Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: PICTURE THIS

The Irish alt-rockers tell-all on the creative chaos that went into making their forthcoming album, Life In Colour.

Picture This Life In Colour Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

Owen wears shirt LYPH, jeans LEVI’S, Jimmy wears pattern shirt VINTAGE CHRISTIAN DIOR and own jean’s, Ryan wears jumper CHARLES JEFFREY LOVERBOY, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, sunglasses MOSCOT and own trousers, Cliff wears patchwork bomber STORYWEAR, white tee ELGEN.

Picture This Life In Colour Charles Jeffrey Loverboy
Owen wears shirt LYPH, jeans LEVI’S, Jimmy wears pattern shirt VINTAGE CHRISTIAN DIOR and own jean’s, Ryan wears jumper CHARLES JEFFREY LOVERBOY, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, sunglasses MOSCOT and own trousers, Cliff wears patchwork bomber STORYWEAR, white tee ELGEN.

Who else can’t stand the sight of their bedroom after these last few months? There are only so many slouched positions you can morph into across the sofa, box sets to rifle through on Netflix and takeaways you can munch on before things get beyond boring. Now imagine you’re in a wildly successful Irish music outfit, full to the brim with ideas for songs and tour interludes, but the government haven’t said a bloody thing about when you can go back to work. These are the issues currently facing our favourite alt-rockers, Picture This, as they rustle up their third studio album, Life In Colour, out 25th June.

Ordinarily, the group are used to a fast lifestyle of tours, live shows, studio sessions, parties and non-stop travelling, so to have to stop right in their tracks over the past year was a blessing and a curse. The downtime did give them chance to set a fresh pair of eyes upon their forthcoming album – but that didn’t come without its dramas. “I prefer not having the time,” says frontman Ryan Hennessy, “because when you do have the time, you tend to start to overthink things [..] I had so much time on my hands, I didn’t know what to do with it, so my creativity probably suffered then.”

The supergroup had originally planned on releasing the album in the October of 2019, around eight months after their colossal sophomore record found its feet in the world, but fate had other ideas. Pushed further and further back owing to scheduling conflicts and, you know, about fifty thousand worldwide lockdowns, it’s finally on its way, unrecognisable from what it once was before Covid. “Our approach to the whole project was to create an album that felt real and felt genuine and open and honest, naïve and vulnerable and all those things,” Hennessy continues, “we didn’t set out with that approach, it was just the natural thing that we did, and I think we achieved that.”

The group hope it’ll reflect their personal growth over these two years, and provide fans with that long-awaited musical high before they set out on the road again before the year is up on their UK tour, including a show at O2 Academy Brixton: 14th October.

Ahead of its release, we decided to catch up with the band, unpacking the chaos and candour of these last few months whilst digging into their inspirations for Life In Colour and general plans for world domination. Take a look…

Picture This Life In Colour Sunglasses
Picture This Life In Colour Vest

(Left) Cliff wears shirt KSUBI, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, black tee ELGEN, ring & necklace THE GREAT FROG, Ryan wears faux leather shirt NANUSKA, check trousers HOLZWEILER, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, sunglasses BONNIE CLYDE, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, Owen wears short sleeve shirt KSUBI, trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, shoes G.H. BASS & CO, Jimmy wears black Tee HOLZWEILER, jeans KSUBI, trainers ZESPA (right) Cliff wears shirt EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, black tee ELGEN, Jimmy wears VINTAGE LEATHER JACKET, long sleeve tie dye tee CHLOE BAINES x TOYO TSUCHIYA, Owen wears faux leather jacket WEEKDAY, pattern shirt PRONOUNCE, Ryan wears knit vest LIAM HODGES, black tee VINTAGE GIANFRANCO FERRE/GOLDSMITH VINTAGE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, bracelet THE GREAT FROG.

Picture This Life In Colour Sunglasses
(Left) Cliff wears shirt KSUBI, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, black tee ELGEN, ring & necklace THE GREAT FROG, Ryan wears faux leather shirt NANUSKA, check trousers HOLZWEILER, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, sunglasses BONNIE CLYDE, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, Owen wears short sleeve shirt KSUBI, trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, shoes G.H. BASS & CO, Jimmy wears black Tee HOLZWEILER, jeans KSUBI, trainers ZESPA (right) Cliff wears shirt EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, black tee ELGEN, Jimmy wears VINTAGE LEATHER JACKET, long sleeve tie dye tee CHLOE BAINES x TOYO TSUCHIYA, Owen wears faux leather jacket WEEKDAY, pattern shirt PRONOUNCE, Ryan wears knit vest LIAM HODGES, black tee VINTAGE GIANFRANCO FERRE/GOLDSMITH VINTAGE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, bracelet THE GREAT FROG.
Picture This Life In Colour Vest

Hey guys! We are halfway through 2021 already! How has it been for you so far?
2021 for us…we had a lot of time, which we’re not used to having, but we’ve used it to our advantage in terms of finishing up our album ‘Life In Colour’ and getting all our stuff together before the world hopefully opens up very soon. It was tough during lockdown but we kinda got into the flow of it and got all our shit together. I don’t know if we would have the album ready in time had we not had the time that we were given. It’s been quite positive. I suppose you get to the point where you have to decide to be positive…which we came to, and it’s paid off.

