Don't Feel Like Danson

Their first gig was just four weeks ago and they’re barely together five months, so why is it so important you hear The Cast Of Cheers? Celina Murphy meets the Dublin foursome whose unconventional route makes them the most exciting new things in Irish rock.

“It’s all been super fast, super crazy,” bassist John Higgins beams.

Pieced together from the remnants of ‘math-rock’ outfit ABAM, vocalist and guitarist Conor Adams regrets that the story of The Cast of Cheers’ formation is rather hazy.

“We were dead drunk at a party in Christchurch on the roof of an apartment, all of which I actually had to be reminded of later by Kev (drummer Kevin Curran). He told me, ‘You said you wanted to do another band,’ and I was like ‘Did I? All right then…’”

“Within a month we had the songs, we first jammed in October and by the end of October we were in the studio. We had six songs and we just kind of winged it. We said ‘By the time we’re at the end of recording, surely we’ll have written another few songs,’ which luckily we did!”

The resulting album, Chariot, which has been released online through free download, has gained the Dublin-based foursome enormous success. It’s racked up over 1,000 downloads in just two weeks. Not too shabby for a band with only three gigs under their belt. So, why the decision to go free?

“Because we were unknown it just made sense,” Higgins explains. “It came about so fast that we just wanted to get it out there. We’d heard about (music publishing website) Bandcamp through a friend and had plans for it to be a limited time only download. Then we thought we’d whop it up. Adebisi Shank posted about it on their Facebook and that kind of started the ball rolling.”

‘There’s so much procrastination with bands and we’ve been through all that before with other bands, sitting on a recording and waiting to do an album launch. It’s the best decision I think we’ve made as a band.”

“It’s funny,” Adams chimes in, “because people actually downloading it and listening to it made it the best decision. The fact that it picked up just made it the best idea ever. We thought best case scenario this would happen, but we didn’t actually think it would.”

Currently being blogged and tweeted like the news of a cheating celebrity husband, Chariot combines the most ferocious elements of the likes of Foals and White Denim with unrestrained vocals and breakneck riffs. In short, no bullshit.

“Recording was easy, it was weirdly easy. Normally you go in and your head melts take after take, but everyone kind of knew their stuff. Kev played the drums and after the first take we had it. It was like ‘Is that it?’”

“We’d just written the stuff,” Higgins chimes in, “so it was so fresh, the songs weren’t stale at all. We hoped that within about three months we might have generated enough downloads to play live but within the first week we had about 400 or 500 and people were actually reviewing it, which was just mental. Then Super Extra Bonus Party offered us a gig right away.”

Reports from the Andrew’s Lane Theatre support slot (and indeed the other, ahem… two shows) have been invariably shiny and glowing. “They were amazing!” Adams recalls.

“All the bands we’ve been in were real math rock, really long difficult songs so you’re glued to your pedals. With this band it’s just way more fun, the songs are mad upbeat… and you can actually just go nuts.”

The ungoogleable rockers admit that plans for a physical release of Chariot are still very much up in the air, but assure me that if all goes to plan, we’ll see it on shelves before Summer.

“I love the hard copy,” Adams raves, “I really do wanna put the album out, I wanna hold it. If we do, I think we’ll probably do some bonus tracks.”

And double the album like Lady GaGa?

“Very like Lady GaGa. We’re actually just gonna cover Lady GaGa’s album.”

Dropping refrains of ‘Crooked vampire/Super James Dean’ on ‘Autoshottie’ might lead us to believe that the lyrics are totally arbitrary. “Not at all,” Adams says. “They all have their own little things. Even ‘Autoshottie’, we were playing this Xbox 360 game about the Apocalypse and I’d read The Road really recently, so it was about putting ourselves in that position.”

“It’s all about kicking ass,” Higgins notes.

“The lyrics mirror the music,” Adams muses. “The music was about cutting out the bullshit and lyric wise telling a whole story doesn’t leave anything open to anything, you’ve heard it all before. But if you pick every fourth line, you get a glimpse of it and you go ‘What exactly is he on about?’ Everyone can get their own little thing from it.”

‘I have to say it was the easiest recording ever, that’s the best way to describe it. I guarantee you, now the second album will be a nightmare!”

Call me selfish, but so long as they keep making records, I’m happy.


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