Leah Hamer || October 18th
Full of flu and cosied up in woolly hats and scarves, All Tvvins Conor Adams and Lar Kaye, craft their roll-ups on a grimy glass table on The Sugarmill roof. When asked where they are looking forward to on the final run of their European tour, both laugh in synchronisation, ‘Home’.
Yet despite the sniffles and exhaustion, ‘On days that you have time to kill, you find yourself staring at a wall for ten minutes,’ the duet’s eagerness to return to their hometown, Dublin, is for the right reasons. ‘When we get back we are playing the Olympia which is a dream for us.’
Conor is engaged in a sense of nostalgia as he conjures up the notion of playing in this legendary venue, ‘I remember when I was younger I was playing in the real shit holes, and then I finally got to play in Whelan’s which was the dream. Now it’s the Olympia, which is top of the top.’
Their charming accents were born in a city swimming with musical talent, which bred artists like James Vincent McMorrow and The Immediate, that Conor and Lar spent their youth watching in traditional pubs. I joked that in my one experience of visiting the city, everyone seemed to be particularly happy and constantly jigging about. They agreed, ‘Because it’s so small, it’s hard to succeed in Dublin if you’re an asshole.’
As two individuals that appear to be the exact reverse of assholes, it is understandable to me why All Tvvins have been such a success in Ireland, their debut album, IIVV, reached number two in the Irish charts when it was released there in August. ‘Well, number one is the real hope, but it’s still pretty good.’ They both chuckle and talk about their success humbly, ‘We made it to TV, we went on The Late Late Show in Ireland- so that was one for the mums.’
IIVV is a vivid expression of All Tvvins unique, alternative-pop style. Its tracks are made up of life stories, each of which can be interpreted in several ways, and from months of hard work and subsequent gaming sessions in their own private studio. ‘It’s a constant battle to be victorious. Some days in the studio are so uninspiring when you can’t think of anything. That’s the point when you leave it for a while and go and play Mario, and then get frustrated by that instead.’
Both Conor and Lar have found previous fame in bands prior to All Tvvins yet both have finally found a comfort in their sound, ‘This is different, more real. We have a bigger vision.’ Conor notes, ‘In my old band, The Cast of Cheers, I didn’t think further than tomorrow. Now we have a more take over the world kind of vibe.’
There is variety within each song on the track-list, no two sound alike, yet all share a comprehensive anthemic feel, which is inspired by an equal love of pop music. ‘We’re not embarrassed about liking pop music. We have freedom to admit that we like that Rihanna song, we’ve shed that indie snobbery because life’s too short.’ Lar continues ‘It’s far more exciting to write something that will have mass communication rather than some twenty mile an hour riff that you think is the coolest thing, when no-one gives a shit.’
The pair have grown up listening to everything from Phil Collins to Slipknot, enjoying phases of listening to different genres and modern music. ‘You should listen to contemporary, it keeps us interested, and it keeps your ears younger. I don’t want to be one of those guys that’s like Smashing Pumpkins’s Melancholy was the best album ever and everything’s been shit since then…yes it’s one of my favourite albums, but there’s been plenty of great stuff since.’ Conor laughs before impersonating Billy Corgan.
With the chart success of IIVV in Ireland, the next task is to release it elsewhere, before beginning official work on their second album. As two characters who have experienced the ups and downs of breaking out of a local music scene, before their dithering fingers froze off, I had to ask how they did it. ‘We didn’t give up. You need to look into bookers, managers, promoters, ring people, email people, quiz people, and be good. If you can record one banger, and record it well, that’s your calling card.’ And if you’re in Dublin, ‘Don’t be an asshole.’ They laugh. ‘Don’t be an asshole, be ballsy, and have a banger. Easier said than done.’
All Tvvins performed to a roaring crowd on Friday night with support coming from local cool kids Fears Chella. Their tour continues throughout the UK over the next two weeks, until their final date on the 28th October at the Olympia, Dublin.