Brian Grogan took us completely by surprise as his latest single ‘Runny Nose’ is such a sarcastic take which is wrapped in awesome production and sprinkled with powerful vocals. The song got our attention and is currently spending time on our Indie Top 39‘s TOP 10.
We are so thrilled that we had a chance to have a more in-depth chat with Brian Grogan.
Congratulations! It seems like you’ve been very productive since your debut single ‘Reach’. Tell us about your journey until the moment you released ‘Runny Nose’.
Since releasing ‘Reach’, I’ve released my debut EP and I’m in the process of releasing EP No. 2. I’ve also quit my job, tried a career singing covers, moved house, and played my first shows in Ireland since emigrating in 2012.
Let’s talk about ‘Runny Nose’. I absolutely love how you took such a random subject and turned it into such a masterpiece. How did you come up with an idea to write a song about it?
Glad you like it! I was back in Ireland for Christmas (December 2017) and feeling under the weather. My family had left me to go to a family gathering and I was in my room playing my Mum’s half size guitar which was percussively very pleasing. I was trying to write a song but also struggling to sing as I was “suffering” from a runny nose at the time. The words just came out and I went with it.
You mentioned that the song was written a few years ago when you were dating a girl and she ended up giving you a runny nose. Has she heard the song?
She has indeed. I think there was positive feedback if I remember correctly.
Were you aiming to release the song around the time when the chances of meeting people with runny noses are the highest?
As soon as the name “Rudolf” stuck in the bridge, I figured it had to be released during the festive season. Releasing the song in the midst of a global pandemic where the virus spreads through coughs and sneezes, I guess that’s just a bonus.BRIAN GROGAN
What is the best remedy for you to fight a runny nose?
Not toilet roll, that’s for sure.
Do you remember the moment you decided that music is what you want to do?
It was the winter of 1998. I was sitting in an armchair gazing at the afternoon sun drift below the Cavan hills and . . . . . only joking, I don’t remember the moment exactly. It was a long time ago. Took me a while to figure out how.
2020 has been extremely challenging for the creative industry. What kept you sane?
It actually affected me in a positive way I think. I was able to focus on the things I had been either too busy or too distracted to work on. It made me take stock of what was important (and I think for a lot of people too) and where I was wasting a lot of time and energy.
Did lockdown have an impact on how you create music?
I would say moving house had a larger impact on my writing process. A lot of my songs thus far were written in the bathroom of my previous flat in east London. I was slightly nervous that that bathroom had some kind of mystical powers working through me and that the new location might not but thankfully I was wrong.
What would you like to be remembered for?
The man who found a cure for Covid 19.
Which artist had the biggest impact on you?
The best I can do here is give you a breakdown of a few different Brians.
Teenage Brian – Red Hot Chili Peppers – Made me realise how much fun could be had on stage.
Early twenties Brian – John Mayer – Helped craft my guitar skills.
Late twenties Brian – Damien Rice – Inspired me to become a wordsmith
Music to me is my second language.BRIAN GROGAN
What does your creative process look like?
I’m going to steal the wise words of Damien Rice here and semi quote, “The fingers do what they want and my voice does what it wants and I just follow them and see where they want to go”. For me, it usually starts with a guitar riff and gibberish, and from that, an idea (good or bad) blossoms.
Do you have a song that when you hear it you’d say ‘Damn I Wish I’d Written That’?
Trusty and True – Damien Rice . . . . Every time.
What is one piece of advice you would give your younger self before the release of the very first single?
Get a singing teacher lol.
What needs to happen that you’d be able to say ‘Damn, I think I made it in the music industry’.
Headline Glastonbury, tour with Jacob Collier and create my own super band. Alternatively I’ll be happy to settle for making a living from music . . . . which I kind of am already.
How would you summarize 2020?
Two words. Living. In.
What would you wish for 2021?
To write more songs. To release another EP. To play gigs again. To get to socialise with real people again.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your audiences?
As much music as I can before I kick the bucket.
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