Twin Atlantic were definitely one of the buzz bands at the CMJ Festival last month and tomorrow night the Glasgow band will kick off a European tour with The Fall of Troy in Germany. Tour details follow an interview that drummer Craig Neale gave us ahead of the band’s first ever New York gigs.
Twin Atlantic – You’re Turning Into John Wayne
Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?
Craig Neale, Twin Atlantic: We’re currently in a Burrito place in Manchester called Bar Burrito, whose mascot is a donkey called Derek. I wish that was a joke. We’re here to play at In The City, an industry showcase event which we also played last year and it was terrible! It’s been slightly better this time round. Slightly.
DS: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?
Craig Neale: To let down my parents! Only joking, they’ve been very supportive. I became obsessed with the Nirvana when I was around 15 and decided that I wanted to do what they did. I tried various things at Uni but I kept coming back to music, it’s the only thing that fulfills me really!
DS: What is your favourite song of yours to play right now?
Craig Neale: Probably a song called Human After All as I can play it as fast as I want and nobody complains!
Twin Atlantic – Human After All
DS: As well as this week’s New York shows you played SXSW earlier this year, you’ve been in LA, Germany and all over the UK, is there one particular place that you really looking forward to playing?
Craig Neale: In terms of places we’ve been I’d love to do SXSW again next year, it was just such an insane experience. A whole city in Texas transformed with music, incredible. And every time we go to Germany you always get treated like a king. As for places we haven’t been, my dream is still to play in Japan. I’m really into Japanese culture, and hopefully this band can be my way in to experience it!
DS: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you’ll miss about Scotland?
Craig Neale: I feel more Scottish when I’m in other English speaking countries, it makes me really proud to come from this country. We’re a very honest nation and being in a lot of these places makes you realise how good you have it back home. Conversely, when we’re in mainland Europe and I can’t speak a word of the language, I feel pretty embarrassed. That said, we thrive on going to new places and getting to let people know about Glasgow and Scotland.
DS: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
Craig Neale: Well, we toured with a band called Biffy Clyro that we all grew up listening to and watching their profile rise. It’s something that gets mentioned in a lot of reviews and interviews, I don’t necessarily think we’re influenced by them musically – but they are a band we look up to an awful lot. They’ve proven that you can do your own thing and make it big. I think the comparisons come mainly as we play rock music with Scottish vocals. We also learned a lot from them when we did that tour with them. We were a young band and they showed us how you should handle yourself professionally on the road.
Biffy Clyro – Machines
DS: What will be your first words on stage in New York City at CMJ?
Craig Neale: Em, maybe the sound of us all snoring? We won’t have slept for two days and we’re like babies – if we don’t sleep our bodies stop functioning.
DS: How do people react when they discover you are Scottish?
Craig Neale: I think it’s always quite obvious from the way Sam sings, but it’s usually very positive as the Scottish nation has a very good name for themselves. And we’ve yet to meet any descendants of King Edward.
DS: What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Craig Neale: I think the Scottish National Anthem should be changed to any song by Aereogramme, as Scotland is considered the perennial underdog and Aereogramme are the band I always thought should be massive but never were. And all their songs were incredible!
Aereogramme – Barriers
DS: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Craig Neale: Good question! I guess that every time we’ve played a Glasgow show in the last year we’ve sold-out a slightly bigger venue and afterwards Dave from DF concerts would bring in a bottle of champagne and we’d all share a glass together. It always feels like we’ve achieved something in those moments, so hopefully there’ll be plenty of champagne bottles to come!
DS: And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?
Craig Neale: There’s a place called Harris off the coast of Scotland where I’ve always wanted to live when I’m older, I go there every year with my family if I’m not away with the band. It’s so picturesque and peaceful, the only thing is that I don’t want to be one of those city guys that moves to a secluded place and adds nothing to the community. So I’ll need to start learning how to plough a field pretty soon.
Twin Atlantic – What is Light? Where is Laughter?
Twin Atlantic have released a split EP with the band Finch, featuring two new Finch recordings (a new song, and a cover of “Bury White” by Far) along with “Lightspeed” and “What Is Light” from Twin Atlantic’s new mini-album Vivarium.
A limited number of these EPs are available from the band’s webstores.
Photo credit: John Lewis