Kodaline: Video thrilled and made them a star

By Chris Schulz

Kodaline's Jason Boland tells Chris Schulz how their success has exceeded their wildest dreams.
Kodaline's sudden rise to fame has been 'mindblowing'.
Kodaline's sudden rise to fame has been 'mindblowing'.

The power a music video once had may have faded away since the days of MTV, but no one told Kodaline.

The Irish quartet has found success thanks to an emotional YouTube clip for their wistful ballad All I Want, featuring a facially disfigured office underling who lusts after one of his blonde co-workers.

The video for that song, in which the star confronts a bunch of bullies when they harass the girl of his dreams, has had more than six million views since its YouTube debut in September, 2012.

It was so popular it inspired a follow-up video about the man looking for his lost dog, set to the same song and featuring the same cast.

Bassist Jason Boland admits Kodaline wouldn't be touring the world - they perform in Auckland on Sunday - if it wasn't for the success of those videos. "It's just gone insane. Those first YouTube videos have travelled much further than we ever have. We're just playing catch-up and trying to play everywhere that's into the music.

It's amazing."

Boland says many of Kodaline's fans found the band through their YouTube videos, including the similarly emotional High Hopes, which has had as many views as All I Want.

"Videos are just as important as the album packaging - it's a big thing for us. It's how people get really connected to you. You can get more fans from a YouTube video than a tour sometimes."

Led by the folky harmonies of front man Stephen Garrigan, Kodaline specialise in uplifting, Coldplay-style harmonies that start slowly then build to big crescendos.

Their debut In a Perfect World, released last year, was full of Coldplay-aping anthems, and although it didn't receive rave reviews - Q magazine described it as "entirely meritless" - it's taken the band from the confines of Dublin to headlining tours and performing at festivals around the world.

Boland, the last member to join the band, describes the past year as "crazy" and says their success has exceeded any dreams the band had when they began recording together in 2011.

"We've been living in a bubble just on the road in our van," he says.

At Christmas we got to take stock and look back at what's happened. It's still mind-blowing to us that so many people have latched on to the music. It means something to a lot of people and that's really incredible. Music is the best job in the world. Our crew are the best we could have with us. It's a great little family, it's just fun," says Boland.

They've performed at Glastonbury, toured the US and Canada, and already have one Australian tour under their belt.

But no matter where they play, there always seems to be Irish fans in the crowd, says Boland.

Sunday's first New Zealand show is unlikely to be any different.

"There's always going to be a few Irish people in the room no matter where in the world you are," he says. "They just kind of follow us."


Who: Kodaline
Where: The Powerstation, March 30
Listen to: In a Perfect World (2013)

- TimeOut

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