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New Album: Little Green Cars

AFTER five years, Little Green Cars reach Absolute Zero Hit Band tell Chris Wasser how career accelerated.

There was a time when Little Green Cars used to skip school, head over to their frontman Stevie Appleby's house in Ballsbridge and play rock stars for the day. "Smoking cigarettes and recording garage band demos," nods guitarist Adam O'Regan, "thinking we were so cool."

Yet, they were in no mood to show off. Barely 16 when they first came together, Stevie, Adam, Faye, Dylan and Donagh rarely ventured beyond their backyard rehearsal space.

 

Exams

"We never did many gigs," says Stevie. "We knew one day what we had would be worth something, but we knew that at that stage, it wasn't. We wanted for it to be worthwhile, and to have something that we were really proud of."

It's hardly surprising, then, that it's taken five years for the Dublin quintet to release a debut album. Indeed, Little Green Cars is no longer a distraction from homework and exams. Just back from a US tour, Stevie and his mates are signed to Glassnote Records, the American indie label which includes Mumford & Sons and Two Door Cinema Club on its roster. So, you know, they're in good company.

What's more, the Markus Dravs-produced Absolute Zero – a fine and surprisingly sophisticated folk rock album – suggests all their hard work has paid off.

It was in 2010 at a gig in Crawdaddy that they met music manager – and former guitarist with The Thrills, Daniel Ryan. He wanted to work with them. But first: a proposition. Did they want to do this properly or did they want to go to college? They couldn't do both.

"Because we were gonna do it every day, like a nine-to-five thing," explains Stevie. "For what we wanted to achieve, that was what it was gonna take. We wanted to take it seriously."

Daniel was committed to the band. He lent them money. He also had label heads coming in and out of Stevie's parents' house to see what Little Green Cars were capable of. The next step involved all five members living together at a house in Wexford where they could write and record an album.

It was here that they wrote The John Wayne – a scuzzy, guitar-heavy belter about Stevie's failed attempts to impress an American chick ("a right-wing republican") at a bar. One of the finest Irish singles of the past decade, it's since become their signature tune.

 

Buzz

It was also one of the reasons that Dravs (Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire) decided to pay them a visit.

"He said, 'let's just do this on a record'," remembers Stevie, "and we said, 'cool, let's'."

Currently one of the most hyped Irish bands of the year, Little Green Cars try not to pay attention to the buzz that surrounds their every movement. Adam points out: "It's not what we're doing it for." They're doing it for themselves. The big time beckons, but make no mistake, these guys are in it for the long haul.

Absolute Zero is out now


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