As the year draws to a close, Invaderband can look back on 2017 with a smile on their faces.
The Adam Leonard fronted garage artrock four piece may have waited until this year to release their debut album, but it’s arrived with a bang.
Adam has just returned from the NI Music Awards where his release was nominated for ‘Album Of The Year’ as he rubbed shoulders with a star studded lineup in Belfast’s Mandela Hall. The album may not have won the highly coveted award, but it received great exposure and recognition amongst Northern Ireland’s music elite.
“The Northern Irish Music Prize thing was genuinely a complete shock to us all” said Adam. “Chris from the band mentioned it to me the week before the shortlist came out, and up until that point it wasn’t even on my radar. It was a dream come true to be shortlisted next to The Divine Comedy, Hannah Peel etc, and some other truly great albums. That was real validation.
“I’m still on a high about that! Going to an awards ceremony and meeting some of the other nominees was really cool.
NI Music Awards - Invaderband
“I felt it was a great album, but it’s impossible to know whether other people will feel the same. Every time you release something it’s a risk. I’m still surprised by just how good the reaction was, and I’m of course very, very pleased about that.
“It could have sank without a trace, but I made a huge effort to get it ‘out there’ and thankfully it paid off. Plenty of radio play, coverage and reviews online and in newspapers too. It was well beyond my expectations.
“It’s been played at all levels on BBC radio, local, regional and also national. Steve Lamacq on 6Music really took a shine to us and made two different tracks from the album ‘BBC Radio 6Music Recommended’, and both Tom Robinson and Gideon Coe played us too. Tom Robinson even saw us live in Belfast recently, and Steve Lamacq admitted he was jealous!
“So for a band with no manager, label, plugger, etc, I’m really proud that it got picked up and got the exposure it needed. There’s an awful lot of music and bands out there, a lot with paid promotion, and it can be hard to get noticed.
“None of this would have happened without the tremendous support of Stephen McCauley on Electric Mainline and his afternoon show. He’s played and plugged us so much, it’s just phenomenal. Some prominent radio stations over the border such as RTE and Today FM helped too. Half of The Undertones, Paul McLoone and Mickey Bradley, have both spun tracks on the wireless.”
Invaderband - Attack Of The Pod People [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
Having moved to Derry ten years ago, the mancunian was pleased to see a bustling music scene within his new hometown. “By a lucky coincidence Derry has a thriving and inclusive music scene which made Invaderband much more achievable for me” admitted Adam.
“There would be no Invaderband if I hadn’t landed in Derry, and without the talented locals Chris McConaghy (AKA Our Krypton Son), Gavin McCartney and Rion McCartney, I was lucky enough to get on board. We formed to create something a bit different in Derry so I hope that’s what we’re doing.”
Picking his brains on their stand out gig this year, he said: “Probably the album launch in Bennigans in January. It’s only a small venue but the place was rammed. People stood on chairs at the back, and Steven McCauley introduced us. That was the first time I did the ‘Alien Astronaut’ thing as well, so that was good craic. We also really enjoyed opening for Damo Suzuki in Letterkenny in May. It was probably the biggest stage we’ve played on and it felt like we’d finally arrived! Smoke machines, the lot!”
As the year closes, Adam turns his attention to the next album and also his own solo music too. “I make music on my own too and new solo stuff I’ve been working on for the past couple of years will be released next year” he said.
“With Invaderband, we could maybe have the second album out towards the end of 2018, but it depends on a number of factors such as time, money, getting good enough material written etc. If not 2018, I would say definitely early the following year. I have a plan for an event in Derry in Spring which will be really cool if it comes off.”
Adam spoke about his appreciation for the local support of the band, and how it has helped the growth of the band. “It’s massively heartening, and financially beneficial, and I’m thankful that people in Derry like our music, buy our releases and merchandise, and also and come to our gigs.
“But you can’t rely solely on a local market. You have to look to radio to get income from royalties, look online for streams and sales, and to record shops to sell CDs and vinyl. If people hear you on 6Music and would like to buy your music, you have to try to make it available for them in shops far and wide, as well as online, and that is what I have tried to do.
“I just want to say a big thanks to all the venues, promoters, record shops, DJs, writers, photographers, websites etc. who have helped us along the way. Invaderband have existed for five years now, and it’s been a lot of work to get where we are now. So thanks everyone, you know who you are, and a very Merry Christmas!”
With so many incredible local acts on the scene at the moment, it’s a great opportunity show your support by giving the gift of local music this year. You can get in touch with Invaderband to purchase merchandise through their website and also via Facebook