Irish indie stars Two Door Cinema Club broke hearts nationwide after being forced to cancel their 2014 Splendour In The Grass appearance at the last minute. Now, just weeks before they make a triumphant return to Australia for the Byron Bay festival and their own run of headlining dates nationally, the band is buzzing.
"It's something that has been on our minds for a while, getting out to Australia because of that cancelled trip," bassist Kevin Baird told HuffPost Australia.
"We haven't been in Australia for so long now, since 2012 I think. So when we got asked to do Splendour, we were super excited to come back. But a big priority was to not just play the festival show and get home, we wanted to play more around the country."
Two Door Cinema Club were forced to cancel their 2014 Splendour appearance, when they were to be the event's second headliner, due to illness in the band. Now, three years later and even longer since their last visit Down Under, they're stoked.
"We are doing a lot of festivals in Europe around that time so it's a busy time for us, but we wanted to prioritise carving out as much time to play in as many cities as we can. Unfortunately Australia is bloody far away, it's hard to get out there, we don't know the next time we'll be able to get back, so we're excited to come back out there," Baird said.
He's speaking to us from "quite a depressing flat" in Los Angeles. Baird and his wife are in the process of relocating from the United States, where they moved several years ago, back to the United Kingdom. That's where the rest of the band -- frontman Alex Trimble and guitarist Sam Halliday -- live, and Baird said having them all in one place again will help with logistics, if nothing else.
"It'll be nice to be back in the U.K. The other guys are there now, so it will be easier for touring. Maybe that's a bad reason to move, to make it easier to go away," he laughed.
The band has just wrapped a big U.S. tour on the back of their newest album, 'Gameshow', their third LP. It's the latest step in their musical evolution, having landed on the international music scene as preppy teenagers at the very tail end of the late 2000s indie boom, armed with a brand of upbeat pop-rock tunes designed to fill dancefloors and soundtrack TV ads. Fast forward seven years from the release of their debut album 'Tourist History', and their image is totally flipped -- gone are the plaid shirts, sweaters, cardigans and schoolboy ties, replaced by leather jackets, hipster beards and boots. The upbeat pop-infused indie is still there, but just buffed of its bubblegum gloss a little, their new sound more mature and assured and cool.
"Some of the songs on the first album, we've played millions of times. We still love playing those songs, but those first album songs sometimes don't feel like ours anymore. Even though we wrote them and own them, they've been around so long. It's nice to play them and watch people react to them, but from a creative and artistic angle, we've definitely moved on quite far from songs we wrote when we were 17 or 18," Baird said.
"The first album is more a gang mentality, like 'let's jump up and down really fast, maybe have a moshpit'. The new stuff, there's that atmosphere, jumping up and down, but just because they're slower paced, it's more like a wave effect to look at."
Baird waxes lyrical on the journey Two Door Cinema Club has experienced, having spent literally their entire adult lives being rock stars touring the world and playing some of the biggest festivals on the globe.
"We were very young when we started this band. There was a fearless naivete, like 'why the fuck not?', we did whatever we wanted and that was awesome. As we got older, the band took off and we were so involved in the whole rise. We were so defined by the band. That's quite a hard thing for a young person, trying to figure out who they are," he said plaintively.
"We were defined as a thing, as three people. We had to like the same things or people would talk about 'creative differences' or whatever. We struggled with that for a while, those formative years when you leave home and figure out what you're about, that you can't just eat plain pasta every day for years and survive. We had that formative experience a bit later, as a result of being in such a crazy scenario for young men of our age. But it was something we'd never change, we got older and we had this amazing advantage where we got to focus on music."
"As young men, we had all this time to watch and listen to music. It was part of our job, which was awesome. That helped to give us where we're at now, this mixed bag of genres."
Two Door Cinema Club play Splendour In The Grass, plus headlining dates through July. For more information, click here.
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