Wednesday arts: Two Door Cinema Club
Who? The three-piece indie band comprises of friends Kevin Baird (21) and Sam Halliday (21) from Bangor and Alex Trimble (21) from Donaghadee. They will play the Rockness festival which starts on Friday in Inverness, Scotland, alongside stars Kasabian, Mark Ronson and Paolo Nutini. Sam tells us about their road to stardom Going places:
How and where did the three of you meet?
We first met when we were about 14 years old because we all went to the same school, Bangor Grammar, and we would hang out in the same circles. When we were 17 we formed the Two Door Cinema Club.
How did you get your name out there in the beginning?
In our early years we would play venues in Belfast like the Limelight and Auntie Annie's. We couldn't go too far because we were 17 and still in school. When we finished school we went on a UK tour, playing small and medium sized venues and supporting other bands.
Do you regard signing to cult French label Kitsune as your first big break?
I think it was a mixture of everything that led to our success. We toured non-stop with not much money for a while. After we released our first single with Kitsune Records, doors began to open for us. Stations like 6 Music began to play our stuff and Kitsune's reputation as a great label helped get our name known.
The name of your band is interesting. How did you come up with it?
We were sitting around brainstorming for a new name when we came up with it by accident. There is a great cinema that we used to go to in Comber called the Tudor Cinema. I mistakenly thought it was called the Two Door Cinema, so we stuck with that for a name.
Is it true that all three of you turned down university places to pursue a music career?
We went to a grammar school so it was basically expected of us. We all had our places confirmed in the universities and we wanted to go but we decided defer our entries. In hindsight I definitely think we made the right decision.
Your music has appeared on a few computer games such as FIFA 11 football and the NBA 2K11 basketball game. How important is this as a platform on which to get your music heard?
If someone asks if you want your song to appear on the next FIFA game then you're not going to say 'no'. We play the games ourselves so it's quite funny to hear our own music on them. It's also a great way of promoting ourselves. It's one thing to have your songs played on the radio, but when kids in China and beyond are listening to your music while playing on games consoles you can't beat it.
What was it like doing the American talk show circuit?
In America we appeared on Jimmy Fallon's show as well as Carson Daly's and Jimmy Kimmel's. It's great playing to American audiences and it's quite surreal when you're told you'll be appearing after Steve Tyler.
Do you think it's harder to make it in America?
It takes a bit of presence over there to make it. We've spent more time touring America than anywhere else, but that doesn't mean much because the country is so big. MTV and VH1 have recently picked up one of our tracks, which is good. Radio is a lot harder to crack. There are big stations in different states, so if you want to get your band heard, you must put in a lot of hard work and travel for miles.
How did it feel to win the 2010 Best Irish Band award at the Choice Music Awards, and what did you do with the €10,000 (£8,900) winnings?
It was great winning the award. We donated the prize money to a charity called Abaana that helps build homes in Africa. It's based in Bangor. We heard of the charity when our school did some fund raising for it.
Where are you most looking forward to playing this summer?
This summer we're looking forward to playing Glastonbury and Rockness.
What's next for Two Door Cinema Club? Is there a new album in the pipeline?
We've a few more new songs finished but we've a busy summer ahead of us. After the summer we will begin to think about a new album.
- The Rockness festival is credited as being 'the most beautiful festival in the world' due to its location near picturesque Loch Ness
- The festival will take place from Friday to Sunday in the village of Dores near Inverness
- The festival first took place in 2006, but has grown in size each year
- This year's festival will also feature a comedy tent
- To purchase tickets visit www. rockness.co.uk