Cavan wunderkinds The Strypes went their separate ways back in 2018, but now three of them – minus guitarist Josh McClorey – have regrouped under a new banner with some other players.

After re-establishing themselves with a fanzine and a podcast (more of which below), The Zen Arcade recently released their debut single 'Don't Say a Word'.

We caught up with bassist Pete O'Hanlon to get the buzz about their new band.

1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
Like most people growing up, there was a frightening array of paternally-curated Sony 640mb CD-RWs that saw an awful lot of car abuse which included ‘Great Balls Of Fire’, ‘Happy Hour’, ‘This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us’, ‘Where's Me Jumper’, ‘Down Down’, ‘Tiger Feet’ and ‘My Perfect Cousin’ all of which I’m proud to say I still put on. As for the rest, well, a gentleman doesn’t listen and tell.

2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
1. Where’s
2. The
3. Bog.

3. How do you wind down after a gig?
I like to wallow in my sweaty-yet-rapidly-cooling stage clothes and sit in the van, until I either develop heat rash or some other mild skin irritation.

4. What’s the one song you wish you’d written or recorded first?
'Crimson and Clover’- Tommy James and the Shondells. I’d make sure to not sign a pants publishing deal so I could step in and stop Joan Jett from doing her cover.

5. You can only have three albums on your phone/in your house at any one time - what three would you pick for today?
‘Burrito Deluxe’ - Flying Burrito Brothers
‘100% Fun’ - Matthew Sweet
‘Nonsuch’ - XTC

6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear/read / see.
Album - ‘Hoodoo Gurus’ - Stoneage Romeos
Book - ‘High Fidelity’ - Nick Hornby
Film - ‘Brick’ - Dir. Rian Johnson* *(this was BSW, {Before Star Wars})

7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
Director - Sam Raimi
I’d like Andy Serkis in a mocap suit to play all 3 of us in the band, he has the range.
Bruce Campbell to cameo as per Raimi’s pattern. (Potential father role? Depends on tone.)

8. You’re ordering takeaway, what do you get?
Chicken fried rice and prawn crackers from China Garden in Navan.

9. Describe your perfect day off.
Well, taking away the average ten minutes of credits that I don't sit through and allowing for chamber pot emptying, I watch ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ 4 times (388 minutes = 6.4 hours), ‘High Fidelity’ 6 times (618 minutes = 10.3 hours) and ‘Being John Malkovich’ 3 times (309 minutes = 5.15 hours), that leaves me with just enough time to watch ‘Oliver and Company’ once. John Cusack isn’t in that one, but rules were made to be broken.

10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
Our next gig will see us protect the world from devastation, unite all peoples within our nation, denounce the evils of truth and love, extend our reach to the stars above before blasting off again.

BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.
We recommend our own podcast ‘Higher Fidelity’, (named after the novel by Nicker Hornbier). The segments include ‘Guilty Hatreds’ (bands you feel bad about not liking), ‘Never Mind The Fuzzbox’ (essentially the Intros Round from Never Mind The Buzzcocks but we rig up the mic through a fuzz pedal first for extra spicy confusion) and ‘Yours Mine and Archive’ where we unearth rightly unused and thankfully forgotten demos. We pad out the rest with live performances, guests and endless re-appraisals of Spider-Man 3.

All of which is available here for the low low price of your TIME: Higher Fidelity Podcast.


'Don't Say a Word' is out now.