The Irish quartet discuss debut album and their massive festival schedule

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Recognition has slowly crept up on the Irish boys of Dublin based alternative-rock band, Kodaline. Together since 2011, this year they were featured on the BBC Sound of 2013 long list and single 'All I Want' soundtracked the latest Grey's Anatomy trailer.

The quartet's debut full length LP, In a Perfect World, will finally be released on June 17 and the band are booked for a slew of festival appearances including the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury this summer.

Ahead of their busy summer, we caught up with the band to find out how they were enjoying their newfound success and how far they've come since two years ago when they were just playing in wine bars...

The hype around you guys has built up incredibly quickly over here, considering you've been together for so long, how has it been adjusting to being the centre of attention?

Steve: To be honest we’re just happy to be playing gigs for people who want to see us. The support has been amazing and we never really expected much.

How big of a thing was it for you to break out of Ireland and into the UK scene?
Steve: Ireland is a great country, but it’s really small. A lot of our friends who are in bands have moved to places like Australia because there are more places to play, and we actually end up seeing them more on tour than we do at home. We just want to play as many shows as possible, and leaving Ireland is allowing us to do that.
Mark: It’s more fun as well, as we find our shows are insane when we come home. It’s obviously not as crazy over here, but it’s slowly building.

Do you see it as a challenge to become massive over here then?
Mark: There’s a lot more competition over here, and it’s tough to get on the radio playlists when there’s so many huge bands in the UK.

The radio play you have received in the UK has no doubt contributed to making 2013 your biggest year yet. What has been your highlight so far?
Steve: Every day is a highlight for us at the moment. Two years ago I was just playing in a wine bar to a room of drunk people, who didn’t give a shit.

Do you think such a stark change of scenery (from wine bars to huge festival stages) is going to change how the band ultimately functions?
Steve: It’s not going to change the way we do anything. This is only our first album, but we want to just get out as much music and play as many gigs as possible. Last year when we were back in Ireland we decided to just play a last minute gig in a wine bar, and we’re definitely gonna try and do some more on this tour.
Mark: For years we played to no one, so it’s nice to put out a tweet saying “we’re playing here” and people will turn up and will want to chat to us. We love doing that, we really enjoy spending time with people who enjoy our music and the fact we can rely on them to be quiet if we play in venue that doesn’t have a PA system or anything.

Watch the video for Kodaline's 'Love Like This' single below

Do you feel a lot of pressure for this album to to live up to the hype and expectations, after landing on the tip-lists at the start of 2013?
Mark: When our first EP came out we read every review, and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it’s the people that like it that are important to us.
Jason: There have been bands before us that have been hotly tipped and have done nothing, so being on lists doesn’t guarantee success. For curious people it is great though, and if I go to a festival I’m more likely to go and see a band because they were on the ‘Sound of…’ list or something.

Talking of festivals, you’re playing Glastonbury this year which is a huge achievement. Who are you looking forward to seeing?
Mark: We’re on before Peace, so I want to just come off stage and watch them. Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to stay over the weekend though as we’ve got to do some other festivals, but we might turn up the night before to make the most of it.
Jason: We’ve been told it’s a really cool festival, and it has such a massive heritage. We love playing festivals because we get to meet so many people that we admire.

Do you feel you have to win over a crowd at festivals?
Mark: When you’re playing you always keep one eye focused on the door to see if people are coming in or leaving.
Steve: Anything can happen at a festival, and you find the people are just operating on a completely different vibe. We recently played a festival in France, and one guy in the crowd had a roll of kitchen paper, and after we pointed him out he barged his way to the front and made the whole front row hold this roll of paper like a massive surrender flag, which was really surreal. It’s moments like that though which makes playing to festival crowds so great.

In A Perfect World is released 17 June, 2013

The album is out soon. Is it everything you always hoped it would be?
Steve: Every song on this album and every song we write is about something that has happened to us, or places we have visited, so this record is just really personal.
Vincent: There are a couple of songs on the album that we’ve been playing for years and have been around for a while, but basically it’s just a collection of our favourite songs.

Is a follow up going to be harder for you to write then as you won’t have this surplus material built up from over the years?
Not really, we’ve got so much stuff. Our third EP actually has newer material on it than the album. If we get a day off on tour we just end up going to the studio to write, even if it’s just one song.
When we were in America supporting The Airborne Toxic Event, we aimed to write a song about every city we visited just for the fun of it. If we went to a pub quiz now and an American cities round came up we’d kill it.

If you’re writing so much material, is gauging how a song goes down live a way for you to decide what gets put on an album/EP?
Steve: When it came to selecting songs for the album, it felt like an easy process for us, as the album just completely embodies how we feel as a band.
Vincent: I think it’s more down to how we feel about a song, and we rarely think ‘oh that went down well, let’s put that on the album’
Steve: The thing is, there are tracks on there that say where we’re at now, and our opinion on those songs will probably change in the future and we go through new experiences.

Thank you very much, Kodaline. The band's debut album, In A Perfect World, is release 17 June, 2013.

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Photo: Press