the AU interview: Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol (Northern Ireland)

Nathan Connolly of Snow Patrol talks to Mary Boukouvalas about touring, dancing, The Clash, and the development of their sixth album "Fallen Empires".

Hi Nathan, how’s it going?

I’m good but there might be a little delay on this. I’m in Argentina at the moment so there’s a weird delay on this but it should be good.

Are you touring your new album in Argentina?

We haven’t started officially doing the new record. We’re doing festivals for now. We were in Brazil, now Argentina, we’re with Primal Scream. So it should be a fun night.

Who would you say are your favourite bands or influences?

At the minute, or for ever?

Let’s go for ever, firstly

To make it more difficult? Ha ha

Yeah, sorry

No no, that’s fine. I kind of started with rock music and kind of like from there ... from Pixies, Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine and The Clash and The Cure, Led Zeppelin, U2, and the list goes on.

I think you’re describing my CD and record collection.

Oh, that’s good!

And what about yourself? When did you first start playing guitar?

I was 12 when I started the first kind of year was the first year I was messing around quite a lot, just making noise. I’ve been playing a long time. I have been playing longer than not, yeah I was like 12.

Any other instruments you play or would like to play?

I just recently took up mandolin. I’ve got a piano, you know a few things but I am not quite as accomplished on them as I am on guitar. Guitar is my probably my first and the one I want to stick to.

Before you joined Snow Patrol, you were in one other band?

It was a band called File Under Easy Listening, F.U.E.L, it was a Northern Irish band. No one really heard of us. We released one single, it didn’t do very well and we kinda didn’t do much after that. I then joined Snow Patrol after that.

How did you join Snow Patrol?

The band I was in and Snow Patrol were touring with Ash in Ireland. We met the guys on that tour and they basically stole me. We’re from the same part of town, the same place. I played with that band for five years it was a lot of fun. I guess we thought we would be making music together for ever. We all met at school, that kind of thing.

How involved are you in the song writing process for Snow Patrol? Do you think success has changed expectations in the music you produce?

Gary initially will have the main ideas: verse, chorus. Sometimes myself and Johnny would do. This album it’s been all Gary. But after he brings them in to the band, into the studio we all kind of work together and arrange it turn it in start working on it and turn it into a song. This time it was slightly different in that we were kind of writing as we went, making stuff up, in the past songs would be completely finished and Gary would bring them in. This time we would track songs that wouldn’t have a chorus til a month later. It was a kind of a weird way to make the record this time. But that was great in that it meant that myself and Johnny were going to get a lot more involved, a lot freer for us to do our thing.

Do you have any favourite songs on the album -already?

You know, it’s funny, yeah there’s Fallen Empires. It’s probably the most different of the songs done. Instantly when you’re making a new record, the newer different sounding stuff is going to excite you more basically because you’re moving away from stuff that you’ve done all along. This record's full of that. Yeah Fallen Empires, The Weight Of Love.

You said that you want to move away sometimes from some songs. Are there some that you see on the set list as you’re about to play and you go: No can we not do that one! I’m so sick of playing that song?

There are songs. Generally when you’re playing live everything’s kept interesting and you’re excited with the crowd reaction so it never becomes boring. Yeah there are certain songs. It probably isn’t the ones people think –and it can change as well. At the minute it’s kind of songs off the last record that I am not really excited by but by and large, mainly because once you’ve recorded a new album that’s all you want to play.

Is it true what I read about you having no say in not having Chasing Cars to be used in Grey’s Anatomy?

Well we didn’t initially know about it, no. We were kind of surprised by the kind of reaction that happened. It was very strange. It’s a huge thing for us I guess you know for a long time all we seemed to be talking a lot about Grey’s Anatomy but there’s no doubt the show took our music, that song to a whole lot more people, so it was good.

If you had a TV show you’d want your music on, what would it be?

Plenty of great shows at the moment, there’s some amazing shows on HBO. But the shows I’d like them to use them in, I doubt if it would work. Yeah I don’t know.

What are your favourite TV shows at the moment?

I love stuff like Deadwood, Game of Thrones. I don’t know if our songs would go so well on Game of Thrones. I just finished watching The Kennedys. I don’t think our songs would work.

How do you feel about touring?

It’s probably the sole purpose of it. That’s when we get to do the one thing that we love doing. That’s what we love doing, aside from making records is playing live. I think that’s where most bands would say they’re the happiest. It’s expressing what you’ve got on your record, what you’ve recorded. And with us now we’re chomping at the bit just to get out there and excited about playing the new songs and letting people hear them. We’ve always been a hard working band and now more than ever we’re excited about playing this new record. I just want to get out there and do it.

Are you thinking of touring Australia soon?

Hopefully next year. We haven’t been back. I don’t think we’ll be there this year but you never know. We love Australia. Every time we’ve been there we’ve had, some people would say too much fun, we’ve had a lot of fun. Absolutely we’ll come back. I would imagine hopefully it would be our summer your winter kind of winter spring kind of thing. We start in the UK in January and we go to Europe in March for a month or so and hopefully after that.

Excellent. I hope so. What stands out about the last time you visited Australia?

One of the most fun tours we’ve ever done has been in Australia. We did the V tour. Our stage was Jenny Lewis, Madness, Elbow and ourselves. I just remember, in fact I think it was four, five different cities spread about two weeks. You know we’re friends with the Elbow guys and we just had a lot of fun on that tour. Australians I think are one of the best crowds. You know everyone says it but they are.

Oh, Thank you

Yeah, you know they’re feisty, and that’s what we like. I remember having great crowd reactions and getting very drunk. It was a lot of fun.

I really love the new film clip. I can’t see you in it anywhere?

No, it’s just Gary in that video…

Couldn’t you have been one of the dancers?

Absolutely yeah, maybe in the next video. Actually in the next video we tango dancers. We just finished filming it a day or so ago in Buenos Aires, a lot of fun, but no one is allowing me to dance, just yet. Maybe I should be in a video of my own. It really wouldn’t be that good.

I’m sure it’d be great. I have one more question before we run out of time: I know you loved the V Festival line-up, but if you had to put a group of bands together old or new, who would you include in the line up?

Well I will probably have to go with bands I’ve never seen or I’ll never see. In the last year I’ve got to see Tom Petty, I’ve seen a few others that I never got to see as a kid. There’s still a few people I got to see Springsteen and Led Zeppelin, so I’ve actually seen a lot of my dream list. I never got to see The Clash. I reckon I’d have The Clash as headliners. I can’t think of anyone else I’m sure there’s loads.

Thank you for your time. Look forward to seeing you in Australia soon.

No problem. Where in Australia are you?

I’m in Melbourne.

It’s our favourite city there ‘cause it’s party time. Cheers, thank you. Bye-bye.


Fallen Empires is due for release Friday 18th November 2011.

The video for Snow Patrol's "Called Out in the Dark" is really worth seeing:

The video for Snow Patrol's new single 'This Isn't Everything You Are' will receive its exclusive premiere on Friday 14th October via

The band filmed the video in a tango club in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Brett Simon (who also directed the video for Called Out In The Dark).
Although the premiere is still a week away you can watch a sneak preview of it now below: