Ruth's Manuvas

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My musical ramblings – gig and album reviews, music news and views

Two Door Cinema Club – interview

My interview with Two Door Cinema Club’s Kevin Baird at the beginning of the year…

Two Door Cinema Club

On the afternoon I caught up with Two Door Cinema Club, the band had already spent their day so far on a whistle-stop promotional tour – a fair indication of the inroads they’ve made into UK music over the last couple of months.

Although the TDCC name has been slowly simmering away in the musical cauldron for a while, their placement on the BBC Sound of 2010 longlist looks like being the ‘abracadabra’ to finally cast the spell for these Northern Irish lads. And with debut album, Tourist History, released on March 1, the timing has been magical.

The band, who met at high school in Bangor, Northern Ireland, are Alex Trimble – lead vocals, guitar, synths and beats, Kevin Baird – vocals and bass and Sam Halliday – guitar and vocals.

Two years on from when they first established themselves as TDCC, they now stand on the edge of their first album release. Only these boys have killer tunes, lauded live performances, plus a record deal with trendy French label, Kitsune to catch them.

Column inches have compared the band to Death Cab For Cutie and early Bloc Party. Acknowledging these influences, Kevin describes the band’s sound as a mix of electro, pop, indie, rock and a lot more to boot; “we like to think we’ve got a really fresh sound about us, something a bit different,” he adds contemplatively. He’s not wrong, because TDCC have the same musical effect as a sunrise peeking in through a chink in the curtains.

Tourist History itself is a 10-tracked 35-minute affair full of genuinely positive mental attitude-inducing electro indie pop. Kevin explains, “Sonically, the sounds on the album are different from the singles, but it’s really accessible and easily to listen to as a whole.”

The album name sprung out of TDCC’s experiences of new places on tour, as well as their memories of growing up in Bangor –Northern Ireland’s equivalent of Blackpool in its 1950s heyday. “We grew up really on the ashes of its tourism, so it’s fitting to have a title in relation to where we come from. It’s about having to choose to leave a town to make a record, which was a difficult decision to come to.”

Labels don’t get much cooler than the cutting edge, independent French Kitsuné name they are signed to. Has it given them a leg up? Kevin agrees this is quite likely and adds, “It’s been really important, because we knew we wanted an indie label. If we’d been pushed in the wrong direction we know we’d only have a short shelf life. It just means we’re bigger fish in a smaller pond.”

TDCC were originally signed after performing at a Kitsuné gig party for La Roux in Paris. They also sit on the label alongside fellow breakthrough act for 2010, Delphic, who were named third in the BBC Sound of 2010 list and whose debut album has notched up some serious critical acclaim already this year. These coincidences could easily prompt a degree of rivalry between the two, But Kevin assures they are good friends who just see it as a chance to exchange banter.

On the subject of the BBC Sound of 2010 longlist, the band cannot help but hope for the same catapult to success that it has offered others in the past. Kevin adds, “When we first heard it took a while to sink in. We were sitting in an airport in Tokyo and I was trying to get rid of my yen in an internet café. It was totally unexpected.

“The difference between us and Delphic and the other bands on the list is that we have been touring for two years, so to finally have that recognition felt really nice.”

Looking ahead, the band is looking forward to taking on some bigger venues across the UK and Europe when they headline their own tour in spring. It’s clear they’ve already got their 2010 carefully planned out, packed full of festivals and live dates, as well as a tour of America with a handful of dates alongside Phoenix.

As for a master plan, for now it seems, TDCC will be happy if they are able to continue making new music and playing gigs. With a diary this packed you wonder if they have time to dream and plot ambitions and hopes. Kevin muses, “My own personal dream is to play on the beach in Rio de Janeiro in my shorts with the carnival in the background.”

One, two, maybe even three components of his vision could be easy enough to manufacture. As for the Rio de Janeiro part, if you close your eyes, the sound of Tourist History might just take you there anyway.

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2 Responses

  1. Nice interview – I’m kind of on the fence when it comes to TDCC: sometimes I think they’re great and just what the doctor ordered, other times I think they’re too “nice”.

    P.S. Thanks for the lovely comment, and no I haven’t seen Caribou live but it’s on my to do list (which is very long and due to my rubbish location is pretty much unachievable unless I have a massive loan lol)
    Bye 🙂

  2. ruthsmanuvas says:

    I know what you mean about TDCC – I wouldn’t say it’s one of my albums of the year but I think they’re good at the poppy indie thing they do.

    Tell me about location – I’m in Leicester and basically, until they announced they were opening an O2 Academy here, I always had to travel to Birmingham or Nottingham for gigs. Expensive and tiring on a week night!

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