Sunday, March 10, 2013

EXCLUSIVE! The Cast of Cheers INTV!

When you hear "The cast of Cheers," you may think Sam Malone, Woody, Coach, Norm, Frasier, and all of the other colorful characters from one of the greatest shows to ever grace the small screen. But, if you were told The Cast of Cheers is actually a band, would you believe it? Probably not, and it is not the band you maybe thinking of, Sam and Woody did not form a band in a episode you may have missed or in some unmade episode, The Cast of Cheers is an actual band and they hail from Dublin, Ireland. The band mix Britrock, electronic elements and their own blend of shoegaze into some of the most clever and fun music you have heard in a while. While they have drawn comparisons to Northern Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club, The Cast of Cheers are carving out their own niche with their sound and live shows. So as St. Patrick's Day is around the corner, pour a Guinness and get to know this band as we spoke to bassist John Higgins about their music, upbringing, and favorite member from the actual cast of Cheers.

Clearly the name of the band comes from the show, Cheers, was it big in Ireland when you were growing up?

I guess, it was one of those shows that seemed to be always on. I remember getting in from school, grabbing something to eat and watching cheers. I don't think we're massive fans of the show, I'm pretty sure Neil hasn't even seen an episode.

Which castmember of Cheers do you identify most with?

Coach. Bring back Coach. 

The band’s sound is very unique, who are some of your influences?

We listen to a lot of different stuff,  from Queen to The Police to Battles to Irish bands like The Redneck Manifesto and Adebisi Shank. I know on "Chariot," Conor took a lot of lyrical inspiration from the book World War Z, a post apocalyptic zombie fiction so I guess we're inspired and influenced by it all.

How much as Ireland influenced who you are as artists?

We all grew up here, it's our home so probably much more of an influence than we'll ever know. I think the Irish music scene has been our biggest influence as artists though. Especially in the last 5 years or so. It's been very much a DIY scene. Bands have been doing it for themselves and making it work.

You hail from Ireland, the land of U2, The Pogues, Oscar winning songwriter Glen Hansard of The Swell Season and The Frames. Do you feel any pressure arriving in America being an Irish band and having to live up to those before you?

I've never really seen us as competing with Irish bands abroad or in country. I don't think we've ever looked at it as a pressure to succeed. Growing up in Ireland, the States was always the place to go and "make it". Getting known in the US is a big thing for all of us. My 14 year old self dreamed of going to New York or LA to become a rockstar. That's where you go if you're 14 and want to be a rockstar.

You moved from Ireland to London, did the shift in atmosphere change your perspective as a musician? How did the city influence you?

I don't know if you could point to a lyric on the album and say "that's London right there" but it definitely had an affect on us. It was a bit of an adventure for us as a band. We had just signed a record deal, moved to another country and were all suddenly living together. It was such a major change in all of our lives that it's bound to have some sort of influence on the creative process, subconsciously or not.

Electro driven rock has become super popular in the last 10 years, how does The Cast of Cheers contribute to the movement and stand out on your own?

We really just want to make people dance as quick and as easily as possible. I don't know if that makes us stand out, but at  our core that's what we want to do. I guess one stand out point would be in our live show, we loop guitars live. Which is basically recording guitar live on stage and looping it so it plays continuously  then recording more guitar on top and so on. Eventually you could have 8 to 10 guitar lines on top of each other creating something sonically that as a four piece we could never do. Not a lot of people are aware of what we actually do live.

You have become a buzz band back home and across Europe and your now really generating a noise here in the U.S. What is it like to be a buzz band? Do you surrender to the idea or not even pay attention?

I don't think we've ever bought into our own hype. Nice people saying nice things is always... nice. If anything I'd say it's made us more confident in ourselves and inspired us to be better at what we do as a band.

You released your new record, Family, earlier this year. What is it like to have your debut out?

A warm fuzzy feeling. It's the first record that I've been on that's  had a vinyl run. So giving a copy of the album on vinyl to my folks was a big deal. I made this and here it is.

The title of the album, Family, does it signify the bond between you and the band?

I think the title of the album is such a strong word that it resonates with people on a lot of different levels. Family, friends, relationships, the word means different things to different people. I've never really thought about the title reflecting the band itself. I think that's what I liked about the title, it's open to personal interpretation.

What did you do different on Family versus your debut, Chariot?

I think the biggest difference was we had a producer. Something we've never done before. Inviting someone into the fold to take a different perspective on our songs. That really changed the whole process of how we recorded family. With Chariot, we knew what we were doing before the studio, we went in with a solid game plan.  When it came to Family, most of the songs were stripped back, broken down, looked at and then reassembled. The core ideas we had for Family evolved and changed on a day to day basis. It was exciting to see the album take shape.

Where does The Cast of Cheers go from here?

World domination but the good type of world domination with dancing.