By Matthew Murdoch
It’s been a busy year for Glasgow Alternative rock band Twin Atlantic. Currently enjoying a US tour, 2011 has also seen the foursome release their second studio album ‘Free’. Slotting nicely into the top five in the British album rock chart, ‘Free’ gave fans a clutch of grandiose, catchy rock numbers and cemented the group’s position as one of the UK liveliest acts. Bassist and backing singer Ross McNae took some time out to reflect on what has been a pretty perfect year for the band.
First off how are things goingfor you in America?
“Things are going great actually. We’re currently on the way into New York City. The tour has been fantastic and we’ve all eaten too much fatty food. We’re fat, content cats.”
2011 has been a busy one for you with your new album and plenty of gigs and festivals. How do you feel the year has gone?
“We haven’t had much of a chance to reflect until recently but we’re all very grateful for the support that ‘Free’ has received and the opportunities we’ve had to play to more and more people over the course of the year. We’ve done some of the most exciting and the most fulfilling things our band has ever done this year.”
‘Free’ seems to have gone down really well with critics and you broke into the album charts with it too. What do you feel it was that pushed you on from your first album?
“I think we just made a record that we personally truly believed in and we were totally truthful to ourselves. We set out with that intention and we weren’t swayed by any other way of thinking. We simplified a lot of our way of writing and I think we stopped trying to prove our abilities to ourselves and concentrated on writing honest rock and roll songs.”
You’ve got quite a big student following in Scotland, is that something you’ve actively pursued over the years?
“I don’t think that we’ve actively gone in pursuit of any one group of people. We’ve played a few freshers’ weeks but apart from that I think our music is probably just suited to people of that age. We make music we like ourselves and we’ve all been students recently and we’re in the same generation as most current students so it’s just a natural thing I think.”
We were talking about musical styles in Scotland and someone was pointing to the fact Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh all have crowds with slightly different tastes. Is that something you’ve ever noticed?
“I think we notice it country to country but around Scotland seems to be fairly similar to us. I reckon that if someone is successful in a certain genre from a certain city then they will inspire bands of a similar style to start. The View really started something like that in Dundee for example, but aside from that I think that most places we go seem to have quite an open mind
to all different styles of music.”
You’ve been playing through a time where a lot of people are struggling with money, have you noticed a difference in the amount of fans that turn up for gigs since you started out?
“Well strangely enough, as the economic crash has taken over the world we have gone from earning one peanut to a few peanunts and loads more people have been coming to shows so things have gone the other way for us as a band. Judging by that logic I can only personally hope that the economy continues to plummet and our band will presumably get bigger as it does. A joke obviously!”
What’s the perfect gig for you guys now? Venue size, city, crowd, support act?
“I think we’ll always be hard pushed to beat the Barrowlands as a venue. Collectively probably our favourite place to play in the whole world. The entire tour coming up though has amazing venues every night and we’re pretty excited to be playing every single one of them!”
This is our tenth birthday edition so we’re asking everyone what their highlights and lowlights of the last decade have been. What are yours as a band?
“Well firstly congratulations on your tenth anniversary! Lowlights have definitely been the UK US world policing assault. Too many innocent young men and women of our age have died in vain. Our leaders believe we are above the rest of the world and are stuck in colonial times. Too many young people are out of work after studying for years for careers advised by government run schools. The rich are getting richer despite throwing the hard workers of the world into a harder place and I feel like we’ve plummeted back into a dark time. The bright thing is that we are the youth and the youth is the future so we are the ones that can grab it and make
the world into a better place to live so ultimately the world is in our hands.”
Lastly, will we be seeing you guys perform here in Scotland before the end of the year?
“Yes, you will! We will be playing Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen from the 9th to 12th December.”
Check out www.free.twinatlantic.com for all the latest tour and release details from the band.