Name: White Male Actors
Formed: December 2012
Line-Up: David Mc Gaughey (Vox, Gtrs) Daireann McGee (Bass) Pete Devine (Gtrs) Mark Donnelly (Drums)
Similar To: R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Manic Street Preachers
What They Say: “Ambient Pop which has been given the thumbs up by rock royalty”
What We Say: What Koadline’s chirpy older cousin would sound like.
◀ Q & A ▶
▶ Tell us about your stage name?
The name White Male Actors came about before the actual band existed. The original plan wasn’t even to have a proper band as such but to have a collective pool of musicians performing the original batch of songs that had been written by Mark, each person playing various roles and not being tied to the constraints of a standard band lineup so that people come come and go freely. Obviously when more thought went into this idea it became apparent how ridiculous it would be to manage over time so the faithful 4 piece was born and a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth was avoided. Still the idea is interesting and it’s something that we could experiment with down the line.
▶ When did you start playing music and how long did it take to find your own sound?
Because a large portion of the set had already been written prior to the formation of the band it was quite easy to get up and running and get the sound nailed. It’s unusual for a new band to work the way we have done so far where a lot of the material is already recorded and it’s a case of trying to get the live sound to match the recorded one from the get go. Now that we have our set up and running a lot of newer material will be formed at practice and by working on things together which is the way a band should work really and it means that everyone can be involved in the creative process.
▶ What releases have you put out so far?
On record store day we released a download only single (the irony on record store day, we know!). The song is called ’31 Years’ and was written as a tribute to one of our favourite bands R.E.M. in the wake of their decision to call it a day. The response to that song in particular has been amazing and we’ve even received some amazing feedback from R.E.M. themselves regarding the song which gave us a real boost of confidence and made us feel like we were on the right track.
We’ve also stuck a few miscellaneous bits and pieces on our soundcloud page which people are free to check out. We’re just beginning work on our debut EP which will be released before the end of the summer so we’re excited about that.
▶ Is there a particular live show that stands out amongst all the rest?
Probably our first live show in June. It was in Dicey Rileys in our hometown of Strabane and it was the first time our friends and family members got the chance to see us playing. Everyone had a fantastic night and it was a big relief to get the first one out of the way without any hitches.
▶ Can you talk about a Highlight and a Lowlight of the journey so far?
Highlight is certainly the feedback we received from R.E.M. regarding our debut single. We had managed to speak to someone at the R.E.M. office about the song and what it was about. They offered to email it to R.E.M.’s manager and advisor Bertis Downs and we were overjoyed even at that prospect. But we received a couple of emails back from the office with a message first from Bertis telling us that he loved the song and he had personally emailed it to all the band members to hear. Then the next day we got word from drummer Bill Berry also telling us he loved the track and that it was by far the best tribute to the band he had heard. As you can imagine this kind of feedback for a new band is priceless especially from people who have helped nurture your love of music over the years.
Lowlights? None so far. We’re of the opinion that there can be no lowlights when you’re playing music.
▶ You are in control of forming a 4 piece ‘super group’ – who is in it and what do they do?
Don Henley – Lead vocals // Brian May – Guitar // Matt Cameron – Drums // Mike Mills – Bass
You could get most jobs done with those guys. An honourable mention to Tom Sweeney who came to our school when we were 7 and sang songs about eating ‘apples and bananas’. We still still eat them to this day such was the power of his message!
▶ If you and 3 bands of your choosing were to do a world tour, who would the other 3 bands be?
Pearl Jam – incredible live act and the way they constantly vary their setlists from night to night would mean you’d never get bored watching them.
Manic Street Preachers – 3 intelligent guys who have been there and done that, We’d learn a lot from touring with them I’d say and it’d be great to have a beer with James after every show.
Queens Of The Stone Age – Probably an unwise move but i’d say those guys would open our eyes to a few things! Quality band too.
▶ What will be the 3 strangest things on your rider when you’re able to make any demand?
Father’s for justice placards and associated costumes // An inflatable kids pool filled with Malteasers // One of the Harland and Wolff cranes?
▶ Who has been your biggest inspiration as a musician?
Probably Freddie Mercury. Even though the man was coming to the end of his life the work he was putting in writing and recording new material was astonishing and sounds phenomenal. His love for music enabled him to keep working right up until his last days despite the pain he was in. That’s passion for you! I remember Liam Gallagher cancelling an Oasis show in Dublin because he had a sore throat…….
▶ What does ‘success’ mean to you?
I guess like most people in our position the chance to make a living from playing music would be a dream come true so that would be our longterm goal. In the short term expanding our audience and being able to have our music and shows well received and attended would be a fantastic achievement.