I recently had the opportunity to interview Changing Trains and came away an even bigger fan. A true Indie artist with a love for music that's evident in every note played.
First off, thanks for doing the interview. My first question, how long have you all been playing music; and when and how did you guys become a group?
Paul (Changing Trains) - We started playing our instruments as teenagers and the band was born pretty soon after. We gathered a couple other members along the way, but right from the start we wanted to write original music. It really has been an obsession for a long time and although the progress seems slow, we noticed a considerable progression every time we recorded a demo or EP or album. This time, we think we've found a great sound and our writing and producing skills have certainly improved a lot for this album. It was all worth the effort!
I would say so. The album is fantastic. What does the name of your group, Changing Trains, symbolize?
Paul (Changing Trains) - The name is just as important as any of the songs. Over the years we went by different names, but this time I wanted to write such a personal album that was telling stories about life. The band name is along the same lines, life's a journey and Changing Trains to me, symbolizes being at kind of a crossroads in your life and deciding to take a different direction.
That is well thought out and different than what I was thinking. I do like your version better though. Are all the band members based out of Limerick?
Paul (Changing Trains) - The hardest part of making this album was the fact members are scattered. Myself and Dave produced the album, wrote the songs, played guitar and did some backing vocals while Dave is also the drummer. Hannah is based in Limerick as well as Podge, who plays violin in some of the tracks. Our core band is in Limerick. Our bass player Rob moved to Kerry, so he would travel up to record once we emailed him the basic songs. Neil plays guitar, keyboard and also does some backing vocals, but he lives in Thailand where he teaches. Again, we would email each other back and forth and then we would record when he was home, which was maybe twice a year.
In the video for "Won't Let You Down," why is there only a side view of Hannah? Is that her best side or something? Just Kidding!
Paul (Changing Trains) - The video was Peter's project. He makes short films and has done a couple of music videos already, so it was up to him what to do with the video. He wanted to do something visually interesting, so that's why there are only side views of Hannah. A lot of people have asked about that, so I suppose his idea worked. We love the video and we're hoping to do another one soon enough so people will get a chance to see more of Hannah...He might even put the rest of us in the next one, ha ha ha!
Well Paul, Hannah is easier on the eyes. I'm still kidding, I'm sure the ladies will love you guys too. Keeping on the lines of the video, are the still shots original photos or computer generated?
Paul (Changing Trains) - Pete took some video footage and faded them in and out of images of space. We pretty much just let him do what he wanted. Pete is Neil's younger brother and we grew up around the corner from each other, so there was complete trust that he would make something unique and interesting.
It was definitely unique. The background shots were amazing! I love how you guys incorporate your background vocals, which I think are superb. It gives that much more meaning and sound to the song. It reminds me of another Irish band, Kodaline. How similar are you guys to them and is this sound an Irish thing?
Paul (Changing Trains) - I don't think it's an Irish thing exclusively. We've always loved a lot of vocals and harmonizing in songs, but overall, I think we're more influenced by American bands. Kodaline are huge at the moment so if we could get anywhere near that level would be great.
Being from the United States, my perception is that our music market is the one musicians really want to crack. How true is this statement?
Give me one goal you hope to achieve with your music?
Paul (Changing Trains) - The only goal we have with our music is to keep improving. We love what we do and we feel we can keep getting better. We're going to start working on songs for the next album as soon as we can. We're looking forward to playing a lot more live as well and see what kind of reaction the album will get.
That's awesome Paul! Tell me, how are all of your American accents?
Paul (Changing Trains) - We only use American accents when the phrase "Hell Yeah" is required! There are a lot of American phrases or words that have crept into everyday Irish vocabulary in recent years. Words like (awesome). Rob does a brilliant Arnold Schwarzenegger impression...You could say it's awesome!
Awesome, I mean outstanding Paul! One problem, Arnold is from Austria so technically he doesn't have a good American accent. Now for the most important question of them all. The Beatles or The Monkees?
Paul (Changing Trains) - I would have to say The Beatles. I'm not a fan of either one, but my dad liked The Beatles, so I would have to pick them.
By Maxim Daniels