Hearing about a band or artist's influences and inspirations are all well and good, but sometimes, you just want to get to the nitty-gritty in an interview - like, 'what's your favourite takeaway dish'?

Our new Q&A series sees us throwing rapidfire questions at musicians to get their most instinctive answers. There's no beating around the bush here - just honest, straightforward insights into their creative minds.

David Keenan is an artist who has been steadily building a buzz in recent years, thanks to his reputation as a passionate live performer, his beautiful songs and his way with both a phrase and a melody.

The Dundalk man finally releases his long-awaited debut album 'A Beginner's Guide to Bravery' in January 10th, so it was the perfect opportunity to throw some quick questions at him, to get a sense of who he is.

1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, The La's, Van. Their teachings never go off.

2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.

Flow, Articulation, Clarity.

3. How do you wind down after a gig?

After a gig it's important for me to come down as best I can, to get centered and grounded. Some moments alone are always welcomed.

4.What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?

I don't ever pine after someone else's song with fantasies of claiming it as my own. You hear some incredible work sometimes and think, gift, the stakes have been raised.

5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?

Jinx Lennon - 'Know your Station, Gouger Nation'
Bob Dylan - 'Bringing It All Back Home' 
Leonard Cohen - 'Thanks for the Dance'

6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.

Junior Brother - 'Pull The Right Rope'
Oscar Wilde - 'Soul of Man under Socialism'
'La Haine' (1995)

7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.

Shane Meadows to direct the biopic.  At this stage of life, I'd have to play myself. All the strong characters in my story are present here in the now.

8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?


9. Describe your perfect day off.

Plugging out and tuning in when a day gives itself to the quiet. Nature nurtures, the sea is medicine. Running in the rain and laughing like a lunatic.

10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should listen to you.

To connect with the self and others in a communal session of human expression.


'A Beginner's Guide to Bravery' is out on January 10th. David Keenan plays dates nationwide throughout December and January, including Dublin's Olympia Theatre on January 13th.