With everything that happened last year, do you think your creativity has been affected?
It’s hard to talk about that objectively…for me anyway, as a writer. I’m sure it has been in some ways, both positive and negative. Positive being that we had so much time. I usually write on the road, on tour buses and in hotel rooms and we record in the same way, on the fly, so we don’t usually have a lot of time. But I guess I prefer not having the time, because when you do have the time, you tend to start to overthink things. I did find that I had so much time on my hands, I didn’t know what to do with it, so my creativity probably suffered then. But once I hit the flow, like halfway through the year, it allowed us to be so creative in so many different ways in writing music, creating videos, recording, coming up with plans for when we’re back. So, a mix of having too much being bad a thing but turning it into a positive.

You dropped your single “Unconditional” last year which was huge! What is it like releasing music during such a difficult time?
It’s really weird releasing music in that kind of climate. We’re used to releasing songs and an album, and going and touring it around the world, where you get instant, tangible feedback. You know that these songs are connecting, people are screaming every lyric of every song from the top of their lungs, and you get that confirmation that what you’re doing is being received well. We really miss that, releasing music when you don’t have that is difficult. With “Unconditional” I regularly forget how well that song did because of the lack of tangible crowd reaction. But every time I think about it, it’s one of our most streamed songs and everybody always messages us about it and it really widened our audience – it’s a super successful song for us – so it was really weird just not having that in-person reaction. But it does mean that’s it’s going to be super special when do get to finally play these songs live – it’s going to be such a release.

And now your set to drop your fan album Life in Colour, talk us through your mindset approach this project?
This album has been a long time coming. We released our second album MDRN LV in February 2019, and we were actually going to release this album in October of the same year, but we weren’t allowed because it was too soon, too close to the second album. Then COVID hit so it really knocked it back, it had several setbacks, which means that the album has taken on various different forms, it’s not what it was back in October 2019 – it still has the same sentiment, the same heart, the same feeling, all of that, but some songs have been chopped and changed. We took songs out, and they were out for months and weren’t going on the album, then they came back in last minute. A lot of that happened. There’s a great sense of reality and deep feeling in the album and that’s all you can ever ask for, I think, when you’re releasing an album. I hope people really connect with it in that way.

Picture This Life In Colour Collage
Picture This Life In Colour Birds Eye

(Left) Cliff wears STORYWEAR, white tee ELGEN, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, Owen wears vintage denim jacket WRANGLER, polo shirt FILIPPA K, camo trousers PAUL SMITH, Ryan wears knit vest CD FEMME, trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, white socks FALKE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, pearl necklace, silver necklace & dagger pendant THE GREAT FROG, Jimmy wears shirt KSUBI, jeans VINTAGE LEVI’s/GOLDSMITH VINTAGE, trainers ZESPA, (right) Owen wears jacket 3.PARADIS, black trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, black leather shoes G.H. BASS & CO., Ryan wears shirt & white vest FIORUCCI, black trousers SONG FOR THE MUTE, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, white socks FALKE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, Jimmy wears pinstripe acket POINTER BRAND, white tee PAUL SMITH, jeans KSUBI, trainers ZESPA, Cliff wears denim shirt STORYWEAR, black tee ELGEN, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, canvas trainers DIEMME.

Picture This Life In Colour Collage
(Left) Cliff wears STORYWEAR, white tee ELGEN, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, Owen wears vintage denim jacket WRANGLER, polo shirt FILIPPA K, camo trousers PAUL SMITH, Ryan wears knit vest CD FEMME, trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, white socks FALKE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, pearl necklace, silver necklace & dagger pendant THE GREAT FROG, Jimmy wears shirt KSUBI, jeans VINTAGE LEVI’s/GOLDSMITH VINTAGE, trainers ZESPA, (right) Owen wears jacket 3.PARADIS, black trousers EDWARD CRUTCHLEY, black leather shoes G.H. BASS & CO., Ryan wears shirt & white vest FIORUCCI, black trousers SONG FOR THE MUTE, loafers G.H. BASS & CO, white socks FALKE, pearl earring PUBLISHED BY, Jimmy wears pinstripe acket POINTER BRAND, white tee PAUL SMITH, jeans KSUBI, trainers ZESPA, Cliff wears denim shirt STORYWEAR, black tee ELGEN, trousers SAMSØE & SAMSØE, canvas trainers DIEMME.
Picture This Life In Colour Birds Eye

