The Clinic: “I considered medicine, but it wasn’t where my heart was”

by James Hendicott

Dublin rock band Otherkin – now defunct – were an unusual act throughout their career, with several members having given up degrees in medicine for a more roughshod, unstable touring life. They were vibrant, powerful and clearly loved what they were doing.

When it all fell apart, then, it was probably reasonable to expect a return to a more academic environment. Instead, bassist David Curley has opened a Dublin studio, The Clinic, that’s already welcomed the likes of James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson in its early weeks.

“I considered going back to follow a career in my degree, medicine, however I realised that deep down that really wasn’t where my heart was,” Curley explains. “Having completed my undergrad in medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons I was surrounded by individuals from all over the world who, for the most part, had spent their entire lives dreaming of and working towards becoming doctors.”

“With the time I took to reflect upon my own life and future prospects at the end of the band, I realised I had never felt the same way. My interests were always in science and art, and music production and engineering is one of those rare careers that crosses into both worlds.”

“The idea came together during my final year as a part of Otherkin,” he continues. “We were fortunate enough to work alongside world class producers in state of the art studios throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe during our time as a band.

“When we started work on the initial recordings for what would become our final release, we worked alongside Steve Dub (Chemical Brothers) in a studio called the Toy Rooms in Brighton, UK.”

“Specialising in electronic music, the walls of the studio were stacked floor to ceiling with analogue synths.

“This spurred in me an infatuation with electronic instruments, and in thinking about the next steps in my career lead me to the realisation that there was room in Dublin for a studio that could bring together the most sought after analogue synths and drum machines, and pair them with the highest spec modern software, to create an open creative space catered to modern music production.”

“My ambition is for The Clinic to be at the centre of a new era in Irish music, pushing the creative boundaries of music on the island and on an international stage.

“Our main resource in this country is creativity, and it is something that should be held to higher regard by the state and the Irish people. I think in this country we still haven’t realised that creativity is something that can be monetised.”

“Most people engage with the creative arts in some capacity every day, be it by listening to an audiobook or podcast on the way to work, putting on an album while you are making dinner, etc. Creativity punctuates our everyday lives, and I think it is something that needs to be held to a higher regard in terms of compensation for the creators whose art we consume.

“The capacity that musicians have specifically to both entertain and emotionally resonate while expressing their own culture cannot be undervalued, and I endeavour to not only help people find a voice to express themselves creatively, but also to create a product of as high a sonic standard as possible. Where creativity goes commerce follows.”

“It has definitely been a challenge and a major learning curve, but I am probably one of the only people who will tell you that my pandemic experience has been mostly positive.

“Although it delayed my launch and definitely cost the business some revenue, it afforded me the opportunity to take a step back, re-examine the final product, and just finish the studio in a way I had not previously considered.”

For all his varied background, Curley clearly has a passion for everything he does, and even with the issues in the music industry, looks well-placed to make it work.

Learn more at The Clinic’s website here.

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