They’re being widely compared to fellow countrymen Biffy Clyro and it seems the world is their oyster – on the day Twin Atlantic release new album Free we bring you an exclusive interview with the killer quartet.
Bass player Craig Kneale talks recording, management, touring and more. And don’t forget you can catch the band live across the UK throughout May.
rushonrock: What can we expect from the critically acclaimed Free?
Craig Kneale: It sounds clichéd, and it probably is, but Free does represent progress for the band from what’s gone before. We’ve learned how to write songs properly. With Vivarium I look back and realise a lot of the songs were glued together. With the new album everything’s a lot more free flowing and obviously it’s a full length record this time around. It feels like a complete body of work and it’s something we’re all very proud of. We wrote all of the songs in 18 months whereas Vivarium was pieced together over three years. You can tell there’s a greater focus on Free.
rushonrock: Did you feel the weight of expectation on your shoulders during the making of Free?
CK: Making this record, and the whole songwriting process, was very interesting. There were a lot of stressful times but there were a lot of fun times too. Going through the actual recording process and putting a full record together was something I really enjoyed as a musician.
rushonrock: Does the fact that you’re part of the Raw Power Management roster mean you’re already on the road to stardom?
CK: We signed with Raw Power Management at the end of last year and when you look at their roster we’re in pretty good company. We’re hoping it’s going to open up a number of opportunities which we haven’t been able to take advantage of in the past. They have a lot of influence in the UK and it’s already helping to make things happen a lot quicker.
rushonrock: How important is a good management deal for an emerging band?
CK: Band management is one of those things that, if it was left up to me, I’d never have to think about. But it’s one of the aspects of this business that, as you become more successful, you find out about and realise its importance. There’s a lot of politics involved in the music industry and it’s very hard to succeed simply on the strength of your music. In theory, good management means that, as musicians, you can concentrate on what you enjoy.
rushonrock: Are there a lot of Twin Atlantic fans outside of Scotland right now?
CK: We’re out on a headline tour this month and we’re starting to get a good following in the UK. We’ve always had a really positive response from the fans when we’ve headed south of the border but we’ve worked hard to build our fan base. We’re never going to be one of those bands that becomes an overnight success – we play again and again and again and hope word gets around.
rushonrock: Is touring still the highlight of the year?
CK: We love going out on the road. We’ve got a faithful orange van that we’ve had for the last couple of years and it’s never failed us yet. But this UK tour could be its biggest test yet! We’ve got a few guys who we can bring along as crew now and the van’s been fitted with a fridge and a TV. It’s a case of taking small steps and building things up gradually. It’s still very much a grassroots operation but Twin Atlantic is a band that’s building slowly but surely. If and when we do taste some success we’ll be able to say we’ve earned it.
rushonrock: With the get-rich-quick lure of reality television and shows like X-Factor do kids today still aspire to be in a rock band?
CK: For a lot of kids out there joining a band and playing your music out there is still a dream. It’s something I always wanted to do and in spite of reality TV and that sort of stuff I don’t think it’s ever changed. It’s not as simple as writing songs – and you soon realise that – but when you see your favourite bands live you think you’d like to do that. I know that a lot of people we know and grew up with are quite envious when they see what we’re doing.
rushonrock: Is it tough to make a living from rock music in 2011?
CK: I think there are a lot more bands out there than ever before. It’s easier to be in a band and make music but it’s harder to make an impression as a result. In the 70s and 80s a lot of bands got bigger much more quickly – there was more money in the industry and that’s one of the toughest things now. Making money is hard but being in a band is the most fun you can ever have and I cherish every moment. It would nice to be a big band but the way that we’re doing things suits me fine.
rushonrock: Glasgow keeps producing exciting new music – what’s the secret?
CK: Glasgow boasts a thriving rock scene. It’s probably over-saturated but I’d like to think the cream still rises to the top. When we first started off we knew every single band in Glasgow but now that we tour more we don’t see as many local gigs. But there are more good bands coming through like Frightened Rabbit and The Twilight Sad and they epitomise the energy of the Glasgow scene.
rushonrock: What does the immediate future hold for Twin Atlantic?
CK: The plan is to do as many festivals as possible this summer. I think it’s our only goal. We did a lot of support shows last year and now we want to play some headline shows and some good festival slots. We want to get the message out there on our own terms. After the summer we’re doing another UK tour and we’re keen to go back to America. We had a great time there first time around – it was one of the best experiences of my life – and we’re hoping to go back there before the end of the year.