(Mental Health Conversations): Kieran Lane of UGLY BEAUTIFUL

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Editor’s Note:  Today, Irish alternative rock band Ugly Beautiful has released their animated music video for “Sunrise.”  “Sunrise” is a well-thought out track with heartfelt lyrics and arrangements that stick to your brain. Ugly Beautiful is composed of Kieran Lane on vocals/guitars, Galagher on bass and Falender on drums. The band was on hiatus in 2013 but they got back together in 2019 and played shows in Poland, and fans should expect reimagined tracks of their previous material along with new music, and gigs when the Covid-19 pandemic is over.  Kieran Lane of Ugly Beautiful sat down with Madness To Creation to discuss the “Sunrise” music video along with coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.  Fans can find Ugly Beautiful on Facebook, and Bandcamp

Madness To Creation:  Take us into “Sunrise”, what were the most challenging and rewarding aspects of creating the single?
Kieran Lane:  Sunrise is one of those songs that’s had a few incarnations over the years. We felt right from the start that it had something special, so we kept working on it, trying different things to see what would stick. Sometimes you wonder if a song will ever see the light of day if the process takes a long time. That can be challenging. The instrumental side of things was finished and recorded a few years back but the lyrics I had written just didn’t sit well with me. So last year, during the first lockdown, I felt like I finally had the time and space to give it my full attention.
Getting into the rhythm of lyrics writing can take a bit of time for me so there were a few weeks where I was kind of throwing paint at the canvas to see what would stick. It can be frustrating if you don’t allow yourself to create something that’s not very good. The reality is that you need to go through that to get to the good stuff. It’s a huge buzz when you finish a song, especially one that you really believe in. I tried to use that energy to immediately record the vocals backing vocals in my home studio and then got stuck into mixing the track.
One of the most rewarding things was seeing the finished version of the animated music video that Aaron Wiley created for us. The combination of Aaron’s storytelling and our song creates something new entirely and we couldn’t be happier with it.

Madness To Creation:   What are some of your favourite memories while in Ugly Beautiful?
Kieran Lane:  There are a few stand out gigs that we’ll always remember, like playing the Independence festival for the first time, playing Whelan’s in Dublin and Roisin Dubh’s in Galway. Or that time a load of Basshunter fans turned up at a bar we were playing in Limerick and went absolutely crazy (glow sticks and neon head bands galore).  Yurt! More recently getting back together after a few years break to play in Poland, where Michal, our drummer, is from.
And all that is great, the gigs are definitely a bonus. For me, my favourite part is the meeting up with friends to play music a few times a week… and maybe create something new. You can’t beat the feeling of creating something new with other people.

Madness To Creation: How has Covid impacted you?  What was the biggest thing that you learned about yourself?
Kieran Lane:  I’ve been very lucky in that my close family and friends have all stayed healthy. So from that perspective things are good. Before the pandemic I was based in Dublin and freelanced as a sound engineer and AV technician for live events. I had some music production and mixing projects in the pipeline too so things were going well. Unfortunately that put me on the front line of workers who had jobs cancelled so I moved down to Cork to be near family and find somewhere more affordable. I’m lucky that I was able to set up a home studio so I’ve been working away on lots of new music.
The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m a much happier person when I meditate every day. I tend to drift from it after building up a regular practice, probably because I feel like I don’t need it so much. That quickly turns into a few days or weeks and I’ll notice that my mood or thought patterns are becoming a bit negative..  at which point I’ll make a big effort to get back into it. The trick is not to be fooled by the idea or thought that you don’t need it. It’s just a thought and like most things it will pass.

Madness To Creation:  Tell us about a time that you rose to the occasion?  Whether it was facing adversity, overcoming a fear or anything like that?
Kieran Lane:  A number of years ago a good friend of mine gave me a book called “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers. He knew that I was going through a tough time mulling over a decision I felt I couldn’t make. It was a pretty big one… continue in my current career or take a leap of faith, go back to college as a mature student, retrain in sound and music production and try to make a career out of doing something I felt I had a passion for.
In hindsight it seems like an easy decision, but at the time the thought of giving up a regular income with real career prospects seemed crazy to me. It was just too risky. How would I pay for rent, food, transport, fees etc?
Anyway, the book was the exact thing that I needed at that point in my life to get me to face my fear. To just take the risk. It felt like the first time I really took control over the direction my life was going. And something unexpected happened when I did finally make the decision. All the fear melted away in an instant. Sure there were still some concerns about how things would work out but the biggest fear was the decision itself. So my advice to anyone in a similar predicament would be to 1. read that book 2. make a decision (any decision) 3. go with it. You’ll be surprised by how things work out.

Madness To Creation:  Are you planning any live streams?
Kieran Lane:  We’re working on some acoustic versions that we’ll pre-record and release on Instagram and Facebook the week after the release of Sunrise.  

Madness To Creation:    What would you like to do when Covid is over?

Kieran Lane:  Oh so many things! Go to a music festival.. play at a music festival… get back into the studio and work with some bands and artists on original music…. go somewhere warm and sunny, lie on the beach for a week and surf whenever I feel energetic. Hug my friends.

And there you have it!  Check out their music video for “I Care” below as well!

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