humility just isn’t enough, so here goes: Dublin-based STAND
is Ireland’s best rock band. As well as best kept secret, did we
hear you ask? Well, perhaps in Ireland, where STAND have
a rabidly loyal following (although not among the so-called rock cognoscenti).
But a secret in Northeast America? Definitely not. Point of fact: hardly
any other Irish act of their stature is able to pre sell almost 700 tickets
at the Bowery Ballroom, New York’s premier venue. Indeed, the Bowery
Ballroom bookers handpicked STAND to headline at the
opening night of industry shindig CMJ 2009.
How did that happen?
Dublin mid-late 1990s. Lifelong friends Neil Eurelle (vocals/bass),
David Walsh (guitar/keyboards), Carl Dowling
(drums/percussion) and Alan Doyle (vocals/guitar)
didn’t have a collective arse in their collective jeans, but they
had ambition and talent to burn, and in an industry that far too often
hosts wasters with little artistry yet loads of luck, that was as good
a start as any. STAND played wherever and whenever they
could in Ireland; through performing in more bars, pubs and small music
venues than they care to remember they accrued a small but fervent fan
base. In 1998, STAND released their debut album, ‘Correspondent’,
from which ‘Questions’ became the band’s
first Top 10 hit single.
As David Walsh recalls, underneath the growing excitement
lay a nagging doubt that Dublin wasn’t the place from which to launch
an international career. “At that time we thought we were going
to be rock gods! Things were going well, but we felt we had to go somewhere
outside the country. We felt England was essentially the backyard, so
we decided to go to America and start again from scratch.”
For many millions of people, New York is the multi-cultural place where
dreams are realised, fulfilled, built and broken. For STAND,
NYC simply became a lifestyle of hard work and no small success. Starting
from square one again, the quartet bought a van, began searching for gigs,
secured the gigs, were paid for their gigs, and moved up a step or four.
Behind the white-knuckle grips and the squeals of delight, however, lay
the working class aesthetics and ideals of four Dublin lads. “We
always put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure that the income
was there through music,” asserts David. “We did
a fairly decent job - we self-financed all our living expenses and our
first two records.”
Dependability isn’t a word that raises its head very often in the
all-too rarefied world of rock’n’roll, but in STAND’s
universe it is more reality than abstract notion. “We were born
that way,” says Neil Eurelle. Adds David, “It was
more a rock’n’roll lifestyle with relatively early nights.
We were all enjoying it, but we were always the band that packed our gear
away early at the end of a festival. The gig money went to rent, not beer.”
“The bottom line was that we were on our own,” explains
Neil, “and we needed to generate money to live and to fund the
vehicle we were running – which included sound equipment, recording
studio, mixing, mastering and working on getting the next record out.
We had no record deal. We were selling our goods – posters, tee-shirts,
albums – from the back of the van. The record execs that followed
us were all in hiding, watching their business vaporise as ours took steps
“What we loved more than anything else was our independence,”
emphasizes David. “We were always a good live band, we always
got people’s attention that way. Any excess money we earned went
straight back into the band. Occasionally pig-headed? Yes, but self-funding
bought us that level of independence.”
Such independence comes at a price, however. There are few buffer zones
when you are self-employed, and so what started in Dublin and continued
in New York comes back full circle to Dublin again. The way Neil tells
it, personal and family matters had to be sorted out. “We felt
that New York had run its course for what we were trying to do.”
According to David, New York “had become a way of life for us,
rather than us being there to do a job. So we came back to Dublin and
saw to important things. We took care of those, and now we are out to
expand the footprint we left over there.”
No truer words have been spoken. Families have been lived with, words
have been said, and new songs have been written. “A couple of
really good songs just popped out,” enthuses Neil, “and
as momentum gathered, we got excited again. The fire had come back.”
Cue a surge of songwriting last year, demoing in the prestigious Irish
studio Grouse Lodge, as well as a return to America, where, in the Buffalo,
NY studio of the Goo Goo Dolls, who befriended the band
on a trip through that town in 2006, they recorded their forthcoming album,
100,000 Ways To Harvest Hope. “There’s
energy on it,” claims David, “and I’m not sure
that we’ve ever captured that energy before on a recording.”
Such energy and confidence is borne out by the fact that within the parameters
of their creative reboot/relaunch, STAND have on their
behind-the-scenes team Rick Goetz (former Head of A&R, Atlantic
and Lava Records). The band is also on the client list of a prestigious
booking agent and have M:MMusic (arguably the best radio
promotions unit in the US; (http://www.mmmusicsite.com/)
looking after their interests.
Starting off from square one yet again would trouble many a band, but
STAND have what Neil assuredly terms “a pragmatic
sense of expectation”. The solution, he offers, is writing
a song people can’t shake from their heads. The new record has ten
such tunes, just to be sure.
