Twin Atlantic are certainly a band on the rise, they completed their first ever headline arena tour in May off the back of their latest release the Great Divide and it seems the only way is up for those wonderful Scottish gentlemen. They were in Birmingham recently courtesy of the Budweiser Live Project which aims to bring great musical talent to venues across Britain all for free. That night Twin Atlantic played the Q Club and we caught up with Barry and Ross after soundtrack to discuss the Budweiser Live Project, their recent arena tour and the plans for their new record which or may not involve working with famous ballet dancer Wayne Sleep!
You did a pop up show today how did that go?
Ross- Really fun actually and quite weird at the same time as it was like ‘Oh we’re here and we’re playing a gig in the middle of a square’. It was good fun though, something a bit different and it was nice to catch people off guard when they’re on their way to do something else.
Was it a word of mouth kind of thing?
Ross- Yeah it was intentionally lets see who turns up kind of thing. A weird social experiment.
And it worked then I guess? I heard there was some guy going to a job interview and you kind of heckled him slightly?
Ross- Hopefully he gets the job!
So this Budweiser tour is quite and interesting concept, getting bands of your calibre to play for free. How did you get involved with that?
Ross- Basically they just approached us and asked what we were doing. We’ve not done anything like this and this is the first album that we would have probably been able to do anything like this. Its the end of our album cycle, we’re going to go away for a while so it just kind of fitted in nicely. Sam our singer is a big Budweiser fan and believe it or not its his favourite beer! We have been asked before to do things that haven’t really fitted but this did.
In May you completed your biggest headline tour to date, how did that go and were there any particular highlights?
Barry- It went ridiculously well, I think the biggest highlight was that we got to play our first ever arena show. A lot of these songs were kind of written with the intention of playing them to a lot of people but to actually have it all come round the other end and to have a room full of over 10000 people singing along to these songs that you wrote with the hope that they would come, it was pretty surreal and amazing.
Was that one of those oh shit we made it kind of moments?
Ross- The thing is we never actually think that because we are always quite guilty of thinking about the next thing, its always like the next tour and the next venue and the next step and the next album; we’re always thinking ahead. But that was probably the first time in that whole tour and the festivals over the summer and the end of this album its the first time we actually probably have all thought, not ‘Oh we’ve made it’ but thought ‘God this is pretty big and its actually going really well’. You don’t want to rest on your laurels but its nice to be able to take that in and its given us the motivation that we’re going to make this new album at the end of the year to kind of think if we managed to achieve that what’s going to happen that’s not possible?
You’ve mentioned the new album is that something that’s in the works now?
Ross- Yeah, we’ve been writing in various different ways between us and we’re going to start at the start of November. It’s going to be out next year, I don’t know exactly when but we’re getting into seriously starting to make it properly at the end of the year.
How was Reading Festival?
Barry- We’ve kind of been really spoiled over the last few years, I think we’ve played Reading 6 times out of the last seven years or some crazy ratio so it feels like, its weird to say but its a festival where we feel at home even though its the other side of the BrItish Isles from where we actually live. We’ve been there so often we feel really at ease around the site, the crowds are always great because the festival has got such a legacy amongst music fans and people are so excited to go there so when you play music for them they’re right up for it.
You played Soundwave as well, is that a different experience to British music festivals?
Ross- It was different for us because we’d never been to Australia before so it was bit of a culture shock in general, it was good though. People had been asking us to go there for quite a while, it was just good to go, its as far away as you can actually get and we have a fan base! This year has been full of those cheesy moment of ‘What’s going on!’
You’re signed to Red Bull Records hows that working out for you?
Barry- We’ve never know anything else we signed to them and its seemed to have not done us any harm. We’re a band that have grown with every record we’ve released and that’s always been our ambition, as long as we’ve got that forward projection and continual momentum we’ll just keep going so so far, so good.
Do the have any influence on your sound?
Ross- Not really no, we have an A & R, Meredith, she has been a big part of everything we have ever done, not an influence but she has been a guidance for us with everything we have ever made and any worries or questions or anything we’ve had she’s been there. I suppose she has been an influence in that way, setting you up with the producers maybe she feels would match what you’re trying to do , its never like this is what you should do though.
You’re releasing a short photographic history in December, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Ross- Its Craig our drummer who’s over there looking all sexy and handsome!
Barry- He bought a camera right as our band was starting and his photographic journey and our bands journey have kind of gone hand in hand. At the start it was like proper paparazzi style but then we just started to forgot that he had a camera and its amazing to look back. As his skill has developed our band has as well so the photographs make sense. When things were grimey and we were playing to no people the photographs weren’t very good, its like a story that’s intertwined together.
Who are you favourite artists?
Ross- At the moment… who we listening to the moment?
Barry- at the moment? You probably shouldn’t ask me because it won’t sound very cool!
Ross- We’ve listened to The Maccabees new record a lot and Foals’ new record.
Barry- The new Everything, Everything is great.
Ross- My favourite record is the new Everything, Everything record.
Any embarrassing musical choices?
Barry- I wouldn’t say anything embarrassing, we did have a guitar tech a couple of years ago, a great friend of ours called Matt who always used to whenever anyone would feel rubbish he would always lift the mood by putting on Take That at full volume and just dancing and singing along!
Ross- We don’t really think of music as guilty pleasures, I sat and listened on the way here today to all the hottest tracks on I-Tunes, I didn’t call it that by the way, its actually called that! It went from Ellie Goulding to One Direction, it was anything really, we just like music.
This is where I admit to liking a Justin Bieber song, the less said about this the better…
Are there any smaller bands in your local area that you’re getting excited about?
Barry- Recently we did a show in Scotland and we had two really good Scottish bands play with us, ones called Fatherson and the other band is called Model Aeroplanes. They’re both really good bands that we like. There’s actually a really cool band that I got introduced to from our lighting engineer last night, they’re called Bad Cavalier, its one of the guys who was in And So I Watch You From Afar and he made this solo EP and it sounds amazing so I was sessioning that last night in the hotel.
Ross- There’s another Irish band that I really like called Old Twins, they’re pretty amazing as well.
You released the Great Divide last year, any plans to get people to re-mix the tracks like you did with Free?
Ross- We did talk about it but that was that albums thing and this one we just decided that the b-sides would all be acoustic versions or acoustic songs and the next record will have a different theme.
Do you have any ideas what the theme for the next record will be?
Barry- Yeah, all the songs will be followed with a visual representation of interpretive dance…
Ross- That would be cool, we could get Wayne Sleep to be the choreographer, that would be amazing! My last search on Safari was of Wayne Sleep!
A big thank you to Barry and Ross for taking the time to talk to us this evening, fingers crossed that collaboration with Wayne Sleep will see the light of day! You can catch Twin Atlantic for their final shows in Cardiff and Leeds at the end of this month before they knuckle down to work on their new record.
Interview: Hannah Sebestjanowicz