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WITF Music: The Kilmaine Saints

More than just drinking and fighting. But also those things too.

  • Joe Ulrich
The Kilmaine Saints perform on WITF Music on Jan. 24, 2024. Jeremy Long - WITF

The Kilmaine Saints perform on WITF Music on Jan. 24, 2024. Jeremy Long - WITF

Celtic rock band The Kilmaine Saints formed in 2009. Since then, they’ve played across the country and recorded critically acclaimed albums. The 7-piece band puts on an energetic live show fueled by good cheer and perhaps some adult beverages. With some members wearing kilts, they packed into our studio recently to play some songs from their latest album and chat. The Kilmaine Saints are: Brendan Power (vocals), Jon Heller (bass, bagpipes, accordion), Bill Brown (bagpipes, bouzouki, whistle), Rich Lipski (banjo, mandolin, acoustic, bass), Garet Howard (drums), Erich Arndt (guitar) and Gary Eurice (fiddle).

Listen to the radio feature:


Joe Ulrich: Would you say there’s an overarching theme in the lyrical content, the themes of the music? 

Gary Eurice: There’s definitely some themes that show up more than others. [laughter] There’s quite a few references to drinking, quite a few references to fighting. You can find both of those on our newest album.

But we try to explore some other inspirations as well. We have a few songs on this album that come from a more emotional place.

Joe Ulrich: I was listening to the songs earlier, and particularly with “Same Again Tomorrow”, there seems to be this kind of overarching appreciation for familiarity. 

Gary Eurice: That’s what the song is based on. Just as an example, you have a local pub that you go to and you end up there all the time with your friends. When you stop and take a look around, you think, Wow, this place really sucks. The clientele are irritating, the staff are not the nicest people. But then when you think about it, do you come here every day because it’s easy? Because it’s cheap? Because it’s close by?

Or is it because there’s something about it that you admire? Any one of your friend group could easily pipe up and say, maybe we should go to this other place. But nobody does. There’s something about it that’s keeping you there, but you’re not necessarily sure what it is.

Joe Ulrich: What are some of the most interesting things that have happened at your shows? 

Brendan Power: We made a sound guy cry, punch himself, and hit his head on a brick wall. And then he just left. 

Bill Brown: Yeah, he left while we were playing. It was uncontrollable feedback. You couldn’t turn any of your instruments on because it was just a massive wall of feedback. And he just throws his hands up, he doesn’t know what to do. 

Erich Arndt: One time we went into a place and they didn’t have any cables. We had to go to the music store to buy cables. 

Joe Ulrich: What do you try and bring to an audience? What are you trying to have them walk away with?

Bill Brown: We want them to walk away having bought merch from the merch table and leaving. [laughter] And paying their tabs. 

Gary Eurice: Ultimately, we just want them to feel like they had fun. We view our live shows as like a party. 

Brendan Power: Make them want to come back. That’s the main thing: the next time you’re playing in that area, they definitely want to come out. What we have always had people tell us is you guys have fun on stage. And that’s probably the best compliment you can get.

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