Stairwells: Interview

Stairwells are an emo/melodic hardcore band from Dublin, who formed last year. Their debut EP was released on March the 7th for free on bandcamp. You can check out our review of it here. We caught up with the vocalist Ian Kelly:

First off, congrats on the new album and the success of its launch! It’s a belter of an album! Were you surprised by how well it did? Were you expecting to run out of bandcamp downloads so soon?

Thank you so much. I’m really glad that you like it. To be honest we were all really surprised by how well received it was. We didn’t expect the bandcamp thing at all. Honestly it was crazy. When I talked to some friends about how we were going to put the whole record out for free on day one some of them thought that it might be a mistake. But for us it made all the sense in the world. We were a band that no one had ever heard of before, so it was important for us to release our music for free and to make it as widely available as possible. We just passed 20000 plays on bandcamp last week so I guess it maybe worked? haha

How did the idea of making the cassette tapes come about?

Basically we ended up doing tapes because we couldn’t afford to press it onto vinyl ourselves. We could have sent it around to a bunch of labels in hope that someone might be interested in putting it out but that would have delayed the release by months and we just wanted to get it out asap.

What are your personal favourite tracks on the new record?

Lyrically I think Holyhead is one of my favourites. It’s about how over the last few years I’ve watched a lot of friends pack up their lives and move to London and how at the end of every summer I wonder who will be next? Maybe even me? I also really love Postcards. It’s about meeting someone that could be completely perfect for you but realising that you’re both just at completely different points in life and knowing that for now it just wouldn’t work out.

If you could support any band without the limits of time and space, who would it be?

My all time favourite show would be a Paramore headliner with American Nightmare, Now Now, Lifetime and us opening. That would be a weird mix but it would be incredible. Maybe add in Death Cab?? or Ben Folds Five?? haha.

Is there a particular song or band that made you realise that playing music was something you wanted to do? 

I remember I sat beside this kid Ray in wood work class in school and we were talking about music one day and he took these 2 CD’s out of his bag and told me to bring them home and give them a listen. They were Insomniac by Green Day and Smash by the Offspring. My parents didn’t let us have internet at home until I was 18 and could pay for it myself so getting hold of physical copies was the only way I could hear new music. But the internet is the devil and I ended up getting sued for illegally downloading music haha.

So, what’s in the future for Stairwells?

We are about to start writing a new record in the next few weeks. We have a bunch of shows in Ireland over the summer and we are gonna hit the UK in September. We just wanna keep as busy as possible. Book a show for us in your town, we wanna play everywhere.

Many of us start off as Outcasts; any advice to young people who are still trying to find their place in the world?

Just be yourself as hard as that is sometimes. Try and make good decisions. Be kind to people. Find something that you love to do and go after it with everything that you have. Don’t be afraid to try something because you are scared that you might fail or because you’re afraid of what some people might say or think. You don’t need people like that in your life anyway. Try to be happy and know that it’s okay not to be.


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