He's one of our most successful musical exports in recent years, and James Vincent McMorrow hasn't been sitting around binging on Netflix like the rest of us in 2020.
The Dublin musician has released a number of singles this year, including 'I Should Go' with Kenny Beats, and his latest track 'Gone'.
His new album will be released in 2021, but before then, we caught up with him to answer our very important 10 Questions.
1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
I've been listening to a lot of the band Deftones this year. I was obsessed with them when I was a kid and I think for a while I lazily lumped them in with a lot of other nu-metal I really loved at the time, that in hindsight, hasn't aged super well. But Deftones are genuinely a brilliant band, the album White Pony is kind of perfect, it's like this super melodic metal shoegaze electro hardcore album. *chef's kiss*
2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Should. I. Pee?
3. How do you wind down after a gig?
Usually in the dressing rooms for a couple of hours, depending on the show, there's usually friends around that will come back and hang. I don't really drink or anything, but performing is like taking drugs - so afterwards, you do kind of ride a wave that you need to go with. I love watching movies with the crew on the tour bus as well. I swear they'll kill me if I make them watch the movies Hotrod or The Room one more time.
4. What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
Oof, not really ever thought about it, - but you know, it would never be the songs you think. It'd probably be something bizarre like Blue by Eiffel 65 – like, how funny would it be to be the person who wrote a song so brilliant and weird and literally everywhere, even today? Like, if that came on the radio right now you'd lose your mind, guaranteed.
5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
Boxer by The National. When the Pawn... by Fiona Apple. In Search of by N.E.R.D.
6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear/read/see.
Live at the Bitter End by Donny Hathaway. To hear a musician in a live setting literally at the top of his game and in full control of his genius.
The Imposter Cure by Dr Jessamy Hibberd. I think a lot of people struggle with imposter syndrome, it was helpful to read this.
Parasite. I know most people have seen it, but just go re-watch it.
7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
I'd pick Bong Joon-Ho, but he'd never do it. SnowPiercer is one of my favourite movies of all time, and I see my life as a post-apocalyptic ride on an atomic train to nowhere, so it could be perfect. You'd probably need someone exceptionally good to take my lifelong desire to stay away from cameras and turn it into something film-worthy, so maybe Saoirse Ronan?
8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Chinese food, all day long. When I was a kid I'd always get Chinese food on Fridays, even though most take away Chinese in Dublin in the '90s was objectively a bit crap. Now you can get incredible Chinese food here. My go-tos are Hang Dai for that quality situation, or Lee Kee on Parnell St for something a bit cheaper, but still really legit. Also, so many of my favorite touring memories weirdly revolve around Chinese cuisine; getting an incredible meal in Toronto before playing my first big show there, going to Chinatown in LA at 4 in the morning after the first Wiltern show there.
9. Describe your perfect day off.
Days off for me are weird. Usually on tour, I would just sit in the hotel and watch TV and make music on my laptop - but since this year and realising how much I've taken for granted, hopefully when you ask me that question again in a year, I'll tell you about all the museums I go to and the adventures I take. Hopefully.
10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
Because I try and build shows you can immerse yourself in. I've worked to build a world where people can feel comfortable in pitched silence while I do the work for them - or they can sing at the top of their lungs and help me out. Music is supposed to be a place for inclusion and memory-making, so that's the place I work to get to.
BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
Reply All. All the stories on it are related to weird and kind of crazy stuff emanating from the internet and internet culture. Some of it will genuinely make your brain melt. I would recommend the episode called "Negative Mount Pleasant" as a good starting point - it's WILD.
'Gone' is out now.