Life changed forever for Mick Pyro when his mum brought him to see a Rory Gallagher concert at the age of 12.
“I literally wasn’t the same after leaving that gig. It just blew my mind. I was in the second row and he was just screaming right at me. The power of his stage presence was unbelievable. I still remember it almost like it was yesterday and after that, the power of performance, I knew how powerful it was and I was intrigued by that.”
Mick spent 10 years as the frontman of Republic of Loose, whose sound he describes as “an Irish take on funk and soul. I always used to like the appellation that Rick James came up with for his music which was punk funk and I think there was an element of that in it.” Throughout this period, Mick struggled with substance abuse and spent time in rehab. He managed 5 years clean and sober but has since started drinking again, something he hopes to give up this summer. Of his time in the band, Mick says he wasn’t able to enjoy it much.
“You’re always stressed about, you have to get to the next level, I know that happens to all bands… We were trying to just get on a level that we could just get some traction outside of Ireland. You kind of constantly stressing about that so you just can’t really enjoy the success… I used to rub people up the wrong way on purpose. That was part of the vibe of the band. That punk element was kind of just to irritate people. My stage presence was kind of confrontational but I found that quite stressful and just the actual gigs themselves because I was trying to give them everything I had, I found them very draining.”
Despite battling his own personal demons and coping with the deaths of his beloved parents in the last few years, Mick is working in the British and Irish Modern Music Institute on Francis Street, playing with new musicians and completing a solo album which will be released in January. He’s looking to the future with a sense of hope and focusing on the things that bring him joy.
“The joy of music is what gets me there. Recently I’m just playing with new musicians, fantastic musicians. I’m getting a lot of nourishment out of that… I get a kick out of books, movies and music… I just want to start working harder… I think that’s what keeps me sane.”
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