Moments With Mercy - Interview With Neil Byrne




Hey everyone,  I am so excited to share this interview with y'all! My sisters and I first started listening to Celtic Thunder a few years ago when we saw a video of them singing "All God's Creatures" on YouTube, and have been fans ever since. So without further ado, let me tell you a little bit about Celtic Thunder.


"Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group and stage show known for its eclectic, theatrical style show. The group is backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic set pieces (often invoking symbols of ancient Celtic mythology), visual effects, and highly choreographed staging.Since the original group's formation in 2007, Celtic Thunder has released twelve albums as well as ten live performances on DVD, 3 of which were split into two releases."

And now for the interview.  I had a blast with this, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it as well.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
     "I`m learning a lot more about myself as the years pass. I turn forty by the end of this year and it`s only at this stage of my life I`m beginning to see more clearly as to who I really am and where I fit in best. I`m a very ordinary Joe with ambitions to be happy in what I do. There was a day when I wanted to conquer the universe as a musician/ songwriting guru with my band and take after all the greats that have gone before me. I am extremely lucky to have a career as a musician and play to crowds both big and small that want to hear music that I am a part of or wrote myself, I am really happy with that. Immersing myself in music most of the time is great but I also need an escape from it. Golf and snooker are my head space remedies and it don`t matter if I play well or not it`s just doing something completely different sometimes that makes me appreciate music even more when I get back to it. Spending time with my family is the most important part of my life as I don`t see them as much as I would like to, being on the road so much."

2.  How did you get involved with Celtic Thunder?
     "I played bass and vocals in “Phil Coulter`s” band, he was our original musical director. Sharon Browne and Phil offered me a job I could not refuse and have never looked back."

3. What's your favorite part about being on tour?
     "Besides the wide variety of music we play my favorite part of touring are the people I tour with. We have great comradery and fun together."

4. How many instruments can you play?
     "My main instruments are lead guitar and bass guitar. I play piano, mandolin and percussion mainly in studio."

5. How did Byrne and Kelly start?
     "Byrne and Kelly got started when myself and Ryan Kelly where paired up for a PBS touring promotion. We had to perform together live in the studio. The crowd of volunteers including the hosts really encouraged that both Ryan and myself perform more together. It got us thinking about it when we started hearing the same encouragement in other stations which led us to organizing a small US tour. We enjoyed it so much that six years, three albums and a film documentary later we are flying the flag high and getting more enjoyment out of it than we ever have."

6. What's something most people don't know about you?
     "When I go shopping and try on a new shirt, I have to play air guitar in the dressing room to make sure it will work for stage. Hoping there are no cameras in there. Can`t believe I just shared that one Ha!Ha!"

7. What is your favorite part about performing?
     "When a audience are singing back the words we have written. That`s a pretty cool feeling!"

Neil, Thank you so much for doing this!
Thanks for reading.
~Mercy


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