With the UK slipping once again into recession, worrying itself silly over the upcoming Olympics and continually being let down by politicians cosying up and whoring themselves out to big business, it is comforting to know that nearby, a quick hop over the Irish Sea in fact, that there is a group of young upstarts that just want to make people dance.
Armed with their debut album Family, a jerky collection of guitar-pop due out in June, Dublin’s The Cast of Cheers have come to take your limbs and get them moving. Having self-released Chariot, a collection of raw promise as a young unsigned band in 2010, the group ended up finding their way onto the iPods of over 150,000 excited new fans. With the buzz landing them a record deal, the boys have been hidden away for most of the last 12 months working on their debut – a record that mixes angular rhythms, razor sharp melodies and plenty of guitar.
With the group ready to head out on tour in support of Blood Red Shoes, we caught a few minutes with bassist John Higgins to see how the preparations were going.
You’re just about to start a lengthy tour with Blood Red Shoes. Excited?
Yeh, the Blood Red Shoes tour starts soon and I’m not going to pre-emptively jinx us here but we’re really looking forward to it. I think we share a lot with Blood Red Shoes. We’re both big, loud, guitar based bands and hopefully they’re fans will dig us.
We did just get back from our first European tour which was unbelievable. We didn’t know what to expect. The whole tour blew us away. The promoters across the tour were so supportive and the crowds we played to were amazing! A lot of cities and people now have our hearts.
With the album out mid-June is it completely wrapped up yet?
I think we had the finished article mixed and mastered by February. So musically it’s been ready for quite a while. We’re just now putting the finishing touches to the artwork. We had Chariot finished and released within about two months so we feel the turn over with Family has been a lot longer but it’s been a completely different process. A lot more work has gone into Family, hopefully it shows. We’re itching to get it out!
How have things changed for you since Chariot?
Chariot opened a lot of doors for us. It gave us the opportunity to do what we do and love 7 days a week. It’s brought us to amazing places and let us play some amazing shows and meet some amazing bands and people, the list goes on. We owe so much to that record.
With the underground success of Chariot leading to a deal, does Family feel like your second debut album?
It does and it doesn’t. With Chariot never getting a physical release there’s almost a feeling of it not being real. As in, we know it exists, we know it’s out there but we’ve never held it. I think with Family it certainly feels like a bigger deal, a “proper” release. Something we can hold. It’s definitely the second time around for us but the process has been so different. It’s on a completely different scale.
What are your expectations for the album? Do you have any?
If anything, we hope it makes people dance. Once it’s out it’s out and there’s nothing we can do. It’ll take on a life of its own just like Chariot. We have to let it go and see where it brings us.
And how is working with the good people at School Boy Error?
I honestly don’t think we could be working with better people. They’ve taught us a lot about the other side of the music business. They’ve certainly blown the stereotype of the big bad record company out of the water.
And finally, your favourite characters in Cheers?
I wouldn’t say we’re huge fans of the show. As shocking as it may sound I know some of the guys haven’t even watched it. The name was more of a joke than anything else. Cheers did however spawn Fraisier which is by far one of the best sitcoms ever but The Cast of Fraisier doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Family is out on June 18th.