Q&A with Twin Atlantic

Twin Atlantic are currently on tour and are playing at Northside Festival in Denmark this weekend. It was not long ago they released a new song “No Sleep” taken from their upcoming album GLA. Even though they have a busy schedule, vocalist Sam McTrusty still found the time for a little bit of Q&A.

© Press photo from ON IT
© Press photo from ON IT

What is the main difference between your musical sound now, compared to Vivarium, Free and Great Divide?
– Those albums were made in the past and present… this album is from the future.

What is your favourite song from GLA, and why is that your favourite?
– I imagine it will change quite a few times over the course of the next few years but right now it is a song called EX EL. It took a big transformation for the boys and I to be able to match up to the music that we made with Jacknife Lee on this track. It’s almost like every aspect of our band has finally been condensed into one song and we had to really reach to live up to the task. Im not sure if everyone will like this song but just personally it feels like a real victory.

When you played in Glasgow a friend of mine noticed that Sam did not play guitar on the new songs. Will the album have less guitar from Sam, and does he enjoy to roam free on stage without it?
– That’s true. I didn’t play guitar on the two new songs we played. I do enjoy it as it’s just something new for us and brings something exciting and unpredictable to our show. Haha… it could be a bad thing but time will tell. The reason was simple, during this album there was more than ever a collaboration between myself and Ross. He was bringing lots of ideas and more developed songs than ever to the table so it gave me space to focus on the vocals and their delivery. It was just a natural progression when it came to playing them live.

I know that you probably have more songs written than the ones on GLA. How do you choose which ones to release?
– This has always been an issue for us in the past but when we decided this album would be named after Glasgow, it made the process easy. We just picked the songs that made most sense when we heard them at home. We used imagery from Glasgow and matched them with certain songs.either literally or just in our estimations of what Glasgow conjures up in our minds aesthetically. Marrying that to tones set in music was a thrill and a great adventure as a songwriter. It’s a loose but artistic way to give each song a purpose.

Do you think about the flow on the album, like how do you choose the order of the songs?
– Of course. It’s all about instinct on GLA. Thats a big part of being Glaswegian. Being head strong and reactive. We used to take months to decide track listings but with this album it was easy. basic. visceral. make me feel a certain way and if that matches how i feel about my city then thats the order. GE::CA was first to give us a shock to the system. it was purely selfish.

What is the deal with the album cover. Why is everyone except for Sam blurry in the picture? Is it related to the phrase: “a one man band” on Gold Elephant: Cherry Alligator?
– Not at all. Thats a much deeper lyric related to something that happens in Glasgow. Im mocking it. The album colour was shot by Steve Gullick and him and I had a vision to represent us as a band but also our attitude towards the music on the album but also the state of music around us. Its anti information. It also just artistically looked the best. We just went with our gut.

You now have four albums to choose from on your live sets. How do you choose what songs to play live? How do you balance it all?
– We just make a set that we want to play. I think if we try to make it an equation or try to please everyone who comes to the show we will always fail. That can be for many reasons like where we are in the world, what type of show it is? Club or festival? Shock or Fun!!! Music played with passion starts with just wanting to do it in the first place.

If you could describe each member of Twin Atlantic with one word, what would it be and why?
– Craig – Speed. Barry – Colour. Ross – Fluid.

What is the weirdest or funniest thing that has ever happened on tour?
– It involves naked bodies and regret. We laugh a lot on tour. Hard to beat freak weather moments though. We got stuck in a tornado once. Slid sideways down snowy mountain roads. Drove Past wildfires. Stages hit by lightning. Dodged tennis ball sized hail stones. Watched drums float down streets. Converse melt to the stage.

How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
– By accepting before you even walk on the stage that perfection is boring.

Will you come back to Norway/Scandinavia? If so, when?
– YES!!!! We will be in Denmark this weekend for a festival but we plan on coming back soon to Norway and Sweden for some little headline shows very soon.

Anything you want to add?
– A rocket set for space to the back of all people who operate on the terms of hate and fear.