With their second album Beacon released last week, Two Door Cinema Club are back on a promotion circuit they probably thought they had never left since the release of Tourist History. Nevertheless Alex Trimble, Sam Halliday and Kevin Baird are in good form when State meets them to discuss – amongst other things – leaks, gigs in space and how the new record differs from their debut.
Kevin: On the first album we went into the recording studio with one guitar each and a couple of pedals and that was it. This time around after collecting a little bit of money we were able to experiment with some new pieces of equipment. That was something we felt we hadn’t experimented enough on. So this time around we wanted to work on not the structure of the sound but rhythm and maybe even slow it down a little bit and try to make people dance to it a different way. I think Jacknife really helped in the sonic variation of this record.
Trimble recently made an impassioned plea to fans via Tumblr regarding the leak of Beacon, saying in part:
I’m aware that Beacon has leaked. In this day and age it was inevitable but I’d just like to urge you all to do the right thing. It’s out there and it’s up to you to make the decision. One decision supports the music you love; gives it strength, longevity and respect. The other, slowly but surely, will destroy the music you love.
Today, he declines to comment any further but addresses the topic by saying “yeah, it’s been covered. We’ll leave it. It’s in the past.”
We feel you handled it with class though. You didn’t sound too pissed off but still let people know the effect that this would have on your music.
Alex: That’s me, I’m a classy fella! ( laughs)
With tracks being features on various major ad campaigns, how do you feel about the concept of selling out?
Alex: There’s only a stigma if you don’t understand what things are like today. Being an independent artist, there’s no such thing as selling out anymore, it doesn’t exist. 10 or 20 years ago if your band had put their music on an advert they’d sold out. But to me selling out is doing something for the wrong reasons, not doing what everyone else perceives as selling out. We put our music on adverts because it is a great way to introduce our music to people and we spent every penny we can on live shows so they can be as good as they can be. We don’t make money from records. There’s not a lot of money going around letting us do what we want to do so it’s a source of income. It’s going to take awhile for people to come around to that idea and understand that this is how music works today. But I’ve no reservations, were not going to do fucking tampon adverts but if it’s a product that we like, why not go and use our song.
Sam: It also influences whether or not you get played on radio now. We have been picked up by radio stations because they have just heard the track on a TV advert.
Kevin: You see these little shits on twitter that would download your music illegally and then give you abuse for putting your song along side something else. You can’t have it both ways.
How was your experience performing at the Olympics opening ceremony Alex?
Alex: I had to keep reminding myself to take it all in. It’s not something that I could really process. It’s not something that I could really come to terms with at the time. I remember as I was standing there going you need to remember this, you need to take it in but I couldn’t. Something was stopping me. I was totally overwhelmed.
What was the reaction of the other band members?
Alex: It was something that I made clear from the off when Danny (Boyle) made me the offer and we did a run through of the song. They said you can’t tell anyone but I said I need to tell the other guys. It was the first thing that I had done outside of the Two Door Cinema Club at any sort of public level so it was important that I wasn’t fucking them over in any way.
So there was no internal band tension going on?
Kevin: (Joking) Alex, are you going out tonight.. no, I’m busy with the Olympics.
Alex: We spent all of Friday together at the stadium and they were out there watching it. It definitely acted as a spring board. People that would have never heard my voice before have discovered Two Door. After hearing that voice if they like it they’ll go and buy a Two Door record so its really been great in that way.
With so much accomplished already, what’s left on the bucket list in terms of collaborations or venues you’d like to play?
Alex: I’d really like to play on the moon. I have been pestering our managers to try and see if it can work and they’re going you’re totally insane. But that’s like my ultimate goal.
Alex: I’d really like to play in space. I worked out there’s a company that sends rockets into space. I’ve worked out what equipment we’re going to need, I’ve worked out everything so if we can get the budget and support together I hope that someday we can play in space.
Sam: As a fan of music there’s always stuff whether it be getting a track produced by someone like Daft Punk, or playing places like Slane Castle or Madison Square Garden.
Kevin: We have kind of started to headline smaller festival in Europe. A massive thing for us would be to come full circle and be headlining things like Glastonbury and Oxegen. We have so many goals and they don’t end at playing Slane Castle.
Your vocal style is very rhythmical, is hip hop an influence on Two Door’s music?
Alex: The whole black music culture, back from Motown… right up to Jay Z and Kanye has been something that I have always loved but more so got into recently, mostly through Sam, he kind of got me interested in it again. But it’s the rhythm, the grooves the way that they use samples and even the way the modern pop artists are sampling older stuff, the way that they are bringing loads of different kinds of music together. I can’t name anywhere where it had a direct influence but it’s in there. (Laughs) I think it would be a few years before I get the confidence to rap.
So if you look back at your musical journey so far, is it everything that you expected?
Alex: In 2009 when we making the first record, I remember sitting in the studio and I had this thought all the time, I’ve no idea what this is going to do, I have no idea if anyone is going to buy this record, I have no idea if we’re ever going get to do tours that I want to do. I was wondering if anyone was going to buy it, never mind us getting on TV or winning awards or anything so it’s a surprise.
Kevin: When we started out it was purely a case of lets write some songs so we can play a gig in Belfast, that was pretty much it.
Beacon is out now on Kitsune. Two Door Cinema Club play the O2 in Dublin on January 19th.