From competing in battle of the bands to tearing up the charts Kodaline’s rise has been a meteoric one. Former Big Issue seller and guitarist Mark Prendergast talks about the Irish alt rockers success ahead of their live show at Leeds Academy, 15 March.
You’ve come a long way since you started the band. Did you ever think you would come this far?
No, it is really mad thinking it! It is one of those dreams that everybody has, but never really believes in. We still have to pinch ourselves. It is an amazing journey that has happened really, really quickly for us. We don’t take it for granted. We know how good we have it.
How do you feel you have grown as a band? Have you had to change to grow?
We have just become better players and better friends. We were good friends for years anyway, and I think that is one of the strongest things we have. We can put up with each other for weeks at a time on a bus if we have to. We don’t kill each other because we know each other, because we know each other that well.
You have a new album out. How was the recording process? Was it different this time around?
I think the first album is always going to be difficult to make because you have your whole life, and you want to get everything you want to say into that first record. But this time it really is just sharing you’ve experienced since the first record. It is just a snapshot of our lives now.
From what you’ve learnt from making this album, do you feel that by over-planning bands can hinder creativity?
I do not want to say that anyone is doing it wrong, but I think there are barriers that bands can put up for themselves. I don’t think it’s intentional. There is a lot of pressure that is involved in this industry, but we just kind of skipped it – we are very, very lucky. Pressure isn’t really good for a creative environment.
Are you happy with how your album has been received so far?
It is that moment like sending your first kid off to school, and you really hope it comes back alright! The reaction we have been getting every night has been incredible. I think it’s all just flowing into one another, feeding off each other The gigs are just getting better and better. Playing these songs live just gives them a whole new energy.
You have had a lot of your songs used in TV shows and films. How did this all come about?
We just try to focus on playing our gigs and playing our songs. We have a really, really amazing team of people behind us. It is really essential for this day and age. You have to have people on the ground fighting your corner. It is a good way to get your music out there to any audience that would not have heard it otherwise. We are just lucky to have some amazing people on our side.
Your music is quite anthemic. Would you say that you have stadium ambitions?
I think any band that doesn’t say yes to that question is lying to you. That drive and that ambition is still what is keeping us going – we are a very ambitious band. We just try to be as honest as possible and if that resonates with enough people then hopefully it will bring us to stadiums, but we just want everybody to hear it.