Bad Copy


No Matter Talks Belfast, Songwriting During the Pandemic, & More!

Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, the energetic Skate Punk/Pop Punk foursome No Matter started nearly ten years ago. Since its inception, the band has released two EPs (2012’s Fidge and 2014’s Drop the Act) and two LPs (2016’s Ill Advised and 2019’s Excess Baggage).

With influences such as Bad Religion, Lagwagon, NOFX, and The Queers, they aim for a sound that is tough but with a strong melodic vibe to it.

They have a new album coming out this summer via Brassneck Records that is guaranteed to be a scorcher.

I recently had a chance to talk with Dan and Cat from the band where we discussed things such as their songwriting process and life in Northern Ireland.

Steve Long

Let’s start with some introductions.  What are your names and what do you do in the band?

Dan – I’m Dan; I play guitar and do vocals.

Cat – I’m Cat and I play bass and sing. No Matter also features Jarlath who plays guitar and sings and Jamie who plays drums!

Steve Long

How did the name ‘No Matter’ come about?

Dan – We originally intended to be called Dogwater (our logo reflects this) after a Ren and Stimpy reference, but some other band nabbed the name first so Cat took to the dictionary and made it as far as N.

Cat – We also considered The Bombdogs, a ‘The Day Today’ reference but it was the same deal!

Steve Long

How did the band originally get together?

Dan – Cat and myself were in another band years ago and I knew Jamie from playing in other bands. Jarlath was another one we knew from knocking about in bands so when we needed a guitar player we gave him a shout.

Cat – Northern Ireland is pretty small, so with our similar musical tastes it was a pretty sure thing we’d likely all end up in a band together!

Steve Long

Was the writing and recording process for the new album any different that the process of albums such as Excess Baggage or Ill Advised?

Dan – Yeah, previously one of us would write a song and bring it to the practice room and show it to the others, who would learn it. With the pandemic/lockdowns etc., we took to demoing tracks remotely and sending them to each other, who would then put their own spin on it. It led to a lot more time being spent on the songs than we might have previously and we’ve ended up with an album I’m immensely proud of.

Steve Long

What was the overall inspiration behind the new album?  Were there any common themes?

Dan – I guess the usual No Matter tropes are there… being angry, pissed off at your job, and suchlike. There’s a few new themes in there as well, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say the album has a common theme or anything. No rock operas here!

Steve Long

Can you tell us a little bit about the video for “In Spite of You?

Cat – The video is a mixture of snippets of the band, varying from antics on tour, live shots, studio footage, bloopers and general shenanigans we amuse each other with. We wanted it to contrast with the lyrics, as some of our songs are like venting about a topic, which is the case with “In Spite of You.” when in everyday life we’re pretty laid back people. 

Steve Long

How did the pandemic affect the band, aside from the ability to play shows?

Dan – I’d say it helped our songwriting. As I mentioned previously, we got to take our time to really work on the tracks, and presumably we’ll use this method going forward. We also got into watch parties on Amazon during the pandemic, and watched some pure shit that we still find hilarious.

Steve Long

When did you all originally get interested in playing music? Were there any specific bands or artists that triggered the interest or made you want to start a band? 

Dan – Pugwall’s Summer, and that episode of Doug when he and Skeeter start a band. Using a bin as drums, now that’s DIY.

Cat – I never actually thought about being in a band. I used to be incredibly shy so the idea of getting on stage never entered my head. I just loved bass, got one as a teen and once a friend from school discovered I played, he demanded I was in his band! I was still extremely awkward and quiet but being in bands over so many years has kicked that well out of me!

Steve Long

Are there any eateries in Belfast that you would recommend to a tourist?

Dan – Dunno if this would be considered that in the true sense of the word but the Nutmeg does some pretty good stuff. Nice folks too.

Cat – For a range of budget friendly meat, veggie, and vegan meals I’d say Maggie Mays, but there’s a lot of really great swish restaurants if you’re a real foodie! We also have a friend who sells great mini pancakes in the old Victorian St Georges market which has lots of locals selling food and crafts etc. Worth checking out if you’re here!

Steve Long

What about venues?  What are some of your favorite venues in the Belfast area?

Dan – Voodoo’s cool. McHugh’s is also a pub/restaurant with a small basement that does gigs.

Cat – Some of my favourites have sadly closed down over the years, but on top of Dan’s suggestions, The Empire, and Limelight are great too.

Steve Long

Are there any other essentials for visiting Belfast that you would recommend?

Dan – Bring a coat.

Cat – I read a tourism article that said to bring ‘spices from home,’ so I guess we must be lacking those!!

Steve Long

What is your overall impression of the music scene in Belfast?

Dan – Needs more pop punk.

Cat – Lots of exciting bands popping up across NI these last few years. Sadly there’s not many leaning towards our favoured pop punk stylings but if you like indie, metal, alternative, punk it’s very likely you’ll find a new favourite here!

Steve Long

What sort of things take up your time outside of playing music?

Dan – I go to work and complain a lot.

Cat – A lot of behind the scenes band stuff, the unrelated day job and designing stuff. I dream of the day I can chill out gaming again!

Steve Long

What is your favorite book, film, or TV show?

Dan – Alien’s probably my all time #1 film, it’s just the perfect movie. Couldn’t pick a favourite book off the top of my head but it’s probably a Stephen King one.

Cat – Studio Ghibli, Star Trek, Arnie films, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Aliens, Silence of the Lambs etc. Too many brilliant ones to narrow down I’m afraid. Essentially love Sci-Fi, Fantasy and 80s cheese. If you like the same kind of stuff I recommend Moon. Sam Rockwell is great in it.

Steve Long

Any final thoughts from No Matter?

Dan – Thanks for your time! Go like our socials, follow us and all that.

Cat – We have a new album coming out this summer on vinyl with Brassneck Records so be sure to check it out and hopefully add it to your vinyl collection!

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