From the remains of two successful Irish indie band comes All Tvvins. Conor Adams and Lar Kaye have been popular amongst the Irish music scene since the mid-2000s with their bands The Cast of Cheers and Adebisi Shank. However, with The Cast of Cheers on hiatus and with the recent break up of Adebisi Shank, they decided to form a new pop band called All Tvvins and from the looks of it, it’s one of the best decisions they’ve made in recent years. After forming around two years ago, they’ve played countless gigs and festivals across Europe and their newest single, ‘Darkest Ocean’ has recently made in onto the Fifa 16 soundtrack – and they don’t even have an album out yet. We got to sit down and talk to the band while they were on tour to ask them all about starting over with a new band and upcoming debut album.
You’ve both known each other since you were teenagers. Why did it take you so long to work together?
Conor: We were both in different bands, that’s how we kind of knew each other. A few years ago was the first time we really had a chance to play together because we were always really busy. Everyone up in Dublin in our circle of friends, they’re all in like five bands at any given time so we’re like that as well.
After coming from two successful bands, do you feel any pressure to make sure that All Tvvins are as successful?
Lar: No, me and Conor first met up to see if something was actually going to work, like it wouldn’t have left my bedroom if we thought it sucked. There wasn’t any expectation to be better or to do more. It was just to make a new band.
Conor: It was just out of curiosity and just to jam with each other because we both like each other’s music and then it turned out we liked it a lot. So there was no pressure. It’s a different band and it’s a different trajectory we aim to kind of do more, probably? Lar: I don’t think so. Conor: You do. I thought you were with me on this?
Does it feel weird to start over again with another band?
Lar: It’s grand. I think me and Conor were lucky because we kind of got to skip a lot of stuff with this band because we had done bits before, I guess. Everything just kind of went very quick. I suppose because of the previous bands we had a little bit of a name so we could use that. When we put our first music out we had a handful of people going “oh I know them,” so it didn’t even feel like starting again.
Is it easier to work together now with just two members in the band?
Conor: Yeah, it’s way easier.
Lar: Decision making is so much easier now. We can ask each other “do you like that?” and if it’s a no from either one of us it’s kind of like okay well let’s move on. Occasionally we’ll stick at one thing and just convince the other person but yeah it’s dead easy. It’s yes or no really.
Conor: It’s not like three against one or anything.
Conor, in The Cast of Cheers you’re the main songwriter. Is it the same in this band or is the song writing process more equal?
Conor: Oh yeah, with this the two of us get in a room and bring our ideas to the table. Like the way we write is not the way I’ve ever written before, as in with somebody. In the last band me and my brother Neil did a few songs together but with band it’s very much the two of us messing around with ideas really.
With both of your previous bands you played more indie music. Why did you decide to do something so different with this band?
Conor: I don’t think it was intentional. When we got together that was just what happened. It wouldn’t really make sense to make another band that was the exact same.
Lar: Well it became intentional. When we first started jamming it was really guitar heavy stuff.
Conor: Over time we definitely kind of realised what the band was. We definitely wanted to mess around with a bit more pop but then the more we did of that the more we missed rock so now we’re kind of somewhere in between. Some sort of weird electronic pop rock thing.
Is there anything else that you plan to do differently with All Tvvins that you didn’t do with your previous bands?
Lar: We got a ska song.
Conor: We’re nearly done with the album and there’s gonna be 10 songs on it and they’re all completely different. There’s gonna be obvious pop ones, and there’s gonna be heavy ones. I know I joked about reggae but there’s gonna be police reggae, that kind of style. We can do anything [with this band], that’s the beauty of it. With our last bands we were more exclusively rock but now we can do whatever the hell we want with it. We don’t really care what people think anymore. It’s not like we’re pinned down. Whatever songs we want to do, if we like them then that’s good enough. It’s not pandering to anyone.
Lar you were previously in a band called Adebsi Shank, why did you decide to end that when you did?
Conor: Yeah Lar, why did you bloody end your band?
Lar: With that band we just really felt that we reached the point where it was cool to just stop doing this. We did a lot of stuff in that band. It was kind of like a family decision, like a really nice break up. We’re still really close, talk to each other, support each other. That’s cheesy but it’s true. We did like three albums and it was a pretty weird band so it felt like, let’s just call it a day and move on.
Conor, do you have any plans for The Cast of Cheers or are you just focussed on All Tvvins for now?
Conor: Just focused on All Tvvins. We signed to a label there a year ago and we’re just so focused on this. We really want to get an album and we just want to tour like mad so it leaves us no free time to be honest.
So it’s All Tvvins, all the time, every time. When can we expect an album from you?
Lar: The start of next year, hopefully. That’s what we’d like.
Conor: Ideally, yeah. We still have a couple of songs to record for it and we have been recording for a long time now. We just have to get the mixes right and all that thing and they can take a while. It’s gotta be right. But they all have to sit together on the album nicely as well and that can be nearly a harder thing to balance then the recording, the mixing and getting them all to sound like one thing, like an album. It’s like a big baguette for breakfast – if the sausages are undercooked it’s not gonna be a nice baguette.
What are your plans for the rest of the year with All Tvvins?
Lar: Yeah we’re gonna finish off the record and we’ve got more shows. We’ve just got a new studio as well so we’re in the middle of setting that place up. This is me and Conor’s job now so it’s just All Tvvins.
Conor: It’s All Tvvins world.
Lar: There’s just constantly stuff to do for the band and stuff to organise.
Conor: Yeah we’ve got a lot of shows up to Christmas. Then we’re going around Germany and Belgium. Between now and Christmas it’s finish the album, tour and then hopefully release the album and tour more. We don’t like our houses so we just leave them.
Lar: I mean playing live is kind of why we started the band because it’s the best thing do to ever really.
Conor: It’s the best thing ever and you’re only as good as your last gig. You have to be good live to be in a band.
Interview – Sophie Butler