Changing the Code
Enda Mulloy of the Biblecode Sundays told David Hennessy about his new solo music and why he had to continue writing and recording when the band had no plans to after the passing of bandmate Carlton Hunt.
Well known for playing bass with The Biblecode Sundays, London-based musician Enda Mulloy has just released his debut solo single with chart success.
From Mulranny in Co. Mayo, Enda emigrated to London in the 1990s where he co-formed the well known London- Irish band known for songs such as Drinking All Day and Maybe It’s Because I’m an Irish Londoner.
The band have shared the stage with the likes of Van Morrison, Thin Lizzy and The Cranberries.
Batten the Hatches Down is the first taste of Enda’s first solo album, Rainbow Frogs in Midlife Crisis.
While Enda admits releasing a solo album was never on his radar, he felt moved to create something with the material that he had written and continued to write when the band decided against any further recording following the passing of drummer Carlton Hunt in 2017.
Lockdown gave him the chance to work on the new venture.
However, Enda also reveals the band, who have welcomed back Ronan MacManus after some years away, have plans to do more recording now.
Enda told The Irish World: “When the Biblecode Sundays decided our last album was going to be our last album, I decided I was going to continue writing music.
“Making a solo album was never on my radar.
“I think the only time it ever came into my radar was when The Biblecodes said, ‘We’re not going to do another album’ after Carlton died.
“When Carlton died, I can’t explain how painful it was for all of us.
“It was just like our soul was ripped out.
“We just stopped and everything started to fall apart.
“And it was only when I realized that we were not going to do any more writing and recording that I decided, ‘Well, I have to write and record because that’s my thing’.
“That’s when I decided I was gonna start writing. I’d always write songs but to record them is a different thing.
“I had loads of songs ready, bits and pieces of songs. I started putting them together and the lockdown really lent itself to that.
“I think I had thirty songs. I’ve got ten now on the album.
“I scrapped 20 of them at least. I’m happy with the ten I’ve got.”
The new single boasts a powerful chorus that any contemporary singer-songwriter would be proud of.
Enda is aware some of the new material may not be what people expect of him and he struggles to categorise the new music due to it being so diverse.
“They’re all strange and unique. They’re not what the Biblecodes used to be like anyway, I don’t think.
“People keep asking me what is the genre and I don’t know.
“A lot of the songs on the album are quite different.
“My next single comes out in January and that’s completely different. It’s almost like a rock song.
“But then I’ve got Irish songs. A lot of the Biblecode Sundays are playing on the album as well.
“I can’t put a genre on it. I’ll be honest.
“The Western People put an article out and they called it nu folk. They labelled it nu folk. I’ve no idea what that is.”
But Enda doesn’t mind what his music is labelled as as long as people are enjoying it which they are.
“I don’t mind what people label it. As long as people like it, I don’t mind.
“My musical inspirations come from my youth, from Irish traditional music.
“Do you know what? It almost is new folk, because all the songs have got deep meanings, they belong somewhere, they’re not thrown away lyrics, they’re not cliché.
“Everything has a message, a real strong message and it’s about modern life and what’s going on in people’s lives really and what I’ve noticed in lockdown as well both in my own life and other people’s lives.
“The songs definitely have a meaning.
“I don’t sit down to write songs for the sake of throwing four or five chords together and throwing lyrics on it.
“Every song has a message for sure.
“I deal with heartbreak, homelessness, and politics. Modern life.
“There’s a lot in there and I’ve only noticed it lately about lockdown, people being forced to live together and what that lack of freedom entails and the consequences of such.
“I think there’s a lot of that on there for sure.”
Is Batten Down the Hatches, described as a trip through a broken relationship, one of these songs? “It is in a minor respect but it’s about relationships and people who are living together when relationships have died and they’ve just realized they have no other option but to stick together.
“They just say, ‘F**k it, batten down the hatches down and carry on’.
“It’s not an introspective song. It was just something I noticed over the lockdown.”
Enda owes his sons and sister for the album’s title, Rainbow Frogs in Midlife Crisis.
“I’ve got a younger son, James.
“We’re in the car one day.
“My older son, Bobby asked him, ‘What’s your favourite colour? And what’s your favourite animal?
“And James just turned and looked at him and said, ‘Rainbow coloured frogs’.
“And I just thought, ‘That is so brilliant’.
“So I said, ‘That’s going on my album’.
“And the midlife crisis one was my sister Elizabeth said, when I was doing the album, ‘You’re going through a midlife crisis’.
“So I said, ‘That’s it: Rainbow Frogs in Midlife Crisis’.”
The new project may have come from The Biblecode Sundays not planning on any more releases but Enda reveals there are plans now for the band who have just been rejoined by Ronan MacManus as lead singer.
“Believe it or not- I’m going to break this to you now- we’re planning on writing and recording another album.
“The first two albums, Ghosts of our Past and Boots or No Boots, were the big huge albums that spun us onto the scene really. And the two albums we did after that were probably better musically but weren’t what people loved us for.
“We’ve decided to go back to record another album like Ghosts of our Past and Boots or No Boots.
“We’re going back to our roots.
“We’re gonna hopefully have that ready for probably this summer or autumn ’22.”
Incredibly Enda has had the honour of being flown out to Italy by Sting to play a Police set at one of his legendary parties. “Sting giving me his own bass to play was an unforgettable moment,” recalls Enda.
“But Sting was a big Biblecode Sundays fan. He liked our music so me and Ronan have played out there with him.
“It was great. He brought us out to his house in Italy. We stayed for four days.”
Enda’s musical career has been a long and winding road, beginning with his family band, The Mulloy Brothers – known worldwide for their distinctive sound and character.
There is sadly only one of the brothers still alive with Enda’s own father Tom passing away in 2018.
“I started playing with The Mulloy Brothers at 14 years of age.
“I used to ask the principal at school if I could go away on tour to America with the Mulloy Brothers. And he used to let me because he was nice.
“They (The Mulloy Brothers) played for John Lennon and all the craic.
“I had some craic with the Mulloys, I tell ya.”
Batten Down the Hatches is out now.
For more information, click here.