Welcome to the first edition of Under The Street Light With Dave McMahon. In this series, I will be talking to some of the stalwarts of the Irish independent music scene as well as some upcoming and emerging talent. First up is The Mighty Stef. Ahead of the launch party for their new album “Year Of The Horse" in Whelans on Friday 10th April, I caught up with frontman, Stefan Murphy to ask him a few questions. Here are the fruits of that labour.
When did you first realise that you wanted to be a musician?
I seen a picture of Shakin' Stevens doing the splits when i was younger and thought it was pretty cool.
How did you get started?
I got guitar lessons at 14 in Crumlin, then spent the next 12 years trying to write a good song.
Who did you listen to when you were growing up?
Public Enemy, Guns N Roses, Stone Roses, U2, N.W.A. and Happy Mondays.
When did the first version of The Mighty Stef form?
I was doing it solo as early as 2002 and with a pick up band (called The Band Of Men) since 2003.
What effect has the several lineup changes had from then to now?
Keeps everyone on their toes. It has been frustrating at times but I’m very proud and happy to have so much fun with so many great musicians and friends.
When and where did you play your first gig?
Fox & Pheasant, March 25th 1994 with my first band Caravaggio.
What has been your favourite venue to play?
De Barras, Clonakilty. The National, Richmond VA and Union Pool, Brooklyn.
What has been your worst concert experience?
Don't really focus on the negatives.
The Mighty Stef seem to tour constantly, does that ever catch up on you?
Yes, I'm fucked.
What was your favourite concert that you went to see?
Manic Street Preachers. The Tivoli, Dublin 1995.
How much do other musicians influence your music?
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Recording with Ronnie Drew and Shane MacGowan and touring the US with Flogging Molly.
Year Of The Horse is your 4th studio album. Does making an album get easier with time?
Lord No. This album took 5 years.
What can people expect from the new album?
Great songs with a good production.
What was it like working with renowned producer, Alain Johannes?
Amazing. He brought out the best in us.
The album launch will be this Friday in Whelans, what do you have lined up for fans?
Some Guest Appearances from The Strypes, Mik Pyro, Cait from the Pogues and the finest delivery of our own stuff ever.
Who do you currently listen to?
Swans. Mark Lanegan, Van Morrison, Nick Cave.
What is your favourite album of all time and why?
Velvet Underground & Nico. It has everything.
Whats the best advice you have been given in your career?
Only deal with people who are professional.
What do you have lined up for the future other than the imminent album release?
Tours, tours and more tours.
Don’t forget, Year Of The Horse will be released on April 10th and The Mighty Stef will be playing Whelans for the launch party. You can also catch The Mighty Stef on the road in the following locations: