Rulers Of The Planet - a Cork gem!

Between 2003 and 2007 Rulers Of The Planet ruled the Cork empire
Rulers Of The Planet - a Cork gem!
A CORK GEM! Rulers of the Plant.

Over the decades Cork has continually had a plethora of bands, labels, venues and promoters. There were even times the Cork music scene seemed ready to explode. The rebel county has consistently produced not just great acts but acts that had in their possession, a swagger, an edge and an ability to write and create music that would lead you to believe there’s some special ingredient in the water of the people’s republic. Echo 'Downtown' correspondents Eddie Kiely (FIFA Records) and Eddie Butt (bass player with Emperor of Ice Cream) take a closer look at some of the Leeside acts, both past and present, that have helped to illuminate the Cork music scene. Here we focus on Rulers Of The Planet.

Rulers of the Plant playing live at the Cork Opera House.  
Rulers of the Plant playing live at the Cork Opera House.  

Rulers of the Planet were a Cork punk-rock band circa 2003-2007, with the original line up consisting of Barry McAuliffe (Vocals), Mick Hayes (Guitar) and Niall Lynch (Drums) both previously of The Shanks, Ed Harrington (Bass) and David Senior (Guitar), the band were later joined by Ian O Connell (Guitar) and Kieran O’Neil (Drums).

In the bands short existence, they were signed to Sofa Records (Ireland), and to German independent label ZYX. Toured extensively, with their live shows lifting the roofs off venues from London to Prague and that saw them play festivals, large indoor venues and rock clubs across Europe.

The band were very much influenced by Wire, The Clash, and Weezer to name but a few, and with their debut EP 'No-One Understands ‘The Devil's Music Better Than The Rulers Of The they showcased the bands ability to write in your face melodic dance floor stompers. January 2004 saw the release of their second EP with no less of a mouthful as a title, ‘We Are The Late-Night Terror Death Squad'. 

The EP featured 'Backbencher' as its standout track. However, it was the band's next release that truly heralded the band's arrival. In May 2005, Rulers Of The Planet unleashed their debut album, 'In 30 Minutes We Destroy The Earth'. The record was very positively received and gained national attention, named Album Of The Week in the Irish Independent and Hot Press giving the album a 9/10. The following year saw the unveiling of 'The Voodoo' EP featuring 'Jesus Freak' and 'Phone No' from the band's debut album as well as 'Voodoo' and 'Hold On' which would later feature on their next full length offering. A busy year continued with further touring and the Rulers contributing the excellent 'Traveller' to the now iconic 'Magic Nights At The Lobby Bar' compilation.

Rulers of the Plant official band photograph.  Picture: Fergus McCarthy
Rulers of the Plant official band photograph.  Picture: Fergus McCarthy

The Irish music press may have been the first to herald the Rulers as a vital new addition to the European music scene and that along with brilliant management form Michael Carr, interest from abroad was not long in coming. The Cork outfit signed a worldwide publishing deal with Jewel DC/Sony ATV, allowing them the opportunity to return to the studio and write the follow up to 30 Minutes. 

They also signed a deal with German punk rock label, Goldencore, which saw them introduced to a whole new audience on the continent and promises of financial support for touring and recording. Touring, being a key ingredient to the bands potential success as the dual guitars of Mick Hayes and Ian O’Connell provided the perfect punk platform for Rulers’ frontman Barry McAuliffe to bring audiences to the brink, before luring them back into the Rulers’ inimitable senses of humour and irony and always sending revellers home beaming with a true sense of satisfaction.

Rulers of the Plant singer Barry McAuliffe interacting with the audience at The Bowery in 2011.  
Rulers of the Plant singer Barry McAuliffe interacting with the audience at The Bowery in 2011.  

Things were really looking up for the Rulers, their sophomore release was hotly anticipated, and plans were afoot for another European tour and the group’s first tour of the USA where they were generating label interest. Unfortunately, the aforementioned financial support from the label didn’t materialise and after many empty promises the Rulers parted ways with their label. 

Leaving the band members and management that had worked so tirelessly and had achieved so much in the previous few years deflated. Years of touring and holding down jobs had taken its toll. The days of finishing work at 4pm and jumping on a flight to play a show in London the same evening were no longer sustainable for the physically and emotionally burnt out Rulers and they decided to call it a day.

Rulers of the Plant bass player Ed Harrington playing live at the Cork Opera House.  
Rulers of the Plant bass player Ed Harrington playing live at the Cork Opera House.  

The sad end to this story is that the hotly anticipated and as it turned out, exceptional album and the bands final release 'Disco Boogie For Death Rockers' was released in 2007 with little or no push from the bands former label.


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