Cry Monster Cry’s tides of inspiration lead them to the Swiss Alps

by James Hendicott

Following the acclaimed release of their sophomore album, Tides, Cry Monster Cry are riding a current.

The two Sutton brothers, Jamie and Richie Martin, are fresh from a tour of Germany, and awaiting the release of a new documentary that features their adventures playing their music up a mountain in the Swiss Alps. Music has taken life to an interesting place.

I caught up with Jamie, an English-major who converts his studies into carefully constructed lyrics, fresh from what’s been an exhausting tour and a special time on the continent.

“I think Irish music is a bit exotic over there,” he laughed. “We find ourselves selling out places that we’ve never been.

“People see that we’re playing and, in real German fashion, they’ll go to YouTube, do some research into us and if they like it, they go and buy tickets. It’s great. I think that’s something that’s fading in Ireland.”

What music fans can uncover when they do such research is delicate and subtle, and in the case of Tides, a deeply emotional piece of work that’s mostly quite slow-paced and poetic, but bursts into wall-of-sound angst in late track, The Last Dance.

“I’ve been trying really hard to be in the moment when I perform, and I’ve found when you do that, when you really put everything in, you feel it coming back to you,” Jamie said of the tour.

“It’s emotionally draining, but I think it makes for an honest performance. I really wanted to approach it in that way, to see if there was any difference in the reaction. I thought there was.”

Tides, as an album title, is a reference to the flow of the brother’s lives: sometimes turbulent and sometimes smooth and calm, a reflection of something, really.

A touch ironically, it’s taken them to the mountains.

“We went on a trip to the Swiss Alps and there’s a 30 minute documentary of it waiting to be released,” Jamie said.

“It’s about the climb and the gig, but it’s more about this guy called Rene Reusser, who brings musicians over there. He’s incredible – a complete music fan.

“He runs a carpentry school, but the documentary is about telling this guy’s story, why he’s so passionate about music and craft, and the lengths people go to so that they feel they’ve done something a bit different. It should be out in about two weeks.

“We’ve been lucky. We’ve always loved taking on weird stuff, like a gig in the Alps, or living room concerts in Germany.

“It’s just what keeps up amused and entertained. Hopefully, the documentary will get a good reaction.

“It’s called, When The Snow Calls I’ll Be Gone, which is the English title of an old Swiss folk song.”

Back within the band, things are coming to a peak, too, with the brothers having had their time “living” ahead of the release of the second record.

They’re on a songwriting high, and enjoying the moment.

“What I really love about music is storytelling,” Jamie said. “I like to share a bit of myself, like reading a diary on a stage. It’s a great way to make something collective.

“It’s had a huge, huge impact on me that I can chart right back to my childhood. Reading, for me, is like going to the gym for storytelling. I have to stay on top of it.”

Cry Monster Cry play the Pepper Canister Church, Dublin on March 27, with tickets priced at €23.

The show concludes a 13-date Irish tour spanning February and March.

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