Q&A: Celtic rock band, Gaelic Storm, to perform at Englert

BY EMILY BURDS | MARCH 07, 2013 5:00 AM

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Celtic-rock band Gaelic Storm will bring what the members call “the people’s music” to the Englert stage, 221 E. Washington St., at 7 p.m. March 10. Tickets are available at the box office or online for $25 to $35.

Gaelic Storm started out at a Santa Monica pub in 1996. Since then, the group has released nine albums, all of which have appeared on Billboard’s Top World Music Chart. Its latest album, Chickenboxer, was a heavyweight that made a big splash with its anthems and traditional ballads. The Daily Iowan talked with Gaelic Storm’s founder, Steve Twigger, about the fans, what’s he’s listening to now, and what the band has planned for the future.

DI: What are your shows like for your fans? What kind of fan base do you have?

Twigger: You know, it’s every walk of life, really, every age group. We’ve had up to four generations of the same family at shows before, from babies and 90-year-olds. I was just reading a Facebook post the other day from a mother who said she had brought her parents and kids to the show, and it was great that everybody could have a good time. The music is lively, energetic and uplifting.

DI: What is your favorite part about touring with your band members?

Twigger: Every time we step on the stage, it’s enjoyable. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, or how long it’s been, when you’re traveling six to seven hours a day, you only have a few hours of sleep. As soon as we step out into the lights, you completely forget the day you’ve had and then you enjoy the music and the crowd. I enjoy the band members. Whenever we do get a day off, we try to find something local to do, whether it be golf, bowling, or going to the museums. You’d think we’d be sick of each other because we spend so much time together on the road, but on days off, everybody calls each other and meets for lunch and goes out on the town together. The people are just great.

DI: Does the band have any odd quirks or rituals that are done before shows?

Twigger: No, not really. We were actually joking about that the other day that we should invent something. We should crank some Motorhead or AC/DC in the dressing room just to pump us up.  If you saw us before a show, you’d think we’d just walked out of the library or something. The people meet us after the show, when we’re all pumped up and lively and joking. But we’re always mellow before a show. A lot of people are taken aback when we’re so mellow. But it’s just a way to conserve energy and save it for the stage. Probably the quietest we ever get is before a show.

DI: When you aren’t playing your music, what kind of music do you like to listen to?

Twigger: Gosh, I listen to all kinds of music. I guess the new folk rock from Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers is what I’ve been enjoying as of late. I listen to a lot of rock music, “Kings of Leon,” and various songwriters I enjoy. It’s really a mixed bag. Very little Irish music and very little traditional music. Although I have a very large collection of it on my phone that I like to put on shuffle.

DI: Where do you see Gaelic Storm in the future?

Twigger: It will be more of the same; we do enjoy what we’re doing. We’re starting to work on a new album shortly with our new fiddle player. So that’s a nice injection of youth and talent into the band. And crafting our stage show, we never feel like it’s good enough. We always feel like we can improve and give our friends an even better show.

DI: What can Iowa City fans expect from your upcoming show?

Twigger: It’s an uplifting show. People tell us all the time that it put a smile on their face and took them away from their problems for a couple hours. Hopefully, people will come and enjoy themselves, leave their troubles at the door, clap their hands, stomp their feet, and have a good time with us. We’ll have a good time, that’s for sure.

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