When it came time to record their third album, The Thrills felt a change of scenery was a good idea.
The Irish quintet recorded its first two albums in southern California, with song titles and sounds that were Golden State-connected, and singer Conor Deasy says he was “very aware of the notion of the band getting typecast.”
“I knew that we would go on to make different types of records,” he says. “When you’re young and everything’s happening so quickly, you don’t really stop to think about things. And sure enough, [our California association] got whipped into a tabloid romp and became the story of the band. And it is a part of the band’s story, but it’s certainly not the whole story.”
The scene for Teenager, released Oct. 23 in the United States via Capitol Music Group, was Canada — specifically, Vancouver’s Warehouse, a recording facility owned by Bryan Adams.
“I liked the fact that none of us knew anything about the studio,” says Deasy, “and we had never really been to Vancouver — we had played one gig there. We didn’t know anyone there, and I felt like we needed a fresh start for this record.”
Teenager reunited The Thrills with Tony Hoffer, who produced the band’s first album, 2003’s So Much for the City.
“When we turned up in Vancouver,” Deasy says, “the studio was a very big room, and as a result, it was great if you were going for that big-room, ’80s-snare, rock sound. But it meant that for Tony to get a little more intimacy and a little more subtlety to the sound, it meant that he had to build a small room within the big room.
“So I’m glad Tony was up for that. It was probably a bit of a challenge initially, but then once we got settled in, it was a great experience.”
With a title such as Teenager, Deasy says it was important for the album itself not to feel “like an exercise in pure nostalgia.”
“That was one of the reasons I wanted it to sound fresh and youthful-sounding. I didn’t want old session-y musicians playing on the record, or strings,” he says. “If it got too syrupy and was pulling at the heartstrings too hard, it might have been too sentimental.”
— By Chris M. Junior