- 21 Nov 18
Having just returned with their cracking new album Impostors, We Cut Corners spoke to us in the latest issue of Hot Press to talk about the record and much more...
Nearly 10 years ago, your humble correspondent was a judge at the JD Set live band competition. It was love at first listen when an act called Camogie Lovers took to the now defunct Crawdaddy stage. The assignment also included a trip to Belfast to play with the then little-known Two Door Cinema Club ("They'll never go anywhere," we pooh-poohed presciently of the latter act).
But the rabid appreciation for the duo that became We Cut Corners was indeed justified.
"We had such modest aspirations at that stage," says drummer/singer Conall O'Breachain, remembering the encounter. "We had been writing and recording together acoustically and not releasing anything for quite a few years. The JD Set was kind of the last shot of the dice really. We were just hoping to get through the competition and we thought, if we did, we should go for it." Sell-out shows and three Choice-nominated albums later, We Cut Corners have just unveiled their fourth, Impostors, to much acclaim.
"As opposed to previous albums it was a very quick writing process," explains John Duignan (vocals/guitar). "We worked alone, individually and then came together. Our time was much more limited. I remember from the outset we didn't want to labour over this record - spending six months on one mix really sucks the love out of the songs. So everything about this album we wanted to be instant."
These limitations have invested the tracks with an energy and immediacy.
"I was driving home from Donegal where my girlfriend was studying, and I was just musing over how great she was," says John of the subject matter of 'The Specialist'. "I just wanted to come up with a line that encapsulated how important she was to me."
'Rainy Night In Slomo' saw John building a first section and then bringing it to Conall. "As we were in the studio with drums and guitar, the logical step going from something soporific was to rock out. (Laughs) Sorry! Is there another expression for that?!"
"We had just been to see Radiohead in 3Arena," adds Conall. "They are the masters of creating great atmospherics without changing very much. So they were very much the inspiration there, in terms of trying to create something hypnotic."
Having taken a break to write and record, We Cut Corners' Electric Picnic appearance in September was their first in nearly a year. "We were so excited to be back playing," remembers John. "It was so long, we had nearly forgotten the muscle memory of getting on a stage. When we got out there, we were so thrilled, we expended the bulk of our energy in the first 10 minutes, which left us absolutely spent. Now we have four albums worth of songs, playing live is better than ever," says Conall. "Before we were a little bit worried about possible lags in the set. Now, there's a great ebb and flow between the songs."
Another stand-out is 'Laughing Maniacally', which has an excellent video by Adam O'Regan of Little Green Cars fame. It was recently used by Soccer Republic - how do the band feel about that? "If your music is on a sporting montage, it means it has reached a level of proficiency where you can soundtrack people running around a field - you have really achieved something."
Where would the guys be legitimately excited to hear their music?
"Maybe in a Lenny Abrahamson movie!" enthuses John. Lenny, if you're reading...
Impostors is out now.