Musician Gavin Friday dissects the legendary relationship between the Irish, alcohol, and creativity.
Question: What is alcohol's role in creativity?
Gavin Friday: Alcohol. I mean, I like a fine wine. Who can beat that? I'm not drinking this week because it messes with my throat. But I can drink for Ireland if I wanted to. I don't think it helps writing; I think it's a hinderance. It helps numb you. If you've been working your ass -- like I tell you, I will be having a few drinks next Sunday after that show is over. So it helps bring you down and chill you out and have a laugh. You've got to use alcohol and not let it use you. I come from a country that's been doomed by alcohol. The Irish could drink; they could drink Europe. And they'd have a good go at America, too. I mean, you guys -- your alcohol is like not good, it's weak.
So I don't even think any stimulants really help writing. You talk to most guys and they say, "Hey. I wrote this." And they're out of their head or they had a few beers or a bottle of whiskey. You wake up the next morning, it's usually pretty crap. But you know Dylan Thomas wrote some great poetry. Brendan Behan. You never know but ultimately I'd say you have to get up early in the morning and you're usually sober when you write your good stuff; it's hard work. So alcohol, keep it for chilling out, fun, and having a good time. Not for work.
Question: Had Ireland's alcohol problem lessened with the Celtic Tiger economy?
Gavin Friday: Nt. We've got wars. Imagine having more money, you could buy more beer. Have you been to Dublin in its heyday like in the boom heyday at like 4:00 in the morning on a Sunday or Saturday? It's like beyond New Orleans. It's like St. Patrick's Day every day. It's not good. I don't even like pubs anymore. I like going for a meal and having a bottle of wine. Be more gentle. You can't go to a pub when you get old; well you can, I suppose, but you know what I mean?
Recorded on: October 1, 2009