Playing his first gig in Dublin since taking on 20 shows in Berlin over the summer, Berlin- based Dublin singer Rhob Cunningham spoke to us about his internet ‘win’, how the Dublin and Berlin live scenes weigh up against each other and how he can’t wait to hear Jennifer Evans’ upcoming LP.
What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Singing a new song in a handmade Berlin canoe and the video getting on the front page of Reddit! I won The Internet that day.
When did you first realise you wanted a career in music?
I don’t like to think of music in those terms. If I did, I’d have to seriously consider another profession. I’d like to be a writer when I’m older.
In three words, describe the five minutes before you walk on stage.
On my way!
How do you wind down after a gig?
It differs from gig to gig. When a gig goes well, I’m already unwound.
In three words, describe the live scene in Ireland.
Still. Going. Strong.
In three words, describe the live scene in Berlin.
Twenty. Four. Seven.
Whose career do you envy and why?
I’m not driven enough to maintain envy for very long. I know too many talented feckers, if I dwelled on it, I’d never get out of bed.
Vinyl or digital downloads?
I’m a big fan of Digital Pre-Orders which facilitate the future printing of Vinyl. Let one medium pay for the other. Cough cough. Hint hint.
What is your favourite record shop anywhere in the world?
Anywhere that can still be found. Any record store that has found a way to keep it’s head above water.
Name one rare record you don’t own, but you want more than anything.
Jennifer Evans won’t let me hear her record because it’s not being released ‘til later this year. I want to own that, but we all have to wait, I guess. For now.
Name one piece of music memorabilia that you wish you owned.
Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti driver's licence. (Fela Kuti’s mam, the first woman to be granted a driver’s licence in Nigeria.)
What is the one thing in your life that you couldn’t go without?
Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
-Shel Silverstein’s A Light In The Attic,
-The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard Feynman
Pick the director and lead actor for a biopic about your life.
David Lynch. Tilda Swinton.
Describe the perfect night in.
Owning a place. Owning a front door key and a door. Maybe a room. Being “In” somewhere that you didn’t have to pay someone for, in some regard. That would be perfect.
Where did you grow up and what are the best and worst things about that place?
Donaghmede and then Dun Laoghaire. The worst thing is trying to spell those words. The best thing is being from anywhere at all.
What is your biggest fear?
That fear leads to anger.
Who is the person in your life without whom your life wouldn’t be the same?
Una Molloy of Turning Pirate, we’ve been friends since college and she’s always had my back. Her whole family are rather inspiring.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you, so far?
T.S. Elliot - "You are the music while the music lasts."
If you could give one piece of life advice it would be…
You’ll know more tomorrow if you ask today.
Rhob Cunningham launches new album The Window & Day at The Button Factory on Thursday 18th September. Get tickets here.