The Dublin duo All Tvvins have been fast entering the acclaimed title of household name since they shot into the Irish charts in 2016. It’s been two years since the band, elsewhere known as Conor Adams and Lar Hayes, released their debut self-titled album IIVV. The album features some show-stopping tunes, and unforgettable bangers, like ‘Darkest Ocean’, ‘Book’ and ‘Crash’. Since then, they’ve been continuing that trajectory, writing, gigging, and producing as much as they can. Ahead of their headline gig in Cork’s Opera House on the 27th of October – one of the highlights of this year’s Guinness Jazz Festival – Flow was lucky enough to sit down with the lads to chat about their upcoming single, ‘Hell of a Party’, and their plans for the year ahead.
The band’s first album was incredibly well received amongst Irish listeners, reaching number two in the Irish charts following its debut. Their new single is an incredible come-back to the Irish music scene after that interim – but there was no way that the lads were going to take a break: “We’ve just been gigging. We’ve played so many shows in Europe over the past couple of years”, Conor, the vocalist and bass player, told me. “We’ve been writing all along so that when we went to do album two we wouldn’t just be sitting there with no ideas”.
We asked the lads if they’d been trying to develop their sound in any certain way since IIVV – would their new music bring about a radical change, or did they choose to build upon that solid base? “We were just really aware of the fact that we didn’t want this to be a repeat of the first album sound-wise. No one wants that”, Lar tells us. “No, especially not us”, Conor replied, laughing. “It’s really much the same set up wise, it’s still guitar, drums and vocals. We’ve tried to change up the sound in some ways for a bit of a change, there’s way more keys on this album for instance”, Lar added.
Conor says this has a lot to do with their collaboration with another incredible Irish artist, James Vincent McMorrow, who produced and co-wrote several of the songs on their upcoming second album: “James is absolutely sick on the keys, so they couldn’t not feature on the album,” Conor explained – one of the features they sought to progress in their new work through collaboration with McMorrow – “he would basically come up with riffs and they were just too good to not go on the album.”
Having discussed the development of the new album, we wanted to see how the new single had been received both at home and abroad upon its live debut. The band have gotten a chance to debut their single whilst out on tour over the last few months, and we were interested to hear how their music had been received abroad, often playing to new audiences that mightn’t be so familiar with the band’s first album. Conor told us that they had been playing two songs from the new album on tour and got a sense of its reception from the electric responses from crowds, at home and abroad.
“For our tour in March we did Europe, the UK and Ireland. We were playing two songs off the new record and ‘Hell of a Party’ was one of them. I think that was the one we knew to release because people were coming up after being like ‘oh wow that new song ‘Hell of a Party’ is unreal’, and we just thought it was amazing that they remembered the name of a song we hadn’t released yet, so that was really cool”, Conor laughed. “Just getting to play some of the new songs off the album was really great”, Lar said – “we were playing the tunes off the first album way before it ever came out, so we were basically playing those for the guts of three or four years. It’s nice to get a change.”
This has by far been the busiest year for the band, having toured Europe during the coldest of the winter months. With such a busy schedule, we wanted to know how they had managed to write and tour simultaneously.
“We were recording the album with James [Vincent McMorrow] and that was pretty much every day, then that finished and then we practiced for a week and it was straight on tour”, Lar explained. “Yeah, when you’re locked up in a hotel in the financial district of Zurich, you’ve nothing really to do but write some new tunes, so that’s what we did”, Conor added.
It could have been a bit cheeky of us, but we were on the very edge of our seats wondering when the second album would be released, so Flow had to ask! “Well, we haven’t really decided yet”, Lar told me – “we want to make it more interesting than just ‘two singles’ and then just announce an album’s coming out, because no one cares about that anyway. Especially us. At the end of the day it is our album, so we want to deliver it in the right way.”
The ways we listen to music has changed drastically over the last number of years which affect the ways in which musicians produce and promote their music. We asked Conor how he thought the advent of music streaming, apps such as Spotify, have affected the process of releasing new music: “It’s a brave new world. The way you release music is so different now to how it was. You can just be throwing songs out whenever. It’s really incredible what you can do so easily nowadays”. They both agreed, releasing music has never been easier, and more and more emphasis is being placed upon the impact of the live shows amongst music fans.
The Jazz Weekend gig is looming, and I can tell that the lads couldn’t be more excited to come back to Cork. Having arrived at our studios just after they visited the Opera House for the first time, they both said they were “super excited”. Conor added – “we just saw [the venue] today for the first time, we had a walk around and it looks awesome. I’d never been there before. It’s massive, but still feels intimate and close with all the seats stacked in the upper circles”. Lar added: “I’m just really happy it’s a late show, people are going to be coming in with a bit more energy”, he laughs. “We’re going to be putting a lot of work into this show – it’s a big one for us. It’s such a vibe being like ‘oh we’re just playing the Opera House’, you know”.
Catch the live interview with Flow on 98.3FM on the 19th of October – every Friday 8-11am – listen live on www.uccflow.net