“The Strokes made playing guitar look like fun, like something I could do.”, Sam Halliday from Two Door Cinema Club
If you still cling to the idea that being in a rock and roll band is,(somehow), a glamorous profession then let Sam Halliday, founder-member of Northern Irish three-piece Two Door Cinema Club retune your mental ariel. When Spotify calls at 11am on a Friday morning, Sam is sat in his pyjamas on the tour bus outside London’s Shepherds Bush Empire hoping someone will open up soon so he can go inside and have a shower and some breakfast. Happily, the guitarist and singer, who’s just had an overnight drive from Manchester, isn’t in the slightest bit bothered by it all.
“When you get to look out at the crowds jumping up and down every night all the little annoying things don’t seem to matter,” he says. “They all have their own chants too – there are some rowdy people out there!”
Where should someone start with Two Door Cinema Club?
Start at the start. The first record is more immediate – so I’d go straight to Something Good Can Work or What You Know. But we’re even prouder of the new record, so I’d say you should hear a song like Spring as it sounds so totally new, while The World Is Watching is our take on the big ballad.
Does touring so much affect your song writing?
It does in the sense that it makes you much better musicians. That must do something – and seeing so many new bands inspires you too. Basically, when you record a song you have to be super happy with it as you know you’ll be playing it to people for a long time.
What five records couldn’t Two Door Cinema exist without?
Well, there are a few that are really important to us – the ones that we were the only kids at school who liked them. Biffy Clyro are really important to us as that was the first gig we all went to together. Idlewild’s 100 Broken Windows was another. There’s no specific record attached, but The Beatles were a big influence on this new album. I would say Phoenix have to be in there, their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album is fantastic. We toured with them in the States and they’ve been a huge influence on us. I’d have to say that The Strokes Is This It is a huge one – they were one of the first guitar bands I was ever aware of. When I was 11 or 12 I thought playing guitar meant being in Guns N’ Roses, but The Strokes made playing guitar look like fun, like something I could do.
What do you think your first band, Life Without Rory, would make of Two Door Cinema Club?
I hope they’d like it; but I’m sure they’d be frantically getting in touch via MySpace pestering us to listen to their demo!
Finally, what’s the greatest record ever made?
For me I always go back to Idlewild’s 100 Broken Windows. That came out at a time when I was really getting into playing guitar and they were a band who just made total sense to me. That record still gets me excited in exactly the same way it did when I was a teenager.