Two Door Cinema Club
Frontman Alex Trimble discusses free fashion and the indie-pop outfit's exponential trajectory with CultureNorthernIreland's Eddie Mullan.
Click play on video above to watch 'Undercover Martyn', the new single from Two Door Cinema Club.
The release of Tourist History, the debut album from Bangor's Two Door Cinema Club – sees the youthful lads maturing into the gentlemen darlings of art-pop. Their kaleidoscopic sun-kissed sound is winning over legions of fans – from Tokyo schoolgirls, to Melburnian fashionistas and more surprisingly, 12-time Grammy Award winning rapper Kanye West, who recently bigged-up a music video from the trio on his blog.
The rising stars have come a long way since the fresh-faced 15-year-olds playing together in their first garage band Life Without Rory.
‘Another terrible name’, says Trimble. ‘We just played rock music, covers of bands like Biffy Clyro and stuff like that - we used to go up and play in Belfast every now and again.’
Although the group haven’t had much of a sniff of home since recording started last summer for Tourist History, the group drop into Belfast this month to play the Irish leg of the NME Awards tour and album launch before embarking on a mammoth tour of the UK and Ireland, Europe then North America.
‘We haven’t played [Belfast] for a wee while now, it’s always really good when we get to go back and see friends and family, who all come out to the shows,’ says Trimble. ‘We have to you know, posh it up a wee bit when we go over to France, because they haven’t a clue [what we’re saying]. We try speaking to them in French as much as we can but we’re still, like, really shit at speaking French.’
Nuls points for the language skills then, but the vocalist's melodic lilting on tunes like ‘I Can Talk’ and ‘What You Know’, could be mistaken for lost Postal Service vocals from the sophomore record that never was. It’s this killer combination with jerky guitar pop accompaniment that's making frequent trips back to Bangor's marina seem less likely.
Looking ahead to the stretch of more than 50 gigs booked to play, Trimble says the band just needs to take it easy on the road if they’re to last the distance, ‘I think it’s just a case of staying as healthy as possible – getting lots of sleep, eating good food. We’ve done shorter legs before and we haven’t had to worry about that as much, we [were able to] party a lot more, but I think we need to reel it in a wee bit’.
According to Trimble, the latest music video 'Undercover Martyn' was painstakingly made, 'That was a really, really painful video to shoot. We spent the entire day with people carrying us, which doesn't sound too bad - but when you've got like, people's elbows and shoulders digging into your back it's pretty painful. Pretty pleased with the way its turned out though.'
With Two Door sporting Kitsuné's à la mode designs, (witness the clothing overload in the video for 'I Can Talk'), Trimble says he still enjoys the fashion side of working with the Parisian powerhouse, ‘It’s quite nice, every now and again we do fashion shoots and stuff like that, but it’s not too full-on, we do get some nice clothes sometimes, so I can bear with it.’
Although leaving production duties on the debut record to Elliot James (Bloc Party) and Phillipe Zdar (Phoenix, Cassisus), Trimble is behind the creation of a few Two Door remixes making the rounds of mp3 blogs, including a version of label-mates Phoenix's ‘Lasso’ and 'The Angler' by Belfast's Panama Kings.
‘It’s my way of being involved in the production side of things. We used to produce all our own material, so I would have been really heavily involved in that. But you know, we started working in other studios with other producers. We're still involved, but it’s a bit more hands-off, so it’s nice to get the opportunity to work on other people’s tracks.’
Fans of Two Door coming out to see the live show over the coming months will see a notable difference on stage, with the group replacing their beatmaking macbook with session drummer Ben Thompson, brought on the road to beef up the live sound.
‘It’s a lot better, it adds this whole new energy to what we do live. Although what we had going before was quite good, you can’t deny that it was missing something… it is this extra thing, extra energy, this extra presence.’
Two Door Cinema Club's debut album Tourist History, is out on Kitsuné March 1, preceded by the single ‘Undercover Martyn’ on February 22.
Check them out live alongside The Maccabees and Panama Kings at the NME Awards show on February 22 at the Spring & Airbrake, Belfast at 6pm. The official album launch is at the Stiff Kitten, Belfast on March 5.