In Their Thousands will play their biggest headline show to date this Thursday (December 8th) at the Sound House in Dublin. The band’s Declan McClafferty recently took the time to speak to TLMT about the group’s re-emergence, Leonard Cohen, and ITT’s new direction.
As a band, what is influencing you at the moment?
It’s really hard to not be immersed in Leonard Cohen’s back catalogue at the minute. His songs have lit a fire in me again for lyrics, and his are amazing. His new album is the proof. ‘Treaty’ is my favourite track. We’ve been playing a lot of trad music also and learning some new instruments. I got a pedal steel guitar recently which is a lot of fun. I’ve just got the lend of a Saxophone but it may be a few months before that see’s the light of day!
What’s the last record you bought?
The last vinyl to appear at our HQ was either The War On Drugs – Lost In A Dream or Jonathan Wilson – Fanfare
What song or artist do have on repeat the most at the moment?
We have a monthly playlist on the streaming sites actually. We pick 5 songs per month each and shuffle them. It’s called ‘Songs We Love – In Their Thousands‘ if you want to check it out. For me I listened to the new Bell X1 record a lot. The second Little Green Cars album is on regularly too. The Lemon Twigs and Whitney are two new artists that I’ve been listening to.
You play your biggest headline show so far next month, how are preparations going for it?
We’re obviously excited. We’re moving on to new sounds and new songs so that’s the focus. That’s something we’ve been working on since January this year so it’s great to get out of the rehearsal space and show people. A lot of the preparations are done. Ruairi and Martin are actually in Austin Texas on another music mission. We’ll figure out a set list in the next few days and run it a few times the day before. I think when you’re supposed to be expressing yourself it can’t be completely rehearsed. We try to leave our song structure open so it’s not the same every time!
You took a break from gigging, how has your live sound evolved sin the interim?
The sound has gotten much bigger. The drums and bass guitar seems to hold the groove more and it gives the guitars more room to add textures. The music is faster and more exciting I think. I noticed on our last show in Whelan’s I played acoustic guitar for 2 songs – that felt strange!!
There’s new instruments and sounds. We haven’t stopped gigging, or learning. We’re always on the move with some music project or other. With In TheirThousands we just decided to take some time to make new songs and sings about what we feel now because things always change.
With 2016 coming to a close, what have been your highlights for the band and from music in general this year?
The best thing for us was just creating. We’ve spent the Spring and Summer in our rehearsal place coming up with ideas. There’s hours of music there that we broke down into 30 odd music ideas that’ll make up a new album. The main focus was to just enjoy the process. The time for being really hard on ourselves is yet to come but for the past year we were happy to play in a shed like teenagers again. It’s great to be happy in your own place and forget what’s happening outside for a while. Now that bit of the story is closing it’s exciting to put the had above ground again and see where we’re at. We’ve had 2 sold out show in Whelan’s this year, performed as Gaeilge on TG4’s 20 birthday show, and got to play shows with people like Ciaran Lavery and Rosie Carney. Personally I ticked one-off the bucket list this year by playing at SXSW in Texas! It’s all about 2017 though and it’s all about an album!
Tickets to see In Their Thousands play the Sound House this Thursday night are priced at €10 and are available via from dice.fm. Support comes from Rosa Nutty.
The Last Mixed Tape: Irish-indie blog run by music critic Stephen White.