Villagers Discuss Story Telling, Life Experiences, Traveling, And Evolving A Bands Dynamic

Villagers Discuss Story Telling, Life Experiences, Traveling, And Evolving A Bands Dynamic

Story telling has been a form of communication that has been widely considered a universal means of getting emotions across to others, as well as life lessons and most importantly; different perspectives. It’s also a form that can come across in music, one of the most effective forms of communication in fact. This is one of the numerous characteristics that come across Irish band Villagers and their latest release {Awayland} recently Prefix got to sit down with front-man Conor O’Brien to figure out how these songs come to life.

What inspired the title {Awayland} and what influenced the album to sound the way it does?

Conor: I wanted to invent a word which would reflect the general theme of wonderment and I wanted childlike curiosity to be inherent in the songs.

A theme that seems to be present on the album is that of reflection, especially in the form of storytelling. Was this intentional and was reflecting on your experiences while recording something new for you?

Conor: I can’t really remember writing the words simply because I didn’t feel like I was trying to force any literal meaning into the music or to prove anything. When I write a song I feel like I’m there to let the song speak for itself, as if I’m simply facilitating its self expression. I don’t necessarily feel active and therefore I never have any memory of the process.

What did you take away from touring the debut album, Becoming a Jackal, and do you feel those experiences have influenced who you are today?

Conor: I took a lot of good memories and I exorcised the bad ones via songwriting. I think everything influences who you are – it’s impossible to choose what you are moved by – we had a crazy couple of years and I don’t regret anything.

How was “The Waves” written and what do you feel you’re trying to express with that song?

Conor: “The Waves” was written on an acoustic guitar and then arranged into a synth heavy beat-driven dream-trip which made my brain explode when I demoed it. It was written after I saw some particularly distressing footage of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake in Japan. The song is simply an expression of how absolutely tiny we are in relation the world and the universe around us. It attempts to use an awareness of our fickle mortality as a guard against destructive and bigoted thought patterns with a view to obtaining a sort of absolute egolessness, I guess that would be the best way to put it.

What are some ways that the dynamic of the band changed during the recording process of {Awayland}?

Conor: I think we became just that; more dynamic. The songs ebb and flow a little bit more now. We understand each other that little bit better.

Some of the tracks come across they were written with certain people in mind. Who are some of the people you hope hear these songs?

Conor: The songs weren’t written with any living person in mind; only dead and/or imaginary people honestly.

What is “My Lighthouse” about and how did that song come together? It’s quite layered despite coming across as very simple.

Conor: “My Lighthouse” is a song about following a beacon in the midst of chaos and also about communing with the dead. It is about serving something or somebody.

Would you say your interactions and relationships with other people have been prominent in your song writing and if so how so?

Conor: Yes I think every single relationship or interaction I have ever had has influenced and continues to influence not only my writing, but every single thing that I do in life.

How has this current tour been and what is something someone has told you about the album/songs/shows that has stuck with you?

Conor: The recent touring has been the best yet. I feel like I’m only beginning to get used to it all. A woman recently told me that one of my songs influenced her decision to leave her husband.


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Hiya my name is Ken and I shoot shows.