bamboozle coverage, part two: an interview with twin atlantic
  • MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010

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In the second part of my exclusive Bamboozle 2010 coverage, I bring you an interview with Twin Atlantic. These proud Scotsmen just released their first album entitled Vivarium. I sat down with Barry McKenna (guitar, cello, backing vocals) and Craig Kneale (drums) to discuss everything from their music to of course, the Loch Ness Monster. -hanna kasper

Can you describe your sound?
Craig: I guess essentially like rock, rock music with kind of like a poppy edge, but kind of just really heavy at parts. There's really mellow parts. It's kind of always a hard question to answer, but we just really like making the music that just like comes into our head so it kind of changes a lot but it's essentially rock music, we're a rock band.

How did the band get started?
Barry: Our band got started when Sam and Ross, our singer and bass player, sorry, singer and guitarist, they went to school together, so they started the band together a while ago. Then me and Craig played in different bands in Glasgow and the Glasgow music scene's really close knit, and we were all individually looking for a serious band, we all had the same ambitions and the same goals, so we all got together and decided to become a four piece.

What's the significance of the band name?
Craig: Me and Barry weren't in the band when they made the name but as far as I know they had the word Atlantic, or one of the words?
Barry: Atlantic.
Craig: Yeah, Atlantic, and then they just started putting lots of words before it so they picked what they thought sounded good
Barry: The Atlantic comes from when Sam and Ross were obsessed with the Death Cab for Cutie record Trans-Atlanticism so they decided they more fancied the word Atlantic and I think they, well Sam and Ross always said they were always looking for something more earthy feeling and more natural, and you can't really get more epic and earthy than the Atlantic Ocean I guess. And the word twin as Craig was saying, they just threw a bunch of words in front of Atlantic until they found one they liked.

Where do you get your inspiration from and who are your biggest influences?
Barry: I guess like, inspiration wise, if you're talking musically, it's hard to name any particular people because individually our music tastes are so widely varied and frantic that, honestly, the music we're inspired by covers pretty much everything from rock music to pop music to classical to like metal, literally we listen to every type of band. There's no specific genre we're focused on so to name one band would really be injustice, we'd be here all day naming like 200 bands.

How do you think you've grown musically and as individuals since being in the band?
Craig: I think we've grown in like a lot of ways, just the fact that we've spent the last 3 years pretty much for the most part together. The majority of the time we've been away, we're with each other 24/7, so I think we've grown a lot just as individuals, being on tour has definitely given us a lot of experiences that have influenced our music. I think we've grown a lot, it's just a little more mature these days, where at the start there were a million ideas per song and now we're a little more focused. It's a little, I don't know, less mental. A little bit less mental.
Barry: Yet more mental.

What are your plans for the near future?
Barry: In the near future in terms of gigs and touring, we're going home to the UK and then over the summer we're playing a whole bunch of festivals in the UK and Europe. It's festival season which is really big over there, it's completely different from festivals you have over here, it's 3 or 4 days and everyone camps out, but not in car parks. It's just a different vibe. But we're also going out on tour with another American band called The Gaslight Anthem and they're taking it around the UK and Amsterdam as well, so I'm really excited for that, I really like the band.
Craig: It's playing big shows as well
Barry: And aside from touring, we've already started writing our next full length record, well I guess our first full length record, and we've done a whole bunch of writing for that. But as soon as we get back home after this tour, we've been on the road for 4 months so all these ideas are pent up inside us so when we get home we're getting a room together and doing some more writing.
Craig: Yeah that's the plan.

How was your Bamboozle experience today?
Craig: Very very very very very very warm. I think it was like 2 minutes in, I was just like this is horrible. It was good but we haven't played in the last week so we've just been relaxing so much that I wasn't ready to play again but it was good and I'm glad people came out to watch it. I mean, pretty much no one knows who we are so it was good and we didn't play too badly, it was just that we weren't used to that heat. I mean when Scottish spitballers come abroad and complain about the change in heat and humidity, half an hour felt like 2 hours on stage.
Barry: Yeah next time before we come play Bamboozle we're going to train for it.
Craig: We're going to train, we're going to get sun beds installed in our practice space.
Barry: We're going to turn our practice space into a sauna and just play in that for half an hour everyday just to acclimatize.

Since you're Scottish, I have to ask: Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster?
Barry: I actually have never been asked that in an interview before so it's good you asked. But actually I love believing in that stuff, just like any aliens, Loch Ness Monster, I guess America's Loch Ness Monster is like Bigfoot.
Craig: He's definitely real though, there's pictures! Look at those little humps in the water, that's heavy.
Barry: I just like to believe so I'm going to say yes. I think Craig also believes. We're both believers.
Craig: He's definitely real. I mean, those pictures don't lie. I've seen the bumps in the water.
Barry: Craig's took one as well, I've seen that picture.
Craig: Yep. I believe in him, definitely. If he's out there: How are you doing?

Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Craig: Just thanks to everyone that saw us in the US last time and hopefully we'll get to come back sometime soon. See maybe some people that saw these shows again and meet new people too.

* * * * * * * * * * * *
Twin Atlantic on Myspace

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