The Maine traverse exciting new territories on their latest album 'You Are OK', Redbrick Music Writer Ellie Jeffery reviewsWritten by Ellie on 19th May 2019
Redbrick Meets… Twin Atlantic Interview
For our readers that may not have discovered you yet, could you please introduce yourself and describe your sound in five words?
Hi, I'm Ross (McNae), I play bass and piano in Twin Atlantic, and this is Sam (McTrusty), he sings with his guitar. And 5 words: Loud, Quiet...
Sam: ...Ambiguous, Scottish Rock.
How did it all start off for you guys?
Sam: By being distracted at school. Me and Ross went to school together, and became friends through liking the same sorts of music, the whole pop-punk American bands that were big at the time. Because of that I thought it'd be cool to play guitar, Ross had already picked it up from his Dad. Then we got older, stayed in touch with music, and thought we'd have a serious shot at being in a band. Because we got to know everyone in the local Glasgow music scene really well, we got to meet Barry and Craig, and they had the same sort of aspirations etc.
What kind of bands were in you into back then?
Sam: New Found Glory, Blink 182, RX Bandits, well we still are into them.
Ross: Early November, Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack. We've come in a bit of a cycle... Sam, because of his family liked people like Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra. I listened to David Bowie, Status Quo, Roxy Music, T Rex. This is the music I think we'd listen to now. And back in school we listened more to the other bands.
Would you agree that people's comparison of you to Biffy Clyro is an accurate and fair one?
Sam: No... It's fair enough. They're a really great band. I mean, we're Scottish, and play rock music, and I sing in a Scottish accent, so I can understand why people make the comparisons. But if you listen to our record after one of their records, it's completely different. They themselves have said we're a band in our own right, so, the fact that it's come from their mouths is enough justification for me to say it's not a justified comparison.
Ross: It's quite flattering though to be compared. They're one of the bands when we were starting out that were doing really well. It's nice to be compared to someone who's doing that well.
How was it playing with Biffy and Smashing Pumpkins?
Sam: It was a bit of a whirlwind actually! We got added to the Biffy tour at the last minute and it was the first big tour we'd ever done. We'd toured before, but in places the size of this (o2 Academy 3). Playing with Smashing Pumpkins was insane. It was the equivalent of playing the NEC. We'd only been a band for a year...and playing the biggest venue we'll probably get to play. Very cool to get picked.
Are there any particular artists that have influenced your sound and lyrics?
Sam: We've all got different influences. My two most influential artists would be Bruce Springsteen and Nirvana.
Ross: I honestly don't know. I listen to such a mish-mash of music. Queen, big influence. It's different to the way that you play, and the bands you aspire to be, and the bands that made you want to be in a band. It's all different.
Sam: Do we even listen to many bands that we sound like?
Ross: I don't think so.
Sam: The reason we play the music that we play is that we've got that feeling inside us that makes us play stop-starty crazy music. And because we get it out of our system, we don't really listen to them.
Ross: The weirdest band is probably, Radiohead, and they're not weird.
Sam: The Dismemberment Plan....
Are there any bands you'd like to play with in the future?
Sam: Ross's prayers have been answered. He would have said White Lies and we're about to play with them. I'll say Foo Fighters, because they're Nirvana-like, and they're an incredible band. I know Craig would say the same. I'd like to play with MCR. I'm a fan of the big stadium, theatrical thing.
Ross: That's also the weird thing, talking about bands that influence you. They probably are a big influence now, but if you'd have asked me that two years ago I would have said no, but now I enjoy the theatrics.
Sam: MUSE, Muse, I must mention Muse.
I've heard good things about your live shows, can I expect any surprises later on tonight?
Sam: We all play completely naked, and at the end there's fire. We based our whole band on just, being normal people. An honest approach to just playing songs. We don't like over-dressing them. We don't want to show off, just, play our songs.
Ross: Sometimes we get embarrassingly into it though...
Sam: A lot of people, you can tell they're forcing it. You know, they're trying to rock out and flicking their guitar and their hair about and stuff. I mean, we do that, but it just, kinda happens when the four of us get together. It's natural.
I love Caribbean War Syndrome and Lightspeed especially on Vivarium- Do you guys have a favourite track and why?
Ross: They're my favourites too. Although it doesn't sound anything like Queen, for me, it has that same movement. The proggy thing about it, and it veers off in lots of different directions. That's the sort of thing that excites me about music.
Sam: I don't know. I always say a song, but don't mean it. I'm not happy with any of them. I think we can be a lot better. The songs we have now - I'm like 'they're o.k.', but we don't have the thing we're aiming for yet. We're a forward thinking band and when you've played a song and it's done and recorded, I'm always thinking of the next things, rather than the ones that have happened. I don't think any of them are good enough yet.
Are you planning on playing any festivals in the UK this summer?
Sam: Definitely. We're just trying to schedule out the rest of our year. We've had a pretty crazy start... the Enter Shikari tour, having to reschedule these dates because of that, and we're going to Europe, then to America for two months. We don't know what we are playing... a lot of mainland Europe festivals. We'd love to play Reading and Leeds, and Glastonbury, you know, the bigger English festivals.
Ross: We've only really played Download, the more rocky ones.
Sam: This year we want to play the more normal, earthy, I was going to say down-to-Earth. But you know, the rock festivals are far removed from reality...
Ross: I don't think we fit into either though. It's a challenge for us. We tried the rocky ones and we went down really well, people came to see us and stuff, but this year we'd like to do the other end of the spectrum, and then hopefully we'll find the way to go from there.
Where do you hope to go from here, after your year of craziness?
Sam: More craziness. More touring. As much as we can. There's so much competition with new bands at the moment, you've always got to be on top and get as many people interested as possible. So touring, and then the end of the year, recording. We're doing a full length album, as we only did a mini one this time round. That's cool though, but we think we're ready for a full-length one now. An actual, work of art.
Finally, What's the best thing about being Scottish?
Ross: Just... being Scottish.
Sam: Proving all the stereotypes wrong. I like it, especially when you go to America, and you get 'why aren't you wearing a kilt'? Seriously, what's wrong with you, it's 2010, we don't all eat porridge, have beards, and ginger hair.
Ross: Getting away with being really moany. You can just be like 'fuck off'. Really, really negative. Just play the nationality card.