Arts Q&A: Co Down rock chic Mollie McGinn on Dolly Parton, ABBA and Suzi Quatro

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Mollie McGinn from Co Down rock trio Dea Matrona

Warrenpoint musician Mollie McGinn, one third of the female rock group Dea Matrona

Dea Matrona members Orlaith Forsythe and sisters Mollie and Mamie McGinn


When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?

I used to play piano in jazz bands and sing Irish songs in pubs at the weekends. Then in lower sixth when me and Orlaith started busking together and I started teaching piano, I saw some money for the first time and thought that this could be a career.


Best gigs you’ve been to?

I went to see Dolly Parton in Belfast with my grandparents when I was seven. My dad used to play her a lot in the car so I knew all the songs. Last November I saw Greta Van Fleet in The Olympia, Dublin. They were unbelievable and also really nice guys too because they stayed and talked to all their fans outside after the show. Seeing Fleetwood Mac last summer in The RDS Arena in Dublin was just the best night too, especially because we met Christine, John and Mick before the show.


Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

ABBA would definitely be my go-to birthday party band and everybody would have to dress like the 70s. Somebody make it happen.


The record you’d take to a desert island?

My favourite record changes every day. At the minute, I’m really loving Suzi Quatro’s Greatest Hits.


And the book?

I don’t like reading books twice, so it would have to be something I haven’t read before. Any good recommendations?


Top three films?

Forrest Gump, School of Rock and the first three Star Wars movies.


Worst film you’ve seen?

I can’t pinpoint a worst but the last bad film I went to see in the cinema was Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It just didn’t feel like it had any point to it.


Favourite authors?

I don’t read now as much as I would like to, but when I was a kid I loved JK Rowling for the Harry Potter series.


Sport you most enjoy and top team?

Cycling is my favourite sport and I like watching Ireland in The Olympics and The World Cup.


Ideal holiday destination?

Recently I’ve been wanting to go to Japan, because I think they have a really fascinating culture. I also love Bundoran.


Pet hate?

When you’re driving and someone beeps at you for no reason.


What’s your favourite:

Dinner? Spaghetti with cheese sauce.

Dessert? Warm chocolate fudge cake.

Drink? Vodka.


Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My best friend is my band mate Orlaith. I first got to know Orlaith in the Scór which we were both competing in. We went to the same school and one day when we didn’t really know each other we were put together to sing as a duo for a charity event. From there we totally hit it off and started talking to each other every day about rock bands and VH1 docs and dreaming of doing what we’re doing right now.


Is there a God?

I don’t know, but I do believe in a greater force that connects the universe

For Dea Matrona's spring/summer tour details see @DeaMatronaBand on Twitter and other social media.

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