Featured artist at youbloomDublin 2017, Sean Rooney, is the type of soulful singer/songwriter that you can take home to mother. Having performed at a myriad of festivals and venues around the world, youbloom gets to know Sean a little better before his performance at at youbloomDublin 2017 in this exclusive interview.
How long have you been playing music? What inspired you to pick up an instrument?
Sean Rooney: I’ve been playing music about 12 years .. I started playing just from a love of pop punk music in my early teens .. thankfully my tastes have broadened a lot since then..
What instrument did you first lean to play?
Sean Rooney: I first learned to play the guitar .. well.. I’m still learning ! I’m self taught so I’m always learning.
What is your favorite part of your writing process when making new music?
Sean Rooney: My favourite part of the writing process is whenever I manage to capture exactly what I want to say lyrically and melodically.. I do enjoy the challenge of writing lyrics .. it might be trite but I write about my own life and that makes lyric writing a cathartic process for me.
In your song “Everest High” you say that its about dealing with depression from a first person point of view. How have you been able to cope with that and what role has music played to help battle with this?
Sean Rooney: coping with depression isn’t easy. Not only because there is a lot of stigma attached to the subject and It’s different for everyone but I’ve found talking to a psychologist and taking medication very helpful. In terms of music, the cathartic element is very important. There is a release that comes with expressing your emotions through song.
“Everest High” sounds like a very up beat song. Was that intentional when writing this song due to the meaning?
Sean Rooney: Yes .. the upbeat and borderline aggressive sound of the song is basically my way of conveying that I will not let depression beat me. I’m fighting against it with everything I have; also there’s nothing more melancholy than a ballad about depression .. it would just be too much if it sounded sad too.
You have a great cover of Bruce Springsteen. What are some other artists that inspired you to make music? And what would be another cover you would enjoy to make?
Sean Rooney: Thank you! My main inspiration comes from the genres of soul, indie-rock/rock and R&B.. In terms of idols I’d have to say Paul Weller is my favourite artist. The body of incredible work he had created and continues to create is a never ending reservoir of inspiration to me. There aren’t that many covers that I feel I could really add much to or change without ruining! But a couple of songs I would love to play live with a band are “Soul Man” by Sam&Dave and “The Changingman” by Paul Weller
For someone who has never heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?
Sean Rooney: I would describe my music as sort of.. Blue-eyed soul rock .. although not all of my songs would fit neatly into that genre!
What advice would you give new musicians trying to get their music out there?
Sean Rooney: The only advice I feel qualified to give is to not criticise yourself too much.. some self criticism is healthy but there comes a point when it can ruin things and I know that from experience. In terms of physically getting music out there, Facebook videos are a great way to go.
What are you anticipating the most at the YouBloom festival?
Sean Rooney: What I’m anticipating most at Youbloom is just the opportunity to play for a new audience and to meet lots of new punters and musicians alike. I’m always super grateful to get to play live. It is what I love most in the world, so to that end I’d like to say thank you to Youbloom for giving me the opportunity.
Do you have any new material coming out in the near future?
Sean Rooney: Yes! I’ve been writing and recording recently. my first official single will be released soon and then the plan is to release my first EP in around May!