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Gary Lightbody

When it came time to put together the Christmas issue of PLAY Magazine, there was only one band to call upon – they of the wintry name, Snow Patrol, and their frontman Gary Lightbody!


The singer/songwriter discussed their new album, Reworked, the impact of Grey’s Anatomy on their careers, and the slice of sitcom perfection that is Derry Girls…


Reworked is a collection of new versions of tracks from throughout your career. Was it a nostalgia trip to make?


You know, we approached everything so differently from normal that it all felt new. We never went into the studio, for a start; it was all recorded in hotel rooms and dressing rooms during our last tour. Plus, we were doing everything differently from the originals. So it never felt like a trip down memory lane or anything; we were just starting from scratch and letting the songs take us where they wanted to.



How did you decide which songs would make the cut?


“We wanted to do songs that people knew well. The biggest hits are the ones that are going to have the biggest impact; to take something that people know – or think they know! – and make it something different. That’s what gets a reaction. And usually, that reaction is positive – although I can understand how some people think, ‘How dare you take a song that I love and change it!


You played gigs to mark the release in Ireland and the UK – but it’s streaming across the planet. A little different to the old days?!


There was a time when the release would be carefully planned. You could have a strategy of where you’d need to be at different times. Streaming has changed that, though; you can’t be in 20 or 30 different places at once! But anyway, we’ve already been around the world twice with our last album, Wildness; we weren’t going to be heading out again!


Your music is synonymous with Grey’s Anatomy. How has that show had an impact on your career?


Our songs have been in loads of TV shows and loads of movies – and we’ve been in Grey’s Anatomy quite a few times, too – but none more impactful than that one particular play [at the end of Season 2 – Grey’s fans, you know the one!]. In America, ‘Chasing Cars’ wasn’t even in the top 100 on iTunes at that stage; we woke up the following morning and it was No.1. That’s the type of impact it had!”



We know you’re a big Derry Girls fan – fancy landing a spin there, too?


If we’re ever asked, it’ll be a massive yes! [Bandmate] Johnny McDaid is born and bred in Derry, as are my parents. I spent a lot of time up there when I was a kid around the exact time that it’s set – visiting my gran for Christmas and summer holidays – so it’s all stuff I feel very familiar with. It’s great to hear the Derry accent on the telly – and in such fine form too, because it’s just so funny. It’s my entire family’s sense of humour, too; it’s just a fantastic show.”


Loved this? Then you’ll want to check out the rest of PLAY Magazine, including interviews with Matt Damon, John Connors and Daithi de Nogla! So, what are you waiting for? Dive in now