Claire Fox talks to Barry Murphy of Hermitage Green
You’ve been together as a band since 2010, are you excited to finally be releasing your debut album, Save Your Soul?
Yeah, very excited, it’s been a long time coming. We’ve been together five years now, so it’s taken us a while to arrange it with our unusual array of instruments and hone in on our sound and still try to play as many gigs as possible.
An album is a summary of everything that we have done together over the last five years. We’ve got elements of the folky stuff and we’ve much more of a pop influence with some rock songs in there.
What type of themes can we expect from your album tracks?
There’s a mix. There’s songs we’ve written individually and songs we’ve written together. Everyone has their own stamp on the album so it keeps everything interesting. That’s what we are, five different people with five different tastes in music, but we work together so well.
There are songs about experiences I suppose. There’s love songs and songs about life and death. We all write quite differently. Some of us are quite straight up and in your face and it’s very easy to understand what they are about and some are quite poetic. We’ve got a nice contrast in style going on.
Dingle’s Walking on Cars recently had a debut album that shot straight to number one. Does this encourage you?
We are really proud of what they do, they are friends of ours. We wrote a song with Pa (Walking On Cars) on our album, actually. They are great people. There are really prosperous bands in the Irish music scene at the moment. So yeah, it’s encouraging but it’s daunting too.
Little Green Cars have an album out in March too, so I think I’m gonna look back in 20 years and think “What a cool time for music in Ireland.” While there are a lot of bands, I think we are all different enough to be able to fit in and play off each other.
Why did you choose Make It Better to be your lead single of the album?
That’s a very good question. We’d been playing that song close to a year and always got a good reaction. It’s a statement song for us, this is us, this is what we sound like and here it is.
Do you feel social media has helped you keep in contact with fans you’ve earned across Europe and Australia?
We’re not that great on Twitter. I hate the character limit! It’s great though we can get our personalities and music out there. It’s great to get everyone involved. We’ve toured the world in the last few years so there is that bond we make with people who come and see us. So social media helps keep that alive.
You were a professional rugby player before forming the band, do you think both careers are very different?
The seem like very different professions but are similar in lots of ways. You have to be dedicated and willing to work hard and be prepared for things not to work out. We get a reputation for being a band of rugby players, but it was just me who was involved in rugby, but we all love sport and music.