"We had no support, we had no job, we had no money..." That's how Two Door Cinema Club's Alex Trimble describes the risk he, alongside band mates Kevin Baird and Sam Halliday, took when deciding to forgo university studies in favor of taking a crack at music. Such apprehension is understandable of course. But when you're as young as this Northern Irish trio, and can lay claim to the sparkling pop skirmishes that fly about their joyous debut Tourist History, it's a chance that needs to be taken.
Not surprisingly, the band's commitment to what they do is steadily paying off. Since releasing Tourist History, theyve rallied critical support the world over, encountering massive sing-alongs whenever setting up shop in front of fans. That would mean a sold out engagement in New York on the day of this particular session.
Before those crowds would swarm before them, there would be our cameras in this one on one session during our recent run on Rockwood Music Hall last month. Here, Two Door Cinema club exhibit the same knack for chance that propelled them to the stage to begin with, experimenting ever so slightly by trimming the intense rhythms, dashing tempos, and inventive flourishes of "Undercover Martyn", "Cigarettes In The Theatre", and "Something Good Can Work" down into acoustic roots. The result is a set of songs that places emphasis on the melodies, harmonies, and story lines that drive at the heart of what this trio does. Call it another chance that, to no one's surprise, pays off in the form of this candid Guest Apartment style session with Two Door Cinema Club. - David Pitz
Cinema Club and you're watching Baeblemusic. - Okay. we were 14 or 15 years old, and I guess we kind of bonded over the love of the same kind of music. And we all play guitars, so pretty soon after that we formed our first band then playing covers. And we did that for a couple years, and we were with another friend who was drumming at the time. And he left, and after that happened, we still wanted to write music together. So when we were about 17, we formed Two Door Cinema Club. And we've been writing together ever since, and touring, and making albums and doing all that. in your hands] To the basement] in your hands] To the basement] - Undercover Martyn, like I said, was the third song we ever wrote. And... I thought it was kind of a strange one lyrically. It's sort of a made up story about this guy. He's sort of too scared to do something. But he knows he has to go and do it and it will pay off in the end. And I guess that was kind of a metaphor for what we were doing at the time. We were starting out a band, we were coming to the end of school. You know, it was a pretty scary leap to just go off and do the band. Like, we had no support, we had no job, we had no money. But we wanted to do this, and so we just thought it was, kind of, in reference to that. You know, taking a big leap, and hopefully having it pay off in the end. Our record was, sort of, I guess it's about three years in the making. Since we formed the band, we have been writing songs. And we've come up with quite a lot of stuff. But the 10 tracks that made it on the album were ones that we really, really truly loved. And everything was pretty much there already before we went in to do the record because we would record the songs, like, we'd demo them maybe, like, two times, three times before we went in to the studio. Like, every time we wrote a song we'd record it. So we went into the studio with live versions, and demos and just, sort of, put all that together and recorded it and had a lot of fun. - It was the first time we'd ever been in a studio for more than two days at a time. So it's just fun having loads of time to try different songs, and... - But at the same time, like-- - you know, work on drums samples and things. - Yeah, we kept it very simple. But for us it's very important that we had the songs on record rather than just, you know, a lot of experimentation and noises and weird stuff. We wanted the songs to come through especially on our first record. So we kept everything very simple and just did it the way we wanted to do it. It starts in the theater A night of encounters If I hadn't been there, If not for a cigarette And you could see it change Look past the blinding light Look past the blinding light Just keep talking now Tell me your favorite things Tell me your favorite things Difference in opinion was never an issue Collect all your questions 'Cause this time we've all night. And you could see it change Look past the blinding light Look past the blinding light Oh, just keep taking now Tell me your favorite things Tell me your favorite things Whoa... Whoa... And you could see it change Look past the blinding light Look past the blinding light Oh, just keep taking now Tell me your favorite things Tell me your favorite things side of things, we don't-- we'd never