Tomas Concannon has being a very busy man over the past few years, launching his own record label under the title of UMBREALLA RECORDS and involved as coordinator and organiser of the recent successful Claremorris Folk Festival which took place only a few weeks ago in Mayo.
His passion is music, his day job is working in Collins music store in Castlebar.
Bury Me with my money pictured during a recent video shoot for new track “Okay”
But lets take a closer look at the band.
WHO ARE BURY ME WITH MY MONEY?
Bury Me With My Money is the sound from the head of Tomás Concannon. Formerly of Grunge/Rock trio Ka tet, Tomás has found a new direction buried within dense synth sounds, vocal experimentation and obscure song structures. With the help of Umbrella Records co-founder Joseph Padfield (Bannered Mare & Race The Flux) the two have produced a collection of unusually catchy tracks.
‘Okay’ is the third single from Bury Me With My Money and is part of the debut EP Karosi.
Tomás Concannon writes about his experience being raised in multiple religious communities as a teen. The track explores how the constraints of organised religion and the antiquated belief systems they teach, prevent true spiritual growth and achieving true personal happiness. We caught up with Tomas only recently and asked a him a few questions
When and where were Bury me With my Money formed and what (If any) is the meaning behind the band name?
The ‘band’ began with me on my own three years ago. After ten years with Ka tet, we finished up on good terms and I continued writing, only now instead of writing for a three piece, there was no restrictions on the scope of the music. It didn’t matter who would play what part or what instruments I could or couldn’t use. I began experimenting with Ableton and I developed a love for synth. Synth enabled me to create much more interesting sounds instantly and I combined this with sounds I was familiar with… Guitars, Bass and Drums. I began to explore a lot more 80’s bands and found a kinship with the likes of Depeche Mode, The Cure, Joy Division, The Eurythmics and the likes. And Bowie, I started listening to a lot more Bowie. I also ended up living with Joseph Padfield, who had also finished up with his band Race the Flux at the time. So I approached him one night about helping me out with Bury Me. It was begging to become a bit of an echo chamber in my head as regards what ideas were good and what direction to follow. He brought a vast musical knowledge to the table and over the period of a year we sculpted the first EP of five tracks. Two of which have been released, ‘GROW’, then ‘Marmite’ and now ‘Okay’.
I was struggling to find a name, I was going to go under my own name for a long time, but that just seemed a bit boring for the music we were making and there was more than just me involved now. So, late one night I spent maybe two hours on StumbleUpon looking for anything that clicked with me. I have always been pissed off with capitalism and without sounding like a nut bag, the value we put on money and how our lives blindly revolve around trying to have more and more. So after a long time and some square eyes I hit this website – http://burymewithmymoney.com/ and boom. That said everything I needed to say. Some don’t get the sarcasm at all and think I’m some kind of greedy gitt that literally wants to be buried with his fortune, but those that do understand, resonate with the idea and also seem to resonate with the music, so it serves it’s purpose well.
How does the writing process work for the band? Do you all sit down as unit and discuss the lyrics or is this entirely coming from you?
When it comes to writing, I spend long sessions in the studio kind of mad scientisting it, making demos. I often start with a beat and build from there. I try to get the bones down in one sitting so that the mood of the song is right. The beat, the synths, the guitar and the vocals all come from my mood at the time. If I fail to finish a demo, it usually ends up disjointed and more often than not ends up in the bin. Once I have a demo, I work it. I elaborate on the synth, I might change some lyrics, I add some extra instrumentation and harmonies, I may add a whole section if I think it will enhance the song. Once I’ve done that, I bring it to Joe. He then tears into it and does the same, enhancing it further. Finally we begin to record and start reproducing each part from scratch. In the end we have the finished song. I really enjoy the process we’ve cultivated and the fact that the finished song is actually the original ableton session it began as.
The recorded tracks I see as one thing… the live band I see as another. The band is made up of me on vocals, Joe on synths, my ex-band bro Kyle Dee on Bass, Oisin Brennan on guitars and Adam Downey on drums. There’s only so much five men can do however and there’s lots of ground to cover, so we decided when we started rehearsing that we would take the tracks and whilst being as true to the originals as possible, we would still manipulate them to suit the five piece band. This gives everyone way more freedom to add their own style and sound to what they do. It also creates a much more fun environment to work in and we end up with some really great changes that I think adds something for live shows.
Will there a full album in 2019 or would you prefer to hold off until you feel the timing is right for a full length album?
