Interview with Darren Mulligan from Irish band Morello

Irish band Morello band Photo in a desert with a blue sky behind them

Interview with Darren Mulligan from Irish band Morello

I did this interview in 2006 with Darren Mulligan from Morello for Freeflow Magazine.

Who hasn’t been in a rock band and dreamt of the big time, who hasn’t wanted to give up the day job and go to The States to play your music? How many actually achieve it? One Irish band now stands on the verge of doing ALL of this. Morello.

The band formed four years ago, three brothers and a best friend from Co. Monaghan and a wayward Italian bass player, they made Dublin their base. Perfecting their sound and style, which has been described as Emo, Screamo, and simply Alternative Rock, Morello gigged around Ireland building a solid fan base. Their first single a double AA release of ‘Hold On’ and ‘Alarm’ going top twenty in Ireland.

In May of last year, Morello packed in their day jobs, left everything they knew and moved Stateside. The gamble has paid off. Morello signed a three album worldwide to Evo/Universal. The power of 21st century technology allowed me to catch up with Darren Mulligan (guitarist) in the US.

Where are you? ‘At the moment we are about 20 shows into this tour and we are in Shreveport Louisiana, down south, really chilled out and cool place.’

You’ve got the big deal now how much of a difference will it really make? It’s going to make a huge difference to our lives, we will be financially stable and not need to worry about where the next meal is gonna come from. This is a great deal that gives us a real shot at a successful long-term, full-time career, we are all so excited.’

Leaving Ireland must have been hard though, where’s home now? ‘Home will always be where our families are, we miss and love them all terribly but we have no choice, we gotta be here! A couple of us have been back once or twice, we made it home for a few weeks at Christmas but our tour schedule is so tight that it’s hard to find the time. We’ve done nearly 160 shows in the past 7 months! We have always had faith in our music and believed that if we had the courage and conviction that we could be a success!’.

Darren, you basically have been managing the band for the past two years. Are you going to keep on doing that or now that you’re signed are you going to hand over the reins? ‘At the moment I’m still managing the band simply because I don’t trust anyone to get the work done fast or as well as I like it to be. We are in talks with a couple of major management companies at the moment but we gotta feel like we can trust them!’’

Your music certainly appeals to skaters and surfers.. have you had a chance to hang out on any Californian beaches yet? ‘None in California, we had too many shows and no time to chill but we hit a lot of great beaches in Florida, got burned, kicked ball and got strange looks from the local studs and babes!’

You have all been living in each other’s pocket since last year.. As well as having three brothers in the band… any rows? Nowhere near as many as most bands we know, says Darren Even when we do row it’s tempered by the fact that we all believe in the same course and are incredibly like-minded when it comes to music!’

Morello have previously released material will new fans be able to get the older material now? Sure, if you can find ’em, says Darren, they won’t be re-sold in stores. It’s amazing how much our sound has evolved in the last couple of years, those old releases could be a different band, but they are good tracks in their own right!’

How important has the internet been to your success? It’s been a really cool resource, especially in America where people are addicted to the internet! Its so easy and cheap to spread the word about your band. You seemed to have built up a good fanbase through Has this transferred to your audiences at gigs? It actually has, myspace is a great tool for developing a solid fanbase and staying in close contact with your fans!’

What are the major differences you’re finding between Ireland and the US? Audiences here are friggen brilliant, kids here genuinely care about live music, they are passionate and very appreciative. There’s none of the begrudgery bulls**t you see in Ireland. That also applies to the press, who are much less inclined to follow trends.’

So now that you’re signed the hard work really starts. Any Irish gigs in 2006? Not for the rest of 2006 anyway, our label has us touring solid to mid-summer in support of this record, then going in and recording the 2nd album in August and hitting the road again in the USA in September.

Where would Morello like to be in a year’s time? We would love to have sold enough records to start putting some roots down, a European tour would also be nice and is very much on the cards.’

Last question: what do you want to buy with your first big royalty check?? An endless supply of potatoes for the road!

‘Twelve ways to Breathe’ will be available from Universal Music from May 2006

Pics from the Band’s Myspace and street team page.

Updated Oct 2021

Listen to ‘Twelve Ways To Breathe’ On All Music

Darren Mulligan from Morello now lives in the USA and is the band behind the Christian rock band We Are Messengers.

Copyright Vanessa Monaghan 2006-21