We Should Be Dead – Alive and Kicking

DESPITE their morbid sounding name, Limerick group, We Should Be Dead, are anything but downtrodden as they await the release of their second single ‘Breathe In’ this September.

Having toured America and played in the famous Roxy Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, which has seen the likes of Bob Marley, Nirvana, David Bowie and Bob Dylan grace its stage, the band returned to Ireland, took on two new recruits and have just filmed their first music video with a budget!

Last month, they featured in a very complimentary article in Hot Press magazine.

Speaking to the Limerick Post, lead singer Tara Nix, explained how it was only by chance that the band started and that there was a slight change to the original band name.

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“Originally we were called You Should Be Dead but we thought it sounded misleading, like we were some big, angry, heavy metal band while our sound is more pop”, said the Cratloe lass.

“We also didn’t want to offend our fans by telling them ‘You Should Be Dead’! so we changed it to ‘We’. I don’t know where the name came from. We leave it open to suggestion!”

Tara told this reporter that she and fellow original bandmates, Anna Murphy from Redgate, and Stephen Purcell from Rosbrien, had been in bands since their school days and came together by chance.

“Myself and Anna went to Nessans and Steve went to the Crescent, though none of us studied music. We were all in bands years ago, when we were about 16 and we were all knocking around doing gigs.

“When our bands broke up in 2006, Steve asked me to sing three tracks for him on a compilation CD of Limerick artists that Mark O’Connor was putting together.

“I was working as a hairdresser at the time and Steve was in HMV. Anna hadn’t joined us yet. Mark sent the CD around and ours was the first track. People started asking about us and we got some great feedback so decided to start the band”.

Along with Tara, Steve and Anna, Gary Healy from Janesboro, joined the band and for a while the four piece continued working their day jobs before recording their first album Forget Romance Let’s Dance in BPM studios in Cork.

“We recorded 17 songs in 10 days so it was hard going and at that stage we realised we needed to give up our day jobs to focus on the band.

“The album came out in February 2008 and got a lot of airplay on Today FM and 2FM and international airplay because a DJ in LA took a liking to our sound”.

It was this that brought the band to America for the first time when they were invited to play a music festival in Los Angeles.

“A lot of things happened in quick succession. We went on a 10 day stint playing gigs in LA and San Francisco. We made many contacts and got our visas to go over for a year touring the states”.

Early in 2009, the band headed off to America where they based themselves in LA and travelled around the country gigging.

Continued Tara: “Our biggest stint was South By South East where we did a three week tour from California to Arizona to New Mexico and back to LA. Then we did the CMJ festival in New York”.

“In one year, we did 152 gigs along with trying to record the second album.

“Of all the places we visited, Austin was the best. We met so many people who offered for us to stay with them. We didn’t really have to pay for anything except petrol for the van!”.

It was in the Texas city that the band experienced a taste of the true ‘Rock N Roll’ lifestyle, when they were invited to play at a private party.

“This company were really impressed by out gig and invited us back to Austin to play at their private party. They flew us from LA, picked us up at the airport and put us up in a hotel for the whole weekend.

“The party was unbelievable. You could get free tattoos and there was a free bar all night. There was a chic walking around covered in body paint and nothing else!”.

Then the band was hit with a predicament when Gary decided to leave and come back to Ireland.

They needed a replacement bass player and began ‘The Commitments’ style open auditions, where they encountered some interesting characters.

“We put an ad up online and had some crazy people turn up.

“One guy was totally mad. He’d driven all the way from Arizona, eight hours away, just to audition. He was a loose canon; we would have been afraid to go on tour with him – he looked like a serial killer!

“This other guy was like Pugsley from The Adams Family. He didn’t speak and brought his friend along to speak for him”.

Eventually, the band found Max, a local LA bassist who fit right in.

Bac to Tara: “He got our Irish sense of humour and was well able for the sarcasm”.

 The band ended up losing Max also, as he fell ill with stomach problems.

Their final hurrah in America was bittersweet for the three remaining members.

“We were on high because we got to play such an amazing venue as the Roxy, but we were low because we were back to a three piece”.

The trio were back in Ireland in December 2009 “just in time for the Christmas dinner” and took a month off to recover from their hectic year.

Reconvening in February, they set out looking for a replacement bassist, and an additional guitarist.

In step Shannon natives Gary Carroll and Aaron Corr.

“We wanted to sound the same live as we did on our album.

“We’d known Gary for years as a great musician and he told us about his friend Aaron who is an amazing guitar player but had never been in a band.

“After the first few sessions, we were so excited. The mix totally worked and the lads brought a new lease of life to the band. We were really buzzing”.

The band completed their album ‘Dreamstate’, which is out now, and will release ‘Breathe In’, their first single from the record in September.

“We just made the video with Cashmere Media in Dublin. It was our first video with a budget behind it and a whole team of people to make us look hot!”

“We’ve been told the sound is very ‘Asiany’ with the synth and beefy guitars.

“To be honest, I don’t want to put a name on it. Like the band name it’s open to interpretation.

“If you have a product you can believe in it doesn’t need to be categorised and can stand up on its own anywhere in the world,” concluded the lead singer.