Picture This have taken the music industry by storm since the release of their first single, ‘Take My Hand’, in 2015.
The band have already announced the release of their second album, MDRN LV, and are preparing for their upcoming European tour in 2019.
We chatted to band members, Ryan Hennessy and Owen Cardiff, all about their favourite moments from the past three years, their new album and upcoming tour.
Speaking exclusively to Goss.ie, Ryan opened up about the inspiration behind ‘MDRN LV’: “It actually comes from kind of a bad place, in a way. The whole thing started from [when] we were in a session with a songwriter and we never work with songwriters, we always write songs ourselves. But we did it just to try to write some songs with them, whether it was for us or somebody else, but we just hated it.”
“Hated every second of it, it was terrible, I don’t like writing with other people. We were in the U.K. and we got back to our hotel room and I was like ‘Jimmy please do something on the laptop, I need to write a song here, I need to do something’ and he did,” the singer continued.
“Five minutes later he came up with this music and I was sitting on the bed eating pizza; he just put his phone to my mouth and said ‘sing something’ and I just started singing. That turned out to be the title track of the album and our album just went from there, forward, so that’s where it came from.”
So far, the band have released one track from the album called ‘One Drink’ and it has a distinctively different sound than previous music Picture This have released.
“It’s a very different album. It’s still very Picture This, you’d know it was us but it’s just sonically a lot different. It sounds a lot ‘poppier’ and we messed with vocal manipulation and stuff like that, rather than a straight rock album,” Ryan told us.
“Because we’ve always been a pop band, because the first album was so acoustic guitar-heavy, people kind of associate us with a sort of ‘folk rock pop’ album. I was like ‘That’s not what we are’ and on this album there is only one song with an acoustic guitar,” he continued.
“That’s it, so that’s quite different. But it’s still me singing about being in love and getting my heart broken and breaking other people’s hearts, it’s still about that. It’s about modern love, exactly what it says on the tin.”
“We released a teaser where I was walking and talking to the camera and I kind of explained what I think ‘modern love’ is. Each of those songs are kind of descriptions of modern love, modern love situations, relationships and things that have happened so it’s an album about love.”
Speaking about the incredible announcement that they will play five nights in a row at Dublin’s 3 Arena in March 2019, Ryan said that they felt “scared and excited and every emotional. It’s crazy, five nights in the 3Arena, never been done before.”
“It’s mad to even do one night in the 3Arena. When you’re growing up and you’re going to gigs, you’re like ‘I want to play there some day’ so to do five is…” Owen said, before he trailed off, showing the magnitude of their quick success.
“We’ve done two before. We did two last year and that was like ‘wow, we’re playing two nights in the 3 Arena, that’s amazing!” It sold out in like three minutes and it was like…” Ryan continued.
“This is it, we can end it here,” Owen joked before the band’s frontman said: “Yeah, finish at the top!”
“It’s genuinely one of our favourite places to play as well and to go see gigs. We see gigs there all the time. We’ve played there a few times, we’ve done our own two shows there and we’ve played on different bills there. It’s always an amazing atmosphere in there,” he continued.
As for their success over the past three years, it’s clear that the band are still in disbelief, as Ryan said: “I kind of forget sometimes that I’m in a band.”
“It does feel normal, because of how quick it did take off. It just feels like ‘this is my life now.’ It’s only when you go home off tour or someone else says it that’s not in the industry, that you’re like ‘wow, this is my job,'” Owen added.
“Sometimes people come up to you or whatever and it doesn’t really register with me for a second. I’m like ‘Oh, they want a photo with me because I’m in the band. Now I get it.’ I completely appreciate it, obviously, and we live and breathe the band, but it is still strange that people want to come up and get a photograph with you. But I appreciate it so much,” Ryan told us.
The band are set to take off on their European tour in 2019 and although they are ecstatic about their Irish gigs, there is one other concert in particular that they are really looking forward to.
“I’m really looking forward to Stockholm because we supported Niall Horan there and it was an amazing show. The crowd were just incredible and we got so many new fans from there,” Ryan said.
“This year, we went over and I got really sick and I couldn’t perform a full show so it was the first I’ve ever had to cancel a show. I was really disappointed. We did an acoustic set of like four songs because I still wanted to perform, so I’m looking forward to going back to Stockholm and giving a full proper show. Amsterdam has been amazing for us from the start, we always get big crowds there. So those two places.”
“I’m the same, Sweden was great. The first time where we supported Niall Horan, the crowd were amazing. One time the PA went down and Ryan sang ‘Jane’ on his own. No PA and they were just so attentive, which was great,” Owen revealed.
“It was mental. That was the first gig we ever played where it was fully seated as well. Two thousand people and they’re all seated and they just listen. It’s like Owen said, when the PA system cut out and I started playing, they were just silent. It was crazy, I’ll never forget that moment,” Ryan added.
“They are such a genuinely nice crowd and they’re just listening to the music. The screams of them on the other hand is amazing as well. So you get the best of both worlds with the Swedes.”
The pair also revealed one of their favourite moments from their career and referred back to their breathtaking performance at the main stage of Electric Picnic last month.
“There has been a lot of those moments. Electric Picnic was a special moment for us, it’s like a hometown gig for us, as well as the next town over. We sat in the dressing room afterwards in silence just like ‘what happened? What just happened there?'” Ryan said.
“It was crazy and I nearly started crying on-stage. I got really emotional, that doesn’t happen to me very often. I don’t know why, it just took over me, so that was a big moment,” the singer revealed.
“This is a big moment, releasing this album. I feel like we’re in a real band now, we’re onto album two, so now we’re a real band.”
Picture This’ second Album ‘MDRN LV’ is set to be released on 15th February and the band will play five nights in Dublin’s 3 Arena from 27th March to 31st March.
You can check out our interview with Ryan and Owen below: