“We want our records to be punchy, lean and blazing. Straight in, no kissing” - Otherkin
Luke, Conor and David first had the idea for the band in 2013, but Otherkin did not coalesce until they found drummer Rob later that year, drawn together by a shared love of bands like The Clash, QOTSA, Ramones and Blur.
Early gigs in college dorms and house parties gave way to regular shows on Dublin’s vibrant live venue circuit, which in turn blossomed into a step up to the Irish festival carousel - Longitude, Electric Picnic, Hard Working Class Heroes and Other Voices - in 2014.
After a couple of hand-made, self-released tracks, Otherkin hit their stride with the rambunctious grunge-pop single “Ay Ay”, which came to the attention of Rubyworks in early 2015. The 201 EP - featuring “Ay Ay” and “Feel It” - was a quartet of quivering, shivering thumpers released to coincide with their UK festival debut at Leeds / Reading and their first full-length UK tour. Radio exposure came courtesy of support from Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 and John Kennedy on Radio X, while MTV Rocks added videos for both songs into their new music playlists.
The New Vice EP followed alongside supporting Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fall Out Boy in August 2016. Amping things up for their debut album ‘OK’ released on Rubyworks in September 2017, Otherkin opened for Guns ‘n’ Roses at Slane Castle to 80,000 revelers.
Meanwhile, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich committed to the Otherkin cause, playing ‘Yeah, I Know’ on his Beats 1 show not once, but twice in a row, to highlight the “awesome riffs” on display. “It’s really nice – these are musicians that we respect, and it’s nice to know people are listening and value what we do,” says Luke, but Otherkin remain fixated on the people they meet night after night. “At the end of the day, for us it’s about the fans,” says Conor. “We’re getting to release a debut album, and we couldn’t be prouder of it. I think it’s something that’s gonna connect with people.”
‘OK’, which entered the Irish charts at number 2, is evidence of Otherkin’s dedication to that ‘all or nothing’ mindset. Packed full of energy, excitement and - above all - passion, Luke already has the album’s title permanently inked in two-inch high letters on his wrist. A fast, furious, foot-to-the-floor ride through modern day anxieties, ‘OK’ received love from Radio 1’s Annie Mac, Mista Jam and Huw Stephens as well as 4 star reviews from The Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post.
The record offers the same guitar-based haven that the band themselves relied on in their formative years. “There’s so much depressing shit happening every day – I think people kind of need a break from it,” Luke admits. “Psychologically, you need some sort of escapism, which classically is what rock ‘n’ roll has always been. There’s nothing more cathartic than going to see a live band and feeling as though you’re part of the moment.”
In April 2018, Otherkin released a live vinyl album which captures the band in all their raw ‘n’ ragged concert glory. Recorded at concerts in Hamburg and Berlin last autumn; “Deutschland K.O.” is a punk-rock Polaroid of a band thriving in their natural element - the sweaty rock ‘n’ roll rooms where hearts are broken like noses, dreams are born, shoes are lost and the mosh-pit rules.
More live work followed, with a wild mix of gigs from Guns ‘N’ Roses at Slane Castle to UK shows with the Amazons and another summer of festivals.
September ‘18 saw the band decamp to Brighton to record with Chemical Brothers’ producer Steve Dub. The first fruits of their endeavours - the coruscating ‘Tombstone’ is released in February 2019. Another Steve Dub produced track - “All That Remains Won’t Be the Same” followed in April. The band’s latest single, entitled “On & On” has just been released.