Get To Know: Picture This
We’ve got your new favourite pop band for you – introducing Picture This!
Ryan, Jimmy, Owen and Cliff aka Picture This, are a proud four-piece pop band from Kildare in Ireland. The guys released their debut record in 2017 and have since accumulated millions of streams, gained fans across the world, sold out arena shows, and gone on tour with the Jonas Brothers. In 2017 and 2018 they were the biggest selling Irish act so it’s about time we Got To Know them!
Creating euphoric pop anthems, Ryan and Jimmy say that a “lot of classic bands like The Beatles, The Eagles, Queen” have inspired their musical sound, alongside Ryan being personally inspired by the likes of “Oasis, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Biggie Smalls, The Streets”. They are gearing up to release their third album and their single ‘Things Are Different’, which they recently performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden, is out now!
1) For those who don’t know about you and your music, tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from…
RYAN: We are a band from Ireland, from Kildare in Ireland, and we started five years ago now. We started accidentally - we were supposed to be a side project originally - just because I wrote a song and Jimmy heard it and loved it, and then it just kept evolving until we started to sell out massive shows in Ireland. We released two albums, which went very well thankfully. We’ve toured all over the world and have done some great supports with Jonas Brothers, and we have a third album coming out hopefully very soon.
I think there’s a lot of bands around at the minute… People are often afraid to put themselves in a box. But we’ve never really been afraid to say we’re a pop band or we’re a band who play pop music. While everybody else likes to think outside the box, we’ve never really had a problem being in there, and that’s always kind of been our motto. We’re looking forward to releasing more real pop music this year!
2) Who/what inspired you to start a career in music?
RYAN: For me, I started a career in music quite late; I only sang for the first time when I was 18, and that was just through music class at school, so I never really had any desire whatsoever to be a musician or work in music, whatsoever. So it was kind of my music teacher I guess who would have inspired me really. And then I just always loved music. I loved music growing up but I never really thought about it as a career. For Jimmy, it was kind of the opposite...
JIMMY: Yeah I had no other choice really because I’m not great at anything else and I was only ever doing music my whole life. I tried a few other things but I kind of knew I was going to have some kind of career whether that was just being a drummer in a band and working gig for gig and paycheque by paycheque. So I’ve just always been doing it and I don’t really know anything else.
3) Who are your biggest musical influences?
RYAN: For me it would be Oasis, Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Biggie Smalls, The Streets – a mixture of the ‘Madchester’ scene or whatever you want to call that. Some bits of hip-hop, but that doesn’t really come across in the music at all. Then we all love a lot of classic bands like The Beatles, The Eagles, Queen.
JIMMY: It depends. I think there’s different stages of your life where you indulge in a certain kind of music. When I was a kid it was The Beatles as that was whatever my siblings were listening to. The Beatles and Queen and Metallica. Sometimes the music you like and the person you become as a music lover is kind of dependent on the people around you in a way. But you can’t go wrong with The Beatles I suppose.
4) Tell us about the writing and recording process of your new release…
RYAN: The writing and recording process is always pretty much the same for each thing. Me and Jimmy, since the band started, have always been the relationship of Jimmy being the producer and me being the writer and us kind of staying in our lanes, and that’s served us very well. I think that’s kind of the key to our creative success; is that I know I’m a writer and that’s what I do and Jimmy knows he’s a producer and that’s what he does and we kind of keep it that way.
We don’t try to be anything that we’re not. It’s a very egoless creative atmosphere which is great. Everything you’re going to hear from us has been done by us, produced by Jimmy and written by me. And that’s kind of how we always like to do it, we like to keep a DIY approach to everything that we do because we’ve always found that that’s been the magic and been our collaborative approach to creating music and we’ve always just had fun, I think that’s an important thing. It never feels like a chore or anything like that, it always just comes from fun and I think you can hear that in the songs, the upbeat ones anyway! And then you can hear the pain in the slower ones *laughs*.