We have another two singles from this EP to release before December and we are currently working on another collection of tracks. I think being realistic its going to be another 5-7 track EP, and I only call it an EP because traditionally an album is 10+ tracks. I do believe the day of the album or even the EP is dead and singles are the way forward, so that’s how we will probably continue to release. Saying that however, I am trying to bundle each body of work together so that for the keen followers that go to spotify instead of just enjoying our youtube videos, there will be a journey through a collection of songs that work together and that make sense as a whole.
How did the title “Okay” come together? Does much thought go into a song title?
The title comes directly from the meaning of the song. I don’t like to go into detail as to what the song means because music is meant to be subjective and regardless of what I say, it will still mean different things to each listener, but for me the song is about a conflicted past with religion and spirituality. Specifically organised religion. When I was a teen I was lucky/unlucky enough to experience a wide variety of spiritual practices. I was raised catholic, but then introduced to Islam, then sikhism, some buddhist practices, celtic mysticism and many many more weird and wonderful traditions and practices. This eventually killed any specific beliefs I had. And it wasn’t until I had all but finished my twenties that I really began trying to find my own spiritual path and let me say the word ‘spiritual’ I use with mixed emotion. I think there is a real world to be experienced and that through good people, being in nature and exploring your own mind, you can feed your spirit in a very simple and pure way. So I don’t believe in a god as he or she is commonly perceived, I don’t believe in a religious doctrine, but instead I’m trying to guide my life through a very simple moral compass of my own design. So I know this is a very long winded way of answering your question, but for me ‘Okay’ is me speaking to my teenage self, telling me that its okay not to get caught up with organized religion, and a complex of religious beliefs and that it’s better to just follow your own path as long as you’re not a dick to people.
How different is it now working with the lads from Katet than it was a decade ago?
Well Kyle is the only member from Ka tet I still work with. Ronan the drummer is down under having a ball! Me and kyle learnt guitar together as 13yr old boys. We’ve always played together and we’re also great friends. We’re more like brothers than anything else. So we’ve always fought, we’ve always challenged each other, we’ve physically fought, there was one night in Finland a while back we actually pulled hunting knives on each other!!! So you get the idea. Now that we’re both in our thirties we approach our relationship with a more civilised approach. We’re both professionals and Kyle in particular is a session musician of sorts. He plays in multiple bands at the moment, so when it comes to Bury Me, he assumes the role of a session player and lets me guide the band as best I can. However, he will still break my balls if they need breaking and I love him for that. Keeps me from losing the run of myself.
Is there an album in the process as we speak, is this all part of the plan for Bury Me With My Money to Concur the world?
As I was saying, we’re kinda working on EP’s and singles at the moment… but at some stage there may be a proper album because I’m of that vintage and I like to say I have an album! As regards conquering the world, I’m very realistic… my music is not going to compete with the chart toppers and I don’t want it too. Chart music is pacified and banal today. I listen to mainstream radio today and I can hardly tell one artist from the other. I have no interest in being a part of that world, that’s not music to me. It’s some kind of bastardised version of what music use to be. It’s like plastic cheese verses a mature cedar, sure they might both satisfy some primal urge in you and you might wolf both down, but one is going to satisfy your soul and nourish your body, while the other is going to linger in your gut for days and just make your body a little bit sick.
I listen to a huge variety of great music nowadays. I listen to lots of great Irish artists. I listen to music from places on the planet that I’m likely never to visit and if I become influenced by a percentage of all of that music, it gives me a larger pallet to work from. But, I also want to write music that’s as true to my sound as it can be and I’ve discovered that’s a pretty strange sound to most people and therefore conquering the world isn’t an option. However, there’s also a nice chunk of people that will get it and if one or two of my more “mainstream” songs make it into Ireland’s top 10, I’ll be a happy camper all the same.
As a band where would you like to see yourselves in 5 years time?
I just want us to be playing live to larger and larger audiences. We have a great bunch of fellas gathered that gel well together and I have a lot of new music in me yet. For me, there is no greater buzz than getting up on stage with your bro’s and doing your best to drive your music into the ear holes of the people that have turned to hear what you have to offer. Adrenaline takes over and you give everything you have to that 45 min set. I love everything about being in the music biz, i love writing, recording, making videos, organising releases, talking to Finbar Hoban about it all, but the best part will always be playing live and connecting with your audience. When that drunk guy comes up to you in the smoking area after and dribbles his pint on your shoe whilst telling you how much he thought you were class… that’s a buzz and it sounds shallow, but it just lets you know that your doing something right and that gives you strength to keep doing it.
We would like to thank Tommy for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview with us.