Interview // This Club
Originally published in the Irish Sun on Friday, September 7.
Dublin four-piece This Club shot to prominence around this time last year when their infectious summer pop hit ‘I Won’t Worry’ was featured in what felt like a ubiquitous post-Electric Picnic ad for Vodafone – but guitarist Philip Broadbery insists it’s been anything but an easy ride for the band once known as Hoarsebox.
He explains: “From the outside it looks like it’s moving quick. If you take it fr0om and the album release back in May, it’s only been a summer and it’s been well-received, but some of these songs have been around for years.”
The band recorded their debut album, ‘Highlife,’ over the course of a year in Mississippi with producer Dennis Herring, choosing from a catalogue of about 40 songs that were gradually whittled down with Herring’s assistance.
Listening to ‘Highlife,’ it’s clear to see how much time and attention to detail has gone into the songs at the production level. Frontman Johnny Holden’s vocals in particular have been heavily treated with autotune, but Broadbery is quick to insist that it’s used purely as an effect, not as a crutch.
“The autotune wasn’t used because none of us can sing. The thing about this band is that we pride ourselves on playing and all of us having very strong voices – in fact, each of us could be a lead singer. The autotune has a certain quality to it – in fact it’s used more as an effect now – and used tastefully and in the right framework it works quite well.
“A lot of bands do it these days – some more subtly than others, some more obviously than others – but you see a lot of indie bands these days embracing technology. As long as you’re not completely cheating or miming something on a backing track – that’s bad. We’re not doing that. I know of bands that do.”
He also moves to allay fears that the band rely on autotune and effects live, noting that all four sing acoustically: “One thing we pride ourselves on is our close harmonies. I think people who haven’t seen us before are surprised by the strength of our voices. There are points in the set where we pare everything back and showcase our vocals and we might sing a couple of choruses without music just to show we can do it.