Interview: Anto and the Echoes
The debut gig by Northern Irish Alternative Rock band ‘Anto and the Echoes’ was held in Charlie’s Bar in Enniskillen on the 2nd of July and they achieved something spectacular; they got the place to peak capacity.
The crowd loved every second of their presence on stage and it was truly a sight to behold. People complain about their local gig scene and how it is not supported, but a night like this was the definition of support; people of all ages and walks of life came together to watch talented musicians do what they do best.
After the conclusion of their set I had an opportunity to speak with band in regards to their formation, writing process and future plans amongst other topics.
You are just after performing your debut gig at Charlie’s Bar, what are your initial thoughts on how the night went?
Antony Breen: It was unbelievable; I couldn’t believe the amount of people that turned out. We are eternally…
Luke Burns: Satisfied!
Anthony Breen: Yes! Satisfied and thankful to everyone who turned out and had a great time. We went out there with the idea of having a great time and it just went that way; it was amazing.
Luke Burns: We never expected this many people to come down; we were getting told before we were coming on that space was running out fast and I don’t think I have ever experienced that.
Why did you choose to have your debut gig in Charlie’s Bar?
Luke Burns: Charlie’s treats us well…
Anthony Breen: …and Darren (Miller) was the one that decided to put it all together; a big shout out to Penny Jar for having us!
Luke Burns: Big up Penny Jar!
The crowd was massive and enthusiastic, are you able to disclose your secret?
Ryan McGoldrick: It’s our good looks!
Luke Burns: It’s our boyish good looks!
Anthony Breen: Maybe it’s the collective beards; I hear that is fashionable, so maybe we are fashionable due to the beards?
Can you tell me the back story on how the band was formed?
Anthony Breen: At Sunflower Festival last year, I had a word with Goldy (Ryan Goldsmith) about these songs that I had been writing and how i’d love to get a band together to play them. We’ve all been friends, went to school and been through the scene since I can remember. We just knew who we wanted in this band.
Luke Burns: It’s hard to find good lads for a band, so when you know who you want that’s a good thing.
Anthony Breen: It was just about bringing friends together and making music together. That’s the core of the band, it’s just six friends.
How did you come up the band’s name?
Anthony Breen: We were trying to come up with a name for the band and echoes, is one of our songs which sounds pretty fucking cool. I then thought myself, Anthony and how everyone at work calls me Anto. It just kind of worked; I brought it to the boys who thought that it was catchy.
Luke Burns: We echo his sentiment.
What are you inspirations when it comes to the band?
Anthony Breen: Most of the songs are as legit as they can be and are about life and the different things that come along that affect you.
Ryan McGoldrick: They are songs that everyone can relate to.
…and writing original material?
Ryan McGoldrick It’s very diverse. When we first played, it was when Antony had written the songs on an acoustic guitar; so we all played on acoustic guitars. When we got together with amps and drums it just became something else.
Anthony Breen: We never sat down and said let’s sound like this; that never happened and every song sounded the way it did.
You all seem to have such great chemistry together, how does this band compare to the bands that you have been with previously?
Anthony Breen: I think we went into this band with a very mature way of thinking; understanding music more than when we were kids.
Luke Burns: It’s a mature approach and you’ve listed six musicians who you really want to play together with; who you know will not let you down either.
What are your upcoming plans?
Anthony Breen: The main focus now is to build some kind of fan base and get the music out there. We’re very proud of our single and we’re amazed we got it played on Lisburn FM. We were very privileged to be the last band to record at John Moffatt’s house.
Do you have any closing remarks before we finish up?
Anthony Breen: Thank you to everyone who decided to come down, supported us and who liked the Facebook page.
While I was conducting the interview the remainder of the band was busy clearing up equipment and speaking with punters. I ran into Mark Miller, the drummer for the band who wanted to share his sentiments of the night; saying thanks for the support and turnout for the night.
Following this interview the band lived up to their earlier statements of intent and played further gigs in Enniskillen and Belfast. They are currently scheduled to perform at Sandinos Bar in Derry on the 14th of October and at the Bar Sub in Belfast on the 21st of October.
With a mature approach to their musical endeavours and an upcoming EP of material to be released early next year, the future is looking bright for Anto and the Echoes.