Interview: Behind the scenes of Trinitones’ Ignition

Trinitone Neil Dunne sits down with Trinity Life to discuss the making of their latest music video cover of R Kelly’s Ignition

Trinity News sat down with Trinitones’ Neil Dunne to discuss the release of their most recent cover, R Kelly’s “Ignition”. On the second wind following their rendition of “Teenage Dirtbag”, the group decided to build upon their success by releasing a new video annually, having covered “After the Storm” and “Stacy’s Mom” to date.

The video, shot by Christian Tierney – a 19-year-old music videographer who launched his career on the back of intimate cinematic live sessions, shot with the likes of James Bay and Macklemore – took inspiration from the original music video.

The party scene imagery Dunne notes, is an attempt at bringing the group away from the stereotypical notions of a cappella groups – formal and austere: “With Trinitones as a group it’s very easy to fall into that bracket of a cappella… we’ve done a very good job since we’ve started at keeping ourselves separate”. The Trinitones it seems, would take fur coats and chains over black tuxedos and ties any day: “We prefer not to take ourselves too seriously so we just thought it was a nice way to have a bit of craic”.

DU Players provided the glamour for the shoot, with Dunne remarking on the “phenomenal” amount of costumes and props hidden in the Players theatre basement. It’s clear that the Trinitones are not unfamiliar with the party scene, having played at Electric Picnic’s Salty Dog Stage and Trailer Park: “It’s something completely different to what we do during the rest of the year[…]performing in the Chapel.” The group will get another break away from their more choral venue on November 25, performing at the Bello Bar with an Australian group.

While filming with the ‘Inside Trinity’ documentary, Dunne notes that the group had feared their image would be misinterpreted: “We have an inside joke that we’re the ‘bad boys’ of a capella… we hadn’t seen any of the footage that was coming out [and] were worried that our reputation was going to be completely slammed before the video was released.” The group, however, were delighted with the outcome following their participation in the documentary.

With the release of the video and the documentary, Dunne hopes the exposure will grant them further opportunities to play on national festival stages and with the possibility of performing internationally, stating that Edinburgh Fringe Festival often feature a cappella groups. For Dunne these opportunities are the highlight of being part of Trinitones, recounting the antics the group got up to during their time abroad in Budapest, including a bizarre encounter with a deep-house-obsessed taxi driver, while catching their flight home to Ireland (cans in hand as they made the journey): “The best thing about Trinitones is that we get opportunities to perform in different place and travel.”

The video also has a sentimental dimension for those members graduating from College this year: “This video is the previous year’s goodbye to the group; it’s the last thing we’ve done together [so] it’s something they can hold on to and have.” Trinitones’ former directors from last year, Robert and Dara, are the soloists of the piece. Dunne remarks reflect the tight-knit makeup of the group, making it clear that those involved are passionate about what they do: “The musical connections we’ve made within the group will last lifetimes.”

Interview conducted by Úna Harty

Niamh Moriarty

Niamh is a Senior Freshman Political Science, Philosophy and Economics student. She is current digital editor for Trinity News.