Interview with Paul Connolly of The Wood Burning Savages.
The Derry based band consist of Paul Connolly, Daniel Acheson, Aaron McClelland and Shea Tohill. Over the last three years the band has seen them play their “punchy pop-rock songs” Glastonbury 2014 whilst also releasing a collection of tracks including including “America” and most recently “Premier League”
It definitely stands out as band names go. It’s origin is top secret but I can tell you what it means. Everyone of us are Wood Burning Savages because at the end of the day if we in the western world were left without oil, electricity and the internet we’d be going out with axes, felling trees and sitting around the fire reveling in each others company.
You have spoken about your latest single , ‘Premier League’ being a protest song, is that typical of your material, what other influences do you draw on when creating songs?
We’re not really a band for writing love songs or abstract songs about forging a kinship with your belly button fluff and naming it after a Duke from the 1700s, so with that being said all of our songs have a degree of protest in them. To be frank though, we like to think that each of our songs are a calling out of wrongs that happen every day and we try to convince people that the power to change the world for the better is in each of hands immediately. As songwriters we draw lyrically for the most part on current affairs and we try to fight the good fight for the honest man and woman.
We’re working on it! There’s a sportswear company local to us that we’re trying to convince, they actually thought we were a hockey team when I rang them.
Described as “Probably the hottest unsigned band in Northern Ireland right now”, in an article last year, how do you respond to that sort of praise ?
Simply put, we don’t respond to it. It’s flattering and nice that people think that, it lets us know that people are getting behind what we’re about more so though. We’re not looking to be a flash-in-the-pan Topman trendy photocopy band.
What are your fondest memories of playing festivals, and what makes a good festival performance?
We had an awesome time when we played Glastonbury, it was nice just to get so many people buzzing from the energy we were throwing out from the stage.The best memories are made by mixing with the other bands and punters, having a cold beer and a big laugh after sweating off two stone of body mass with good people. A good festival performance is made by an audience who are craving entertainment and who want to sing louder than what’s coming back at them.
You are playing a few dates with one of our faves on the site Hector Bizerk, how did that come about ? How are you looking forward to it?
We can’t wait, it’s gonna be mega! We played a show with Hector Bizerk in Dublin and got chatting afterwards; we were blown away by them and have been again since at Ireland’s KnockanStockan festival in July this year. Their live show is just mind blowing, they get completely on the level with people. Incredibly talented musicians, lyrics that make James Joyce look like Katie Price and serious honesty and good vibes. We love them.
This year’s theme at Bella is ‘Superheroes’ and punters are being encouraged to come to the festival dressed as their favourite superhero. If given the chance, who would you choose to come as?
I’d say Iron Man, but walking around in a full suit like that would be roasting so I’d probably have to come up with something to keep me cool and hydrated. IronBru Man perhaps? That being said though, four guys dressed up as Bananaman walking around the festival site would raise some eyebrows.
How would you sell your gig at Belladrum to the uninitiated?
The meaning of life, next weeks Lottery numbers, horse racing tips and 50 guaranteed ways to please your partner will be divulged at 5pm Friday on the XPO North Seedlings Stage by The Wood Burning Savages…that should do the trick? Honestly though, if people want to see a rock band singing songs that will make them feel good, feel something that they can relate to immediately then we would love to see you there!
The Wood Burning Savages will be playing the Seedlings Stage on Friday at 5pm.