With a forthcoming album on the cards following their recent single release, ‘Illuminate’, Irish stormers, Ham Sandwich are set to play the Bulmers Live at Leopardstown series this year.
We caught up with Niamh Farrell to talk Leopardstown, the new single and the journey of Ham Sandwich.
You guys are set to play Live at Leopardstown in July. Are you excited for that?
Yeah, really excited! A few of our friends have played before and have said it’s a really great gig. It’s just a big day out in general and I love horses so it’s a win win! But yeah definitely, really looking forward to it.
Are you a regular raceday goer!?
Not really no, but I used to do horse riding and stuff so I just love horses. So excited!
You guys have been making music for quite a while now. Have you noticed a progression in your live performance as its happened or how has the journey been for you?
Yeah, I think from the beginning we’ve been thinking of the live show. We wanted to make it the best it could be, to make it fun and let people to have a good time. I mean, over the years we had different things going on, like balloons and stuff like that but I think we’re at our strongest now. And it’s a great feeling. It’s important to have a good reputation as a live band because even people who might not have heard your music, like on the radio and that, they’ll know you put on a good live show and might come to a gig. Really we represent what we’re about in a live sense more than on record. ‘Cause people can enjoy your music on record, but when they see you perform live, you can really win them over.
Has there been a highlight of your music career to date?
Well definitely for me it was the Phoenix Park with Mumford and Sons last year. That was incredible. I think it was just the whole day, I mean the weather was beautiful. We had done Slane too which was amazing but I think Mumford and Sons fans would enjoy our music more than fans of Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi fans are there for Bon Jovi, but Mumford and Sons fans were there for the day. One thing that was incredible was when everyone came out on stage at the end for ‘Galway Girl’. I’ll never forget looking out into that crowd. It was equally awesome and frightening!
Your new single ‘Illuminate’, which is really good by the way – how much does that prepare us or tell us about the forthcoming album?
Well, that’s sort of along the veins of what we’re going for. ‘Illuminate’ is quite a happy song and quite Summery. Other stuff on the album may be a bit darker. It’s a mixture I think. We haven’t really stuck to one formula. Kind of like on ‘White Fox’ we wrote songs and didn’t stick to anything – we wrote what we enjoyed and hoped other people would enjoy it too. So that’s kind of what we’ve done on this album. There’ll be some differences but it’s still Ham Sandwich. And I think that’s important; it needs to still be us or people wouldn’t know it when they hear it.
When you guys sit down to write, do you have a clear direction of where you want songs to go or how does it work?
Usually, Darcy or Podge come in with guitar ideas and melodies and then we’d all collectively bring ideas in and help each other out. We sort of just come up with melodies and see what works. And we’d all be listening the whole way through. We’re at a stage now where we’re comfortable enough with each other to be brutally honest. At the beginning of a band everyone lightly steps around and is sort of afraid to tell each other what they really think, so this is a good place to be. Everyone wants to get the best out of what we’re doing so we all work together and give our opinions.
So, the album is currently untitled. Are you close to deciding on a title or what’s the current situation?
Well, the album title is usually one of the last things that happen. Because as you’re recording you might get an idea for the title. It’s difficult because you could call an album anything but then there’s so many options. We want to pick the best thing to represent ourselves. We spent ages getting outside opinions for ‘White Fox’ and everyone kept coming back saying that was the title that stood out to them, evening though it was a song on the record, so it stuck. This time we don’t want to go with a song title, but yeah it’s usually one of the last things that come in the album process so we’ll see.
Cool. Well thank you very much for that interview, I’ll hopefully catch you at Leopardstown.
Ahh, thanks a million!
Ham Sandwich play Bulmers Live at Leopardstown on July 3rd.
Check out an acoustic version of ‘Illuminate’ below: