Sitting outside a sound check at Leeds Met I’m swarmed with fresher’s; the 18-21 year olds are buzzing up and down this same street with no real aim or agenda, gathering without acknowledgment our commercial pollen, they’re all queen bee’s for this week. I guess that makes the rest of us worker bee’s…
It’s fair to say that, at 25, even my patience and tolerance for the youth is wearing thin today, but I’m about to meet a band who seems to have flowered and flourished in the sun of youth, lapping up praise and adoration from both inside and outside their peer group. So why do they get to have all the fun?
Sam: (Guitar) “Once we left school we literally spent every single, day writing, or playing gigs, and that for an entire year,”
Alex: (Guitar, Lead Vocals) “We never made it to university, we just decided not to, took a gap year that’s what we told our friends anyway, I never had any intention of going to university, this is all I’ve ever wanted to do,”
Kevin:(Bass) “I think if we tried to go to university and do this at the same time, it was’nt going to work, we wanted to give it a full chance”
This reaction grinds hard against my frustrated notions of ‘the youth’, I’m almost inspired by the sense of ambition and dedication from the lads, and anyone to looks twice at their tour schedule, then maybe trace compares it with their own diary or calendar (if they even have the need for one) must surely begin to be convinced that these three, at least, may be deserving of their success so far. Do they feel the same?
K: “Our ambition was to go on tour, we couldn’t’ wait to get out of school, get a van and get on the road, it wasn’t like get a deal- play massive venues- we just wanted to get on tour”
S: “Whenever we first recorded a couple of demo’s I think the initial plan was to just get a couple of gigs in Belfast, I don’t think we ever sat down and talked about ridiculous ambitions,”
K: “We’d go on tour, and see bands in massive venues, and say I really wish, in time, that could be us, we didn’t want to just play tiny shows and have no fans, obviously we wanted to be successful,”
A: “I guess the ultimate goal was to be able to do this and nothing else, to support ourselves and turn it into a career,”
‘Career driven teenagers’ might sound unlikely, but that’s mainly because they’re not actually teenagers, despite how they’re often reported as. Two Door Cinema Club have been on tour basically since they were 18, that was four years ago. I find the frustrations are not so much about not being taken seriously as an act:
K: “It bothers me in the fact that they can be describing us as ‘being so good for being so young’ when they’re judging your musicality based on your age.”
A: “We started this band when we were young, and that’s just kind of stuck with us, we started when we were 17, that’s nearly four years ago, but then when you’re 17 you’re obviously seen as really young and its hard to shake that”
They seem to realise that their connection with their fans is somewhat dependant on their pure, youthful, living-for-the-moment sound. This ideal balances well with the bands work ethic:
A: “The tour really hasn’t given us a lot of time, we had what was supposed to be a week off, we just decided that we wanted to get back to writing so we spent that week in the studio and got some new stuff together and the songs that came out of that, we started playing on this run.”
I find I’m relieved that they seem to be aware of the unsaid accusations that they don’t, so far, seem to offer much variance of material. A recent remix competition that swarmed their name throughout the internet could possibly be a clever way of addressing that; an insight into their next move, maybe?
A: “We’ve always been quite into dance music, we’re obviously on a primarily electronic label (Kitsune), we’re into DJing and we’re sort of in the dance genre, partially, anyway, we love remixes, it’s always nice to hear a fresh take on your own music.”
S: “It’d be nice to mix with someone on a production level, kind of in the studio, more on the creative side,”
K: “I’ve DJ’d twice this week, after parties and things like that.”
As reluctant as I am to pigeon-hole their progression, it seems that TDCC are simply, at this stage, exploring their future options. With the world beckoning all 18-21 year olds, they are example of following through on a dream. They’re music business sensibilities mixed with their genuine, day-to-day passion for playing live music makes them ‘natural selection’ formulae for the recognition they are currently receiving. Harnessing their ‘youthful spirit’; without letting it be their downfall. Every bit of money they ‘accidentally’ make seems to be funnelled back into keeping things going; they return with loyalty to Leeds and it’s fresher’s; an example to the youth, rather than an example of the youth.