Irish singer/songwriter Mundy recently embarked on an extensive nationwide tour to promote the release of latest album 'Raining Down Arrows'. This is the Offaly troubadour's third album and the second on his own label, Camcor Recordings. Its entry into the Irish charts at number one and the ease with which he can fill venue after venue around the country, shows exactly how popular Mundy has become. However, it hasn't all been plain sailing. Signed to Sony shortly after leaving school, things were initially good with one of his songs To You I Bestow ending up on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet and his first album Jellylegs selling well. This though wasn't enough for Sony and in 2000 he was dropped by the record label. Determined to continue he made the decision to release his second album 24 Star Hotel independently and was rewarded with impressive Irish sales of over 25,000.
Niamh Kavanagh caught up with him during a break in his hectic touring schedule:
How's the tour going?
Very good. Lots of people turning up to see me playing the new songs. It's good to just get around the country again. I haven't been gigging for a while. It's nice to see everyone turning up again.
Tell me about recording your album in Texas?
It was a weird thing. I've been to Austin a few times, ended up at a gig in Chicago, met this couple who were playing in three different bands and I bought the CDs of each band and stayed in touch. I was actually trying to get one of the acts to come over to play in Dublin. How I got to record an album with them was that I asked them would they be into playing on it. It was a really, really natural thing to do. I went over and recorded in their house. I went over for a week (at first) and then I went over for two and a half weeks.
Do you prefer recording or playing live?
Both. They're both different. I always think that recording is like taking a photo of a song at its present time and gigging is when the song keeps developing. The songs from my first album are being played better and better and are becoming different things. The studio's really just a snapshot of where your head is at that time.
This album has more of a country sound than your previous ones. Was this a natural progression or a more deliberate thing?
It's funny because some people have said it's a little bit over the top but it seemed like a natural thing to do because I was listening to a certain amount of music that came from that part of the world. I just thought, for the sound I was looking for, a band from Dublin would've sounded completely different. I just thought, you know, that's what I'm listening to and maybe I should just go over to that part of the world and record there. It's funny cos everyone says the album's really country but there's about two country songs on it.
What music are you listening to now?
I'm now listening to Snow Patrol…I'm listening to the Detroit Cobras, The Kills and loads of different punky bands. I'm also listening to Miles Davis. I always listen to loads of different things and I think for my next album I could end up doing a whole programmed album exactly like the Flaming Lips, that kind of thing. I just knew that I was looking for a roomy, natural kind of sound (on this album). I didn't want technology to get in the way of the songs and that's why I recorded it in that way.