TV success beckons for the Cast of Cheers
The Cast of Cheers are one of the most unlikely success stories of the last few years. Having emerged in early 2010, they have spent the last few months touring all over the world. Guitarist and singer Conor Adams explains to Brian Hayes Curtin how the Cast of Cheers are different from other bands he has been in and their goals for their last album
The Cast of Cheers released their debut album ‘Chariot’ back in early 2010 without a record label and without having played a gig. This summer they released their new album ‘Family’ and have now played all over the world.
Conor has no particularly coherent explanation as to why ‘Chariots’, their free to download first album took off in such a big and surprising way. Their success was stunning in how unusual it was.
An unknown band records an album and decides to release it for free in January 2010 as they have no fans and have never played a gig. 150,000 downloads later and they have been played extensively on BBC radio.
Many bands have released albums for free but very few have achieved the success that the Cast of Cheers have in such a small amount of time. Their debut album had an instant appeal with its propulsive mix of math-rock and indie being both catchy and very fun. How much was it down to luck?
“There’s a lot of randomness to it. Mick from Adebisi Shank posted the album online and blogs got wind of it, and then radio. Right place, right time,” the singer says.
Conor adds that they have been compared to Foals and Bloc Party. He says they were influenced by them and mentions in passing that perhaps it helped that Bloc Party hadn’t released anything in years and Adebisi Shank had just released their second album to great acclaim.
“People say guitar music is dead and two years later guitar music is back,” he laughs.
Conor and other members of the band used to play in ABAM, which he describes as “complicated noise rock which wasn’t resonating with anyone”.
“I was adamant I wanted the new band to resonate with people, to get people’s heads nodding, although we went a bit weird with the guitars!
“We achieved the first goal this time,” he says modestly. One of their goals with the new album is to travel with it. They are well on their way to doing with that with recent appearances in Australia and in festivals all over Europe. They will tour Switzerland and France soon.
“We achieved the goal with the first album, so this time we wanted make an album that made us sound better than we are.”
They play only their second gig in Cork city this week. “It is quite weird that we’ve only played Cork once. We did one Irish tour.” After that, they went off to England, from where they have just returned back to Dublin.
“We’ve been touring since spring and played quite a lot of summer festivals and even went to Australia.
That came about after a prominent Australian radio station called Triple J “caught onto the tracks and then we got some offers to play there. The festival we played was amazing. “It was a lunchtime set on the main stage and it was unbelievable!”
Conor reports that there was a very healthy attendance despite their never having played Australia before and the early time of the gig. “In England we were played quite a lot on BBC and toured quite a bit. In Australia it was bizarre.
“The reception to the new album was brilliant. ‘Chariot’ was more of an Irish thing really.
Second album ‘Family’ came out in April. “Reviews have been really good. We’ve recently been added to the NME Generation Next tour,” he says. Howler and Gross Magic join them.
There was a huge difference between how albums one and two were recorded. “With ‘Chariots’ songs were written a month or two weeks before the songs were recorded and bang, bang, bang,” he says.
For ‘Family’ things were a little different. They had almost a year between writing and recording to “mess the songs and see what stayed”. The songs were stripped back during recording and the band worked hard to get songs right.
For one song, ‘ Palace and Run’ this meant that Conor spent nine hours straight without a break recording one guitar riff. He was “ready to eat his guitar at the time”, but is delighted with the results now.
Laughing, he says the next goal is to play the O2, but you wouldn’t bet against them.
The Cast of Cheers play The Pavilion with support from Kowalski on Sunday 23 September at 9pm. Tickets are €10.