INTERVIEW: Athy band 'A Great Quiet' get set to take Electric Picnic by storm

Ones to Watch

Sarah Peppard


Sarah Peppard


INTERVIEW: Athy band 'A Great Quiet' get set to take EP by storm

Will O’Donnell and Aran Cardiff

There seems to be something in the water musically in Athy recently.

The South Kildare town has seen the emergence of serious talent with the likes of Picture This taking the music world by storm in recent months.

A new band, which has only formed in the past couple of months, named ‘A Great Quiet’, look set to follow in the footsteps of that South Kildare duo.

Made up of childhood friends Will O’Donnell and Aran Cardiff, A Great Quiet have released two singles and have scooped a place to play on stage at this year’s Electric Picnic, all in the short space of four months.

They released their first single ‘Open Spaces’ three months ago, and their second, Passenger, in the last few weeks.

So where does the band’s name come from? 

“The name comes from lyrics to a song. Much like many band names, but the meaning that I took from it was that things don’t necessarily have to be loud to make an impact or be noticed. I thought it was a really cool idea,” said Will.

The two lads, who have been friends for over 12 years, dabbed in music in dribs and drabs growing up but “never took it too seriously”.

The pair played their debut gig in The Academy 2 in Dublin, and it has really taken off from there for them.

“Things have moved very quickly for us and it’s really exciting. We’re still very new but I think we’ve just worked hard so far and hopefully things continue to grow for us”, said Will.

Aran puts their success so far down to sheer hard work.

“Even though things for us ballooned pretty quickly, Will and I put a lot of effort into the band because we want to see how far we can push this.” 

The duo describe themselves as a “bit of an alternative indie band”. The pair have always had a massive interest in music growing up.

“There was always music played in the house when I was growing up. My Dad took me to my first proper concert when I was 11. We went to see Oasis in Cork and it all kind of kicked off from then. I took piano for a few years when I was still in primary school but moved onto guitar when I was about 14 or 15”, said Will.

“A lot of my family (cousins, uncles, Dad) play an instrument or sing. I remember seeing my dad and uncle play an acoustic set when I was 12 and I was hooked straight away. My dad taught me the fundamental guitar chords and I once I got the hang of it I started learning learning lead guitar by myself. There is always some sort of a music session whenever a wider Cardiff family event is happening,” added Aran.

The lads were shortlisted in a competition to play Electric Picnic in association with 2FM and Kildare based chairty Jack & Jill. They scooped the top spot by public vote, and will play the Cosby Stage at EP in Stradbally this September.

They also won a full day’s studio session at RTE’s state of the art recording studio.

“It’s unreal. Really exciting. It’s just happened so fast and we’re still getting our heads around it. It’s an amazing opportunity and it’s one that we’re going to enjoy”, said the lads.

The town of Athy has really gotten behind the boys.

“Athy is very supportive towards people and bands from there which is great to see. The fact the town gets behind new music and so supportive is encouraging for any up and coming band,” said Aran.

The lads plan to release their debut EP in late September/October. Watch this space, these are one to keep an eye out for!