by Erin Sullivan
We’ve always heard the popular saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. How about if we rolled your enemies and friends into one package? Making friends with The Enemies in this case should not be hard. And once you become a fan and a friend you can buy a t-shirt that reads, “I’m a friend of The Enemies.” The Enemies are a group of five Irish musicians and friends who have been making music and having a blast in the process.
Frontman Ronan McQuillan plays acoustic guitar and uses his beautiful voice to sing lead vocals. He has been writing music since he was young so he and Johnny Crean are the writing brains behind the operation. Crean plays lead guitar, saxophone and piano so he brings a unique spin to the band. Martin Shields is the funky bass player who also plays banjo. Mark Montague, the amazing drummer, has played various genres and traveled all over the world with the Carrickmacross Brass Band. Last (and certainly not least) is Colin O’Donoghue who, at night, is a musician playing guitar, ukelele and backup vocals. By day, most know him as Captain Hook on ABC’s Once Upon a Time. When he’s not playing the swash buckling pirate he hopes to be able to play at a few shows during the tour.
“Colin is under contract with ABC and he’s tied up at the moment. Hopefully in April or May we can get him out to a few shows and he has his eyes on a few. We might be able to twist his arm to get him out. It would be great for us because we haven’t seen much of him, but we’re excited for him. He plays a great Captain Hook,” says McQuillan.
The Enemies participated at SXSW in Austin, TX last week and just embarked on a New England tour. According to their Twitter feed, The Enemies are currently in St. Louis Missouri set to play at The Dubliner and are set to stop by in Chicago, Cleveland Pittsburg, New York, Providence and Boston. Next Monday, they will play at the Hard Rock Cafe here in Philadelphia.
“We’re looking to make friends and play our songs for as many people as possible. Our sound seems to suit their ears and they’re liking what they’re hearing. We hope to keep coming back and playing in the US for many years to come. We played in Fado Irish pub in downtown Austin, it was pretty similar to playing other bars. We’re excited to play in theaters and different venues where people are there to listen to the music and ultimately that’s why we’re here. The music gets lost when people are drinking an enormous amount of alcohol and want to be entertained at any cost,” says Crean.
The Enemies are hoping to see some of the historical sites in each city and they’ll be posting pictures of their tour experience on their Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. The foursome hope the pictures will entice their buddy Colin to join in on the fun. Say a few prayers for them, because they’re hoping to get signed along the way. After the fun of the tour the band will likely take a break from each other, but get back to making their record.
After the US tour, the next plan is a UK tour. “We’d like to take a few days off. But we have to keep playing as many shows as possible got to keep it fresh,” says McQuillan.
Although The Enemies are an independent band they have been making a name for themselves and have been making music for various projects. They were commissioned by General Motors to record tracks for the Route 66 online campaign where they recorded twelve versions of Chuck Berry’s “Route 66”. They have worked on the music for Coca-Cola’s 5BY20 Project and also performed in Budapest at the wrap party for The Rite- a movie O’Donoghue costarred in with Sir Anthony Hopkins. According to McQuillan and Crean, Hopkins introduced them and they were dressed like bishops, priests and cardinals based on the movie. The experience of a lifetime.