Published on April 16th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Thanks Brother’s Róisín O and John Broe On Peter Dinklage, Glen Hansard & What’s Coming Up
Róisín O and John Broe — better known as the Irish duo Thanks Brother — is a very new band. Only one song has been released by Thanks Brother, “We Are Different,” and that track already has a lot of buzz a little over a month after its debut. “We Are Different” was performed last month on Ireland’s major late night talk show, The Late, Late Show, and is now available via Blix Street Records.
“We Are Different” is not the first mainstream exposure for Róisín or John. Róisín O is well-known in Ireland and has toured internationally on her own and with her band. Broe, formerly the writer and singer with the Irish band Miracle Bell, has been described as “Ireland’s musical Zeitgeist.” The two have composed for television and advertising campaigns, beyond writing for the popular Irish band The Coronas and producing videos for Glen Hansard, Declan O’Rourke, CC Brez, and King Bones.
Essentially, “We Are Different” is an anthem for the turbulent times in which we live that takes up the mantle of the disenfranchised and marginalized and celebrates being different in any possible way. The pair has created a powerful video with a storyline that follows a man coming to terms with his sexuality. Ireland became the first country in the world to pass legislation for marriage equality by popular vote in 2015, something for which the youth of their country feels huge pride.
I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Róisín and John — whose band name is a reference to a chance encounter with Game Of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage — and the highlights of such are below. More on Thanks Brother can be found online on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We Are Different” is being touted as your debut single release. When in the creative process did the song title come to you?
Róisín O: The first line we wrote was the big heavy-hitting “We are different” line with the drum hits. The second we played it on the Rhodes that was the first lyric we said. So out of anything we have done, it was probably the most natural progression of a song title we’ve had as writers together!
How many songs does Thanks Brother currently written or demoed?
John Broe: We have about eight songs that we are confident we will be releasing over the coming year. There are lots more demoed, but we are really excited about these eight. We feel pretty proud of them all, and they all have a message we love. Plenty of the demos will be thrown in the trash, though! It’s important to know when to kick out the crap songs!
Any idea when there will be a full-length album coming out from Thanks Brother?
Róisín O: Not for a while. The label are really supportive of an eventual album and all the songs will tie together like an album. But sadly the world doesn’t listen to albums anymore, so we are going to keep releasing strong singles over the year and maybe a couple of EPs by November.
The story of your artist name comes from a run-in with the actor Peter Dinklage. Has there been any feedback from his camp about this?
John Broe: It does indeed. We are huge fans of his, and funnily we have a friend who works in the production end of Game Of Thrones, so I’m sure in time he might hear about it — equally sure he won’t care!
Was there an artist name that you almost used, had it not been Thanks Brother?
Roisin O: We were tossing around a lot of names. “Broe&O” was on the table for a while, but most of the names were absolutely awful — worse than awful!
You two previously collaborated with The Coronas and others, and you two are certainly not newcomers to the music scene. Do you hope to collaborate more with other artists? Or is Thanks Brother your primary focus for the immediate future?
John Broe: Yeah we’ve been really lucky to get to write with some amazing artists. Thanks Brother is definitely the priority right now, but we will still be spending plenty of time in studio writing for others. Fingers in all the pies.
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
John Broe: Rois is always out playing either field hockey or GAA, Gaelic Football. We both do a lot of work on music videos for other artists. We recently did a video for Glen Hansard. We are both huge fans of him, so that was great.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Róisín O: Phoenix and Bell X1, our two favorite bands!
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Róisín O: Listen to Phoenix and Bell X1 — shortly after you listen to us…