Not to be confused with the US outfit of the (almost) same name, Turnstiles are the latest Irish noise merchants that are coming over here to steal hearts and minds.
They are on their first headlining tour of the U.K this month, which includes a potentially iconic Liverpool gig at the Kazimier Stockroom in October 15, headlining a glorious bill that also includes Piss Kitti, Those F***ing Snowflakes, and Mincemeat.
They’ve so far released a handful of singles, each of which a leap from the last, culminating in a self-titled debut E.P at the start of 2021, with the Galway 5-piece are getting some decent support slots with the likes of Thumper and Bullet Girl, as well as garnering recent radio play from Steve Lamacq on 6Music.
There’s a hard hitting, fierce nature to their sound, which belies their youth, an intelligence with the music to match, they are obviously about to go big.
So with that in mind, prior to the headlining tour, we spoke to Jake Tiernan, their bassist, who spoke on behalf of Turnstiles and asked him our all important 13 Questions.
1. Where are you and what are you doing? How is that working out?
Jake Tiernan: “For obvious reasons, it hasn’t been a busy year, but we’re back to writing new music and looking forward to gigging again soon. We’re really excited about the direction we’re going musically, we feel we’ve already upped our game since the release of our EP.”
2. Can you give us a bit of history on Turnstiles, how did it all begin?
JT: “We got together in March of 2019 and started gigging pretty immediately after that. We’ve actually been in lockdown for longer than we’ve been a gigging band, so in terms of time together as a performing band we’re still in our infancy really, having been together less than a year before everything stopped.
“Although it’s been tough for a number of reasons, lockdown has given us a chance to develop our sound, which is something we didn’t really have when there was always a gig right around the corner. We’ll be back better than ever in no time.”
3. What was your favourite band growing up and the first gig you went to?
JT: “Growing up I loved Oasis, the Stone Roses and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who my auntie took me to see in Dublin on their I’m With You tour. I don’t listen to any of those bands much any more but they’ll always be hugely important to me.”
4. What record changed the course of your life?
JT: “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. Getting into Dylan was my first major deviation from the band’s mentioned above and my introduction to lyric-centric music. I have a vivid memory of listening to that album for the first time and it really striking me how powerful words could be.”
5. Apart from yourself, who is the next big thing?
JT: “I think the Galway indie scene as a whole is the next big thing.
“NewDad and the Clockworks are really putting it on the map but there are so many great bands here, Slyrydes, Yellow Tinted Windows, Field Trip, 60 Watt Girl.
“Galway has already made a name for itself in the electronic scene and I think that trend will continue across all genres. It used to be called the ‘graveyard of ambition’ but I don’t think that tag will stick around for long.”
6. Have you got any hobbies outside of music?
JT: “Carrying drums and amps up flights of stairs.”
7. When did you last get into an argument?
JT: “As a band, we don’t argue much, but we do tend to have lengthy discussions about songs while writing them. Often, there’ll be a few different points of view, and everyone is given a chance to articulate their own. Usually this is a productive process, but we do have one song that has gone unwritten for over a year as we can’t settle on a direction for it.”
8. When did you last shout at the TV?
JT: “Some of us may have shouted at the TV, for different reasons, when England lost to Italy.”
9. What’s your favourite cartoon character?
JT: “Bugs Bunny.”
10. What’s your favourite chocolate bar?
JT: “I’d probably go for a Cadbury’s Dairy Milk.”
11. What’s next?
JT: “We are going on a UK tour this October and we’ll be playing Liverpool’s Kazimier Stockroom on the 15th!”
12. Who’s the nicest ‘celebrity’ you’ve ever met?
JT: “Our lead singer, Cal.”
13. Thanks for answering our questions, do you have anything else to say?
JT: “Jurgen Norbert Klopp is the main man.” *
* (Certain writers at Sun 13 do not endorse that final comment. AT ALL.)
Turnstiles play Liverpool’s Kazimier Stockroom on Friday, October 15. Purchase tickets here.