‘Pre-gig jitters and coffee’: an interview with Twin Atlantic (04/11/14)

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Ross McNae and Craig Kneale of Twin Atlantic gave some time to talk about their recent album and their UK tour.

What’s the reaction to Great Divide been like so far?

Ross: Pretty amazing actually, we took quite a long time to get it right. We wondered if perhaps some people might have forgotten about us or moved on to other bands, which they seem to have [done], but we’ve gathered loads of extra new people at the shows we’ve been playing and people are singing along to all the new songs so therefore it feels like the reaction has been positive.

It was Sam who described it as quite an eclectic album; what made you decide to go down that sort of creative path?

Ross: I think the problem is it’s more that our musical tastes are really diverse so we find it really hard to do one thing. So we’ve not necessarily chosen it to be eclectic; we don’t really have a choice because we can’t just do the one type of song or we get bored easily.

Did you do anything different in the recording processes which made it more diverse?

Craig: Well, we recorded with two producers so I think that also makes it sound eclectic, having two different guys help to sculpt the tracks a little bit – so that also adds to it. They brought different styles, and the two were very different so that helped as well. There wasn’t much different apart from that, I think maybe it’s just that we’re getting older and we don’t just listen to a majority of rock music any more. I mean, we still listen to it but we listen to other stuff too, so like Ross was saying I think it’s just boredom. We’ve written so much rock music that it’s quite hard to be original with it so I think it’s more that we write stuff that isn’t similar to what we’ve already written.

The album topped the Scottish charts when it came out. How did it feel being No.1 in your own country?

Ross: It’s a massive compliment, really flattering, but it’s not something we ever thought about or that we even wanted. We just wanted to make music and be able to play, our favourite thing is to play gigs like tonight and that’s why we tour all the time because it’s where we feel at home. But a by-product I suppose of playing bigger gigs, which is what we want to do and it’s great, is that more people know who you are or have bought your record.

This is your second to last tour date, how have you found it having a big UK headline tour?

Ross: Life changing (laughs).

Craig: Cool, it’s been cool. Life changing yeah you’re probably right.

Ross: It’s just, we’ve wanted to be a band for such a long time and wanted to play shows for such a long time. And now that we’re in a position where we can put on a show like tonight, which is a pretty massive venue, we can’t really get further away from our home city on the mainland. And there’s all these people that have come to see us and it’s pretty wild.

If you could sum up the last couple of months in a few words what would they be?

Ross: What about just like, “pretty wild”? I think “pretty wild” would be it.

Great Divide is out now on Red Bull Records.

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MA English student at the University of Southampton and alternative music correspondent for The Edge.

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