Fast becoming one of the most exciting names in new music, Dublin’s Otherkin are making punk-pop that is completely fresh. Ahead of a string of dates this month, an imminent album and a generally very exciting year bringing their house party sound to the world, we caught up with lead guitarist Conor Wynne to find out a little bit more…

Do you want to start by telling us a bit about Otherkin in your own words?

We’re just four dudes from Dublin. I met the bassist David in school when we were 12 and then he went to university with our singer, Luke. That’s how the three of us met, and then my old band that I was in with David played gigs with our drummer Rob’s old band so we all kinda knew each other. We formed very gradually after a holiday in Canada, it was like a working holiday where we spent a summer playing music on a porch. It got started from there. But aside from that we’re just four guys from Dublin playing fast and loud music!

You’ve said that you bonded over a common interest everything from Queens of the Stone Age to Blur – are these influences in terms of your sound or more just a sort of nod to your love of music?

Yeah, I don’t know how much those bands even feed into what we write, we more write music that’s what we like to hear ourselves. We got to a point where we were almost sick of not hearing the type of music being put out there by bands that we really like, we didn’t hear a lot of bands (except for maybe Fidlar) who were putting out fast and fun rock music. There’s down-tempo rock music, and a lot of up-tempo electronic and folk artists, but no one doing what we wanted to hear. So we were like ‘fuck this let’s just write the music that we want to hear’ and that’s what we’ve always done. We write it for ourselves.

Which is good because it inevitably makes for something completely new.

I think it’s a good ethos as well. If you’re writing for other people, maybe it’s not the most organic way of doing it but if you’re producing it for yourself and going back and thinking ‘this is the type of band I’d listen to anyway’ then you’re doing something right.

And you started off playing house parties and college dorms, is it important to you to try and keep this within your live shows?

Yeah we try and keep it anyway, regardless of if we’re playing a really big venue or festival to however many people, or a small sweaty gig to 50 or 100 people we maintain the same energy and vibe. On the UK tour coming up we’re looking to do house parties after any gig, so if anyone’s looking for a house party gig let us know!

You’ve played quite a lot of dates in Europe, do you think there’s an obvious difference in the scene away from home?

Oh, yeah, definitely. Even country to country – and to be honest even city to city – things are very different. If you go England, Ireland, France, Germany or anywhere really, the crowds react differently but then there’s certain songs that will get the same reaction. We’ve found that basically anywhere we go people are really, really nice. But there’s definitely a difference: Germany are into their heavier rock music, France are into their indie and electronic, UK is so diverse and then in Ireland it’s more folk…

You recently finished recording your album – what was the creation process like for that?

It was really enjoyable. We did it in the month leading up to Christmas, and we did it locally in a small little studio in the countryside in Ireland with the two guys we’ve done pretty much all our recordings as a band with. And it was honestly the most easy-going process ever, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s sounding.

Is keeping that closeness to home something that’s important to you as a band?

Yeah, well, we did try out different studios. Sometimes we just felt like it didn’t really represent what we were trying to do and then what we did at home just came out right. We did a lot of the tracking live and it was just everything we wanted our recording to sound like. I think the guys we recorded with as well just understand our sound and they’ve progressed with us, almost. It was a natural connection.

And with your tour that’s coming up you’ve got a few dates with The Amazons who are obviously doing well – do you think it’s important to be surrounded by bands who are a similar age/level to tour with?

Yeah. The Amazons are some of the soundest guys we’ve met. We’ve played with them before; they’ve played with us when we’ve been headlining in Ireland and it’s great to be going over and playing the UK with them. Seeing them doing well is so great to see and there’s a lot of bands that we’ve played the circuit with and everyone was there at the beginning together and now everyone’s kicking off. It seems like guitar music is gonna be great this year.

So, you have the album done, and the tour this month – what else is planned for 2017?

We’ll probably put out a few singles ahead of the album, and then just tour it as much as possible. We’re hoping to get around Europe and god knows where else. And then festivals of course. That’ll be the main focus.

And what festivals have you got planned?

I can’t think what’s been announced. Best Rock in Holland, I know for sure and a few in Ireland but I don’t think the UK ones have been announced. We’ll be doing lots though.

Finally, who are your hot tips at the moment?

There’s a band called Thumper that I saw in Dublin the other night and they’re so good, they’re supporting The Amazons in Dublin; they’re amazing live. Marika Hackman, too. Her new song, ‘Boyfriend’ I can’t stop listening too. The new Vant album… I just think The Amazons, too, they’re just smashing it and everything they put out is phenomenal.

Catch Otherkin on their UK tour this month. Dates here. 

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa Svensen

Melissa, 22. Editor. Student, music journalist, probably talking about Blur or Bowie