5) What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
RYAN: For me, I have a lot… When we released our first album. When we started. Like I said, we were a side project, that’s what we were calling ourselves and so we never thought we would ever release a lot a songs let alone a body of work. So our first album was definitely a highlight. And then when we sold out five nights at the 3Arena, because it was a historic thing to do. It was kind of the first time where we really did something massive and kind of record-breaking. The record was four nights sold-out at the 3Arena and that was by U2, and then we sold out five nights, and it was just the best week of our lives I think.
JIMMY: I think just releasing our album really. It’s hard to ever think that you would do something like that, growing up, that you’re going to release an album. Everyone dreams about doing that and to actually do it, that was great. That was amazing, it was like a dream come true. You can’t really top that!
6) Who would you be your dream collaboration and why?
JIMMY: It’s hard to say as a band because we’re all so different. But if we were to talk about ‘Picture This’, I think to collaborate with some of the classic bands, or the big bands that are around, like The 1975, we always say that. But we’d love to collaborate with strong singers and strong personalities. That kind of stuff is always something we dream about doing, in some capacity at least, and hopefully this year we get to do it a lot.
RYAN: It would always be great to collaborate with a female vocalist as well just to bring something new in, and there’s so many amazing female artists out there at the minute so hopefully we will do something. I’ve often said before, Julia Michaels would be a great one and Julia is a good friend of ours, so hopefully we’d love to collaborate with her at some point. I think that would be an interesting collaboration because she’s a great pop writer and singer as well.
7) Have you met anyone and been totally starstruck?
RYAN: Yes. I have! I haven’t been starstruck by a fellow musician or anything like that, but we met the class of ’92 who are Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, the [Manchester] United team from back then and that was mind-blowing. That blew my mind! We played at an event that they were at and we ended up going out with them afterwards on a night out and it was the best night ever. It was amazing. It’s the first time around that I really understood, because a lot of the time when we meet fans for example they’ll be like hysteric and I would never understand it. But when the class of ’92 walked into the hotel foyer I felt my legs go… they’re my heroes, I thought they were superheroes!
8) If you could only listen to one song on repeat for the rest of time what would it be and why?
JIMMY: I’d do a classical piece… that’s lame. Like a 25 minute long, old classical piece! It’ll be great.
RYAN: I would pick… I think the guy's name is Fionn Regan and ‘Dogwood Blossom’ was the song. It’s literally the most depressing song in the world so I don’t know why I would pick that but it just feels like the right thing to do *laughs*
9) What’s on your playlists that people wouldn’t expect?
JIMMY: I listen to a lot of strange stuff. I would listen to a lot of classical and movie soundtracks. A lot of Owl City. I listen to a lot of them. I listen to an odd mix of a lot older music then a lot newer music that’s completely kind of unknown. I listen to hour-long versions of instrumental Owl City songs a lot, I don’t know why *laughs*. I love listening to pop music when it comes out, that’s what I love. But if I was going to be putting on music to relax and not think about anything I would be doing something weird like that. It’s not a great answer really, but you know, it’s the truth!
10) What can we expect from your live shows?
JIMMY: Me making terrible faces, Ryan running a lot.
RYAN: …and swearing a lot.
JIMMY: Running, swearing, great vocals! Don’t get me wrong! The vocals are on-point. A lot of energy.
RYAN: Energy. I’ll probably be wearing an outlandish get-up, maybe some costume changes. Just a lot of fun. Our shows are very rock’n’roll, which we’re not a rock’n’roll band, we’re a pop band, but our shows are quite rock’n’roll, I think. It feels kind of like a football game, that kind of vibe. But a lot of fun I think, a lot of energy and just great sing-along songs.
JIMMY: A lot of fun, it’s not very serious in that kind of way. We just have a lot of fun because we’re enjoying it that much, you know.
11) Have you got any fun livestreams/online events planned for this year? / When can we see you live?
RYAN: We just literally actually posted a video on YouTube of our live show at the 3Arena from those five nights in 2019 which went down really well, everybody seemed to really enjoy that and we streamed it as live, it premiered on the Saturday night and it was great. It gave all our fans the opportunity to get dressed up and get a drink in their hand and spend their Saturday night in their living room but at a Picture This concert - virtually - which was a lot of fun. So we might potentially do something else like that again. But hopefully this year we will be able to play some actual live shows again. We’re praying every day that we can do that.