Twin Atlantic - Interview and on tour again!
Posted by Hunter on Fri, 25 Nov 2011.
There's a list in the office of incredible bands that cause fights amongst the team of Jitty editors when we hear they're on tour and we want to interview or review them. Twin Atlantic is on that list, and as soon as I found out they were on tour again, I knew there was going to be an imminent argument. Secretly my money was on Rachel coming out on top but you know, you can never count Craig out, and Rhien packs a vicious right hander too (but then Brandon does Jiu Jitsu, and I swear the other forty editors are all ninjas, or possibly pirates). So to avoid this, I decided to do the interview with Barry myself. I know it's tough, but you know, I'm happy to put myself forward for the sake of the "team" :)
Why such avid fans of the band? Well, you absolutely must catch one of their live shows. Honestly, it's like being hit by a hurricane. The bands performances are raw gutsy affairs, totally committed, passionate. You get some bands, they shout, they posture, it's all an act, but with Twin Atlantic, it's the genuine article, unbridled energy hammered out relentlessly through monstrous amps. In short, Twin Atlantic are epic. I manage to speak to Barry McKenna.
I still read Craig's blog, and laughed at his post about waking up and thinking he was "actually the professional actor and part time secret agent "Daniel Craig". But in all seriousness, are there times that you lose yourself and are so carried away with your work that you have to stop and pinch yourselves? And when you look back over the last couple of years does it come as a shock how far you've come?
Yes, I guess so. We've had a very fortunate ride over the past couple of years. We've ticked a lot of boxes on our individual and collective buckets lists, some of which were literally dreams come true. Having said that, we have never been a band to rest on our laurels and we are never content standing still, so we'll continue to work hard and grow as a band. Also, I think Scotish people sometimes have an inbuilt pessimism, so even when things are going well, we have try harder to appreciate it sometimes. Added to that, we are usually too busy to find the time to really think about it I guess.
Sam's talked a bit in the past about the darker seedier side of the music business, and how it can carry you along with it. Just how big is the pressure to conform, to overstep your own morals, and what advice do you have for any smaller bands starting out to deal with those sorts of situations?
Yeah, the music industry has definitely revealed it's uglier side to us over the past couple of years, so that's why we pay no attention to it and continue to do our own thing regardless. We have a small team of people around us who we trust and respect, so they are the only people we will choose to deal with. The industry has made a habit of chewing people up and spitting them out, so we largely just avoid it all and cut out all the nonsense.
As far as young bands go, in my limited experience I would advise that you ignore the industry and concentrate on what really matters... the music. If you write good songs, there are always going to be like minded people out there who appreciate what you do. They are the music lovers and the people who matter most, not the suits who think they run the industry.
Every time we've interviewed you, or reviewed one of your shows, every performance is 100 per cent committed, how on earth do you keep that up? I know Sam can be fiery at times, but it's usually with good reason, but after a show, is he actually all out?
Yeah, we are usually all pretty kicked in after our shows to be honest. At the end of the day, we massively appreciate it when people choose to spend their hard earned money to come along, see us and get involved. The least we can do is try our hardest and give 100%. People go to concerts to leave the day behind them and have a good time, so we always remember that and try to create a good vibe for people to enjoy themselves. Also, we avoid the rock'n'roll cliches of partying hard and debauchery... It's pretty sad, and only has a detrimental effect on the shows.
We were talking to Amity Affliction's Troy Brady, and he reckoned that there wasn't a lot of money to be made out of CD's now, but it was mainly from Tours and other merchandise, how true is that?
We honestly don't care about making money. This isn't naive, it's just our outlook. If we really cared at all about making money, we certainly wouldn't be in a band... we'd be accountants and marketing gurus. We do this simply for the love of doing it, not for any financial gain. We are fortunate enough to love our jobs. We get to travel the world and spend every day with our friends. The money is pretty arbitrary.
When we first interviewed you, when we were doing our research, there wasn't much out there. I type in "Twin Atlantic" into Google now and I get over half a million results. Do you ever look over old interviews and think "Oh my god, did I say that?" Or rather, have there been times you've been badly misquoted?
We tend not to read back reviews or interviews for that very reason. We often get misquoted or say stupid things, doesn't everybody. It's like looking back at old family photos and getting embarrasses about your rubbish hairdo or terrible sense of fashion. Everybody grows and changes over time, so I always reckon there's no point in beating yourself up about the person you used to be.
Ross also mentioned in a past interview with us that he had Twitter on his phone and so far he had managed to not put anything silly up, is that still the case? :)
Haha. Probably not... I'm sure he has been prone to the odd twitter absurdity or two.
You used to have that orange van, still have it? And you've been touring a lot (understatement), what do you do to keep yourselves occupied whilst on the road?
All the usual things really... We chat, eat, read, play cards, watch movies or write some music. Just whatever passes the time I guess. And yes, we still have the big orange beauty.
There's that god awful phrase "Lessons will be learned" where things have gone very very wrong, but could have been prevented. What things have you learned the hard way whilst being in Twin Atlantic?
I think the biggest lesson we learned was not to let ourselves be manipulated and to stay true to what we know and feel is best.
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And Twin Atlantic are on tour again! Sam Mctrusty has said "This UK tour will be our best. We've been working for 4 years to be able to put on a show like this. The support we've had so far with "Free" from our fans... new and faithful... has been exceptional so we feel like we have something to prove to you guys! We are on a mission to show that music can be both meaningful and fun, that's what this tour is all about."
With tickets flying, buy your tickets quickly!
THE FREE-ZE TOUR
2nd Birmingham, Academy 2 08444772000 / www.ticketweb.co.uk
3rd Nottingham, Rescue Rooms 08454134444 / www.alt-tickets.co.uk
4th Manchester, Club Academy 01618321111 /www.ticketline.co.uk
6th Wrexham, Central Station 08704445556 / www.seetickets.com
7th Leeds, Cockpit 01132454650 / www.lunatickets.co.uk
9th Edinburgh, Picturehouse 08444999990 / www.gigsinscotland.com
10th Glasgow, Academy 08444 999990 / www.gigsinscotland.com
11th Aberdeen, Forum 08444999990 / www.beyondit.net
12th Dundee, Fat Sams 08444 999 990 / www.gigsinscotland.com