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"A girl told me mid-song that I was ruining her night" - quickfire Q&A with Tandem Felix

David Tapley chats to us about his best gig experience, writing songs and pyjamas.

Tandem Felix are a band of merry minstrels bred to sell you records and make you buy ill-fitting Fruit of The Loom t-shirts.

DUBLIN FOUR PIECE, Tandem Felix, have been making waves in the past few weeks, as the first songs from their forthcoming EP, Comma, made their way online.

The release marks a departure from their previous output, moving more into country-infused, Americana-influenced guitar sounds, tempered by lead singer David Tapley’s restrained vocals. Comparisons have been drawn to acts like Wilco and Kurt Vile, with the first few tracks released evoking laidback West Coast vibes.

We chatted to Tapley ahead of Comma’s release on the 29 April.

1. Tell us about Comma.

Comma is our new EP. Some of it was written a long time ago. Some of it was written recently. It took about 5 months to make because I am a control freak. It’s out on the 27th of April. Please give me yer money in exchange for it.

2. Why did you decide to release Nothing I Do Will Ever Be Good Enough as the first single?

I initially wanted another song, “Waiting In The Wings”, to be the first single. But people didn’t think that one was good enough.


Source: Tandem Felix/SoundCloud

Click here to listen if embed fails to load

3. Are you going to make any videos for the songs on Comma? What kind of decisions do you have to make when it comes to album artwork and videos for the music?

Yeah, we’re working on a video at the moment for one of the songs, “Union St. Blues”. It’s basically a vanilla live performance video but our engineer Stephen leaves halfway through to have a cigarette and it’s pretty much just him smoking for 2 minutes in silence. Videos should always be fun. I like the idea of people thinking that we’re goofballs by the carry on in our videos. Really, we take ourselves very seriously and hate smiling and parties.

4. What has been the band’s best gig experience so far?

We played the UCD L&H Ball on the MV Cill Airne, that swanky party boat down by the Convention Centre. Some girl told me mid-song that I was ruining her night.

Source: troutrecords/YouTube

5. And for you, as a spectator – what’s the best live performance you’ve ever seen in Ireland?

I saw Portishead at Electric Picnic last year. That was stunning. I was stunned.

6. Also, what’s your favourite Irish festival? To either play at or attend.

We haven’t played many festivals, but I really liked Knockanstockan last year. We saw some posh lad making dub music in the forest after all the other stages had closed.

At one point he sheepishly admitted to the crowd “I’m tryin’ me best!”

tand Source: Lesley Humphreys

7. Jeff, one of Tandem Felix’s members, is also in the bands Jet Setter and SPIES – and you guys are are buds with Girl Band. Would you view Tandem Felix as part of any particular ‘scene’ in Dublin right now? And if so, how would you describe it?

The scene is good. Girl Band are doing really well and it makes me feel pride in my belly. We’re constantly stealing Jeff from Jet Setter and SPIES, so I think they hate me.

8. There have been line-up changes in Tandem Felix throughout the years. Do you write alone or with the band? How much changes with the music in the process of recording with everyone?

I tend to write alone. I can write a song in my bedroom in my pyjamas. When recording with others its much the same, but I guess I have to brush my teeth and put on a shirt first. When we mixed the EP, it was done by myself and Stephen our aforementioned engineer. We compromised on slippers.

9. The Guardian described your forthcoming release, Comma, as “music for divorcees”. What the hell does that mean, do you think?

Who knows! I guess It’s a hot market right now. 25% discount on all gig tickets if you can provide valid divorce papers.

Source: Tandem Felix/YouTube

10. Some attention in recent reviews has been paid to the lyrical content of the EP’s songs. When you write songs, which comes first – the music or the lyrics? Or does it matter?

Generally, I write the music first. The lyrics can sometimes be very last minute. I think if I sat down and wrote a “poem” and then tried to fit it to music, it would sound foolish.

And finally – Tandem Felix means happy at last. Are you?

In between the panic attacks.

Tandem Felix release Comma through Trout Records on 27 April, and the EP’s first live outing will take place in The Workman’s Club in Dublin on 15 May. You can buy tickets to that gig here.

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About the author:

Fiona Hyde

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