Two Cheers are a great example of infectious pop rock, vocals to give you goose pimples and emotionally charged songs to make you smile. Hailing from Los Angeles (yes MIMR is going international now hehe) they released they’re debut record in the summer of this year and it made the top 20 of MIMR top 50 albums so you know it’s worth having a listen
I got the chance to speak to singer Bryan about the band’s work on the 2nd album, their influences and a very family Christmas
MIMR: What’s your favourite part about being in Two Cheers?
Bryan: I had been trying to make music and write songs by myself for a long time in between my college band (The Broad Daylights) and Two Cheers, and it was a really lonely time. I wasn’t writing good songs, I wasn’t singing well, nobody really cared, and I had no confidence. Then, around the time I met Mitchell and we started talking about music we liked and about starting a band, something started to click for me and the whole thing started to work again. I started to come up with better music and better lyrics, but I also started to have more fun and feel more confident. So, that is extremely important because music is my whole life — if I can’t have fun and feel good doing it I am really lost. It was a similar situation for Mitchell; he had a band in college that broke up and then he moved out here to LA from Florida and it took him a long time to be in a place to start making music again, he had kind of lost touch with it, and when we started making music he started to remember how important it was to him. He told me music is one of the pillars of his life now and that is how I feel too. So, Two Cheers is very important to us. I hope it lasts forever. That’s what the song ‘Keep On Calling’ is all about!
MIMR: Your record is top notch! What influences did you have whilst making it and did it come together the way you planned?
Bryan: For the first album I was working mostly on my own, because Mitchell and I had only just started playing together, and we hadn’t quite gotten our chops up together yet. I think my main influences are a combination of really big time artists like The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Van Morrison, The Cure, Bjork, and Prince especially, and lots of less well-known artists like The Sundays, Mark Geary, Microphones, Nick Drake, Number Girl (from Japan), and Thursday. Mitchell’s influences are bands like Wolf Parade, Haim, Angel Olsen, Blood Orange, Real Estate, Bon Iver, St Lucia, War On Drugs… Lots of new stuff that I like but haven’t fully caught up with yet.
Actually, the album didn’t really come together as planned… On one level I am happy with it, like sonically and aesthetically it really works. My friend John O’Reilly Jr’s interpretations of my drum machine beats are really ingenious and really brought the songs to life. Also, it was the first time I was able to record an album that my friends and family really liked, and it was a breakthrough in that way for me. On the other hand, I wish I had been able to spend more time on the songs — working out the kinks, rewriting some of the lyrics, getting better takes of the vocals, incorporating more improvisation… I was working full time at a cosmetics lab during the recording of these songs, but I was also putting pressure on myself to get it done, so I squeezed it all into nights and weekends. For instance, I ended up doing most of the vocals in one weekend. I learned so much though; technical things about engineering, mixing, and how my voice works, but also emotional things about what making music means to me. Doing it and having people accept it and respond well to it changed my life and gave me more confidence. I am typically really hard on myself and I need to hear from people to get perspective. Still, part of me wants to go back and redo a few of the songs from the first album knowing what I know now… just for my own satisfaction… That could still happen, but for now we are moving on.
MIMR: MIMR is dying to know if they’re are any plans to play any shows in the U.K in the near future?
Bryan: Not the near future, unfortunately. But someday we will… Maybe in a year or two when we’ve got our operation totally up and running here in the States! We are still a little green. Mitchell and I joined up around late Winter 2014 and we didn’t get the rest of the band together until August 2014 or so. In 2015 I hope we can tour the States, and then maybe next year a small UK tour will be in order. I love a lot of the music coming out of there now and I think we’d fit right in. Plus, I am a Scotch drinker so I want to visit some distilleries!
MIMR: what’s the reception been of your album whilst on the road since its release?
Bryan: We haven’t quite even gotten on the road. We finished the first album in June 2014, but while it was being mixed, Mitchell and I started writing and recording a bunch of new songs. The new material is really, really exciting for us and really lends itself to live performance. So, we’ve kind of made a decision to finish this next album too and make it part of the band before embarking on a tour. I think the new music is a lot closer to what we want our band to be about musically and spiritually, but it still captures a lot of the elements that made the first album good. Anyway, the response so far to the album, the live shows, and the new material has been really encouraging. I think we are getting better every week.
MIMR: Are their any funny gig stories you can share with MIMR?
Bryan: Nothing particularly hilarious yet… At the last show someone in the audience started hooting during a guitar solo I was trying to do. It was so loud that I thought I was hitting wrong notes so I ended up played something very different than I usually play… And then I realized it was one of our friends in the front row hooting and I cracked up a bit.
MIMR: What will 2015 bring for Two Cheers?
Bryan: We will probably be wrapping up the mixing and mastering of our second album, playing lots of shows around Los Angeles and up and down the West Coast, and writing even more songs! We have amassed a huge catalog of song ideas, and since I’ve essentially built a small recording studio in my house we have the freedom to record whenever we want and for free, so I see us putting out a lot of music and really expanding on our sound. I am hoping we can tour in the Summer but it takes time for a band to get to the point a tour makes sense.
MIMR: Thanks for talking to MIMR, what are your plans for xmas?
Bryan: Well, I will be recording vocals for the next album! Actually we are racing to come up with a Christmas song before the big day! Meanwhile, it will be my parents’ last Christmas in California before they move back to the Midwest and my sister is back after several years living in Japan, so we are going to have something of a family reunion. As for Mitchell, it’s his first Christmas as a married man!
MIMR would like to thank Bryan for giving us his time during a very busy period for Two Cheers, if u haven’t yet checked them out, do it before they make it big. MIMR can’t wait till their next record
Check this track recently made available on soundcloud
And here’s their main web page:
And finally their Facebook page, give them a like here: