Large Mound talk life, music and their future plans with Aoife Barry.
Sometimes, it feels like there’s a bit too much pretension in the music world – that there are too many people out there trying to make themselves seem something they’re not; too many people in it for the money and fame rather than the music. So thank God for Large Mound then, a band who are who they are, who aren’t afraid of hard work and who are utterly consistent in a world gone mad.
Starting off essentially as a solo project created by Anthony Mackey in 1997, Large Mound became a ‘proper’ band in around 1998, changing band members slightly over the years before settling in the current incarnation – Anthony on guitar and vocals, Mark Jordan on guitar and vocals, Hugh McCabe on bass, and Eric Stover on drums – in January 2006.
Based in and around the Leinster area, the band have, over the last ten years, become a firm fixture on Dublin’s music scene, being considered by many as one of Ireland’s best rock bands. Listening to their music, it’s no surprise really – they are able to churn out tune after tune (on albums Raised on Rock, Go Forth and Amplify and the latest release, My Whole Life is Have To) of foot-stomping, head-shaking rock that’s unique in its humour and sentiment. The key to this, for me, is Large Mound‘s lyrics – in I Hate All my Friends , they bemoan mates who do cocaine on the weekends and borrow your phone when they’ve run out of credit – which manage to be funny, insightful and catchy.
Talking to Anthony and Hugh in a café a few hours before their debut gig in Cork, talk turns to the success of My Whole Life is Have To, which got pretty much rave reviews countrywide, the band being compared to Teenage Fanclub, Kerbdog, Fugazi and even AC/DC. It’s interesting to hear that for some band members, it didn’t take them completely by surprise. "In a way, we did anticipate it," admits Anthony. "That might sound wrong, but we knew before the recording stage, at the writing stage, that this was head and shoulders above anything we had done before. Even though it’s not a departure from what we’ve done before – it’s more of the same – it’s just better."
For Hugh however, it wasn’t exactly a given that because the band loved My Whole Life…, everyone else would too. " At the same time, you always think that even though we know that we really like it, and it’s exactly the type of thing that we wanted to make, you’re always not entirely sure whether other people will see it that way, you know?" he explains. "Yeah, we got a lot of great reviews – it’s very gratifying to get a positive response to it. Some of them said some really nice things. My favourite [was] Jackie Hayden in Hotpress reviewed it and he said "Large Mound make the kind of joyful noise that inspires kids to form bands". That is the best thing I think anyone has ever said about the band, you know?"