First published on 2 Jan 2013. Updated on 2 Jan 2013.
Two Door Cinema Club have been filling our ears with their uplifting indie-pop madness since early 2010 with the aid of super-cool French record label Kitsune. The trio of Northern Irish lads have delivered two solid records and released a new documentary – a four-part film which captures a slice of their hectic lives and intimately reveals the boys’ individual passions from photography to butterfly-stroke swimming in the run-up to the release of their sophomore album Beacon.
It’s certainly been a crazy few years for TDCC, with awards and accolades following their debut album Tourist History, 300 days of touring in a single year, lead singer Alex Trimble playing the Olympic opening ceremony this past July and now a massive world tour that brings them to Singapore once again. We caught Trimble for a quick chat in the midst of his busy touring schedule.
Your latest record Beacon is complemented by the release of the documentary What We See. How did that come about?
It was all our idea – sort of. Gregg [Houston], who made the film, has been a friend of ours for years and years. We just love his work – he has made so many film clips and things that we just love. We had reached sort of the cusp of that next level, just about to move up, playing bigger venues and bigger festivals and things were getting kind of crazy, so we wanted to capture that on film. Not only for our sake and our memory but to really show people what goes on.
In the film you speak about how when sometimes things go wrong they can actually be the most memorable and best moments. Anything specifically?
Actually, just after our last Australia tour, we did [a radio segment for] Like a Version on [Australian radio station] Triple J, where we covered Simon and Garfunkel. Then we went straight to the States and we were playing in Minneapolis and Ben [Thompson] our live drummer kicked through his bass drum – and we didn’t have another drum kit. So I ran into the dressing room and grabbed an acoustic guitar and everyone had a sing-a-long to Simon and Garfunkel. And it was totally unscheduled, totally unplanned, but it was kind of amazing, just to have that spark.
You also said in the film that after the first few years you felt like you’d been everywhere, but you hadn’t really seen anything. How do you now approach touring and travelling differently now, so that you can see that little bit more?
I guess things have become a little easier now that we have moved to that next level. At the start, things were so busy – we were trying to promote a record and trying to tour the world on ambition alone. We didn’t have a lot of money so we were doing everything on a shoestring. We’d be hauled up in a van together and everyone would be chipping in on the driving, drives would be so long, and we’d be so tired. Then we’d wake up wherever we needed to be, do the sound check, play the show, maybe have dinner if we were lucky, and then you’d have to drive to find somewhere to sleep that night, then the next day get up and do the exact same thing all over again. This time we’re lucky enough to be flying places and we have our own tour bus and it’s incredible the difference that makes. It can be something as simple as getting a coffee or walking around the city or just sitting down somewhere and taking it in, and that makes a huge difference. I remember not knowing what city we were in a couple of years ago. These days I make sure I get a sense of where I am.
Are you ever surprised on stage any more?
I remember coming back to Reading [Festival] this year and we were playing the same stage. And the first time was one of the most incredible moments of my whole life. We didn’t realise that people knew who we were, and we were playing to about 10,000 people, all of whom were singing back every word, and it was every word that I’d written in the loft above my parents’ garage when I was 16 or 17. Then this year, waiting to go on, even later at night, to even more people, and all those feelings came back to me and I remembered standing in the same place two years before. And I just didn’t know what was going to happen – I didn’t know if it was going to be the same, if it was going to be better, worse and that really got me going and that adrenalin that goes shooting through your body and the electricity that’s generated, not only within ourselves, but between the three of us as well.
You’ll be touring right through New Year’s and hitting Singapore in 2013. If you had to make a New Year’s resolution as a band, what would it be?
I think what I would love to do is to spend more time being creative and making music. It’s so difficult with the way things are today; touring is so important for maintaining a profile – but to also really make a career, both financially and everything else – the reason why I got into this is to make music and to record music. I love being in the studio. If there is anything that I’d like to do more, it’d be making music and writing songs and creating.
Two Door Cinema Club is at the Esplanade Concert Hall on 11 Jan.