Brain Donation Logo


Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Dublin, Ireland based Alternative Rock band, Brain Donation. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

We are Brain Donation, we play our own brand of super dynamic, noisy alternative rock. We’ve been floating around each other since we were kids. Dan used to go watch Alan’s band play underage shows when we were teenagers and all 3 of us have been in bands with each other at different times over the last 10 years. Brain Donation was the first time that it was just the three of us. We were originally an acoustic band but that didn’t last very long. We recorded our first EP in 2015 after playing together for a few months and we’ve been playing shows and recording music together ever since.

How did you come up with your band name?

A lot of our songs are very tongue in cheek, so we decided we wanted a name that was obviously ridiculous, like ‘The Butthole Surfers’ or ‘Flipper’, something goofy. Brain Donation just stuck but it has no meaning other than we thought it was a bit silly.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

We’re from Dublin, Ireland. Obviously, with the pandemic, there’s nothing happening offline at the moment but normally the scene fluctuates. Sometimes heavier sounds find their way into the zeitgeist of the city and sometimes they don’t. We play regularly for a crowd called FOAD, who put on gigs for heavier bands both Irish and international. Those guys have a very healthy scene.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

Our debut album comes out on June 17th. We recorded the music for it live over 3 days in 2020. Our second single from the album is called ‘Hopeless Shit’ and it was released on March 25th.

‘Hopeless Shit’ (Audio)

A. Graham Bell (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

That’s a heavy question. It’s different for all of us. Personally, I’m into a lot of stuff from the ’90s, like Primus, Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins etc but we all love a broad range of stuff. I couldn’t pinpoint a particular artist that has influenced our music.

What first got you into music?

I think seeing people playing music in films. Cheesy films like The Blues Brothers and Back to the Future. You hear music when you’re a kid and I don’t think I fully understood that there was a gang of people making that sound together until I saw it in the movies. I became obsessed with that notion and then started playing around the same time as the guys when we were all teenagers.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Something mental. It would be easy to just say Glastonbury, Download or Coachella, but they’re just bigger versions of festivals we’ve already played. Some festival in Japan, full of futuristic madness and culture shocks.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Either a really detailed drawing of us playing on a bar mat or a bowl of goulash. Both were welcomed at the time.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Burn it down.

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

I have no idea. I’m inclined to say Kurt Cobain, but I wouldn’t want him to have to hear the Foo Fighters.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

We differ on this. Dan loves being in the studio, Ollie loves gigging and Al just loves being in the WhatsApp group. Hate is a strong word. None of us are huge fans of the social media element of being in a band. It’s something we’ve neglected quite a bit, probably to our detriment. It’s not that we don’t want to connect with people, it’s just the medium we hate. A zine or a newsletter would be better for us but that’s not the world we’re living in.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

One thing isn’t going to fix it really. One thing that would definitely help is if performing spaces and rehearsal spaces for all art forms, not just music, were considered in city planning. In Dublin, we have lost a lot of cultural spaces to development over the last 5 years.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Who can actually answer these questions?

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I’d love to have a huge record collection, but I don’t. CD’s are definitely the best sound quality out of all of them, but I only listen to CD’s in the car.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Ah, that’s hard. We did a tour of Central & Eastern Europe about 3 years ago and we played a gig in a place called the T Klub in the Czech Republic. I don’t know if that’s our best gig but it’s one that comes up every now and again.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Something shit. Every good opportunity that ever came to me in my life came through music.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

I’d just invite the other 2 lads so we could put our feet up.

What’s next for the band?

We’re releasing our album on June 17th. We also have 8 songs from the same recording sessions that didn’t suit the album that we will put out on a B-side thing. We’re currently a band solely on zoom and new material is stacking up, so when this lockdown ends, we’re looking forward to working on new music and getting some live stream gigs together.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Our website is basically just a merch store where we sell CD’s and T-shirts.


There are social media links on the website, but we mainly use Facebook and Instagram. We post more stories than actual posts.


Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

The supermarket keeps them with the biscuits. That’s enough for me.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

No, I think you’ve covered it. Thanks for covering the single and we’ll be in touch when we have some more news for the album.


Brain Donation Promo Pic (Photo by Alan Swaine)
Photo by Alan Swaine

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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