“Where we are now, the sta­tus of in­de­pen­dence is per­fect for us. We’re prov­ing what we can do on our own. We think that when you’re start­ing off, the best thing is to prove you can do it your­selves”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

There is push and pull to all of this, of course, as Hal­l­i­day fleshes out. “It’s been very dif­fi­cult, men­tally, to come around to – mak­ing the tran­si­tion from no one be­ing re­ally aware of you to hav­ing your photo taken with a fan. For them, it makes their night. For us, it’s tricky to un­der­stand why some­one would want it. It’s not that you’re rude, or want to be, but it’s def­i­nitely a strug­gle. We’re get­ting bet­ter at it now, ob­vi­ously . . .”.

“To us, it still seems an odd con­cept, but say­ing it’s a pain in the arse is un­grate­ful,” re­flects Trim­ble. “It’s a few sec­onds of your time that can dou­ble or triple some­one’s pleas­ant mem­o­ries of you, and if you take that 10 sec­onds or so, there’s go­ing to be an ex­tra bond, and that works in ev­ery­one’s favour.”

And so the 2DCC mantra con­tin­ues: work it, baby. “You as­sess it on what you your­self would do,” as­serts Hal­l­i­day. “I mean, I wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily want a photo with me! But we for­get that for some peo­ple it’s very im­por­tant. It’s dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand what you are, or might be, to oth­ers. In your head, you’re just you. In their head, you’re pos­si­bly some­thing of an idol. Or some­thing like that.”

Con­flicts, chal­lenges, com­pro­mises, changes in cre­ative tack and some stuff you’d be bet­ter off not to an­a­lyse too deeply: they’re all in the line of duty when it comes to rais­ing the pro­file from zero to hero. What Trim­ble seems over zeal­ous to con­firm, how­ever (of the three 2DCC blokes he seems the most tuned in to overt com­mer­cial pos­si­bil­i­ties – al­though this could be a post-Olympics han­gover), is the ben­e­fit to the band’s mo­men­tum in be­ing signed to low-key indie la­bels in Europe (Paris-based Kit­sune) and Amer­ica (New York’s Glass­note).

That said, there’s an un­spo­ken irony to the fact that we’re chat­ting in the Dublin of­fices of Univer­sal Records, which with 2DCC have aligned them­selves for the dis­tri­bu­tion of Bea­con.

Be­ing in bed with in­de­pen­dent la­bels has ben­e­fit­ted the band, says Trim­ble, in more ways than he could pos­si­bly ever ex­plain. “It might sound a bit twee,” he says (and it most cer­tainly does), “but we’re friends with ev­ery­one at each la­bel. They’re pas­sion­ate about the band, and they want to make it work for us. They know we know how to do it, how to make it work. And so they just let us do what we do by fa­cil­i­tat­ing us rather than tak­ing con­trol.”

As a re­sult, 2DCC de­cide when and where they tour, which songs from the al­bums should be sin­gles, over­see­ing the art­work, and so on. Yet as ev­ery com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful band knows, there can come a point in your ca­reer where ma­jor la­bels can be more ben­e­fi­cial. De­pend­ing on your stance, here’s where it gets ei­ther in­ter­est­ing or clichéd.

“We’ve al­ways had an at­ti­tude of say­ing never say never,” says Trim­ble, “but where we are now, the sta­tus of in­de­pen­dence is per­fect for us. We’re prov­ing what we can do on our own. We think that when you’re start­ing off, the best thing is to prove you can do it your­selves.”

And so they firmly, un­ques­tion­ably have. The snap-happy Tourist His­tory, how­ever, seems quite a re­move from the rather more re­flec­tive, shiny sur­faces of Bea­con (which, as if to con­sol­i­date its fo­cus, is pro­duced by Jack­nife Lee, the Dublin man who has worked his charm on the likes of Snow Pa­trol, U2, REM and SP/REM splin­ter act, Tired Pony).

In other words, it’s def­i­nitely a pro­gres­sion, but to what end re­mains to be seen. “You can’t re­ally talk up the mer­its of one over the other,” ad­vises Kevin Baird war­ily. “The way we like to ex­plain it is that Tourist His­tory summed up who and what we were when we made it in our teens. Bea­con sums up where we are in our early 20s.”

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