Chatting unreleased tunes, the merits of bourbon and writing songs at the wheel with Duncan Welsh of The Iron Horses

Not too long ago The Iron Horses galloped into our consciousness with their debut EP Stop to Start, a high-pedigree indie rock release which quickly had us yearning for more. Since then it’s been a singles club for the Sydney four-piece, and we reckon their latest Traffic could be the strongest to date.

With the single doing the rounds and a handful of shows on the books, we took five with lead singer and guitarist Duncan Welsh for the latest.

the iron horses interview happy mag

Since their conception during some boozy, late night jam sessions in 2015, The Iron Horses are quickly proving their prowess in the steaming Sydney rock scene.

HAPPY: Hey guys, how are you? What are you up to at the moment?

DUNCAN: Hey! We’re in the middle of our June tour promoting our latest single Traffic, tonight were playing at Selina’s (The Coogee Bay Hotel) so we’re pretty pumped to get on stage.

HAPPY: It’s been going on two weeks since you released that tune. How are you feeling about the reactions so far?

DUNCAN: All the reviews have been absolutely great. We were really pleased with the way it came out so it’s a real buzz to hear about people getting off on it!

HAPPY: What’s the track about? It seems dark but also just too ambiguous for me to tell.

DUNCAN: Yeah, it comes from a dark place but the song is about coming through a tough period. I wrote the song while driving to practice one night. Every time I stopped for the traffic I quickly put down a few more lines, hence the name!

HAPPY: It’s your second single of 2017, have you got a few more in the bank?

DUNCAN: Absolutely, we’ve been working on a track called April Rain in the studio which we’re all loving at the minute. It’s really going off during our live shows, so that’s next up!

HAPPY: Is cheap bourbon still the poison of choice? Is it still an integral player in your jams?

DUNCAN: Haha, yeah now and again we take a trip down memory lane with a few bottles of cheap bourbon at the studio. We’ve found it’s not really conducive with progress though, so we try to make the majority of our practices sober ones.

HAPPY: What is your jam space like? I feel like it would have some character.

DUNCAN: We jam at a Housefox Studios in Brookvale. It really is a top studio. We’ve been there for over two years so we’re super comfortable with the set up and sound. That room is where everything is created for us. Lots of great memories there too from our early days.

HAPPY: How were the first two shows on the tour? Any lessons learned for the gigs you have left?

DUNCAN: The first two shows really went off! The Melbourne show was one of the best we’ve done. The crowd really went for it! Someone got up on the stage to feed our guitarist Ciaran a pint while a mosh pit formed on the dancefloor. Sydney was also pretty loose. People were up on the tables. Exactly how it should be done!

HAPPY: What’s your favourite track, released or unreleased, to play right now?

DUNCAN: We’re really enjoying April Rain. The crowds seem to be really getting behind it which is the best buzz while you’re on stage.

HAPPY: Do you have any sage advice to the punters coming along on the tour?

DUNCAN: Bring your moshing helmet and get involved.

HAPPY: What’s up next for The Iron Horses after the Manly show?

DUNCAN: We’re looking to get straight back into the studio to record. After that, back on the road to do it all over again! Can’t wait.


If you want to catch The Iron Horses live, you’re in luck! See below for their upcoming dates, and head to the band’s Facebook page for finer details. 

Friday 16 June – Coogee Bay Hotel, Sydney
Saturday 17 June – Lass O’Gowrie, Newcastle – Free Entry
Friday 23 June – The Townie, Newtown – Free Entry
Saturday 1st July – The Boatshed, Manly