There is a new paradigm in the music business. Only a fool would bet against
STAND succeeding within it.
~ Tony Clayton-Lea, 2010
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De BlaseStand – City news
Remember Gang Of Four? No? Well you're gonna remember Stand. The band
churns out that type of melodic rock that spans tastes and tolerances.
It's nice when a band can effect you emotionally as well as physically.
Stand is pensive and thoughtful, but in such a way as not to dull the
kick. It's rock 'n' roll, after all. Consider yourself lucky to be able
to catch this group from Dublin rock a little joint like Johnny's. Perhaps
this is a new era where bands like Stand are able to harness or recreate
a wondrously large expanse of music and still have it recline comfortably
in venues of various sizes. The show you catch in a pub or club will be
the same you catch in the arena. And trust me this is where these Irishmen
are headed. In the meanby catch 'em in town when they play Saturday, November
4, at Johnny's, 1382 Culver Road, 224-0990, at 9 p.m., free.
--- Frank De Blase
New York City- Nov 06
They Stand and Deliver
By Mike Farragher
THERE’S nothing light about Travel Light, the excellent new CD from
Stand.A sonically dense record, it is a pitch perfect mélange of
tight hooks, engaging studio textures and infectious percussion. “We
wanted to create something totally different from what we were in the
past,” says Neill Eurelle, one of two lead singers who co-fronts
the Manhattan based band, during a recent chat with the Irish Voice. “We
wanted to do something fresh. We have two lead singers. We wanted to do
a pop alternative eclectic mix, and I think we succeeded.”
I’ll say! Travel Light begins with “Carousel,” a pensive
track with fuzzy percussion and tentative piano tinkling that takes the
band in darker territory. “We just wanted to please ourselves,”
says Eurelle. “We wanted to create new textures with sound, make
it more interesting. Rhythm was so important. If people were tapping their
feet, that’s all we wanted. We wanted a sound that really grabbed
people.” “A hammer on the spine/spinning carousels/ water
into wine/waking up the child you tried to hide,” sings Eurelle.
The track has the same gloomy atmospherics you’d expect to hear
on a Radiohead album. Stand formed on the streets and schoolyards of Dublin
in 1998. They spent the first two years together writing songs and performing
continuously in clubs throughout Ireland and Europe, and amassed an increasingly
Their first release, Correspondent, landed on the Irish charts with two
Top 10 songs and garnered sales of over 20,000 copies sold. In mid-1999,
having built a loyal fan base in their native Ireland, Stand played a
sold-out show to 1,200 fans at Vicar Street in Dublin and departed for
America shortly thereafter. “We had a fair amount of success in
Ireland when we started in 1998,” explains Eurelle. “We had
an opportunity to go to CMJ and SXSW.
“We came over in 1999 and we decided that this was the place to
go. We launched in Ireland and then came over again for good. We decided
to come over here full time. Any band that wants to be successful needs
to be in America. There is music press, people, lawyers, anything to do.
We go home two-three times a year and play a lot of Europe festivals to
keep our name out overseas, but we really love living here.”
The album is seeing the light of day this week, but there have been tracks
released to Irish radio that are amassing a nice buzz for the band. One
of them is “Dressed to Kill,” a dance track that is built
around a funky bass line and irresistible hook that the Edge would give
his eyetooth to create.
“Dressed to Kill” is going over really well in Ireland,”
says Eurelle. “We have PR people working for us and they’ve
had a lot of success with it. It’s a taste for our Irish audience
until the album comes out.” Stand also enjoys the benefit of some
nice buzz north of the city, according to Eurelle. “We played in
Syracuse and Buffalo and have a fairly decent fan base up there,”
he says. “We played some club shows and played in New York City.
The stuff is going down phenomenally well. We have some of the old songs
that we play if it fits alongside the new stuff we’re playing.”
“Low Culture” is another electro-goth track with a vicious
new wave heart pumping behind the drum kit.
“It is a dark lyrical song,” explains Eurelle. “We like
that, but we could never come up with the music to suit it. We did a number
of demo sessions and every time we went into the studio, we had trouble
with it. We did 10 demos, one was poppy, which was ridiculous. “We
found this fuzzy sounding keyboard, with this buzzy, fat sound, and our
guitarist was working on it. All we used from the original was the lyrics
and some chord progressions. We were thrilled when we finally nailed it.
It was the first thing we wrote, and everything else followed suit.”
