Official biography :
If life’s experiences make us who we are, then MolyBaron are intriguing indeed. Born out of frustration and life’s hard knocks, and not a little astonishing musical ability, this group has produced one of the year’s outstanding rock albums.
Gary Kelly, the band’s lead guitarist and singer, was born on Dublin city’s north side. He attended Mount Temple comprehensive, a highly music-orientated school – which gave birth to U2 – and saw him first pick up a guitar at 13. He formed his first band after hearing Metallica’s seminal 1988 release ‘… And Justice For All’. He was, Kelly says, "mesmerised by Hetfield’s wonderfully complicated, killer riffs and power of composition". It’s still his favourite album to this day.
Kelly spent his youth playing with various bands through the city’s live rock music circuit – from The Baggot Inn, The Gratton to Temple Bar’s all too briefly lived, but brilliant, Rock Garden.
After living in Paris for a number of years, in 2014 he began searching for musicians to join him in creating a new band. He was introduced to lead guitarist Steven Andre through a friend. After hearing what Kelly describes as, "Andre’s fantastic hard rock, bluesy style, clearly influenced by greats like Gary Moore, Slash and Brian May”, he was sold, and immediately asked Steven to join.
Soon after, the duo reached out to powerhouse bassist Sébastien de Saint-Angel, after admiring his work on his successful YouTube channel. Sébastien’s sound perfectly matched Kelly's style of music. Of Saint-Angel, Kelly says, "Metallica's late great Cliff Burton and Maiden’s Steve Harris are Seb’s biggest influences”.
Over the next two years, the search for a singer failed to find the right fit, so Kelly, a first time singer, took on the job. Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say.
MolyBaron’s first album has not come out of the blue. It’s an album that has been crafted note by note over a three year period. After long hours spent in day jobs, during the nights, they set about recording an album with a huge melodic sound that will leave others to analyse, just how a body of work of immense quality and production was achieved from a bedroom studio.
By day, Kelly is a graphic designer. Never straying far from his roots, he’s a music designer, working with global acts like U2, The Script, Leonard Cohen among others, and naturally also designed MolyBaron’s own illustrative album sleeve. The ambiguous monochrome cover features a small planet-like sphere hovering ominously over a near-empty landscape, it’s energy pulling a man, transfixed to a TV, from the comfort of his armchair. Pink Floyd’s sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson at Hypnosis, would surely be proud of it.
Amongst these strange times, his lyrics do not hide from commenting on a world seemingly at odds with itself. ‘Fear Is Better Business Than Love’, sees one of the album’s reoccurring themes of abuse of corporate power and a culture of deception for profit.
This eponymously-named album takes its cue from the intelligent, melodic, powerful sounds that influence this band. From Metallica, Muse, Rage Against The Machine, Zeppelin through to the soundscapes of U2, Radiohead, Max Richter and Hans Zimmer, MolyBaron’s huge sound makes us want to hear more. A lot more.
Art Director, U2.