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From A Whisper To A Scream
Recording on a Californian mountain top with Jacknife Lee has paid handsome dividends for Two Door Cinema club, with the resulting album, Beacon, storming its way to number one. LA, Azealia Banks, Lady Gaga, Snow Patrol, the Olympics and dressing-room trashing are all on the agenda as Nordy Ireland’s latest chart conquerors shoot the breeze with Stuart Clark.
Stuart Clark, 17 Oct 2012
Occupying the Beacon production chair was Garret ‘Jacknife’ Lee, the Dublin-born studio whiz whose CV includes U2, REM, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party, Weezer, Regina Spektor, Editors, The Hives and, most recently, Robbie Williams.
“We were always aware of Garret and liked him but feared working with a big name producer because we couldn’t imagine him not putting his stamp on it,” Alex resumes. “The fear of relinquishing control in a way. Our manager said, ‘Just meet him and talk’ so we did and fell in love straight away!”
“We expected him to come with a sort of overbearing attitude and loads of baggage and a huge ego but he was like, ‘Okay, what do you wanna do?’ When we told him our ideas – and we had very strong ones – he went, ‘That’s brilliant, let’s make this happen!’ As soon as that meeting was over we were booking the flights, clearing our schedule, we were making the record! And we never looked back; it was the best decision we could have made.”
Tragically, Lee is now based in Los Angeles, which meant the chaps leaving behind the autumnal grayness of Glasgow where they live and wallowing in Californian sunshine for a month.
“That was a very happy turn of events!” Alex beams. “He’d just finished building his own studio there, so that – tragically, as you say – was the only way it was going to work. The best thing about it is that it doesn’t look like a studio. We walked in and there was no desk, no microphones, nothing. He had weird toys and fun instruments lying around, huge sofas, a computer and some speakers at the end of the room. That was it.”
“It was more focused on creating than recording,” Ken interjects.
“Yeah, the whole room was covered in fairy lights,” Alex resumes. “You’re in this wonderland when you’re recording. Then you take a step outside and remember you’re on top of a mountain in California. You’re looking over this valley of forests and there’s a swimming pool and a ping-pong table and a trampolene. You’re thinking, ‘Is this real?’”