Sunday 2 August 2015

HomeTown // Interview

HomeTown, the six piece Irish boyband sensation, formed by Louis Walsh, are about to take the UK by storm. I say “boyband”, what I really should be saying is vocal group. And, the six boys have been taking a firm hold on the Irish charts with their latest single beating One Direction and Ed Sheeran to the top spot. 

HomeTown hit the UK a matter of weeks ago so Est.1987 took the opportunity to sit down with Cian Morrin to chat all things performing, group bonding and who’s the messiest to live with…

Hi Cian, so first things first; sum up HomeTown in 3 words
Crazy, weird and fun [laughing]

And we have to ask about the name too…
Well it was Louis Walsh himself who came up with the name. We tried to come up with names, and they were very bad. We thought we were being creative, but sadly not. I think Louis was watching the TV show Homeland and then thought up HomeTown and we loved it.

You’re described as a vocal group as opposed to a boyband; how would you sum up your sound?
To say we totally want to get away from the boyband label would be a bit naïve of us I think; we do focus our time and effort on the harmonies and singing, so we practice a lot. A lot of our songs are very acoustic guitar based. We do enjoy doing big shows with backing tracks, but also love stripped back acoustic songs too.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Westlife and On Direction, is it flattering to have those comparisons? And what do you think sets you apart from those bands?
It’s so flattering; all those bands are huge. Obviously we’re nowhere near their success and we can only hope that we get half as much as they have. And what sets us apart? We have six members [laughing]. Other than that we are just working hard on our own music and let that do the talking and we’ll go from there. I’m big fans of both those bands though.

You’ve got the backing of Louis Walsh- he put the band together. I guess that must instil a lot of confidence that he believes in you and has chosen to work with you. So, how is he as a boss?
He’s really cool, he works us hard and was never afraid to put us in at the deep end. We always learn from everything he makes us do and anytime we do anything wrong he isn’t afraid to tell us and make sure we knew where we went wrong. That’s only made us better and we feel like he is giving us the best opportunities to get us where we want to be.

The six of you had never met before forming the band; how easily did you form that bond and find the chemistry that is so present in the band?
I think the great thing is that although we were thrown together it was more of a slow process, especially for the first few months, so we were able to take it in our stride. We weren’t thrown into a house together where we had to live on top of each other immediately; we were eased into it. We gradually got to know each other as normal friends would. And now for the last five weeks we’ve been living together in the UK. Other than the lack of people doing the dishes it’s really good.

Who’s the messiest HomeTown boy to live with then?
Ryan and Brendan like to leave their dishes hanging around but Josh is always on the hand to do the washing up thought [laughing].

You all come from different backgrounds; you auditioned for X Factor, some of the boys have been dancers and singers before.  Is it nice that you all brought a different something to the group?
Yeah definitely. We’ve all had different experiences. I’ve been in bands before and then X Factor as have some of the other guys. Josh and Brendan came more or less straight out of school so we all had different ways of looking at things. Some of us had more experience but then it was great having Josh and Brendan because they had fresh ideas and a new way of looking at things. The six of us always work together to get the best out of ourselves.

You’ve had huge success in Ireland beating Ed Sheeran and One Direction to the top spot in the charts and your latest single was written by Kodaline. Are you all just loving every minute of this?
Yeah, it’s very surreal, just everything is crazy. It’s such a privilege to see the people in Ireland really getting behind an Irish act. It’s been an honour for us.

And now you’re ready to crack the UK; are you excited to be over here?
It’s been hard work and we’ve been so busy, but we’re loving it all. We’ve been doing shows with The Vamps over here and school tours as well; it was no nine to five. It was long days everyday but we are really enjoying it. Some of the shows are the best we’ve ever done; Colwyn Bay in Wales that was unbelievable, Edinburgh Castle as well, there are ones I know I’ll never forget. We just want to keep building the fan base.

So finally, what’s next for you guys?
So, we’re promoting the single and then later on this year getting back into the studio to do some more writing and work on the album. And we just want to tour lots and see where HomeTown goes and hopefully go to as many home towns as we can [laughing].