If Two Door Cinema Club's second album, Beacon, due out on September 4th, feels warmer and more upbeat than fans might expect from the Irish band, it's all because of Los Angeles, where they recorded the new LP with producer Jacknife Lee (R.E.M., Silversun Pickups).
"We recorded our first album in London, and this time we just got to drive up PCH [Pacific Coast Highway] and drive by the sea, and it was lovely," bassist Kevin Baird tells Rolling Stone. "We were so much more focused and so much more excited to be in there and doing it."
The band wrote their new tunes in Glasgow before heading out to L.A. to team up with Lee. The shift in scenery ending up changing the new material a bit, according to Baird. "We wrote the record in Glasgow in the winter when it was gray and raining all the time," he explains. "I think for Alex [Trimble], lyrically, he was struggling quite a bit when we were all in Glasgow because it all came back gloomy. That was just the place we were in in our heads at the time." But once they got to L.A., Baird says, "I feel like we totally swallowed up this lifestyle there. We'd put our short shorts on and go for a run along the beach in Venice before we'd head up to the studio. On the weekends, we'd go shoot guns or something. We went out to bars and had our car parked valet, which we've never done before. We just loved it – going to Trader Joe's – we felt so healthy. At the end we were like, 'We wish we could stay here and just keep doing this.'"
All three band members had a big say in the writing of the album, as they lived together in Glasgow while writing the material. "Pretty much 80 percent of the record was written in just three months," he says. "We'd get up, have breakfast, go down to the basement, write songs, see friends – it was really nice to live that normal life again. It was much more like jamming. "
Producer Lee helped shape the inviting sound of Beacon by giving the trio outside ears. "The main thing we've always needed from a producer is a kind of objective viewpoint, because we're so involved in the songs," says Baird.
The band will return to L.A. on October 25th to play the Hollywood Palladium as part of a monthlong tour that will kick off on September 28th at Central Park in support of Beacon. Baird and his bandmates have already previewed a few songs during a string of summer dates, both stateside and abroad, and they've been heartened by the response.
"I think we're actually surprised at how well people are receiving them, because people haven't heard a note of these songs," Baird says. "It's really nice for us to see people take a song at face value and just like it because it's a good song, regardless of whether a radio station has told them to like the song or a magazine has told them. They're just literally hearing something for the very first time and they're dancing and having a very good time. That's the dream, really."
Two Door Cinema Club U.S. tour dates:
9/28 New York, NY - Rumsey Playfield
9/29 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
9/30 Boston, MA - House of Blues
10/2 Washington, D.C. - 9:30 Club
10/5 Toronto, ON - Sound Academy
10/6 Montreal, QC - Metropolis
10/8 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
10/9 Chicago, IL - TBD
10/10 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10/11 Kansas City, MO - Beaumont Club
10/13 Houston, TX - House of Blues
10/14 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/16 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
10/18 Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
10/19 Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre
10/20 Seattle, WA - TBD
10/21 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
10/23 Oakland, CA - Fox Theatre
10/25 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
10/26 San Diego, CA - Soma
10/ 27 Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
10/28 Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory