Soundtrack to my life: 5 songs that influenced Kodaline's Vinny May

The drummer of the Irish quartet shares five songs that shaped his career

The members of Kodaline: Jason Boland, Mark Prendergast, Stephen Garrigan and Vinny May. Courtesy Kodaline
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Irish indie rockers Kodaline will be coming to the UAE for the first time to perform in Dubai at McGettigan’s Paddy Party on Friday. The band, from Dublin, were formed in 2011 as 21 Demands, but changed their name to Kodaline a year later.

Their big break came with the single All I Want. While the song wasn't a massive chart-topper (it reached No 15 on the Irish Singles Chart), it found success after being featured in a number of films and television shows.

We spoke to drummer Vinny May about the trials and tribulations the band has gone through and the five songs that helped to shape his career.

A song that reminds me of my childhood is All the Small Things by Blink 182 (1999)

I was maybe 8 or 9 years old when that song came out. I just remember seeing Travis Barker play drums and it was kind of a big moment. I just wanted to play like him and play in bands that played that type of pop-punk music. I set my drum kit up like his and just wanted to be in Blink 182.

A song that made me want to sing is Love on Top by
é (2011)

It's just a great song, the key just keeps on going higher and higher. The rest of the guys in the band, we've probably listened to that song hundreds of times. It's just a great piece of music and she's awesome as well.

A song that changed my career is All I Want (2012)

It is probably one of our oldest songs. We’ve had it for a while and we had it before we were signed to a record label.

We were trying to get signed by several record labels and kept being told: "It's not quite there yet." When we sent out All I Want, it perked up their ears and they were like, "That's a really good song". We released it on an EP in 2012 and it took on a life of its own. We've just been following the success of that song around the world.

That really put us on an upwards trajectory of being on the radio and getting the song played on American TV shows like Grey's Anatomy. It was a really big deal.

A song I wish I wrote is In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins (1981)

It's probably one of the most iconic songs for everybody. We're all big Phil Collins fans and to some of our crew who are slightly older, they say, "You guys don't remember the '80s, it was a horrible time", but we're like, "Yeah, but they have some great songs." When you listen to the lyrics, it's one of our favourites. It always gets thrown onto the tour playlist.

A song that makes me cry is The Book of Love by Peter Gabriel (2004)

I remember the first time I heard that song, it was before Kodaline wasn't even Kodaline. Myself, Mark and Steve had moved to the UK to find a bass player, write some more songs and hopefully sign a record contract. We were living in Brighton and it was kind of the first time we had all moved away from home. I think we were all a bit homesick and missing our loved ones. I remember I was missing my girlfriend at the time. We put the song on and I definitely sobbed and I think Mark was sobbing as well. It still kind of chokes me up. We're now married and it was on the playlist at our wedding reception, so I'll always remember that song.


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