Interview with CODES
When lead singer Daragh Anderson and drummer Paul Reilly's previous band [LOST] split, they regrouped in July 2007 to form CODES, a band they describe as a "far more mature and restrained musical outfit". Having being signed to EMI Ireland earlier this year and notched up some huge support slots with the likes of Keane, the Dublin-based quartet are on the fast-track to becoming Ireland's next stadium rock heroes. I caught up with Anderson to discuss their debut album 'Trees Dream in Algebra', released on September 18th.
How did CODES get together?
We were all friends before we made music and hung out in the same circles in Dublin. With all of us having been previously involved in music in one way or another, in various guises before, it seemed right that we came together at the same time to work on the concept of Codes.
You’ve achieved what some would say is the impossible, a relatively small band signing to a major label during the recession. How did your deal with EMI happen?
We’re proud of the fact that we worked really hard on our own merits, and got the money and the resources together ourselves to record the album before approaching labels with the end product. We were conscious of the fact that going to a label with a finished product of songs that we believed in would mean they knew exactly what they were getting, and wouldn’t have to invest as much in developing us as a band. The DIY approach has always served us well.
Does being signed to a major label mean that you have less artistic freedom, or that there's more pressure on the album to perform well?
We stood firm on the fact that we wouldn’t sign to a label that would want to change the end product of the album creatively. EMI have been really supportive and encouraging and we don’t feel under any more pressure than the pressure we put on ourselves to be as good at what we do as we can.
You've already clocked up some impressive support slots - supporting Keane at The O2 must have been a biggie. Were you comfortable in front of such a huge crowd?
It was a little daunting to make the jump from playing to a few hundred people to playing for 11,000 people. But we’re better for the experience and we had a great couple of shows. It’s where we aim to be, so why not?!
What have been the highlights and lowlights so far?
Highlights must be finishing an album that we’re really proud of, and finally getting the chance for people to hear it in its finality. Lowlights include getting stranded in Gatwick airport for three days and not getting to actually play music since we've been really busy lately.
Tell us about your debut album, 'Trees Dream in Algebra'. The title sounds like a code phrase itself. What does it mean?
It’s an anagram of "Demagnetisable Area R" - take from that what you will!
You worked with produced Greg Haver on the album, who has worked with big names like Manic Street Preachers. How was he at handling your songs and making suggestions in the studio?
We had a great time in the studio working with Greg. He helped us relax and get the best performances down on tape. In terms of the songs themselves, we realised we were on a tight budget, so we had put a great deal of preparation in before the studio. Greg was amazed how focused we are and how little ‘producing’ he had to do.
What's your favourite song on the album, and why?
We all have different ones on different days, but usually 'Magnetic North' is a particular treat to play.
A lot of reviews seem to have you pegged as a band destined for stadium-rock greatness. Is that a tag that you're happy with? Is it your ambition to be a stadium band?
It’s not up to us how people tag us - but we take it as a big compliment to match our big aspirations!
What's next for CODES? You've got an Irish tour coming up - will the album be released in the UK at any point, or is it a wait-and-see game?
Yes, we're really looking forward to getting out on the road, and for the first time people will have something by us to hold on to (i.e. the album itself). In CODES we always have a 'What’s next?' attitude. Getting the album to as many people as we can is our next goal, and the UK is certainly a part of our plans.
Finally, how would you like CODES to be remembered?
As the band who ushered in a new era of world peace.
CODES release 'Trees Dream in Algebra' on September 18th. For more info, including forthcoming tour dates, see www.myspace.com/codesofficial.
Story by Lauren | 09:00 | Monday 31st August 2009 | Music
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