Interview with Ryan Lacey, drummer for Gaelic Storm. Interview conducted by Erin Cronin.
ERIN: What inspired you and your group to create Gaelic Storm?
RYAN: We were a bunch of expats who had just pure affinity for folk and Irish music. It just made us feel a closeness to home that we were missing. Also, selfishly, it was the perfect excuse to meet up, jam with our buddies, play music in our favorite bar, with all of our friends! Kind of a no brainer right?
E: Where was your first performance?
R: Ha, it’s that bar I was talking about in your first question, O’Brian’s in Santa Monica, CA. Patrick (our singer) ran the bar so we had a foot in the door from the get-go! Eventually we had a weekly gig every Sunday. Those nights were epic, we packed the place and it truly became a sight to see! In fact, the producers for the movie Titanic first saw us there and that’s where they fell in love with the band.
E: This is your first show back at the Egyptian Theatre since the start of the pandemic. What are you most excited about in returning to DeKalb once again?
R: I think we now understand what it feels like to have touring taken away, so just being back on the road has felt amazing!
As for DeKalb, it has a special place in our hearts! It’s been a mainstay in the Gaelic Storm calendar and we wouldn’t want it any other way! Plus. It doesn’t hurt that 3 of us in the band (and our tour manager) are living in Chicago so it’s kind of a hometown gig.
E: With two decades of performing under your belt, how do you choose which songs will be played?
R: We do the set list a little while before each gig and it varies night to night. It’s tough these days since we have 15 albums of material, but we try to mix it up with old songs and new ones, all the while playing a bunch of fan favorites of course.
E: What is one thing you hope your audience takes away from this performance?
R: We always want our audience to feel like they had an experience as opposed to just seeing a show. With that in mind, we want them sing with us, dance with us, cry with us, and sometimes, even get a bit crazy with us.