Alex Trimble and Sam Halliday of Two Door Cinema Club chat to Aoife Valentine about touring the world, record deals and being virtually homeless
You’d be forgiven for assuming Two Door Cinema Club are just one of the many vapid indie-pop bands that have flooded the music scene of late. The Bangor-born guitarist-trio’s catchy debut album identifies easily as indie-pop. It’s simple and inoffensive, and it’s easy to see why they could be dismissed as generic on paper.
However, the trio have far more to offer than just catchy beats. Their polished sound left them with a debut record that doesn’t expose their relative lack of recording experience at all.
The band is comprised of Alex Trimble (vocals/guitar), Sam Halliday (guitar) and Kevin Baird (bass) who met at school and formed in 2007. However their debut album, Tourist History, was only released earlier this year. What happened in between?
“We spent a few months writing, and then a few gigs in the summer, and then obviously we had to go to school that next year, so we just kind of just did shows in Belfast whenever we could,” says Sam. “Whenever we’d left school, we pretty much kept calling people and sending emails and we had a booking agent by the end of the summer and had our first tour of the UK the following September.”
He continued: “We built up a team around us. We started working with management and then we signed the record deal and we’ve just been touring all this time. Then went in and made the record and then did more touring and then released the record and did more touring.”
It’s been a hectic year so far; they must be kept busy? “We’ve been the whole way around the world a couple of times. We’ve just met so many people and experienced so many things that you almost never would if you weren’t in our position. It’s just been so great.”
Touring is clearly a high priority for the trio, but they expressed shocking happiness regarding the constant travelling touring involves: “It’s not as bad, really, as a lot of people do make it out to be. I don’t like flying a lot, but we don’t need to fly a lot really. We can drive to Europe, and then if we go to Asia or Australia, we fly, or America, we fly. But you know, it’s one or two flights.”
o-two wondered how often they even got to go home during all of that travelling. “I don’t have a home at the minute. We all shared a flat in London for a year and gave that up a few weeks ago because we were never there. The only time off we got was Christmas until March. No point in having a home.”
In an unusual move, the band signed a record deal with small, independent French label Kitsuné Records. “It’s just the right one for us. We knew we didn’t want to be with a major record label, we wanted to maintain control. First of all, with Kitsuné we own all of our music, we have a 100 per cent say in everything we do. We can do whatever we want but still we’re really, really close with them all and it’s still very collaborative. We respect each other’s opinions and artistically, I think we’re very similar.”
And do they feel pigeonholed into the indie genre? “Not necessarily. A lot of journalists and reviewers like to have these little boxes to put people in and I think that’s the one that we probably fall most easily into. It’s very strange. It seems to be in the UK, people kinda say that you’re indie and then when we go to Europe we get thrown on festival bills with dance acts and when we go to America, people call us a rock band.”
Despite this confusion, Two Door Cinema Club received major recognition from the BBC when they were long-listed on the Sounds of 2010 list. “We were in Japan, in the airport, when we read that.” Sam continues: “No one even told us, it was posted online. We were browsing the Internet, just using up the last of our Yen before we flew home, and Kev just found it online.”
Following the immensely successful release of Tourist History, the band seem to have no intention of slowing down anytime soon. “Another six months of touring around the world. We’re going to a bit further afield though. After Christmas we’re going to North America, South East Asia.
“I mean we’ve been around the UK two or three times now recording this album, but we haven’t really been to South East Asia at all.” Sam adds: “After that we’re back to making the next record, and spending a few months doing that, and then doing it all over again.”
With little set to stop them, exciting plans for the future and a certain endearing uniqueness, Two Door Cinema Club are anything but bland and generic and only look set to get bigger.
Catch Two Door Cinema Club when they play Tripod on December 8th.