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Getting To Know: Shenanygans

A band that seamlessly blends the rich musical traditions of Ireland and Switzerland into a captivating tapestry of sound. With their multinational background serving as a cornerstone of inspiration, they're set to release their debut album, "On Monte Verita," a testament to their diverse influences and collective creativity.

Kaylem, Luki, and Dan, the talented members of Shenanygans, bring together their individual experiences and cultural roots to craft a musical experience like no other. From the vibrant folk melodies of Ireland to the intricate chansons of Switzerland, their music reflects a melting pot of influences, creating a sonic journey that resonates deeply with listeners. BabyStep caught up with them, enjoy:

1. Shenanygans is a unique blend of Irish and Swiss cultures. How has your multinational background influenced your music style, and what elements of Irish and Swiss culture can fans expect to hear in your debut album, „On Monte Verita”?

Kaylem: Well coming from Ireland there is a lot of different types of Irish musicians and in my opinion some of the best singers and writers come from there. There is so much talent in Ireland that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. So my influence comes from the people of Ireland.

Luki: Our songwriting was influenced by our different cultures for sure. For example you can hear some Irishness in the guitar ending of “Good And Evil” or the way we sing harmonies. For sure Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison and The Strypes were influences.

There are also influences from both Switzerland and Poland. Some chords and melodies we used in our more country leaning songs are inspired from chansons by Swiss poet Mani Matter. Also one can find eastern melodies like in “Stormy Days” or “So Hard To Get By” inspired by the likes of Krzysztof Klenczon or Czeslaw Niemen from Poland, two legendary artists. So in a way our songs are a melting pot of different cultures and regions. We are connected to these places and their respective artist and music scenes. Lots of contemporary musicians from a diverse range of genres helped us find and shape our sound as well.

Dan: I have grown up playing traditional Irish music and folk music and I think a lot of melodies and lyric choices have definitely got roots in those. Also growing up Ireland has had some world class acts that have undoubtedly left an impact on me like Sinead O'Connor, the Cranberries, Hozier, Rory Gallagher, Van Morrison, just to name a small few. They have left some pretty big shoes to fill for Irish musicians.

2.⁠ ⁠Your latest single, „All The Trippin’ Around,” captures the chaos and energy of life on tour. Can you share some memorable experiences from your tours that inspired this song, and how you channeled those experiences into your music?

Kaylem: We just had a tour in England and had an awesome time! The fact we all fit into one car full of equipment was honestly amazing and a struggle at the same time. There is always chaos with Shenanygans!!

Luki: There are countless episodes but yea, to sum up our last week: Rode over a steep mountain in Switzerland, went to Calais, slept, woke up, took the Eurotunnel (a train with our car on it) to England, went to Birmingham. Played a gig, then went to London, run all around London for shooting a video clip, then back to Birmingham for a gig. Ended the gig at 2am, left for Switzerland at 6am, firsthand witnessed a brutal car crash on a French highway, where a car just in front of us did about half a dozen somersaults, helped with first aid (luckily it looks like the passenger survived), arrived home at 2am and in the morning at 7 went to our day jobs. We could write another song really just about this week.

Dan: Touring around our day job work schedules is chaotic at the best of times. Our latest tour has left us pretty beat up. I'm crashing right now as I'm answering this interview. But, for sure they have left us with some crazy stories and memories that will be with us forever.

3.⁠ ⁠With „On Monte Verita” set for a spring 2024 release, what can fans expect from your debut album? Are there any particular themes or stories that tie the album together, and how does it reflect your growth as a band since your formation in early 2023?

Kaylem: Our album showcases a wide variety of style and energy! Some songs for everyone. We enjoy different styles of music so we like to make anything that comes to mind.

Luki: For sure they all are united by the sound we achieved. We recorded everything in the same small garage with some vintage budget gear and therefore it is Garage Rock by definition. Frankly it reflects the band as a completely fresh group still finding their sound, writing songs, having fun, going wild.

Dan: These songs are all the product of us coming together with different musical influences and shaping them into how we felt represented something of all of us. The songs have many different styles and we are proud that we can be so diverse as a band.

4.⁠ ⁠Shenanygans has two frontmen who share vocal and guitar duties. Can you describe your songwriting process? How do you balance creativity between band members, and what unique elements does each bring to the table?

Kaylem: Songwriting for me comes pretty naturally but I have to be in a certain mindset. I don’t write about my personal life but I like to write in a way where people can relate to even if it doesn’t necessarily happen to me. I’ll write as if it’s in a diary.

Luki: I love to collaborate because it makes songs more interesting and deeper. We can surprise each other with ideas. There are plenty of songs written by only one guy, then others written together or even as a trio or all four of us. It just happens as it happens. One great thing is that we’re a pretty balanced group, where everyone can feel free to bring in their ideas and vision and we see what happens eventually. We’re trying to learn from stuff like George Harrison being ignored despite writing great songs or bands fighting over royalties. So we share and work for the music and the group.

Dan: When I'm writing it's usually when I'm just playing around and having fun with a guitar or a piano and the song hits me out of nowhere suddenly. It feels more like the song is hanging about in the air just waiting for someone to channel through to out it down on paper.

5.⁠ ⁠You are known for your energetic live performances and strong stage chemistry. How do you create and maintain that energy on stage, and what can audiences expect from your upcoming shows as you promote your debut album?

Kaylem: We hang out and practice a good bit. The key is to keep going and do your thing!

Luki: We worked hard on our live performance. Every show is something different and unique. Yet we all feel the energy of our songs and we bounce of each other and the audience so it’s great! People can definitely expect a fun show with lots of good vibes!

Dan: Ya playing live with these guys has been a blast! Every show is fun and exciting for us. Being the lead guitarist I try to stay focused on my playing while trying to bounce off the other guys and feeling the vibe of the show.


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