The Thrills now pursuing 'other personal goals'


THE NEWS-MAKERS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?“SO TELL me where it all went wrong.” The opening lines of The Thrills 2003 debut album, So Much for the City, take on a certain irony with the benefit of hindsight.

With a Mercury Award nomination, a platinum-selling second album, the most requested song on BBC Radio 1 in 2004, performances with Morrissey and Band Aid 20, and an appearance on popular teen soap The OC, the south Dublin quintet appeared to have a very bright future.

However, the disappointing performance of their third album prompted the band to take an indefinite break, although drummer Ben Carrigan says they have not split for good.

“As it stands, we have never officially split but after the last record, Teenager, we decided that we’d all actively like to pursue other personal goals for a while,” he says.

Written during an extended period in California, So Much for the Citywas a fresh- sounding introduction for The Thrills. The album’s success quickly hurled the band to the forefront of Ireland’s music scene.

Tracks such as Big Sur, Santa Cruz( You’re not that far), One Horse Townand Don’t Steal Our Sunbrought a summery feel to 2003.

Frontman Conor Deasy’s singing fitted effortlessly with the band’s cheerful melodies, and their style drew comparisons with 1960s and 1970s American pop outfits such as the Beach Boys.

Their follow-up album, Let’s Bottle Bohemia, represented a shift in direction for The Thrills. Gone was the summer pop, replaced with expansive orchestral scores.

Although Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?was BBC Radio 1’s most requested track in 2004 and the album achieved platinum status in Ireland, Let’s Bottle Bohemiadidn’t live up to the high expectations set by its predecessor.

Released in 2007, Teenagerproduced a similar sound to So Much for the City,but only the most devoted of fans (this reporter included) bought the album. Soon after its release, EMI severed ties with The Thrills.

“During that third album, our label pulled their support for us quite early on and I think everything just became harder than it needed to be,” says Carrigan.

“We toured Australia in May and June 2008. This was the last time we were active as a group. No clichéd artistic differences or anything like that. In plain and simple terms, I think we just wore ourselves out and wanted to step back and gain some perspective.”

Carrigan was the only band member to respond to queries from The Irish Times.

“I’m currently bouncing between London and Dublin and am working full-time as a composer/producer. I’m also about to start final mixes on my own EP which I hope to release later this year,” he says.

Conor Deasy is also in London and appears occasionally as a DJ, while bass player Pádraic MacMahon has branched out into photography.

Nonetheless, Carrigan has not ruled put a reunion for the band. “I’m sure that at some stage in the future we may approach making another record, but there’s certainly nothing in the pipeline as yet.”