Society Chair Interview: DUAMS

Another new feature, guys?

Why yes!

Allow me to feign excitement: ‘Hooray.’

Look, friend, I think you’ll find this is rather a nifty idea: We’re asking the Chairpeople of our favourite Trinity Societies about what their society does, and the books they like and stuff.

Oh. I thought you were going to review the chairs and couches available in the various society hangout areas.

I don’t think you could have much of a back and forth with a chair. And it does say ‘interview’ in the title….

Touché, friend. Touché… What’s a “DUAMS?”

“Dublin University Alternative Music Society,” and it’s actually pronounced “Dooms,” as I found out when I interviewed Conor Corbett – Third Year Philosophy and French student, and Chairperson of DUAMS.

Transcribe that mother!

Sure thing!

Hello Conor!

Hello Hugo, thank you for having me.

No problem at all, friend! So, what are you listening to right now?

I should probably warn you, I’m not actually very Alternative.

Oh really?

Really! I am actually listening to Kate Bush at the moment! I would have sacrificed my first-born child to get a ticket to Before The Dawn. I like Kate Bush… Running Up That Hill – such a good song! I’m also listening to First Aid Kit – Swedish sisters, very good harmonies – and Fleetwood Mac! You can’t beat Rhiannon.

I actually only heard The Chain for the first time a month ago.

No way! That entire album is iconic… I feel like I should be talking about The Pixies or The Smiths or something, I hope the society will forgive me!

I’m intrigued, why did you decide to get involved in DUAMS if you don’t see yourself as very ‘Alternative’ in your music taste?

Well Trinity has the Music Society, the Orchestra, Singers, Jazz Soc, and so on – there are a lot of great platforms to get involved in music. But what drew me to DUAMS is that the emphasis is not so much on the playing of music, it’s more an appreciation of the social aspect that accompanies music – gigs, Open-Mic nights, that kind of thing. I moved up here from Limerick, I didn’t know anyone, I saw a poster for a DUAMS Open-Mic night, and I play a bit of guitar so I was determined to go along and play and talk to people. And what struck me was the vibe was not “We are going to play music, and that’s what’s going to happen!” It was more like, “We’re gonna sit around and chat! There’s gonna be a guy playing, and that’s cool, but the main focus is that we’re going to talk about music. We’re going to appreciate music.” The ‘Alternative’ can put people off, and we have referred to as hipster… can I say wankers?

You just did!

Hipster wankers! But it’s definitely not the case. I can understand being put off because you don’t listen to ‘Alternative music,’ but look at me! The society embraces everything. That’s the best way I can describe it. Everybody has a good time through the medium of appreciating music.

You said you play guitar, what kind of stuff do you like to play?

I wrote my own music for a wee while, before I realised I wasn’t very good at it! But I love playing music, just covers and stuff. It’s very trance-like for me. I pick up my guitar, strum a few chords, sing a few notes, and suddenly half an hour’s gone. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time.

This is supposed to be a literary magazine, so I should probably ask you some ‘literary’ questions.

By all means! I just finished reading Gone Girl. It’s wonderfully trashy, like Mr & Mrs Smith or something – I love that film!

Do you often read for pleasure?

Oh yeah. Music and reading. A Secret History by Donna Tartt is one of my favourites. You can really delve into her characters… I’m actually very fond of Dostoevsky – I hope that doesn’t make me sound pretentious! I just love it, there’s so much there. You can read one of his novels and it’ll still be churning around in your head a month after you’ve finished. But Richard Yates is my favourite author, his novels are like a slow insidious disease. You’re reading it and you think you’re all right and by the end you’re just a big mess. You’ve probably heard of Revolutionary Road – they made it into a film with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s quite Fitzgerald-esque in that it’s talking about the deterioration of the American Dream. His short stories are wonderful too. I remember reading A Good School cover-to-cover while in school on a Saturday. Reading A Good School is like being punched in the gut! If a book can make you feel like that, it’s something quite special.

Let’s wrap this baby up: what are your plans for the future of DUAMS?

The society is, of course, trying to expand and do more – in as much as a society with our mission can! We give people who like to appreciate and talk about music the opportunity to find friends: We use music as a tool for connecting people.

“DUAMS: Connecting People.”

I’ll suggest it at the next committee meeting! And, again, I just want to qualify that it is all music, ‘Alternative’ is a catch-all term here… we should probably change our name in fairness! Though, bare in mind that we used to be called the “Dublin University Rock Nostalgia Society,” DURNS. When we went to change it the lady in AIB thought we were a geology society who were nostalgic about rocks from ages gone by. “Do you remember rocks? They were great!” Anyway, this year we are trying to get ourselves out there, and then next year we can start doing more innovative, adventurous stuff once we can say DUAMS and people know what the heck that is! Saying that, we are having a trip to Manchester in Reading Week next term. We’re gonna go to a couple of local gigs; we’ve organised a walking tour with an aged rock star; we might visit the set of Coronation Street; it’s going to be great! We’re also excited to be getting more involved with other societies this year. We were lucky enough to attend High Society last week, and we’re having a Speakeasy with LitSoc at Christmas – as well as plenty of other things in the pipeline. Stay tuned!


If you like the sound of DUAMS – what’s not to like? Music is great! – be sure to like their facebook page and head along to their things.
As always, if you want to get involved in Rant & Rave in whatever capacity, we’d love to read your words.


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