new dynamic  | 

Bressie admits he had concerns about being in band with partner Louize Carroll

'I thought being in a band would be testing for us, but it's not really'

Bressie and Louize Carroll (the Blizzards) on second day of Electric Picnic festival. Stradbally, Co. Laois. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Eddie Rowley

IRISH rock star Bressie admits he had concerns about working in the same band as his stunning partner Louize Carroll.

The Blizzards' frontman has been in a long-term relationship with psychologist and musician Louize, who is from Navan, Co. Meath.

Rock chick Louize has brought a new dynamic to The Blizzards, where she is now a fully-fledged member on bass guitar and vocals. The group also features Dec Murphy on drums and guitarist Justin Ryan.

The Blizzards

But Bressie, whose real name is Niall Breslin, admits that at first he had some worries about how the intensity of life in a band might affect the couple in their personal lives.

"I thought being in a band would be testing for us, but it's not really," Niall tells the Sunday World in an exclusive interview.

Bressie from The Blizzards pictured on stage during the Rock Against Homelessness in the Olympia Theatre. Picture Credit:Frank Mc Grath7/4/17

"To be honest, it's been pretty damn easy and I think it has brought the band closer together as well. Dec and Justin just adore her. So it's really good to have that.

"Louize is a special human, a really talented musician, but an incredible therapist and I've seen the work she has done for many years.

"She's one of the founding members of Headstrong, which is now Jigsaw, and she has contributed hugely to this area. She also supported A Lust For Life, which is our charity, and she is on the mental health board of that.

"She is a special person. I think she knows so much about the world of psychology and you can't trick her.

"Louize has two sides to her. She has this side of music that she just gets lost in. She just loves it, she needs it. It's such a huge release because the other side of her is so empathetic. So she's got that good balance where she's able to find that release performing. It's so important. It is to me as well."

Niall and Louise live together in their newly renovated home in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, but he reveals that during lockdown he moved home to Mullingar to support his parents.

The Blizzards

"I've lived with Louize now for a while, but throughout the lockdown I was cocooning with my parents and that was very testing because she couldn't come in," Bressie says.

"My parents are over 70 with underlying health issues, so I said right, I have to make this decision. Louize was amazing about it, having the maturity to understand why I had to do that. So that's the type of stuff you want in a relationship."

Bressie has been through his mental health struggles, but he's in good shape these days. "I'm great," he says. "I went on a very long, laborious, interesting journey of therapy for many years. I feel very lucky that I was in a position to do that and I had brilliant people that helped me. Now for many years I've been in a state of relative stability. But you get your shakes and the shakes are normal.

"You don't wake up every day feeling fantastic. If you did it would be f**king boring. None of us has a right to be happy every day of the week. In fact, an awful lot of our suffering comes from the belief that life should be perfect. It just isn't. If you let go of the need to have everything a certain way all of the time it's funny how more accepting you become of yourself."

Last Saturday night Bressie and The Blizzards launched their superb new album, Sometimes We See More In The Dark, with a raucous show at Dublin's Academy venue.

The compelling mix of sounds and themes on the album includes a standout song called Something Grips You, Something Holds You, which includes an inspirational monologue by writer and poet Michael Harding, who performed it live at the gig.

"I was chatting to him for the podcast and I just thought, 'this is the type of man I would have loved to have talked to when I was 15 years of age.' Everything he says is just like a hug for the mind," Bressie says. The Blizzards took to the stage early at The Academy so fans could catch the end of the Eurovision. "I love the Eurovision as well, to be honest with you," Bressie reveals." I was kind of half watching it before we went on."

Maybe we should put him forward for next year's Eurovision? "Well, I don't love it that much," he laughs. "Something has gone on in Eurovision that Ireland is just not getting the love anymore.

"If Brooke's didn't catch on I don't know what will, because I thought it was a bangin' pop song. Brooke was brilliant and very likeable as well."

Then he adds: "Ireland has the sound of bands like The Gloaming… ethereal Irish rootsy, beautiful music. I think if we did something like that with some stunning vocalist and we went back to that element of that beautiful Clannad vibe it might work."

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