Two Door Cinema Club were unquestionably the biggest breakout band of 2010. Their debut album ‘Tourist History’ was a massive success, winning the 2010 Choice Music Prize for best Irish album and reaching number one on the Irish Independent Album Chart. They dominated the Irish airwaves with tracks like ‘Undercover Martyn’ and ‘What You Know’ and their Oxegen set was heralded as one of the highlights of the festival (I can attest to this, I was there). They followed that with 2012’s ‘Beacon’ and the EP ‘Changing of the Seasons’. However, for the past three years the band was silent. This year they have made a triumphant return to music with the album ‘Gameshow’.
‘Gameshow’ is quite different from their previous releases. Kevin told me this was organically the record they wanted to make, but it definitely reflects their interests and influences at the time. They aren’t averse to making music that is different from their previous releases, however it isn’t a truly conscious effort. It has been a gradual progression.
Their different locations (London, LA, Portland), didn’t influence the sound of the record, but it massively influenced the way they wrote the album. They wrote a lot of the album via email rather than sitting together in a room. When I asked Kevin if the break from the band (and each other) majorly influenced the album, he told me it was probably the biggest influence on the record. As we discussed their break and the issues they faced beforehand, I got the impression that a major factor in recording the album was to put their demons and talk of struggles to bed.
Kevin pointed out that Alex was particularly adamant that past issues regarding mental health and alcohol abuse would play a major part in recording the album. This understandably led to some trepidations and nerves about writing so openly and honestly about difficulties that they had worked so hard to overcome. There is a concern that they will be defined by their struggles rather than their music. They want to be open and honest, not to fix the world and other people’s’ problems, but for their own peace of mind and progression as a band.
There is a real sense that they do want to show the human side of the industry and of musicians with their work, but that they do not want people to focus entirely on the past. The future is what they are focusing on now, with an upcoming tour in the works. You get the feeling that the band is excited to get back out on the road, and especially to get back to Ireland. For them, they are very conscious about when and how they play in Ireland. They are from here, so for them it feels like home when they come back here, especially Dublin. They love the feeling of familiarity of the city and the crowds. It’s obvious from chatting to Kevin, that they are thrilled with the record and excited to get back into the thick of it. For them, their focus is 100% on their future, and after hearing about their plans, I think we should be too. Their album ‘Gameshow’ is out now.
Aoileann Kennedy | Music Editor