Introducing: #80 – Not Today

by / July 29, 2016

Name: Not Today
Hometown: Omagh
Genre: Alternative/Punk
Line-up: Ayrton Mc Gurgan – (Vocals, rhythm guitar) | Darragh Kelly – Lead guitar | Jason Gallagher – Bass | Emily Pinkerton – Drums

◀ Q & A ▶

Tell us about your band name

‘Not Today’ was inspired by an episode of Game Of Thrones. It’s a quote from character Syrio Forel (master sword-fighter/instructor) to Arya Stark “There is only one God, and his name is Death, and there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘not today'”. For what we stand for and a pop punk influenced band we felt it was fitting.

When did you start playing music and how would you describe your sound?

We all have different backgrounds. Myself, Ayrton, the vocalist/guitarist would have a very talented musical family who play along the lines of folk/country. For me, that wasn’t my taste, it was actually my sister, Alannah who got me into alternative/punk music. After she packed it in with her first band I wanted to get on board so I asked Darragh who I was best friends with since primary school if he wanted to join us. At that stage Darragh was only a beginner but over the following years I watched him grow from barely being able to play a few chords to one of the best local lead guitarists I know.

That was in 2012, after what was known as ‘Eco Sound’ was over me and Darragh we’re a little lost so we started up our acoustic project ‘U.N.I’, From January 2014-September 2014 we played a number of local shows, wrote a vast amount of original material which would become the basis for our debut EP ‘Let It Light’ under the name ‘Not Today’ just over a year later. In September 2014 me and Darragh decided to part ways to focus on our studies as first year university students but with a passion and love for music it wouldn’t be long until we returned. With the addition of ‘Emily Pinkerton’ in September 2015, I picked up the guitar and started learning. After a few months behind closed doors, 3 self taught musicians took the stage of Top Of The Town on 20th February 2015 and never looked back out since. A few months and gigs later we we’re joined by bassist Jason Gallagher and had a full line up to record our first alternative/punk record.

What releases have you put out so far?

So far we’ve released a six track EP ‘Let It Light’ back in October 2015 and on 22nd February 2016 we released our debut single ‘The Get Go’.

Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?

The best experience for us so far was actually an out of town gig we played in Enniskillen. It was to an underage crowd and the kids we’re all really pumped up. It wasn’t about the alcohol or the cigarettes to them. Just about listening to the music and it was really enjoyable to play for them and we’re hoping of doing a few underage gigs in the future in our own town.

Can you talk about a Highlight and a low point of the journey so far?

As a small band playing the local scene you have a lot of highs and lows. Highest being able to record our EP. It’s something a lot of bands hope to do but funding is always the problem. We got sensible real fast about the whole thing and have been saving since our debut gig. It was great fun in the studio, spending time with each other and doing what we love; making music.

The worst point would have to be the unfortunate gig experiences. One time we provided equipment for a gig night and the main act completely destroyed our PA system, mics, stands, etc. you name it! Luckily there we’re some less egotistical members in that band and they replaced what they could of the equipment but we we’re still at a loss.

If you weren’t a musician(s) how would you spend your spare time?

Outside of band we’re all students so spare time is sparse and outside of studying I’m a filmmaker, Darragh’s a graphic designer, Jason a photographer and Emily works with animals. Other than that our hobbies are pretty much the normal human thing.

If you were to go on a world tour and you could pick any 3 acts come along, who would they be?

Oh, you’re really teasing us! We’re gonna pick band’s we love to cover. Here goes: All Time Low because they’re a band who not only play a gig but put on a show, Busted as they’re a band we all grew up listening to and we all went to see them recently and oh, the nostalgia and finally Green Day as they are one of our biggest influences.

What would be the 3 strangest things on your rider if you were able to make any demand?

That’s easy! McDonald’s McFlurry machine with a variety of toppings, cake table (jam and cream, plain, chocolate, red velvet) and a variety of biscuits (McVities milk chocolate digestives, McVities digestives, McVities rich tea, McVities Cadbury covered rich tea, McVities caramel milk chocolate digestives, original oreos, Crawford’s custard creams, Fox’s extremely chocolatey chunkie cookies, Fox’s rocky molten caramel, twix, oatmeal, Vietnamese, Fox’s party rings, Tesco’s shortbread, assorted Nestle crunchy kitkats, Cadbury fingers)

Is there a particular aim or goal which you hope to achieve through music?

We’d really love to do a full NI tour but as none of us are licensed drivers yet it’s not feasible, some day though. We also are looking forward to visiting the studio again for our second EP, we’ve been writing a hell of a lot new material and finally feel we’ve found our sound. The first EP was a big experiment with what we had but now we’re clear on where we want to go.

Who has been your biggest inspiration as musicians?

We’re all into different things in this band and I think that’s what makes it works. We’re not stuck to a genre so when it comes to writing we can all bring something different to the table. Darragh would be mostly into classic rock whereas Jason and Emily would be into a lot heavier stuff, I on the other hand would be a big fan of pop punk. That’s why our influences are so wide ranging from the likes to Green Day, Nirvana, The Ramones to something along the lines of Big Country.

Are there any other Northern Irish musicians we should check out?

Over the past year we have had the opportunity to play with some amazingly talented local artists in particular we’d like to give a shout out to Attack The Day, Mosmo Strange, Pâro and Self Stifled.

What is next for you?

In Febuary this year we released our debut single ‘The Get Go’ with a release show in our hometown. The song has received radio play from BBC Radio Ulster, Time 107.5, Radio Wig-Wam as well as a variety of unsigned music radio stations. The song is up for FREE download on our bandcamp. We have continued gigging across NI with a number of bands and promoters while writing a number on new material. In the upcoming months we’re recording and releasing our second EP which will be followed up by our first full NI tour which will be announced soon.

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