One of the standout
tracks on the disc is “Who Made You Jesus,” a cynical look
at political theater. “Who made your throne/ who’s writing
your speeches/who’s directing your souls/just a smile to the camera/demonstrate
control,” they sing. Interspersed with these lyrics are sound bites
from “Dubya” saying things like, “You talk about war,
you talk about peace,” leaving little guesswork as to where the
song is aimed. “(Jesus) for us was the first thing we wrote that
is in any way political; it’s our feeling as foreigners,”
says Eurelle. “We are looking at America from the outside looking
“The media controls this nation so much over here. BBC News was
doing far better coverage of 9/11 than the coverage we got here. That
was something that affected us—-the difference between living in
Europe and living in America. “There are samples and snippets of
Bush in there. We’re not doing this to make anyone look stupid,
we just wanted to communicate our view of things as outsiders.”
Travel Light is available exclusively on the band’s website, www.standland.
com, prior to a wider release in record shops next year. You can also
check out myspace.com/ standland.
To check out a live airing of the album, catch the band during a pair
of gigs at Manhattan’s Mercury Lounge on November 24 and 25.
Examiner -Los Angeles- Nov 06
Wednesday November 8, 2006
The New York-Irish band Stand comes to L.A.
Stand have been building a huge base of support in New York and now head
for the West Coast. Stand have been building up a huge fan base in New
York for years, and now they are finally playing their first concerts
in Los Angeles at The Knitting Factory in Hollywood on Nov 14 and in the
Afterknit Lounge two days later on Nov 16.
They have just finished their fourth album "Travel Light", and
are bringing it to the West Coast to see how it enjoys the sunshine -
after all, recording began in a springtime blizzard - prior to it's release.
Produced by confessed studio junkie Walsh with help from Hit Factory NY
chief engineer Michael McCoy, they started by saying "slan"
(goodbye) to layering, and out popped their strongest songs to date.
They're a million miles from being an Irish drinking song band, as Jeff
Miers of the Buffalo News noted after seeing them live: "...the shades
and drama of the Smiths and the tunefulness of Coldplay run through a
decidedly heavy guitar meat grinder. They generate feverish excitement,
both on the concert stage and in the recording studio." Imagine the
writing of Neil Finn mixed with the wide-open spaces of Pink Floyd, and
you have bait that should reel in some new Los Angelinos.
All of the band members are from Tallaght, Dublin: stand up lead singer
and bass player Neil Eurelle, lead singer/songwriter and guitarist David
Walsh, guitarist Alan Doyle and drummer/songwriter Carl Dowling. We spoke
to Eurell and Walsh about their early years and their upcoming trip to
California: "Starting out as a band with no instruments, that was
pretty funny. Also, it didn't take us long to realize we were not to be
the skilled footballers (soccer players) we idolized on TV, so as soon
as our hormones started to act up we desperately tried to figure out another
way to get attention from the females. "A rock 'n roll band?"
"Bingo, Carl!" We started playing together in our parent's garage,
and when we got two top 10 hits in Ireland from our second album "Correspondent"
it just escalated from there."
They spent the first two years writing songs and performing continuously
in clubs throughout Ireland and Europe and in mid-1999, having built a
loyal fan base in their native Ireland, Stand played a sold-out show to
1200 fans at Vicar Street in Dublin and departed for America a year or
so after. Now, years later, Stand are making their first trip to Los Angeles
in the wake of being voted best band on the NACA college circuit once
again - but why has it been so long in coming? "We spent our time
building a fan base organically, starting from the east coast (which is
the closest American soil from home) and slowly but surely working the
"westward expansion". We have built a substantial base of friends
and fans in L.A., and that sparked the initial demand for Stand on the
They have high hopes for L.A., even though it's miles away from their
"We believe L.A. will have more of an eclectic and mellow atmosphere.
NYC is a vortex - you just feel like you're constantly walking at an extremely
fast pace, for no reason. We're not sure if that comparison will be deemed
true, but we're looking forward to exploring new territory." The
boys try to go home to Ireland as often as they can between tours - usually
four or five times a year - and they are hoping that the trip to Southern
California will bring more fans on board:
"We plan to continue what we've been doing at 110%. We have a great
team of people we're surrounded by who support us, whole-heartedly. We
will continue to aggressively tour and promote our new album for the next
few months, and then begin work on our next one. We are firm believers
in building ourselves locally, nationally and internationally as a grass
roots band who have, and will strive to maintain, lasting loyal fans.
That's our most important goal."
Buffalo Rising - Buffalo - Nov 06
I know, I know, Friday is one of those days that sneaks up on you when
EVERYTHING is happening at once. I know. However, despite everything else
I've written this week I'm telling you, this the place to be. I found
Stand by happy accident, doing my "let's go see the cute Irish band"
drill, but after hearing them for the first time, I haven't missed a show
since. Originally from Dublin, where they joined up in the late '90s,
the band's reputation, audience and touring endurance all grew to massive
proportions until they finally played a sold-out, 1200 show at Vicars
Street in 2000. After that, says drummer and songwriter Carl Dowling,
"We decided to move to the States because there really wasn't much
for us left to accomplish in Ireland." Since then, according to their
website, the band literally took New York City one stage at a time, getting
rave reviews from club owners and audience members alike, then hit the
college circuit playing 5-6 nights a week.
