As we approach BalconyTVs 10th anniversary, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the first artists that performed on the show and find out what has happened to them in the time since.
Ronan Cunningham performed with his band Super Jimenez on October 27th, 2006. I tracked down Ronan on the golf range for a catch up -
Stephen - Ronan, you were one of the first artists to perform on BalconyTV. What, if anything do you remember about the performance?
Ronan - I remember BalconyTV was just starting to make a name for itself and I was quite nervous rocking up to the apartment on Dame Street with one of the other band members. We didn't know what to expect but we were greeted by friendly faces and a tiny little balcony out on which we would perform.
Stephen - What was the song about?
Ronan - The song was called 'Faye'. I'd written it only 2 or 3 days previous but had a good feeling about the melody, so wanted to try it out and see how it sounded on video. It was about a relationship with a girl that was close to happening but never happened ultimately because Faye turned out to be a bit of a bitch, ha!
Stephen - How long had you been playing before that point?
Ronan - The band was together for around 12 months at that stage and we had just released a single that was doing really well, getting airplay and even sneaking a Top 20 for 5-6 weeks.
Stephen - What were your ambitions then?
Ronan - I think a person is either highly ambitious or not really that ambitious at all, there's no in between. I took everything I did seriously and with a lot of determination, as I still do today, so as a band we were going all the way to the top as far as I was concerned: big festivals, big songs, sell-out shows in all the big cities, record deals etc.
Stephen - If you’re not still playing, what are you doing now?
Ronan - I gave up music and decided it was time to become a bit more career driven (snore). So I went back to college and came out the other end with the crazy idea of bringing a new sport to Ireland called Footgolf. That turned out to be a great move thankfully, and I now run 2 successful footgolf courses in Ireland and also established the Irish Footgolf Association which promotes and develops the sport in Ireland for the 15 or so courses affiliated to it.
Stephen - The internet has completely transformed music in the last 10 years. When we started out, YouTube was just starting and MySpace was the thing. How have you found dealing with the digital revolution?
Ronan - If you don't move with the times you will get left behind. Embrace it because it's not going anywhere anytime soon.
Stephen - What do you make of the Irish music scene?
Ronan - What's that then?
Stephen - If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, 10 years on, what would it be?
Ronan - Stop trying to make things happen, just do what you can to the best of your ability and work hard. If it's meant to be, it will happen. Just don't force it.
Stephen - What has been the best thing to happen to you in music and life in the last 10 years?
Ronan - Accepting that music wasn't going to happen for me, going back to college and starting out on the sporting journey that is footgolf.
Stephen - What is the one song of yours you’re most proud of that people should check out?
Ronan - I think Faye is still a class song and I always felt that if one of the big UK bands at the time had written it (Kaiser Chiefs, Fratellis, Strokes), it would have been a number 1, lol
But 'Helicopters' was our first hit and our first proper fully produced/mixed song by UK producer Adrian Bushby who went on to in a Grammy or two. I even heard it being played on the radio about 2 years ago (8 years later). Chuffed, I was.
Stephen - Who has been your favorite Irish artist of the last 10 years, and your favorite international or mainstream artist?
Ronan - Wow...tough question. I'd probably go for Imelda May and don't think the Arcade Fire have been bettered in the past 10 years.
Stephen - Final question. What would your words of wisdom be for anyone starting out? Be as brutal as you like.
Ronan - Get out of Ireland. Become brilliant at the instrument you play.Don't force the issue, but know when it's not going to happen. Don't react to a bad review or a good review.
Enjoy and always do it with a smile on your face, even if that doesn't suit your image.
Stephen - Thanks Ronan!
- Stephen O'Regan