Steve Wall: “When I was 15, I put my guitar amp in the bedroom window, turned the volume up all the way, and pulled out Led Zeppelin”

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Born in London, Steve Wall first rose to prominence as a singer-songwriter in The Stunning and The Walls. He is also an actor and starred in Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves, the Netflix series The Witcher, and will next be seen in the BBC/Amazon series The English. He lives in Dublin with his partner and their daughter.

What is your first memory?

My brother Joe being born in the house in London. Our grandmother had come from Dublin and was preventing me from entering the room. I was two and a half years old.

When and where have you been happiest?

The day my daughter, Tuccia, was born at Holles Street Hospital 16 years ago.

What keeps you up at night?

I’m an independent musician/actor and this time of year is always a little anxious. It’s the same for everyone in the business. Much less has happened in the past two years.

What is your least and most attractive trait?

Procrastination, and perhaps what attracts me the most is that I treat everyone with the same respect, regardless of their position.

What trait do you most deplore in others?

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Lack of empathy.

What is the first thing you would do if you were Taoiseach?

I would declare the housing and rental crisis a national emergency and introduce drastic measures to address it.

Who would you most like to go for a pint with?

Iggy Pop. He’s rock and roll, but every time I’ve seen him interviewed, he’s very friendly, quite learned and talks well, and he’s not full of himself. Where would I take her? Peggy Kelly in Harold’s Cross. Keep it local.

Which fictional character do you most identify with?

Hamlet. Because of procrastination.

What is your most valuable asset?

A 1968 Vox 10 Twin amplifier my dad bought me at Savins in Limerick in 1981. When I was in my first band I sold it to Dave Rohan, the bass player, and I always said, ” If you ever sell this, give me dibs first. In 2017, The Stunning were recording an album and Dave came to the studio with it in the trunk of his car and said, “I’m returning it to its rightful owner.”

What is your most guilty pleasure?

A bag of crisps and a whiskey chaser.

What is the best advice you have received?

“Do not follow the herd; be your own man. It was from my mother, Tricia Keogh.

When was the last time you cried and why?

Last weekend, because it was the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Michael Fassbender. He’s a terrific actor.

Do you believe in a God or an afterlife?

I wish I could believe in both, for my comfort, but I am too pragmatic.

What is your favorite word ?

Banjaxé.

What’s the last TV show you binge-watched?

Season two of Succession.

What was your closest run-in with the law?

When I was 15, I put my guitar amp in the bedroom window from our house on Main Street in Ennistymon, I turned the volume all the way up and turned on Led Zeppelin full of love in the street. My father was serving a customer in our shoe store downstairs when gardaí arrived.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Go to New York. The first time I went there was probably in my twenties with The Stunning. I think it would have opened up a lot of possibilities for me in the things that interested me like music, theater and drama. In Ireland, there were simply not as many opportunities in these fields. It was more difficult.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

A martial arts warrior so deadly he never really needs to use his powers.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Getting out of the sea at Inishbofin jetty and the weight of the water pulling my pants down. I was climbing the ladder just as the evening ferry arrived, and this big cheer came from the boat as I pulled my pants up over my little white ass.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?

Assistant to the chief lubricator in a German tile factory when I was 19.

Tell us a secret…

The walls are set to release an album of rarities and unreleased material. The last dates back to 2012.

What song would you like to play at your funeral?

Photograph by John Murray.

Steve and Joe Wall will perform at The Button Factory in Dublin at 6.30pm on Friday as part of TradFest Temple Bar, tradfesttemplebar.com

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