Belfast’s New Pagans are being tipped for big things. They channel bands like Pixies, Black Honey and Wolf Alice into their raw and rocky alt-pop.
Bassist, Claire Miskimmin, writes about why she loves Alkaline Trio for us. Yu can check out more from New Pagans below Claire’s adoration!
I’m pretty sure it was in an issue of Kerrang or some magazine that I first laid eyes on the cover of From Here To Infirmary. The three members of Alkaline Trio with their eyes whited out like zombies on a black background. I probably spent the next few days trying to furiously illegally download the album over painfully slow dial up internet, the chances of anywhere in Belfast having it for sale without me ordering it in being slim, and I just wanted it now.
On first listen I was hooked. I don’t think you can ever have the kind of connection with a band the way you do with one that strikes a chord with you when you are young and trying to figure things out and trying to figure yourself out. Musically it wasn’t really anything I hadn’t heard before, but I just felt like every line they sung resonated with me & my friends… Call it youthful angst or whatever!
Alkaline Trio are the sort of band that inspired obsession in their fanbase and I’ve always had a soft spot for bands like that. There’s nothing like getting the Sail & Rail to Glasgow for one night only, standing in the Barrowlands losing your voice with a bunch of other kids who know every word too. I think it was the Barrowlands that I first met Heather Gabel at the merch table. Kind of the unofficial fourth member of the band and absolutely as important as the other three. She was responsible for the great aesthetic the band had. She designed their logo, their t-shirts, their posters and it really had a big impact on me in figuring out my own artistic style. I love spotting one of her designs on a tattooed arm from across the bar, it’s like spotting a kindred spirit, you give them the nod, they know the craic hahah!
So while the music might not have an influence on New Pagans, the idea of a solidifying aesthetic does. We make everything ourselves from the record covers to the videos and it’s just as important to us as the music.
As for favourite songs I could probably pick a different one every time I listen. ‘Armageddon’, ‘Queen of Pain’, ‘Radio’, ‘All On Black’ for drunkenly singing with friends, ‘Fatally Yours’ and ‘Every Thug Needs A Lady’ for that feeling of young, tempestuous, ridiculous love, ‘Stupid Kid’ sung with my sister remembering our friends who have passed away. Some days I like Matt’s songs better and some days it’s Dan’s. Good Mourning might just sneak over the post as my favourite album but then there’s always Goddammit!
I don’t think I’ve properly listened to anything past Agony & Irony in 2008 but as it stands everything that came before it is a perfect time capsule of my youth and like I said before there’s nothing like a band that hooks you in when you are young.
Many thanks to New Pagans, and Claire for writing about their love of Alkaline Trio for us. You can hear more from New Pagans on their Bandcamp page below. You can support the band through this link.
Read more from the Why I Love archives here.