For such a young band, Two Door Cinema Club is finding considerable international success. Since its inception in 2007, the trio has toured Ireland, Britain, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Next week, the indie rock band begins its third U.S. tour.
"It's been pretty incredible actually," bass player Kevin Baird says from Belfast. "I feel . . . we spent a lot of time doing tours of the U.K. without anyone really noticing who we were for ages. And it kind of sparked one day. I think it was about this time last year that things really started to pick up."
Band members Baird, Alex Trimble and Sam Halliday, all 21, have known one another since grammar school in Northern Ireland. When they weren't writing tunes together, they were sneaking into bars to hear their favorite Belfast bands, which inspired them to pursue their own musical goals.
"We wanted to write music that we loved, but we never saw it as being possible until we were meeting these people who were just normal people and . . . not some kind of unobtainable, unapproachable thing," Baird says. "So that was the first thing that showed us it was pretty easy for us to be in a band."
Seeing their favorite bands play night after night in the same bars for the same people also inspired them in another way: to want more.
"There are so many examples of incredible bands," Baird says, "especially here in Belfast, but they never play anywhere else because there's no demand for them. . . . The goal was to go on tour in other countries. It wasn't to be a massive, sell-out-arenas band. We just wanted to be able to go places and see the world and do what we love doing."
The band released its first single, "Something Good Can Work," in 2009. There weren't many copies printed, but just enough to get noticed by DJs and clubs.
"Things just flew from there," Baird says. "All the copies sold out really quickly, and people were demanding more. But we were trying to keep it really cool and low-key because we didn't have an album ready. . . . We were just trying to put feelers out there, and people really took hold of it and wanted more and more."
In 2010 came Two Door Cinema Club's debut album, "Tourist History," and the blogosphere lit up.
The band's retro-hip style, with its quirky blips and beeps reminiscent of upbeat '80s pop tunes, has resonated with fans. "We base our songs on melody," Baird says, "and melody is something that crosses all language."
The band makes a point to put on an energetic live show. The three loved to dance in those Belfast bars where they first realized their calling, and they love to jump around at their own shows today.
"We want to make people dance," Baird says. "We want people to have a good time . . . and kind of lose yourself for a bit."
The band is planning to release a follow-up album in 2012 after the tours end. "Obviously we're ambitious people and we want to progress and we want be bigger, and I think at the moment, America is our focus," Baird says. "We're really just conscious of spending time out there and smashing it, and doing what we know we can do."
Appearing with Tokyo Police Club and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin on Thursday at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. 202-265-0930. www.930.com. Sold out.
The Download: For a sampling of Two Door Cinema Club's music, check out:
From "Tourist History":
"Something Good Can Work"
"I Can Talk"
"You're Not Stubborn"