Ireland-to-Boston transplant Christian McNeill of Sea Monsters has covered a lot of ground as a musician. He began by working out his angst with the hard-rocking Irish band Schtum in the ’90s and then moved on to fronting the “groovy and introspective” Hybrasil and singing with the acclaimed Orchestra Morphine.
McNeill celebrates the release of his first album with Sea Monsters, “Everything’s Up for Grabs,” with two shows, Friday and Saturday, at Precinct in Somerville, the band’s home for three years in a popular Sunday night residency.
“I just wanted to have fun again,” says McNeill, the 2011 winner of the Boston Music Award for best male vocalist, of the collection of rock and soul gems. The album features contributions from a host of well-respected locals including guitarist Duke Levine, singer Jesse Dee, recent “The Voice” contestant Nicole Nelson, and the horn-playing brothers Scott and John Aruda. “Once I hooked up with the Aruda brothers, my rock thing met their soul thing and that’s how the sound was born. It’s a meeting of two worlds.”
McNeill, who has lived in Boston for 16 years, decided to have a laugh and share five things you should refrain from asking what McNeill deems a “real” Irish person living in Boston. “Because everyone says they’re Irish,” he says with a laugh.
1. Is your accent real or do you put that on to impress girls? “Of course I say it’s real but it doesn’t hurt.”
2. What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day? “I don’t have any, because I’m staying home.”
3. What’s Bono like?
4. Do you know any good Irish pubs?
5. Do you live anywhere near the war in Northern Ireland?