“You’d even miss people spilling pints at gigs”: Scattered Ashes Band on Covid-19


“I can’t remember really what it was like before,” lead singer of Scattered Ashes Robert Dalton jokes on an early Friday morning Zoom call. 

On a freezing February morning I talked to Scattered Ashes about their Liberties roots, their influences, how the pandemic affected their plans for last year and what’s next for them in 2021.  

Dalton remembers the moment he wanted to play music after seeing the Stone Roses on MTV. “I was just flicking through the TV randomly and I saw the intro to the Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be Adored video”.

The members of Scattered Ashes. Photo by Emilia Rigaud.

 He tells us how he remembers the band walking in slow motion across a desert in their baggy clothes.

“They looked like me, they looked like the lads on your street. I was just completely in awe.” 

Being in a band, he says, felt like never growing up. “Like pirates, going port to port,” he laughs.  

In their music you can easily hear their influences of Gang of Four and Bauhaus, but their sound is uniquely theirs.

Dalton explains the sound as being organic, coming together when the five members of Scattered Ashes are in a room together.

“It’s quite angular, it’s shrill and clean.”

He goes on to describe their lyrics as being dark and moody with a corrosive edge.

“I’d be lying if I wasn’t to say it’s quite angsty music – it’s always kind of been like that.”

Dalton explained that best advice he’s ever been given is to stick to your guns: “Stick to your artistic vision, and hone your own voice.” 

He recognises that making mistakes is part of the creative process. The past year has affected every aspect of life for everyone; for the music industry that hardship continues as most gigs have been rescheduled two or three times before being cancelled or have been pushed back to 2022.

“You’d even miss people spilling pints on each other at gigs,” Rob jokes before revealing the impact COVID-19 lockdowns have had on the band. 

Dalton found the lockdowns good at the beginning as it gave them time to rehearse and work on new music.

Rehearsing in person has become nearly impossible with level 5 restrictions and that has definitely had an impact on the band.

“Now it’s run its course, and we’re ready to get back to the studio.”

Robert Dalton

Scattered Ashes have also had to deal with cancelled shows as they have summer gigs in both Ireland and England planned.  

Scattered Ashes are a band that grew from BIMM (British and Irish Modern Music Institute) on Francis Street. They’ve found that being in the Liberties has really helped them to grow as a band.

The members of Scattered Ashes are students and past students of BIMM who have found that “the Thomas Street area is such a creative hub – it’s one of the last bastions of old Dublin.”

Dalton tells me that his family are from the Liberties “the people are brilliant. It’s a beautiful area, it’s a nice throwback being there so often”.  

Their first single Love Is Not An Option debuted in November last year. It was recorded in Dublin’s Darklands studio and received a strong response once it hit the airwaves.

It now receives regular plays from Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6 and from Dan Hegarty on RTÉ 2fm.

“It was great, the one thing I always wanted with the band was to make a mark in the UK. It opened up a lot of doors for us – we’re very grateful.”  

The band are planning to release their new single Parallel Lines this April. The new single will be released on a 12” red vinyl alongside their first single Love Is Not An Option. The release will also feature a very special remix of Love Is Not An Option.  

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