Interview: The Cast of Cheers
Published on April 17th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Dublin four-piece The Cast of Cheers release their subtly peculiar new single “Animals” on 23rd April, with their debut/second (more on that later) album Family to follow on 18th June – oh aye, and they’re going on a UK tour with Blood Red Shoes starting 27th April (dates here) – so Rocksucker fired over some questions to co-front man/guitarist/keyboardist Neil Adams to find out a wee bit more about the whole operation. First though, check out “Animals” and its rather splendid accompanying video…
What can you tell us about the new album? Feel free to be as abstract as you like…
The new album is a concept album comparing the relations between the different “families” of space gasses found in the furthest flung regions of our solar system, and our cat Billy. But really, the album was recorded with Luke Smith in a small studio in Hackney. There was a poodle present for most of it called Louis who inspired the track “Animals”. There’s plenty of old ’70s and ’80s synths floating around in the album…see if you can spot them all!
Why is there a click track at the start of “Animals”? Or is that just for the video and won’t be on record?
The click track at the beginning of Animals is just in the video. Gregg the video Director used it as an intro to set the video up with us all turning on the TV’s and then walking behind to insert the videos. The album version kicks straight in.
You’ve just been around Europe. Which were your favourite cities and/or shows, and why? Care to share any stories of frankly berserk rock and roll excess?
Europe was amazing! We’re all big fans of Germany, I have to admit. We played Berlin and Hamburg on this tour and I think we were saying we could just tour Germany happily for the rest of our lives. They treat you like an adult there! Drink your delicious German beer on the street and drive as fast as you like on the Autobahn. Paris was great too, pity it was raining. We snook some bottles of wine into the Eiffel tower and got all romantic in the rain. Amsterdam was a party! We all drank too much leading to Brussels being a bit of a haze…although I do recall the venue in Brussels and everyone we met there being great, and they fed us like we were kings!
How did the Blood Red Shoes support slots come about? Are you fans of theirs? What was it like touring with Two Door Cinema Club?
The BRS support came about because they tweeted to their fans asking who should support and someone suggested us and they liked the idea. They’ve just released their amazing new album and we’ll be releasing ours soon after the tour, and seeing as we’re with the same management it just works logistically and musically! Cant wait for this tour to be honest. We’ve been listening to “In Time to Voices” loads in our house and cant wait to see them do it live. I love loud bands live!
Had you considered Googlability before settling upon your otherwise excellent band name?
Googlability!! What a word! I’m throwing that in the hat for the title of our next album! [Rocksucker says: Not without cutting us in on the royalties should it get chosen. Say 10%?] No, we hadn’t considered that aspect of the name at all. It was a random thing really picking that name. We thought it was pretty funny. I think we’re beating the actual cast of Cheers on the Google radar at the moment though [Rocksucker says: They are indeed], so they’ll have to get their guitars out and start practicing for their comeback concert. The Frasier Crane solo is as mystical as Mister Miyagi’s karate.
“Broken robot making sexy”; do you stand by this description of your own music? I personally think the term should appear at least once in every interview you ever do.
Yes. It’s hard to pigeon hole music into a specific genre, especially your own music because you’re so close to it and hear it differently than anyone else does. “Broken robot making sexy” seemed as good as anything else at describing our sound. I suppose we’re acid-punk-Jazzy-Jeff-hippidy-hop if you have to label it.
I have to ask (and feel free not to answer if you’ve been asked already): if you were all characters from Cheers, who would you each be and why? (Sorry.)
I have probably not seen more than three episodes in my lifetime. We’re not big fans of the show. We don’t dislike it though…I’m sure its great! I think John [Higgins, bassist] used to watch and enjoy it but he’s probably the only one who could pick a favourite character. I’ve heard him express fondness for Carla. I’d pick Frasier because i do love that sitcom!
Do you all argue much? If so, how do you tend to resolve conflict?
Arm wrestling and sulky glances are commonplace on tour after a heavy night of drinking and arguing.
What’s [Family producer] Luke Smith like to work with? Were you fans of his former band Clor? Whatever happened to them, anyway? They were really good.
Yeah we were all fans of Clor. I think they split up due to musical differences in the band. I assume it was complicated as most band break-ups are. Luke was amazing to work with. He made us look at the music we had written for the album from a completely different angle. There are a couple of tunes on the record that Luke had us strip right back to one acoustic guitar and Conor singing along and then rebuild the song from there. This way of doing things added great depth and quality that maybe wasn’t there originally. I think Luke wanted the album to be something that people would still listen to in ten years’ time and not just a flash in the pan. We all had the same outlook so the recording process was really enjoyable.
Your first album Chariot appears not to be up on your Bandcamp any more. Where/when will it be made available?
The new album Family is going to be our first official release so we wanted to drum up as much hype and promotion about it as we could in the months leading up to its release. We thought that having Chariot up online would detract from the impact of Family as it would technically be a ‘new’ album to 99% of people in the UK and Europe. Chariot will definitely see the light of day again but in what form or when I can’t tell you!
Apart from Y-Not, are you playing any festivals this summer? Which other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Y-Not?
Cant wait to see We are Scientists. I was a massive fan of theirs a few years back and then kind of forgot to listen to them for a while. Seeing them on the bill has made me pull out the old records and spin them again. They’re still amazing! Another band I cant wait to see are Alright the Captain. We met these guys when we were playing in Nottingham; they’re super-good instrumental math rock. Pulled Apart by Horses always put on a whopper of a show too!
There are definitely loads more festivals in the pipeline but which ones I cannot say as most haven’t been announced yet. Forbidden Fruit in Dublin is one that has been announced though. It’s an amazing festival that we also played last year and we can’t wait to return home for it. We’ll be consuming plenty of Guinness and King crisps that weekend!
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to? If not, would you care to make some up?
I have to mention Adebisi Shank. They’re an instrumental band from Dublin and they’ll absolutely blow the head off you if you havent heard them before. Their second album This is the Second Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank is one of my favourite ever. Squarehead are another amazing act from Dublin. We played in Manchester a while back and caught a few songs of a band called The Tapestry. They were really good.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
The Smashing Pumpkins – Although I’d only need their works up until Machina (or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, to be honest)
The Police – Massive influence on us
Queen – Their catalogue is massive and it ranges from mega rock to cool ’80s shit like on Hot Space (my favourite Queen album)
Bjork – I’m a big fan and I’ve got all rocky stuff there so I’d need something different to listen to on my coconut speakers…(I thought you said desert island not solitary confinement)
Prince – what can I say…who wouldn’t want all of Prince’s albums?
Neil, thank you.
“Animals”, the new single by The Cast of Cheers, will be released on 23rd April, with the album Family to follow on 18th June through School Boy Error/Co-Operative Music. For more information, including a list of live dates, please visit www.thecastofcheers.com or the Cast of Cheers Facebook page.