After bonding over their shared love of Death Cab for Cutie, Architecture In Helsinki and Modest Mouse while still in high school, the three members of Two Door Cinema Club wound up turning their backs on university as soon as a groundswell began to build around the band’s early MySpace demos. It looks like it may have been a wise choice: Their debut LP, Tourist History (out now), was recorded in London with producer Eliot James (Kaiser Chiefs, Noah & The Whale, Bloc Party) and features a glorious rush of razor-sharp guitars and meaty laptop beats. The widescreen electro-pop album (released in the US via Glassnote Records) has already attracted remixes from 2009 newcomers Passion Pit, among others, and the trio recently kicked off its largest European tour to date. Paste recently chatted with lead singer Alex Trimble about being drummerless, making the record and finding their place in the crowded U.K. scene.
Paste: How did you get together?
Alex Trimble: The three of us met at high school when we were about 15. We started playing music together soon after meeting. We bonded over the love of similar types of music and bands. We formed Two Door when we were 17 after a few other musical projects that we were involved in had finished. ... We’re named after a cinema near where we come from called the Tudor Cinema. Sam suggested the name but mispronounced it as the “Two Door” Cinema so we ended up changing the spelling at it stuck from then on.
Paste: You’ve just released your debut album, Tourist History. How’s it being received?
Trimble: It’s being received well, as far as I can see. There is a noticeable difference in our shows. We’re selling a lot more tickets and kids are singing along to our songs, which is really cool.
Paste: Tell me about writing and recording it.
Trimble: It was written over about three years. It wasn’t written as an album though. We just wrote and wrote from when we started the band right up until we went into the studio. What we recorded was our best songs, in our opinion at least, from those three years of us being in a band together. The recording process was very straight forward. We had already demoed every song so we knew our direction and what we wanted out of the songs. We were extremely lucky to work with Eliot James in the studio. He is a super talented guy and he shared and helped us realize our vision.
Paste: You’ve said not having a drummer gave you more freedom. How was that?
Trimble: It gave us more freedom to experiment with more complicated rhythms and unusual sounds. We could stray from a traditional drum kit sound and feel.
Paste: What’s it like having a live drummer on tour?
Trimble: We love it. It adds an extra presence to the show, an extra dimension that we didn’t have before. We still run the laptop along side this and it works really well.
Paste: How have you been influenced by the music scene back home in Northern Ireland?
Trimble: We’ve been influenced to no end by the scene back home. We grew up listening to all the local bands and going to their shows. It’s what really gave us the courage to make a go of it and join a band. We then became part of the scene we had grown up with. We still keep in touch with all the bands we’re friends with back there and we love heading to shows when we get time off in Belfast.
Paste: The UK music scene has been pretty synth-heavy in recent years. Where do you see yourselves fitting in?
Trimble: I don’t honestly think we do. We never consciously tried to be part of something or, by the same token, avoid something. We’ve always done our own thing and we’ll keep it that way.
Paste: What are your plans for the future?
Trimble: Tour like crazy. Write. Record. Do it all over again.