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Interview: Kodaline

30th January 2015

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Irish quartet Kodaline’s ability to portray emotions in their songs has gained them a big international following.


Their melodies touch and support singer Steve Garrigan’s “emotional journey”, the music taking us to places that poetic lyrics alone can't reach.

After having toured the world with their debut album, and having their music featured on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Kodaline is finally ready to reveal to us their anticipated and melodious second album, Coming Up For Air.

Their new and rhythmic single ‘Honest’ sets the tone for an album that won’t disappoint dedicated fans or those looking for a more developed sound.

Drawing their inspiration from the energy they got from their extensive touring, the band “lit a kind of fire” under themselves and finished the album in just eight weeks.

“We came straight off the road, so the biggest thing for us was that we were a better band and we knew each other as musicians better. It was the energy of those couple of months of touring that led into the album”, says bass player Jason Boland.

They worked with limited means to create some of the demos that would later become their second album.

“We used spray cans, hotel doors, bags of coins, change and stuff like that. When were in the studio we did that as well, even though all of our equipment was there and next door there was a massive drum kit. And there were four other drum kits in another room. But we were like, no let’s use a wicker basket, some sharpies, and like a half empty coke can”, laughs drummer Vinny May.

This experimentation led to an album where the music was prioritised over the band members’ personal interests.

“There’s even less ego on this record than there was on the first one, which for us is kind of the goal. You want to be able to present the music with not so much no personality, but just let the music speak for itself”, says Boland.

May adds: “We didn’t try to make a record for other people, we tried to make a record for ourselves. Songwriting is a very selfish thing, but we wanted to try new things, give the song whatever the song needed. There is a gospel singer in one song, there’s a kids choir on another song, trumpets.  Steve loves trumpets.”

The band went from playing for “a couple of thousand people” over the weekend, to the studio on the Monday with producer Jacknife Lee in L.A.

“He just changed the way that we worked. Before we wouldn’t try the things that we wanted, but he just made us think like, well why not? Why not try something? He took us out of our comfort zone and made us try new things”, says May.

The second album has given the band opportunities to collaborate with other musicians, an opportunity that didn’t present itself to the same extent on the first album due to the “budget”.

“Musicians by nature want to collaborate, so we were quite lucky that we were given the opportunity to collaborate with people”, says May and continues, “To be able to collaborate with like string sections and horn sections and singers is incredible. We loved it.”

Kodaline are spending the rest of the spring on tour supporting the new album in the UK, Europe and North America.

“We’ll play some of the tracks off the first record. We are going to try to split it up equally. We want to give everybody a taste of what the new album sounds like live compared to what it sounds like on a CD. We’ve spent weeks now rehearsing, trying to replicate everything and put our own spin on it. There’s a certain energy that you have in a studio, but there’s a completely different energy where there are four of us in a room and we’re playing the song live together. It’s a completely different animal”, says May.

Boland adds: “We played four new songs on New Year’s Eve in Dublin and the reaction was incredible. One minute passed twelve we played ‘Honest’ as the first song of the new year and if the reaction of that was anything to go by it was a good way to start the new year.”

“We’re just as excited as other people are to see us live. We’re just excited to try and pull it off again”, laughs May.

For tour dates, visit their website:

Coming Up For Air will be released on Feb 9th and is now available for preorder.

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