What we’re really looking forward to in 2021 are new records from some of the best bands around right now. Here, Julia Mason talks to Galway based punk five-piece Turnstiles about their new music and debut EP which was released on 8 January 2021.
Being an independent musician was hard even before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. With venues being shut down, tours cancelled, and releases postponed, the ongoing pandemic has shaken up the music industry as a whole, and independent artists are among those whose livelihoods are most threatened by the global crisis. Despite all this, 2020 has been a prosperous year for new music and artists have been finding increasingly inventive ways of getting themselves seen and heard. For once, I think we can all be grateful for social media for keeping us entertained through the dark times. There is hope for the new year, though it may take some time to return to normal, we do have new music to look forward to.
Thank you to vocalist Callum Mitchell (CM), guitarist Cillian Ryan (CR), guitarist Colm Sweeney (CS), bassist Jake Tiernan (JT) and Turnstiles manager, Richard Blowes (RB), for chatting with Julia Mason (JM).
JM: What have you missed most in 2020?
The band: Gigs. Pints. Craic. Playing Forbidden Fruit. The atmosphere of live gigs. Live stream gigs feel very disconnected.
JM: Who are you inspired by musically?
CM: Rage Against the Machine, Stone Roses, Sex Pistols
CR: (perhaps on the sherry!) Billy Joel, Slaves, Shame
JM: What is your songwriting process?
JT: It varies, but we usually write together in the shed where we practice. Everyone brings different ideas in and we try them out till something works. Songs are rarely fully written before we get together. Lyrics are usually completely separate, and we often try out a few different sets of lyrics over new instrumentals.
CS: Musically, it’s very collaborative. For the lyrics on the EP, Jake wrote the first three songs, and I wrote the last song.
JM: If you could choose anywhere to gig, where would it be?
Jake: We love tightly packed spaces. So wherever Ireland’s smallest music venue is, we want to play there.
CR: Duddy’s. Which is my local in Tuam. It’s my pipe dream to get the boys to play there one day. Alternatively, I’d love to play a gig in Glasgow Barrowlands.
CM: Anywhere outside of Ireland
CS: To a rioting crowd in Argentina.
RB: Mike The Pies, Manchester Apollo & Brixton Academy
JM: If I took a look inside your fridge right now, what would I find?
The band: Guinness. Cheese. Mince Pies. Sauce
JM: What are your immediate plans for 2021?
The band: Guinness. Promote the new EP which is out 8 January and giving it a big push online and on the radio. Plans for 2021 are of course dependant on restrictions, but we’re hoping to do as much gigging in the summer months as possible, our debut EP will be released in January, so we’re excited for people to hear it as a lot of work was put into making it.
Turnstiles released their debut EP on 8 January 2021 on Blowtorch Records.
To hear more new music from Turnstiles, check out their Facebook page. Please support your favourite independent artists by buying merch and music directly from them, and donate to your local venues that are at risk of closing down due to the pandemic.