You’ve already teased a few tracks from the album, but what can we expect?
You can expect an emotional rollercoaster – there’s a lot of ups and downs in terms of feeling and the general feel of the tracks. There are some songs where it’s just me playing acoustic, singing the song once, really raw, recorded in one take. Then there are songs that are fully produced, big up-tempo, stadia size choruses. So, it’s a wide-ranging album, but it’s pure heart in every track. It’s an open and honest record…it’s the most open and honest I’ve been, lyrically, since we started the band which is really scary now it’s coming to the release, because I didn’t think about it when I was writing, which is great I suppose. Now that the album is coming out, it’s scary to be revealing yourself emotionally like that to the world, but it’s also very necessary. I hope people appreciate it and receive it well and I hope it maybe can inspire people to be as open and honest and genuine, in songwriting and in life, as they can be.

You’ve spent the past two years on this, why does now feel like the right time to release it?
Now feels like the right time to release it because it was getting ridiculous how many songs we had, it was never going to happen if we just kept recording songs without putting a body of work out. We just needed to get this out there, firstly so it gets the time, space and attention that we believe it deserves and then also it allows us to start the next chapter and keep moving forward, working on album four, because everything just started bleeding into one another because we were writing so much music. Also, it feels like the world is starting to open up again, most importantly really, because we want to be able to tour this record and be in front of people’s faces, and play in small, sweaty, dingy venues and big arenas and everything in between. It felt like now is the perfect time with everything opening up again, let people live with the album for a little bit and get out and tour it. We’ve always followed our gut when it comes to the band, and this was one of those moments. It just felt like the perfect time.”

How do you think this album differs from your 2017 debut project? How would you describe your growth as a group?
I guess in many ways it differs because we’ve progressed sonically, I’ve become a better songwriter, Jimmy’s become a better producer by proxy because of time and effort that we’ve put into the craft of that. So, it definitely differs in terms of the art, but I think something that we’re proud of now looking back is that it has the same kind of rawness as our debut record. It has the same naivety, which is a nice word to me, I guess some people take it negatively, but I believe it’s a superpower when channelled correctly, I think we have done that subconsciously on this album, which we did on the first album. I’m really glad we have that same feeling, or a similar feeling at least, as the first album because I guess that’s why so many people fell in love with our band, and it’s why we love doing what we do – so I’m glad that we kept that kind of integrity in the record.

It differs because I write everything based on where my life is, so the first album was all about the trials and tribulations of going from a teenager into my early twenties, before the band started – those songs are about that kind of growing up. This record is about where the band and I are at right now, having toured the world and experienced all these amazing things and meeting incredible people, getting into relationships and getting into trouble, getting out of relationships and out of trouble and all of those things. It differs because we’re at a new stage in our lives.

You’ve worked with some incredible people on the album, what is your favourite memory looking back?
It’s hard to pinpoint one memory, because the album was done over such a span of time, between 2019 and now. We have experienced so many amazing things, and this album was recorded all over the world, from our hometown in Ireland, to London, to Los Angeles, to all around mainland Europe. It was recorded in dressing rooms in arenas, and dressing rooms in small venues, hotels, tour buses…it’s hard to pinpoint one memory. I just love the overall memory of the whole process, and the feeling. It was a boundless creative process where we didn’t pigeonhole ourselves into anything, we allowed ourselves to go deep in ourselves emotionally, spiritually, mentally. I guess the overall memory, the creative process of the album. I know that’s quite a vague answer and I’d love to pinpoint one, but there are so many incredible ones I can’t pick.

What are you most excited for after its release?
We are so excited to tour and play shows with this new music. Playing live is everything to us, and we’ve earned our craft playing live and it’s the most fulfilling part of being in the band I feel. Of course, the creative process is very cathartic and can be like therapy, but it’s so much fun – making music is so much fun. But putting it out into the world and getting to perform what you’ve created is the most exhilarating feeling in the whole world. As cliché as it might sound, an arena or a stadium full of people singing back lyrics that you’ve written and songs that you’ve created, is the greatest feeling on the planet that I’ve ever experienced. So, we’re looking forward to that. And then releasing more new music, recording the next album. We’re looking forward to collaborating and working with other people on their projects. The main thing is touring this record and then starting the next one…

Check out the video Picture This’ latest single below…

Photography
David Reiss
Fashion
Toyo Tsuchiya
Fashion Assistant
Barbarella Higgins
Grooming
Sven Bayerbach at Carol Hayes Management using Benny Hancock for Men
Special thanks to Evie Ranscombe & Ramarna Knapp @ Edge Publicity
NEW NOISE: PICTURE THIS

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