Interview: The Academic

Louder Than War’s James Lowther caught up with recent Irish viral sensations The Academic to talk about their smash-hit video and what else they’ve been up to.

 

Where did you get the idea for the video from?

We love technology and we love music. We wanted to find a way where both could come together in a cool and completely original way. We discovered a little hack where we could turn Facebook Live into a video and audio sampler. Musically, the idea is similar to using a loop pedal, we just stacked layers of the same length on top of each other, indefinitely. The cool thing about this was the video picture loops too, so both loops were being built simultaneously and live, within the Facebook platform.

Did you expect the video to go as viral as it has done? What have your reactions to its success been like?

We said before if we managed to pull it off it was the type of idea that might get a bit of traction but probably not to the extent that it has. Luckily it all came together and the reaction to it has been amazing. We have had people from all over the world get in touch with us which has really blown our minds.

How much rehearsal was necessary to get the timings right?

We had a couple of hours to get it together on the day, working out the timings, getting the choreography down. We also spent a bit of time working out the loops and instrumentation but it all came together pretty quickly.

I’m sure you’ll have seen a lot of comparisons to OK GO, were they an influence for the video?

We are all fans of what those guys have done and we have seen a lot of comments comparing us but honestly they actually never once came into conversation when we were floating the idea. I guess people will always compare and we were genuinely flattered to be talked about in a similar vein.

What are your plans to keep this momentum going now that hundreds of thousands of people have discovered you?

We are always thinking ahead and always coming up with and talking about ideas especially around how we share our music and how we present our music visually. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see!

 What can we expect to hear on your debut album? & when is it due to be released? 

Our debut album is going to be released in January (12th). You can expect a pretty upbeat record. The central theme that runs through it is very much about coming of age and the ups and downs of accepting adulthood and sacrificing some of your innocence to get there.

What’s your favourite thing about the Irish music scene at the moment?

I guess what we have noticed over the last couple of years is how diverse the music scene has become in Ireland and it is brilliant to see all these different sub-genres and scenes coming up all over the country.

You’ve had some great support slots over the last few years and you’re due to be going on tour with The Kooks next month, who would be your dream band to support? 

We have been fortunate enough to have landed some pretty great supports alright, I mean being on the bill with The Strokes at Hyde Park was definitely up there for us as a highlight, I guess if the opportunity came along to do a show with The Killers at some point that would be pretty cool.

If you like what you’ve heard so far then you can check out their latest single right here

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You can also follow what The Academic are up to on their Facebook and Twitter

All words by James Lowther. More writing by James on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive.

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