A pinch of punk, a spoonful of garage rock and a sprinkle of catchy pop tunes: this is what the instructions would be for a simple recipe for Otherkin. The four-piece from Dublin play to-the-point songs with forceful passion and their music, made up of aggressive guitar riffs and husky vocals, undoubtedly conveys a boisterous energy. They have supported the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns ‘N’ Roses in the past and they last visited Bristol on tour with the Dead Kennedys. They are now on a massive UK/Europe tour to promote their new album, OK.
We meet with them ahead of their Bristol gig at the Crofters Rights on Monday, October 23.
Hi guys, could you introduce yourselves?
Hello there! We’re Otherkin, and we’re made up of Luke Reailly (vocals / guitar), Conor Wynne (guitar), David Anthony (bass) and Rob Summons (drums). We’re four dudes from Ireland who like playing fast paced garage rock and having sweaty party shows.
How did the band get together?
Three of us met in Toronto a couple of summers back on a student visa, we spent that summer playing music out on the porch of our house. By the end of the holiday we were drawing some pretty big crowds of people who wanted to have a good time with us. When we got home it took us quite a while to form the band, but once we started writing we went on the hunt for a drummer and found our beloved Bobby Summons on an Irish punk/hardcore forum.
When looking up the name of the band on the internet, it is described as a “subculture who socially and spiritually identify as partially or non-human.” Is there a bizarre story behind the band’s name – like you think your souls are non-human or something?!
Not really no! Although when people who do identify as Otherkin message us we usually say our drummer thinks he’s a dragon or something for a laugh. We saw this article about Otherkin in a Dublin Culture Mag as the whole subculture had just started and it sounded quite interesting, it’s definitely developed into something much bigger and weirder than we ever expected, haha.
How would you describe your music?
That’s a tough one as people are forever calling us different genres, I like to think we just play energetic garage rock with big choruses. We’re a big fan of catchy choruses, but also like a blazing riffs. The Otherkin sound is a combination of those two worlds!
You come from Dublin, a city with an important musical past and a vibrant music scene. What influence does it have on your work?
Dublin is an amazing city, and we’re all very proud of where we’re from. It definitely has had a unique effect on our sound. I think the manic energy in our music is something that is a result of our lives in Dublin.
Some people compare you to The Hives or The Strokes, do you agree with this? Does it pressure you in any way to be compared to other bands?
Not at all, these are the bands we grew up with and still love because they were able to combine amazing music with gigantic choruses and ended up becoming crossover acts without having to change their sound for the mainstream. All you can do is admire what they achieved and we’re going to try do the same ourselves.
You’ve got a new album. What can we expect from the new material?
Yeah, it’s insanely exciting to finally have our debut album out. We tried to capture the energy of our live show with this album, so I think it’s full of energy and party anthems.
Could you let us know a bit more about your song writing process? Do you work on it together?
Yep, most songs on the album were either a collaborative process in our rehearsal room or else the bones of an idea would we brought in then we all help flesh the song and write it together. We work as a unit.
You are about to tour the UK to promote your new album. I read that your performances are electric and involve crowdsurfing and mosh pits… Is that what the Bristol audience can expect?
100%! Bristol is a great city, and we’ve only played there once with the Dead Kennedys and the crowd were insane. We’ll be expecting a sweaty show with lots of crowdsurfing and moshpits!
Do you have a favourite song to play live and if so, why?
I think we all really enjoy playing Yeah, I Know and Enabler – they’re two of the heavier songs from the album and always make the crowd get really loose.
What’s awaiting you in 2018? Do you have any future projects in mind?
We’ve already start writing album number two. We want to tour the world with our debut album and also get to work on writing as many new songs as possible.