For those of you who haven’t already heard of them, you will soon. Moxie is an upcoming band with a unique sound that really sets them apart from the rest. Hailing from Limerick and Sligo, Moxie formed in late 2011 between Cillian Doheny, Jos Kelly, Darren Roche, Ted Kelly and Paddy Hazleton and are now busy taking over the rest of Europe. However, they still have time to come back home and play gigs in Ireland like they will in October.
It’s difficult to define their genre of music but it’s even more difficult to find it coming from any other band other than Moxie. Their instrument lineup includes banjos, button accordions, drums, keyboards and electric tenor guitars. We decided to ask the band’s own Cillian Doheny on how he would describe their music, touring Europe and coming back to Ireland ahead of their Irish gigs.
1. How did you all first meet and start the band?
It all started a few years ago. After an extended summer of wild music festivals, Ted Kelly and I had pondered the idea of forming a band together. At each festival we would go out of our way to find the best pub, corner or snug to play music with each other. The fact was that we were all big session musicians and any chance we got we would be straight in there playing in one. The feeling we all got when the five of us would sit down and play a session together was incredible. Electric and almost other-worldly if you like. For example we would start playing music at 3/4 in the day and wouldn’t stop until the early hours of the morning. It was clear to Ted & myself that the magic we created together could not be wasted and months later unleashed MOXIE.
2. Do you think it’s important for bands like you to keep Irish music modern and popular?
We don’t place importance on being modern or popular, I guess it has just worked out that way without the need to push for it.
3. Did you always plan on playing Irish fusion music with the band or did it just work out that way?
Because of all our diverse listening patterns we have created something that is new sounding and can be defined as Irish fusion but to answer the question more simply, we just set out trying to write great sounding music together, there was no master plan to try and penetrate certain music markets which is a lot of what’s going on these days in the music industry. It’s just not in the bands DNA to do this.
4. Do you prefer writing and recording songs or performing them live?
There’s always that ‘new tune’ feeling we all get after we write something and it’s such a great feeling to have. On the other hand when we perform at our best to a venue packed with screaming fans, that feeling is also something very special. So to answer your question, we love both!
5. What has been your favourite gig to date?
It’s very hard to choose one as there has been so many, so I’ll have to mention a few.
• Performance with the Ulster Orchestra for BBC in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast (watch it below)
• Doolin Folk Festival, Clare
• 5th On Teeling, Sligo (Fleadh Ceoil na hÉireann)
6. You recently toured Austria, Italy and Switzerland. How did that go?
Such an amazing tour this was. It was tough doing eighteen gigs in a row one night after another, but it was an amazing experience for us in that it allowed us to gel better as collective individuals and resulted in the band growing stronger. We also had the opportunity of bringing our videographer and best friend, Peter Clyne, with us which was fun and very rewarding as he captured a nifty tour documentary called ‘Chasing MOXIE #1’ which can be seen on YouTube. I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Culture Ireland for their funding support.
7. How did it feel to do a tour of Europe and then come home and play in your hometowns?
We loved it, it was brilliant in all different forms. We had very different audience receptions but I can’t recall a dull moment at any of them. We always love playing at home and it’s nice to see different nationalities reacting to the music we play.
8. What can we expect from one of your live performances?
You can expect great music, lots of energy and feel good vibes.
If you want to catch Moxie live, they’ll be in Whelan’s on September 30th, Dolan’s, Limerick on October 1st and Monroe’s, Co. Galway on October 8th. For full details and how to buy tickets you can visit their website moxiemuso.com.
By Sophie Butler