The Riptide Movement

The Riptide Movement have become household names in Ireland and are set to take the rest of the UK by storm. We caught up lead singer Mal Tuohy ahead of their performance at Live at Leeds, which kicked off a series of dates across of England and Scotland, to find out about their time in Germany, quirky music videos and playing support slots for music legends.

By Graeme Smith


What have you got in store for us at Live at Leeds?

We’ve got quite a lively, energetic show. It’s our first time over here playing in Leeds so we’re looking forward to it. It’s an early start for us.

So you’ve never been to Leeds before then?

No, never. We’ve been here in the UK a few times. We were here last February as we started promoting our first single off the album, and we played Glastonbury last year and the year before, then supported the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park as well two years ago. We’ve done a bit before, but, as you say, first time in Leeds. It’s buzzing out there.

Who else are you planning on seeing while you’re here?

We’re going to check out The Strypes and then there’s an Irish band called The Academic. We’re going to check them out as well. And St. Raymond is playing as well, we’ll check him out. Who are you checking out?

What’s your favourite thing about playing festivals?

I think it’s the whole vibe of festivals is great. At a festival you’re not always playing to your own crowd, so it’s good to try and win over a new crowd. I like the challenge of that, especially us coming over here now, nobody really knows who we are. Like when we were at Glastonbury last year there were loads of people outside the tent and we tried to draw them in with a lively performance. It’s really cool when you start off with a small tent of only maybe 200 people in it, and by the end you’ve got a few thousand. That’s been a good challenge, the fun part of playing a festival.


This festival’s kicking off a series of dates in England and Scotland. Where are you looking forward to playing the most?

We’re looking forward to all of it really. This is our first time in Leeds and it’s always nice to go to new places. We’re looking forward to getting back to Glasgow, and Manchester, we’ve only really played there twice. It’s kind of new to us so we’re looking forward to getting around and seeing the whole country. London is always good. We were there in February and we’re back playing The Lexington in May, so we’re looking forward to that one as well. We’re doing T in the Park as well. That should be good. Bring it on!


You’ve just recently been out to Berlin. How was that?

Class. We were out doing a few interviews and promo for the album. It’s out there June 1st as well so we go back down in June for a run of dates. It was a really good vibe and we’re really looking forward to the tour around Germany. We’ll be doing 13 dates which are pretty much all over the country. The last time we were in Berlin we didn’t get to see it properly. We were only in for the night, played the gig the moved on to Hamburg, I think. This time we’re there for quite a few days.

We were on the East side, near the wall. It was cool. It reminded us of Greenwich Village in New York, that kind arty, bohemian vibe. I’ve never seen a place with so many people out with guitars. When you walk around there are loads of buskers and musicians and people reciting poetry. We were talking to a girl who was interviewing us and we said we didn’t know Berlin was like this and she said it was a real happening place. It’s where everyone is coming from all over the world to make music. I was asking her: why Berlin? She said that in the 60s you had London, 70s you had New York, 80s was Paris. Basically it comes down to that it’s quite cheap to live in Berlin city centre at the moment. Then, as you’ve seen in Greenwich Village or Camden, it gets really expensive so all artists have moved out. It kind of happens every decade or so where it moves to a different city and Berlin’s where it’s at, at the moment.

You And I 

The Riptide Movement

Under exclusive licence to Universal Music Ireland Limited

Video via Youtube


And how about playing Dubai?

Dubai was cool. It was an experience. We’ve never been before. We went over and played 4 gigs. It was nice to get a bit of sun and get out of the rain and the cold. Interesting place, I’d love to go back.


You mentioned before that you’d supported the Rolling Stones. How was that experience?

It was amazing, we’re big fans of the Rolling Stones and they’ve influenced a lot of our music, so to be offered the opportunity to share a bill with them in Hyde Park at their homecoming gig was like a dream come true really for any band. You don’t get opportunities like come around often. It’s a bit of history for our band. We’ve been together as a band for 8 years and it’s definitely up there as one of the highlights.

We’ve had a few good cool gigs like that. We played with Neil Young. We’re big fans. We got to play with Bob Dylan.


How did these come about?

The Neil Young and Rolling Stones’ gig came through our booking agent but the Bob Dylan one we had to bombard someone with e-mails and phone calls until he gave us the slot.


Did you mention that you were promoting a new album?

Yeah, we released it in Ireland only this time last year. But it’s being released here June 1st, so it’s about a year behind. At home the album did really well. It got to number one and it’s gone gold now, so it was a great success for us last year. It’s kind of weird coming 60 minutes across the water and nobody has a clue who we are. It’s like starting all over again! It’s good. It’s exciting and it’s a challenge. We look forward to it.


Can you tell us about the album?

It’s actually our third album. Our first album, What About the Tip Jars? was self-released in 2009, and our second albumKeep On Keepin’ On was also self-released in 2012. That one kind of got us started. We got to number six in the charts with it and sold a few thousand copies. It got us a few gigs then we got a booking agent. We were in Germany at the end of 2012 and we weren’t planning on writing this album until the end of 2013 but a lot of the shows got cancelled. It was two weeks before Christmas and so we were out in Germany with all the equipment in the van and were like ‘s**t, what’re we going to do?’ So we got one of these holiday homes that was up in a ski resort in Weinsberg with a clear view over the hills, brought all the gear in and started jamming. And that was the album.

We got back to Ireland for Christmas and started looking for producers. We got in contact with Ted Hutt. He produced Gaslight Anthem, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly and Old Crow Medicine Show. He just won a Grammy for Old Crow Medicine Show and their album Remedy. He was brilliant. He came on board and helped us structure songs. If you look at our first two albums, you can really see an evolution as we’re learning our craft. He helped us with guitar sounds, sonically. I write the lyrics for the songs and lyrically he pushed me by asking me to explain specific lines in songs. And if I couldn’t explain or it didn’t make sense in the song then he’d say ‘I think you can do better than that’ and I’d go back and try again. It was very intense but very enjoyable at the same time. When you listened back it was all really worth it. It’s an album we’re really, really proud of.


All Works Out 

The Riptide Movement

Under exclusive licence to Universal Music Ireland Limited

Video via Youtube

So who else coming out of Ireland should we be looking out for?

There are loads! Obviously you know Hozier and Kodaline. Little Green Cars, they’re a really good band, like a Fleetwood Mac kind of sound. There’s a young band playing today, The Academic. They’ve got a really cool sound. They’ve got a song out in Ireland at the moment. There’s a band called Ham Sandwich, they’re pretty cool. The lead singer’s a girl and they do some nice male-female harmonies. They’ve got a Nationals vibe.


Any last words for the readers?

We’re looking forward to coming out here more. You’ll being seeing a lot of The Riptide Movement. The album’s out June 1st and it’s available to pre-order on iTunes now. We’ve got two really good videos up on YouTube if you want to get a taste of the album. For the song All Works Out, we were really lucky with the cast, it stars Amy Huberman. She’s pretty big at home and I think she’s been in a few things over here. Plus Sasha Roman’s Dad who was in the film Devil’s Own is in it too. Really good video and we’re really proud of it.


The Riptide Movement played at Live at Leeds on Saturday 2 May 2015. Their new album, Getting Through, is out on 1 June 2015.