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.

Once a member of the brilliant experimental/alt-rock four-piece Enemies, bassist Mark O'Brien began making music under the solo banner Royal Yellow in 2018.

With new single 'May the First' (which features a reimagined sample of Lisa Hannigan's song 'Pistachio') aptly released today, we caught up with Mark for a chat to explore the ins and outs of Royal Yellow.

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

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

3. How do you wind down after a gig?
A band group hug and many pints

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

5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
FKA Twigs' 'MAGDALENE', Lankum's 'The Livelong Day' and Destroyer's 'Kaputt'.

6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Junior Brother's 'Pull The Right Rope'
The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People (corny title, incredible book)
'Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love'

7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
It'd be directed by my mum (she knows the material) and would star an ensemble of very handsome actors playing me.

8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Covid vaccine and chips

9. Describe your perfect day off.
Walking over 2km into a packed room with very loud tunes

10. Where do you ideally want to be in one year, five years' and ten years' time?
The bottom, the middle, the top.

BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
Song Exploder. It's a window into how people write songs. It really demystifies the process and shows how we're all clumsy and imperfect.


'May the First' is out now.