, we wanted to try and say something with it, so that theme informed a lot of the writing.

In the absence of any dramatic near-death experiences this time around, what were the main sources of inspiration for the songs on ‘Actor’?

At the beginning of the writing process I had a bad case of writer’s block, to the point where I was questioning my abilities. Having pretty much dedicated my whole life to music I found myself asking "If I'm not a musician, then what am I?".

I felt like I was just playing a part I had written for myself and I was just going through the motions. This ended up becoming the ‘Actor’ theme and informed the overall writing process. To be honest it would have been easier if Joe fell out of a bus again. That provided much more instantaneous source material!

How did you eventually get over your writer’s block?

There was no real eureka moment – it was just hard work, one day at a time, putting one foot in front of the other until something made sense. I think that's the only way creative work really gets done. It's much more romantic to think about a tortured artist being visited by the muse but, in reality, it's just a matter of showing up every day and going to work.

How important was it for you to release the album on vinyl?

We really wanted to release the album on vinyl for ourselves. As far as physical versions of music goes, it is a much more tangible piece of art than CDs. We had it printed on white vinyl and it is beautiful. Also it is one of the only growing markets in music distribution so that was obviously a factor.

What impact do you hope ‘Actors’ will have on listeners?

Obviously, we hope people like it. In general, we are just excited to have it out in the world. It's lived exclusively with us for the past 18 months so we are really looking forward to it being out in the world and for the album to belong to other people and see what they make of it.

‘Actor’ is out now. You can find out more about the band by liking Heroes in Hiding on Facebook or visiting their website at www.heroesinhiding.ie.

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