Interview: Twin Atlantic

Sam McTrusty talks to Gary Green about Twin Atlantic...

Posted on Dec 13th, 2011 in Features and Interviews, Twin Atlantic, Red Bull / By Gary Green
Twin Atlantic When you’re a band beginning to snowball, you get to say ‘Hi’ to small venues on your way out of the toilet circuit and into the pearly gates of recognition. Thankfully, Twin Atlantic – while being plugged a generous amount on Radio 1 recently – are embarking on their ‘FREE-ZE’ tour, encompassing tiny venues such as the O2 Academy Islington.
Their date here sees a band who, after releasing one of the albums of the year in Free, have a bright future in store. ‘It’s the stuff of my fucking dreams,’ declares frontman Sam McTrusty. ‘From when I was like thirteen, fourteen – it’s a pretty big deal to me.’ Though arriving to the cosmic sound of ‘Serious Underground Dance Vibes’ – which would make most post-rock bands quake in their boots – the focus is on huge choruses, pop hooks and the intermittent heavy riff. The audience sings every single line to his band’s songs tonight - veritable hits like ‘Make a Beast of Myself’ and ‘Time For You to Stand Up’ have trouble being louder than the wild fans. They’ve obviously produced multiple examples of what would popularly be described as ‘a tune’, through sheer perseverance and conscious songwriting.

But the veneer of effortlessness is hard-won. When playing ‘Crash Land’, the acoustic jewel in the setlist tonight, Sam admits to some reservations playing it solo. Despite knocking around in Twin Atlantic’s repertoire for a good two to three years, somehow evading their excellent mini-album Vivarium, the song just never seemed right unless it had a full band backing. ’I always feel really awkward,’ he continues, ‘singing really loudly when there’s only like fifteen people there, or even playing to fifty people in a half-empty venue’. This modesty is at the core of the Glasweigans: no prep-rallying speeches rear their ugly heads between songs. It’s part of their own seeming denial of just how good they are.

Indeed, being cautious of getting too cocky has paid off well. ‘… For the last four or five years we’ve been believing in the songs we write – and not in an arrogant way. We always thought we were doing something a little bit different, that was kind of better because it was being played from the heart – there was an honesty to it that we weren’t really getting from a lot of other bands our age from the UK.’ Sam seems apologetic, and withdraws a remark he made to a fan about a particular other band – which band, is off the record – earlier tonight. ‘There’s seems to be something about the British rock scene that’s actually like, kind of bullshit, do you know what I mean? We just tried to fight through the bullshit for the last four or five years… I’m not saying we’re fucking [going to] sell out Wembley or something, but that’s a big pay-off for us.’ In reply to being told Twin Atlantic have a sound big enough to fill Wembley, Sam just laughs, blushing slightly.
On closer ‘Free’, those galaxy-sized choruses return to knock the pants off the ridiculously enthused crowd one last time. It’s been a heck of an evening, and replying to what he thinks is next for Twin Atlantic, Sam answers almost straight away. ‘Honestly I have no idea, ’cause we’re just trying to enjoy what we’re doing right now.’

Twin Atlantic are currently on their FREE-EZE tour of the UK. Tour dates are here.