Getting to Know the Sonic and Creative Influences of The Straw Gods

The Straw Gods are an Indie/Blues/Rock band originally formed on the Northside of Dublin in the summer of 2012. A unique take on Blues, Jazz, and Rock, they place an emphasis the darker, soulful elements of each.

Seeking to combine these elements while incorporating influences as diverse as Flamenco and Trip-Hop. The new 5 piece lineup is making an impact on the Irish music scene, while workshopping material for their Debut Album.

Recently the guitarist of The Straw Gods, Daniel Soro, reached out to us and shared their latest song “Iron Lung” – which we thoroughly enjoyed, so we decided to do a quick interview with Soro to learn a bit more about the sonic, creative, and philosophical influences of this talented group.

Getting to know The Straw Gods:

In your own words, how would you best describe your musical style?

That’s a tricky one for us. We say we’re Alt Rock but that’s just to keep it nice and vague. If you listen back through our Eps ‘Carnivore’ and ‘Under a Sun’, theres probably four or five genres in there, but we’re gradually coalescing into something I think is quite unique.

Who are some of your greatest influences sonically and artistically?

I think you could say we’ve developed a sort of David Lynch/Twilight Zone vibe to our videos and Imagery. I like the rawness of Bacon and Goya and the boldness of the Pre-Socratics and Nietzsche. There’s an undercurrent of paganism there too.

Musically I’m influenced by just about everything. I’m a guitarist at heart and over the years I’ve played quite a bit of Classical, Flamenco, Blues, and Jazz, so thats definitely soaked into our sound.

In terms of groups that have inspired us, I think theres some Portishead in there. PJ Harvey has done some really great stuff too, lyrically and sonically, and maybe a pinch of levity from the Pixies, but I’m actually quite insular. I probably listen to myself way too much.

What influenced the name of your band?

The name is actually a reference to the Straw Man Fallacy in philosophy. That’s where we replace our opponents views with our own versions of them to better suit our argument.

In more general terms it stems from the idea that we can’t help but simplify and regulate things to make them comprehensible or even more palatable to us, which is really a sort of phenomenalism.

What inspired your song “Iron Lung”? 

My lyrics are usually pretty cryptic. Usually theres a crux of an idea which gets incarnated into a story or narrative but it’s often ambitious or disguised.

For Iron Lung, the original idea is of two lovers. One is comatose, and the other, in their devotion, is unable to let go.

So thats the picture in my head. It’s about separation, loss, the unknowability of the ‘other’, and the addiction of love.

That picture grew into the idea of a recurring dream in which one lover is pursued by the other and forced to relive the last moments of their waking life, which is pretty Twilight Zonesque.

Are you currently on tour? If so, what are some upcoming tour dates?

We have two gigs coming up over the next couple of months in Dublin. Check out the Facebook page to keep up to date.

How would you like your work to affect your audience?

Honestly I’m delighted each and every time someone comes up to me after a show and says that they really like our stuff, or even posts something positive online.

There are things out there that when I hear or see them chime with me; something you feel you recognise or which corroborates something deep in your guts. So if anyone gets hit in the gut by The Straw Gods thats really an honour, but I’m happy if they get anything good from it. You might just like the vibe or the melody or just tap your foot to it. It’s all good.

How did you find, and what does the concept mean to you?

Phenomenalisms just sort of showed up one day and has been haunting my newsfeed ever since. I like ideas or Images which subvert expectations. Expectations are boring.

I’ve been interested in Phenomenology since I was introduced to it in college (the idea that reality consists of objects and events (“phenomena”) as they are perceived or understood in the human consciousness).

I’m interested in the extent to which our assumptions and ideology form the very core of our reality, but more specifically I think I’m drawn to the idea that the more we define something, the more we bring it in line with ourselves; we reduce it to what we know. That’s really quite pervasive in my lyrics.

What are your plans for 2016-2017? 

We’re pushing the video right now and have started work on another. We’re planning to release a new single in early 2017 and record some new material. And we are working on some festival appearances for next summer. We’ll be keeping everyone up to date on Facebook or you can sign up on the website.

Keep up with The Straw Gods, and visit their official website by clicking here.

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