It’s lights, camera, action for Two Door Cinema Club as they head to Australia for Splendour In The Grass as well as a series of side shows off the back of their 2016 ‘Gameshow’ album.
“We're really excited,” bassist Kevin Baird says of the upcoming tour. “We haven't been able to get to Australia for quite awhile now so it’s definitely long overdue.
"We've throughout our career come to Australia at different points and for different festivals, and we're lucky enough to have experienced Laneway, Falls and Splendour In The Grass and a whole host of headline shows.
“We feel quite nicely and that we have some sort of read on what it's like to spend some time in Australia. So as a result of that we're really excited to get back because we've had such a great time in the past and I’m sure this trip won't disappoint.”
Two Door Cinema Club played their first Splendour slot back in 2010 as part of their debut visit to Australia. Although this will only be their second time playing SITG, Kevin says he and the band feel a special connection to the festival. “We've only been once before in 2010 and I think all of us would agree we saw one of the best shows we’ve ever seen, which was The Strokes,” he says.
“That year it was in-fucking-credible so we’re really excited to get back to the festival and relive that feeling we had there.
“We’re not planning any sort of extended break; we’re pretty excited about getting back to writing and making music.”
“As for our show we’re really excited because we’re playing a bigger slot than we did seven years ago, but it will be nice to come back and show people what we’re about these days. It’s exciting now having three albums of material to pick from, so it’s a pretty frantic pace and we try to stuff in as much as possible.”
In addition to the festival, Two Door Cinema Club will also be playing three side shows in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne. With the cancellation of their SITG appearance back in 2014, their only Australian shows that year, Kevin says it was important for the band to play as many shows as they could this time around to make up for it. “It’s a big priority for us to come and play more than one show,” he says.
“We haven’t been to Australia in such a long time and we were due to come a couple years ago and ended up having to cancel. Obviously the [European] summer is an incredibly busy time for us but it was such a priority for us to carve out as much time as we could to get across as much of the country as we could.”
The upcoming shows will also be the first time Two Door Cinema Club have performed their 2016 album ‘Gameshow’ on Australian shores. “We put a lot of effort into the production,” Kevin says.
"In terms of the size of the production, what we’ll bring to a big stage at a festival like Splendour is near enough the same as what we’d put into a theatre show. We really believe that it’s an integral part of what we do. We don’t strip things back and sometimes that’s to our detriment, but it’s definitely something we think is important.”
Released in October last year, ‘Gameshow’ is Two Door Cinema Club’s third studio album and came out of a dark period for the band. The pressures of non-stop touring on the back of ‘Beacon’ had taken their toll both physically and mentally, with lead singer Alex Trimble hospitalised for two weeks in mid-2014 to undergo treatment for stress-induced stomach ulcers.
Relationships within the band had also become frayed, suffering what Kevin describes as a communication breakdown and leading to an extended hiatus lasting about a year.
A change is as good as a holiday it seems, as the album brought a lush, new dimension to the band’s sound that Kevin says fans have taken in a really positive way. “So far it’s been great in terms of the response to the actual record as a piece of music,” he says.
“At the same time, playing it live has been really fun too. It's definitely a different pace to some of our older works which are about a million miles an hour.
“These new songs are really fun and interesting to play live and it's really nice from our perspective to have another atmosphere or a different gear in our car. It's also great to watch people interact with the songs in different ways, especially live.”
With four years between ‘Gameshow’ and sophomore album ‘Beacon’, there is a distinct swing to the glitzy synth-pop end of the indie-rock spectrum, epitomised in the modern-disco aesthetic of lead single ‘Bad Decisions’. “It's something which from an outside perspective it's hard to piece together where we’ve ended up and it does seem like a big leap or departure. ‘Beacon’ was released in 2012 and ‘Gameshow’ in 2016 so there's a long stretch of time in there.
“I think if circumstances had been different we would have done a record in between which would have connected the dots a little bit better, but unfortunately we didn't. That's maybe why it seems like a bit of a leap.”
After Australia, Two Door Cinema Club continue on with a busy touring schedule that will take them through to October and see them perform in the United States and Europe. Kevin assures us they have no plans for slowing down and will begin work on their next release. “We’ve got a pretty hectic touring schedule until October but the simple answer is we are currently talking about new music and plans for next year.
"We’re not planning any sort of extended break; we’re pretty excited about getting back to writing and making music.
“I think we’ll definitely be around next year, maybe not as many shows next year but we’ll definitely be out there and focussed on writing so there’s a lot to come in the not-too-distant future from us.”
Two Door Cinema Club Shows
Wed 19 Jul - Metro City (Perth)
Fri 21 Jul - Hordern PavilionSat 22 Jul - Splendour In The Grass (Byron Bay)
Tue 25 Jul - Festival Hall (Melbourne)