Ahead of their tour in Great Britain I got to catch up with Jimmy from Picture This about their music and life in the music industry so far:
So, you boys lived in the same town and attended the same school. Were you two always friends, or was this a friendship which grew with your music?
We knew of each other and all that kind of stuff. Ryan put up a video on the internet of him on the guitar playing one of our original songs, ‘Take my Hand’. I have my own studio as I was trying to be a producer and, when I saw the video, I asked him to come over and yea, we just started playing together. It was from there we thought, lets start a band! Our friendship started from there really.
And this was?
This was a year ago.
What feeling did you have when you guys connected?
We were very excited; Both of us weren’t doing anything at the time. I had just finished a tour and Ryan wasn’t doing anything either. So we just thought, why don’t we just try it? It was so much fun, just to create a song and post it on social media, so from there it turned into something quite big. We are obviously taking it very seriously but also having a lot of fun in the process.
How does life in the music Industry treat you?
At first it is scary because it is so big and you don’t know how it works. But, as we have got more into it, we have discovered that it is all down to us. It is not the type of industry that is set in stone. It is all up in the air - in the sense that anything goes. If it works, you go with it. That is how we started. Everyone thinks there is a certain formula to it, but there isn’t. It is just about being original. That is all that matters. Everyone’s story is different, we were lucky that we we found a niche to do things, which is doing it ourselves.
And by doing it yourself, have you learnt anything?
Yea completely, it has given us an insight into the music industry, we never thought we could dictate it so much, with social media etc. It is interesting, something we really love and it is something we love being part of. We both have experience in the last few years in the music industry which has also helped us to make good decisions, both in music and business.
This year has been the most incredible year for you, you have been signed by Republic records and the release of your EP. How have you found it all?
It is just incredible!
So, can you tell the readers how it all started?
Well, we were invited over to New York to play at an annual BBQ for an Irish newspaper, so we were like yea cool! We decided to set up a showcase gig for some record labels while we were there, just to test the water. We ended up getting a massive audience and all the big record labels were there. The next day we woke up and we had four record companies interested in us, which was crazy! But at the end of the day they are just people too, so it didn’t phase us too much, which I think is important. But, at the same time it does hit you now and then, the craziness of our situation, and how quickly it came around!
Being quite young, is music something you have always wanted to do?
Ryan was not musical at all. He didn’t sing in front of anyone until he was 18. He had also only been playing the guitar for around a year. He was always writing poetry; he is an incredible writer. It was a new found talent for him, he was so naturally good at it.
For me, I have been playing music for as long as I can remember. I think I was 6 when I started playing the drums. I have been playing professionally since I was 18. Since I have left school I have been on world tours etc. with different artists. But you would never know that, together Ryan and I just work, and our music is just taking off to a whole new level.
So more about your EP, what is your favourite song on the EP and why?
It probably has to be ‘Take my Hand’. Ryan wrote that song a year ago. When I heard it I thought let’s produce this together and try and make it really big. At first it was an acoustic song. I never forget the moment we listened to that song back and the shock on our faces as both of us knew we had just nailed the song. It is that song that has always been there, it just reminds us of why we did this in the first place, and it reminds us of the joy we get out of writing music.
Due to the music originating from poetry, how much emotional attachment do you guys have to your music?
The way that Ryan writes his music - the lyrics hit you straight away - because they are so raw and real. All the songs have a serious amount of weight behind them and they hit you on an incredible level. They are very ordinary things which Ryan is writing about; they just mean so much. Everyone feels these emotions but we have never been able to explain it it as well as the music does. When you have music which backs up these lyrics and is on the same level, it creates this combination which really connects with people. They are just so upfront. That is how the songs always work.
So how do you go about writing your songs?
Ryan will always start with the lyrics on the acoustic guitar and the lyrics will remain untouched. The lyrics are written incredibly quickly, Ryan can write them in a few minutes, and it is just magic. Its raw and real. It is an amazing combination. It really matters that our songs and our audience also respond to them so well.
So if Ryan writes most of the lyrics, do you find yourself as emotionally attached to the songs?
Sometimes I hear a song and it takes me a second. But it is so fresh and new what he is talking about. So I find myself instantly attached to the lyrics even after one listen. I want to hear it again because the lyrics have that affect. Even in the song ‘You and I’, where the lyrics say what we think of this town, we should really get out. Everyone has thought that it is something I always subconsciously think about, but sometimes I feel I am not allowed to think these feelings. But the minute I hear the lyrics I just connect, it draws me in such a certain way. So then it is my job to make sure the lyrics are accompanied by the right style of music to get it across. I believe it just works! I mean I am probably the biggest fan of Picture This. We listen to our music the whole time and we are so proud of the music we create.
How do you feel when you hear your songs being played by the radio etc?
We are the same age as the people who listen to our music so when we hear a song we have produced we get so excited and want to write more music! It is not a case of us and them - we are all together. You have to write songs that people can enjoy and people can understand. Especially in the world now where everything is constantly changing.
Well thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to seeing you both at the Louisiana on the 7th November!
Thanks Georgia, see you then!