Sharing success, the pitfalls of fame and the perfect pre-fight anthem.  

Tebi Rex are on a roll, they’ve played festivals in Ireland and beyond this summer including an appearance at ‘The Great Escape’ in Brighton and they recently dropped their debut album. 

Following the release of ‘The Young Will Eat The Old‘, we spoke to Matt Ó of Tebi Rex about how they went about conceptualising the album, what song he’d want to usher him into the octagon and their undying love of a certain singer. 

You are fighting in the octagon, what song do you walk out to? 

I have thought about this many times. Sixpence None The Richer – ‘Kiss Me’, without a doubt. 

What’s the best thing about being a duo? 

When we succeed, both of us win and we get to share that moment. Also, if we make a song that flops or do a bad show, at least there’s two of us in it so it ain’t as soul crushing. 

You can headline any festival in the world, what one do you go for? 

Gonna go full basic bitch and say Coachella or Life festival because it’s the only Irish festival crowd that don’t try to touch Max’s hair. 

Best piece of advice you have received from a contemporary in the industry? 

I actually received this from Max recently and it stuck with me. Enjoy the process. It’s so easy to just find yourself working towards a release date, or a show, or whatever. Enjoy the build up, the creation, the stress. If you can do that then your mental health and happiness will thank you for it. This advice goes way beyond music too. 

How has 2019 treated you thus far? 

Pretty damn well. We were on 2Fm rising’s list, we did a bunch more shows, have gotten on UK and Irish radio and got a whole heap of new supporters. We had a plan this year to get a show outside of Ireland and get this big old album out to the world. 

We played The Great Escape in Brighton and got our album finished. It was a big year creatively and it will probably be our most defining year yet.  

You have your own talk show, who is your first guest? 

Max would be getting Kate Nash down here ASAP. 

With the album just dropping, what are your hopes for it? 

Just that people enjoy it, and listen to it. If you like albums that tell a story and that have a narrative, I think this is definitely for you. the again, if you cherry-pick songs from albums and only listen to them in isolation, I also think this is for you. We honestly think it’s amazing, so there is no better feeling than that anyways, as a creative it can be hard to be 100% proud of your work sometimes. We poured a lot of ourselves into it over the last 13 months and we have absolutely fallen in love with every song on it, so we hope everyone else does too. 

If you could have had any artist feature on the album who would it have been? 

KATE MOTHER F*CKING NASH GOD DAMMIT. 

Seriously, we were gonna try and make that happen. We still will. We’re just waiting for the right song. DREAMS CAN COME TRUE IF YOU BELIEVE. 

 

What drew you towards making a more conceptual piece? 

Max is trés artsy. He sees depth and examines things, so the idea of a concept album was his and I was more than happy to run with it. We always write better when we have a guided direction, something to hint to, nod at and dance with. To be honest it has made the album so much more satisfying, watching the pieces all link together and build that narrative. I remember welling up when I first listened to it the full way through. 

In terms of which concept and why… Well I won’t say too much. The idea of “celebrity”, “rise and fall” and “the circle repeats” really spoke to us. Today, the closest thing to real life Gods are celebrities, like look at Kylie Jenner. When she was almost a billionaire, her fans made a GoFundMe JUST to bring her up to Billionaire status. The “rise and fall” of a star/celeb is such a compelling arc of course, the idea that “if I got famous, I wouldn’t change, I wouldn’t become like that person or this person etc”, the truth is, if you had the fame, the wealth, and the followers… You don’t really know what kind of person you will become. 

Where can we catch you during the rest of 2019? 

Doing loads of BITS. We have our headline show in Lost Lane on the 9th of November, so that’s gonna be a biggie – tickets are well over halfway gone so get in there shnappy haigh. 

Catch the boys at Lost Lane 9 November and listen to their debut album below: 

Words: Dylan Murphy 
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