had, it's never been part of the band. You know, obviously, we like clothes, and we like to look good, but it's never been, you know, a strand off of the band. You know, it's just been what we wear. So, and... we're definitely not-- I don't think we're a style band and I don't think we're a hipster band either. - Yeah, we tour too much... to be a style band. Just, you know... - Yeah. - I think it's always... - folding shirts... and ironing and all that. - Jazz. - It's too much stuff. Too hard, like being on tour. - I always say it's important. You know, almost every day someone's filming us or taking photos of us. And, like, we're in magazines and all, the internet and stuff. So, like, you wouldn't wanna be on that and looking terrible. So it's, you know, gotta make a bit of an effort. - Never regret it. We've never had a conversation about what we were gonna wear, really, you know. It isn't like a-- - That's why we turn up to shows wearing the same clothes. - Yeah. There's a spanner in the works, you know You gotta step up your game to make it to the top... So go Gotta little competition now. You're gonna find it hard to cope with living on your own now. Oh oh, oh oh Let's make this happen, girl We gotta show the world that something good can work And it can work for you And you know that it will Let's get this started girl We're moving up, we're moving up It's been a lot to change... but you... ... will always get what you want Took a little time to make it little better It's only going out, just one thing and another... you know, you know And it took a little time to make it little better, It's only going out, just one thing and another... you know, you know Let's make this happen, girl We gotta show the world that something good can work And it can work for you And you know that it will Let's get this started girl We're moving up, we're moving up It's been a lot to change... but you... ... will always get what you want Oh... Babam-bam, Babam-bam Babam-bam, Babam-bam Oh... Babam-bam, Babam-bam Oh... Babam-bam Let's make this happen, girl We gotta show the world that something good can work And it can work for you And you know that it will Let's get this started girl We're moving up, we're moving up It's been a lot to change... but you... ... will always get what you want Let's make this happen, girl We gotta show the world that something good can work And it can work for you And you know that it will Let's get this started girl We're moving up, we're moving up It's been a lot to change... but you... ... will always get what you want
Experimenting included using a laptop to generate beats. "It was born of necessity at first because we didn"t know any other drummers," says Alex. "We weren"t sure it would work but we grew to love it."
By this point, the boys" tastes had gravitated toward alt/indie-rock, such as Bloc Party, Architecture In Helsinki, Death Cab For Cutie and Modest Mouse, whose collectively leaner, rhythmic and melodic approach spilled over into their own music. Gigs were quickly secured on the back of two songs posted to MySpace, followed by a deal with French label Kitsun and immediate support from radio of their debut single, "Something Good Can Work." Two Door Cinema Club inked a deal in North and South America with independent label Glassnote Records in November 2009, and will be releasing the album early next year.
Recorded in London at Eastcote Studios and produced by Elliott James (Bloc Party, Noah And The Whale) with a number of tracks mixed by Phillipe Zdar (Phoenix, Justice, Cassius), the album simply multiplies the single"s surfeit of ideas and sounds. The opening track, "Cigarettes In The Theatre," perfectly displays the bands light-footed yet hard-driving energy, highlighted by Alex"s vocal melody, with its almost dreamy brand of urgency. It"s followed by "Come Back Home," a sequel of sorts; introducing a bed of woozy synths that build and act as a launching pad for a digi-funk backdrop that bounces, swings and rocks behind Alex"s confessions of relationships-past. The album, he explains, has two general themes 'love" songs ("but not in a typical sense; I"m adamant about avoiding clichs") and songs that "chart our progression over these past 18 months. Where we"ve come from to where we are now with this album."
Prior to recording their album, the young trio was faced with choosing between the security of university and a potential career, and the uncertainty and thrill of the band. "Undercover Martyn," "What You Know," "I Can Talk," and "You"re Not Stubborn" address that issue, and are loosely linked by the theme of arguments and justifying what you believe in. "Something Good Can Work" is a song-title that explains and justifies the band"s success, while Alex says "Do You Want It All?" is"a song of hope, to keep us going, with the thought that if we try hard enough, we"re gonna do well."