In what has been a whirlwind year for the band, Picture This are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Announcing yesterday that they plan on playing an epic five night run at Dublin's 3Arena next March, along with a full European tour and new album 'MDRN LV' to be released in the meantime, it's hard to keep up with them.
Hailing from Athy, and made up of the lead singer Ryan, drummer Jimmy, and Owen and Cliff on guitar and bass, Picture This are making waves both in Ireland and around the world.
After their press conference yesterday, we had a quick chat with Ryan and Owen about what influences are on their new album, and if they ever get scared about what the future holds:
First of all - what an announcement. What did you think of the response for 'MDRN LV'?
Ryan: I haven't had a chance to look at my phone yet, which is a good thing, I like to step away from it for a bit. But from everyone talking, it sounds like an amazing reaction, which is what we wanted. We're buzzing to be back, back in people's faces, it's great.
You haven't taken too much time out at all, have you?
R: No we haven't taken any time out really, like from the start of this year until now we've released two new songs. Just because we were writing and producing so much music that we just thought "let's just release these two songs". They're not on the album or anything, they're just their own thing. So yeah, no time off really but we've been recording this album and touring.
Owen, were you and Cliff always part of the band, or was it just Ryan and Jimmy at the start?
R: The two lads have always been a part of the band.
Owen: We are the band, you know, (laughs) we've been here from the start.
R:Yeah we're all best friends, all grew up together in Athy, they're not just two randoms we pulled in (laughs).
How different is 'MDRN LV' compared to 'Picture This', your first album?
R: It's quite different. It's definitely a departure from the last album, in a good way. The sound has progressed quite a bit. It's still love songs, I write love songs. That's it, that's what I do (laughs). But we messed around with new sounds, but we think that people who like our music will be pleasantly surprised, because it's still very Picture This, but it just sounds cooler... There's no acoustic guitar on the whole album, whereas the last album was all acoustic guitar. It's cool. It's a nice progression for us and more importantly, our fans will like it.
Yeah I couldn't believe it when I heard 'When We Were Young' on the radio that this is the same band?
R: Our new song 'One Drink' and 'When We Were Young' were early indications of what direction this album was going, it was exciting.
O: Yeah they're like transition songs.
Any new influences or some from the past that you've brought forward into this one?
R: Yeah for me, my influences are very subconscious, I don't think about a certain artist when I'm writing the songs. My influences, lyrically, are from experiences and stories, and stuff like that. But when we're releasing the album I want to make a Spotify playlist with all of the arists that I was listening to when I was writing. So I listen to Jon Bellion, I listened to him a lot and the way that he uses his voice to make sounds, and that came through in the album. Dua Lipa is one of my favourite artists, she's amazing. I love female artists. Female pop artists are probably the biggest influence on this album... Which is probably pretty weird (Laughs).
R: I would love that, I would do anything to do that. Who knows! We met her at Electric Picnic, and she was very nice.
You spent 3 weeks recording the last album in the states, where did you record this one?
R: We recorded this album in Jimmy's studio in Athy. That's where all of the songs from the first album were made and then we re-recorded them in Nashville. But yeah, we recorded it all ourselves, and then went to LA to meet with producer Jayson DeZuzio, who's worked with Imagine Dragons, and he co-produced the songs then. So yep, between Athy and LA. We didn't go and record an album, we were recording songs constantly, about 50 songs, and then we found our new sound within there and picked our favourite 12. So since late December, early January we've been recording until now. Some of the songs are not even finished. (laughs) Well, they're finished but they have to be mixed.
And they'll be on the album?
O: Yep. In December and January, we were recording a song every day. We were just producing and writing so much.
Does that take it out of you - always being on the go?
R: No, no it's great. I hate not doing it. It's so exciting.
O: It's good craic as well you know.
R: You just don't know where it's going to go, I love that with songs in general. I record vocal melodies and lyrics into my phone, and then a couple of weeks later it's a massive song. It's really good.
You've come such a long way - Ryan, you didn't sing in front of anyone before you were 18 and now you're here headlining arena tours in Europe, that's absolutely mad.
R: It is when you say it out loud like that I guess. (laughs)
You're all so chilled out, does it ever, I don't know, scare you a bit what the future holds or do you just live in the moment?
R: It doesn't scare me at all, it excites me. It's like you said, four years ago I didn't even sing and now I'm here and it's really exciting. And now I'm thinking what's going to happen in the next four years. What's going to happen this band? Even just what's happened to us as a band in three years, it's thinking what's going to happen in the next three years. It's crazy and that's really exciting.
O: You can't be scared. If you're scared you won't go for it and there won't be any drive, you have to give it your all and really want it.
And everyone loves the Irish as well...
R: (laughs) That's so true. At every single one of those European gigs, there will be Irish there. And it's been like that since the start, it's amazing.
Final question - what kind of audiences do you like performing in from of - American, European, Irish?
R: They're actually all quite different, which is something I didn't expect before I ever played music - I just thought every crowd would be the same. I love a good rowdy crowd, like a rowdy, lads on shoulders crowd is my favourite. And you get that in Ireland and also the UK. But you get it everywhere to be fair - I remember playing in New York at The Bowery Ballroom, and they were like "there's dudes on shoulders here... I thought there was only teenage girls..." There's always lads on shoulders and I love that. I love them all in their own way. In Europe, those guys are very respectful. They don't talk or anything, when you're playing a song, there's just silence.
O: Yeah they're very attentive.
R: Yeah and then at the end of the song there's uproar. That's cool as well. And America is a mix of Ireland and Europe, so it's cool.
'MDRN LV' drops on February 15th, and tickets for their upcoming tour are available at 9am on Wednesday 24th October.