Few bands have emerged onto the Irish scene as seemingly perfectly formed as The Cast Of Cheers, the four piece who gave their debut album Chariot away online to great acclaim before they’d even played their debut gig. Since then though they’ve been making up for lost time, including their upcoming appearance at State’s Love:Live Music Day gig this Friday. We spoke to Conor from the band about their astonishing first few months…
How did the band come together?
Myself, John and Kev had been at a party during the summer of ’09 and had talked about starting a band. Eventually I started writing loop-orientated songs at home and realised this might be perfect for John and Kev to jump on board with.
Did your previous band experiences shape this group?
My most recent band up to that point was ABAM, a very complicated band. When that finished I was tired of the strange timings and song structures. I just wanted stomping four to the floor, simplistic tunes that got people moving (especially myself).
The album came together very quickly, were the songs already in place?
About half the album was written before we started jamming together, the rest came in bits and pieces – sometimes in the practice room, sometimes at home. The guys had so much patience during the practices, often playing the same piece for an hour non stop while I fumbled around on my guitar looking for the perfect bit.
Releasing the record for free and before you’d played a gig was an unusual approach…
The free release was a simple choice – get the music out to as many people as possible. People are not inclined to pay for music they know nothing about. We wanted our first gig to have people at it.
The reaction to the album was pretty quick and very positive. Were you surprised?
Very! I never imagined the album would spread as quickly as it did. The fact that people like it too is utterly mind blowing. It makes playing gigs much more fun, having people at them!
How did the free release idea work for you?
Nobody knew us, I wanted them to. No fumbling around with credit cards online, straight, simple download. I didn’t feel we were in a position to ‘sell’ anything to anyone. We wanted to share.
How was that first gig with SEBP?
Amazing fun! The mere act of SEBP inviting us to play blew our minds. They’re such a friendly bunch too so we felt right at home again being back in front of a crowd. All the bands that played that night were brilliant, what a first gig to play….
What’s the plan for the album now?
Hhhhmmm… It may remain where it is online, it may not. There may or may not be a second album called Rocket lurking around for a summer release…. I am only at liberty to say what our manager tells us to… and I haven’t been talking to him in a few days, so…. hhhhhhmmm..
The State gig is for Love:Live Music Day – what’s been your best ever live music experience?
There have been sooo many! QOTSA on their ‘Songs for the Deaf’ tour in the Ambassador, At the Drive-in in the music centre on the Relationship of Command tour, every Adebisi Shank gig I have ever been to, Death from Above 1979 at Oxygen a few years ago, Smashing Pumpkins last European gig before they split in the Olympia, Madness at Electric Picnic last year, Battles (can’t remember where… I wasn’t of sound mind but I recall it being amazing)… loads more that I’ll remember later and wished that I mentioned….
The Cast Of Cheers play the Mercantile on Dame Street in Dublin on Friday with Super Extra Bonus Party and Take The Money & Run. Entry is free, to RSVP click here.
Portrait: Loreana Rushe