The state of their affairs


Limerick Post talks to Colm McGuinness and Tony Monahan of Protobaby about the new single ‘State of Affairs’ and the upcoming launch gig. “PROBABLY more then any of us in Protobaby, I do believe music helps Colm [lead singer] exorcise his demons and frustrations and that’s why his lyrics are genuine and honest observations,” says Protobaby guitarist, Tony Monahan.


These demons and frustrations are addressed in Protobaby’s new single, ‘State of Affairs’ which is released this week. The guitarist and Protobaby’s singer, Colm McGuinness, are talking to Limerick Post about their new release and tour.
‘State of Affairs’ is the band’s best work to date. It is an honest and autobiographical account from the singer’s own experiences. McGuinness readily admits that much of his songwriting comes in the aftermath of moments of conflict and gives an insight into the writing of the song, “Growing up I was a nightmare to control. Always being brought home by the guards and was involved in a lot of stuff I’m not proud of. I’m a little bit more responsible now but every now and then I mess up and end up hurting the people closest to me. ‘State Of Affairs’ is a song about the fact that the people that love me won’t put up with me much longer if I can’t control myself. I suppose having A.D.D. doesn’t help but there comes a point were you just have to man up and do the right thing. Unfortunately I haven’t reached it yet!”
Protobaby was formed in 2008 when songwriter Colm answered Tony and bass player Aidan Graham’s newspaper advert to find a vocalist. Impressed by Colm’s lyrics and deep baritone delivery, the band went into extensive rehearsals with drummer Bryan Ronan, culminating in the self-produced ‘Freedom EP’ which came out in 2010. On the back of some very positive reviews for this debut single, Protobaby is included in the “Ones to Watch in 2011” list in Hot Press Magazine.
Protobaby writes music in lots of different ways, sometimes putting lyrics over Tony’s riffs and melodic chord changes, sometimes writing as a group and sometimes, as with ‘State of Affairs’, the song is brought to the band by Colm. Tony recalls, “I remember Colm ringing me about a year ago after a particularly out of control night he had out and saying he messed up again last night but wrote a great song that morning! We went to practice next day and hammered it out and it felt good right from the off”.
The ‘Freedom EP’ was recorded in Tony’s home studio and he “learned a lot from the process”. It did take too long to produce and he wanted to be free from all recording responsibilities for ‘State of Affairs’, “We also hoped someone else recording and mixing the record might be able to take our sound to the next level”. Recorded in Data Studios in Kerry and mixed by Chris O’Brien and Graham Murphy at The Production Suite in Dublin, “really sonically transformed” the song.
The artwork for the ‘State of Affairs’ release is the work of Limerick digital artist Ken Coleman. Impressed by his work with other bands, Tony outlined some ideas to him. “Ken came back with his first draft which is practically the one we used save for a few tweaks. We were blown away by it – Ken had been emailing me pictures of cut up dolls against a green screen and I knew he meant business!” Protobaby will debut the video for ‘State of Affairs’ at the single launch night. The video is directed by Shane Serrano, also of course from Limerick. “It’s great there’s so many amazingly talented people right on our doorstep.”
‘State Of Affairs’ and its video will be launched on Friday, February 25 in Dolans. The tour then continues to Tralee Rag Week, Feb 27; Roisin Dubh, Galway, Mar 22; The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Mar 24; Crawdaddy, Dublin, Apr 2; Crane Lane, Cork, Apr 9.