The five members of the Thrills have known each other since they were kids in Dublin. They’ve lived together in California, and all of them have only female siblings. So it’s no surprise that when Conor Deasy, Daniel Ryan, Pádraic McMahon, Kevin Horan and Ben Carrigan—aged 24 to 30—enter a room, there’s a real brotherly vibe, complete with teasing and roughhousing. At a photo shoot, they pick up Horan (the smallest and oldest of the bunch) and swing him around by his arms and legs, much to his dismay. But when separated they show nothing but pride and respect for each other. “When we were in California, Kevin started writing jokes for one of the biggest Christmas cracker companies,” says Ryan. “If the band hadn’t got together he could probably have made it as a comedian.”
After their California excursions—four months in San Diego in 1999, four months in San Francisco in 2000—the friends moved home, got a record deal, lost it, got another, went to L.A. and recorded their debut release, So Much for the City. With its sunshiny sound and lyrics, the album has drawn comparisons to the Beach Boys, but the band urges listeners to go past that. “The lyrics are pretty miserable,” says vocalist and principal songwriter Deasy. “They reflect a really shitty time—it was hard for us to get a new record deal. That’s why the music is upbeat—they’re escapist pop songs we wrote to pick us up.”
The group’s first CD, So Much For the City, spent seven weeks at the top of the Irish
They certainly struck a chord at home when So Much for the City was released last summer and sat at No. 1 on the Irish charts for seven weeks. It hasn’t caught on as quickly in North America, so the band members are working hard on the road, raising their profile. They’ve also started recording a second album in order to appease anxious fans back home. Ireland, they say, will always be a priority. “We kind of wrote a record about getting out of our little hometown,” says Deasy, “and now we realize we really love Dublin, and whenever we have a chance we like to go home.” SHANDA DEZIEL
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