Like most bands in the ever-changing world of music, Hermitage Green rely heavily on social media to push through the noise and get their music out there. The Limerick five piece have been selling out shows in the UK, Ireland and around the world since their formation in 2010 and know how important the likes of Facebook and Twitter have been in their journey.
We spoke to brothers and band members Dan and Barry Murphy at the launch of Three’s #makeitcount campaign which highlights how people use data and technology to share moments that really matter. Something the band has used to their advantage.
“One of the reasons we were asked to get involved was because we use social media quite a lot and we do a lot of live videos from gigs or practice sessions and stuff like that. And then at gigs we ask our fans to send us photos and videos. It is a huge part of what we do so it made sense for us to get involved,” says Barry, a former professional rugby player with Munster.
The band have over 53,000 followers on Facebook and a further 16,000 on Twitter. A quick scan of their home pages shows a mix of high quality images, videos, announcements and gig information. There’s plenty of humour thrown in for good measure too.
“It’s an integral part of getting yourselves out there. We’re in a time where record labels, and that kind of lucrative nature of the business is no more, so it’s a much easier way for bands to get themselves out there and promote themselves instead of gigs. And to get their music out to a larger audience. It’s pretty essential,” says guitarist and older brother Dan.
One of the challenges for any live act an converting their online following into paying punters. Is it hard to get people off Facebook and to physically go to one of your gigs?
“That’s a really good point,” says Barry. “The idea of having a lot of followers is one thing but actually having solid fans is another. Because, as you said, where we make enough money to keep going as a band is through our live shows and getting people through the door and putting bums on seats. It is important to keep the content out there and keep interacting with our fans and give them what they want and that’s music and good gigs and videos and stuff like that. So, it was really important for us to gain fans, maintain the ones we already have and keep them coming to shows.”
It's a busy time for the band who are about to embark on a worldwide tour which will culminate in a series of home gigs in December. Fans can expect some new material mixed in with classics like ‘Quicksand’, ‘Jenny’ and ‘Make It Better’.
“Yeah, we’ve got our new EP, a six-track EP coming out on October 20th called ‘Gold & Rush’. Then we’re off on tour. On the 19th of October we’re doing the Cork Opera House and then we’re off to the Middle East, Singapore and Australia. And then back for a UK and Ireland tour at Christmas,” says Dan.
It’s been another sad week for the music industry. While conceding that they weren’t “super” Tom Petty fans, they said his death was “a sad day for music” and appreciated the effect his creations had had on the world.
“I suppose, his legacy will live on which is what any artist wants, you know, to be appreciated when you’re around and after you’re gone,” says Barry.
Having been to a Hermitage Green live show, they have nothing to worry about in that regard.
(For tickets and gig information head to www.hermitagegreen.com)