All that energy shows on stage as well as in their tour
schedule, and that's what keeps me coming back. The band has tapped into
a wellspring of rock that few tap into these days, with all the proper
elements to literally get crowds jumping. Alan Doyle's vocals and guitar
can bring tears to the eyes on the minor chords, and when the full band
kicks in, it makes you wish you were driving a fast classic car down a
winding road in the fall. It takes you places. Bassist Neil Eurelle is
so deeply in the music while on stage that you can't help but go with
him, not just listening but taking the songs into your heart. No one instrument
dominates this group; it's a well-balanced blend where lyrics and melody
are not forgotten; David Walsh's guitar solos combine with Carl's driving
beats to make for a rich, full sound that carries from stages as intimate
as New World Records to the throngs at Thursdays in the Square. Their
newest tunes, if anything, only increase the power which will, I'm sure,
be making them a national hit shortly.
Stand also found the love in Buffalo, recording a great deal of their
newest album at ChameleonWest Studios and hitting venues from the Union
Bar to Nietzsche's to the Town Ballroom. Buffalo welcomes them back for
one of the first stops on their next national tour, promoting the new
album at an instore performance at New World Records at 4pm, then heading
over to the main gig at Mohawk Place at 9pm. Opening for them is another
favorite, the Jealous Gods, in an all-too rare appearance, featuring Jeff
Meirs and Dave Hill, making for a show that really shouldn't be missed.
Dublin’s Stand have already landed hard with their “Correspondent”
album that did great across the pond but didn’t make as much of
a dent overseas. Strike any theory of sophomore curses because “Transmissions”
is just freakin’ huge. With soaring harmonies and gorgeous production,
this is a band that won’t get labeled pub rock and will easily shake
the less thoughtful comparisons to other British and Irish acts. It’s
fresher than when Coldplay landed and isn’t as megalomaniac as U2.
It’s just gushing gritty alternative pop-rock with tremendous vocal
and guitar departments.
Rock quartet Stand, Ireland's loss, is New York's
Buffalo News - Jeff Miers
In "New York," U2's bittersweet ode to the Big Apple, Bono sings:
"The Irish been coming here for years/feel like they own the place."
He's got a point; one needn't brave Martin Scorcese's "Gangs of New
York" to catch the drift. Driven by famine, the Irish left home by
the boatload a century back, heading for what must have been an idealized
vision of a brave new world on Manhattan. What waited was more cold, hard
truth than milk and honey.
Stand, an Irish quartet, left home in 2000 with its eyes on the prize
New York might have tucked away in its pockets.
The band ended up in the Bronx and began slugging it out with the plethora
of groups - homegrown, relocated, imported - scampering through New York's
saturated original music scene.
By now, New York is home - or at least as close to a home as this ever-touring
ensemble is likely to get.
Stand's "never-ending tour" brings the band to Nietzsche's,
248 Allen St., at 10:30 tonight for a show with Nancy's Candy and McCarthyizm.
School chums Neil Eurelle (bass and vocals), Alan Doyle (guitar and vocals),
Carl Dowling (drums) and David Walsh (guitar and keyboards) had gone about
as far as they could in their native Dublin. Two singles from the band's
debut effort, "Correspondent," made the Top 40 in 1999. Gigs
got bigger, the fan base grew, press coverage was considerable. But soon,
there was nowhere left for the band to go. New York has warmed to the
band, as the recently released "Live at Arlene's Grocery" album
makes plain. For bands dedicated to going the indie route, there is little
choice but to gig constantly, assemble the odd periodic showcase to impress
the major-label types and keep the proverbial nose to the grindstone.
It's surprising that Stand hasn't been picked up yet, but then again,
this is a gimmickless band; strong, passionate and deeply melodic rock
with shades of the drama of the Smiths and the tunefulness of Coldplay
run through a decidedly guitar-heavy meat grinder. Sadly, that might actually
hurt the band. The twin vocals of Eurelle and Doyle are Stand's ace in
the hole. Each delivers robust, deeply invested performances, but it is
when they join together - as on the undeniably catchy "Little Sweet
Lucifer" or the relentless, churning "Sleeping on Our Feet"
- that Stand stands above so much of its competition. This is a big, joyful
Will Stand find the pot of gold the band left Ireland in search of? Who
knows? The bigger question, of course, remains: Is there even a pot of
gold to be had anymore? One doubts it.
The real action seems to be happening underground at the moment, and that's
where you'll find me tonight, soaking up the scenery in Nietzsche's and
reveling in music made for the joy of the experience.
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