Having had a chat with the band many would hail as the new Biffy Clyro almost a year ago, it was high time we tracked down Twin Atlantic’s Craig Kneale again to see how the Scotch rockers have been getting on.
NOIZE: It’s been 10 months since I last met you, can you tell me what has happened to Twin Atlantic since then?
CRAIG KNEALE: I think it was around about that we met Red Bull Records, so after that tour we eventually signed with them in January. From then we were just writing and then we went over to America in March to do South By South West, then drove straight from there to LA to record the mini-album. We were meant to be there for two months, but we stayed for three! Since then we’ve come home and played a few festivals and waited for our record to come out, which came out on Monday! Everything’s happened in such a short space of time, it’s been all go!
N: As you’ve mentioned, you recorded your album in LA, would you like to spend more time over in the States?
CK: At first when we were over there we would’ve said no, I’ve been to New York a few times with my family, which was really cool, but LA was just a bit weird! The people are really strange, but it was really difficult to come home. About a month ago I really started to miss it. I think we’re going to be back over by the end of the year for a tour. I’d love to see more of America, LA isn’t a real place, it’s like a magical land!
N: You played a few gigs when you were over there, how did they go down?
CK: Well we did SXSW, which was unbelievable; it was the coolest thing we’ve ever done! Then we played the Viper Room, Johnny Depp’s old bar, that was kind of cool, we were announced by this compere and came out from behind this red curtain, that was pretty cool actually! Then we played Bamboozle, which was actually a bit shit, all the bands sounded the same! The Get Up Kids clashed with us which was the only band I really wanted to see!
N: Do you have any personal highlights from your time in America?
CK: It’s a bit weird, and a bit homosexual, but it was a total bonding experience! It was just me, Sam, Barry and Ross for ten weeks straight. There were ups and downs, but it was just a great experience! When we’re at home we pretty much just practice and then go home, but we got to spend a lot of time together just the four of us.
N: Are you finding thins a little different now that you’ve signed to Red Bull Records?
CK: In some respects, it’s more different in the sense that we have more people to please! The actual dynamic of the band is the same, we still practice every day, but we know that it isn’t just about us now! It’s definitely a positive thing, there’s a lot more pressure, but we have a lot of opportunities that we never would have had before.
N: In your own words, what can people expect from ‘Vivarium’ (apart from awesome drumming)?
CK: Other than the awesome drumming, it’s just a really good stamp of where we are at the moment. There are a few songs from the beginning of the band, and some that we wrote when we were over in America, it’s like a nice history really! If you liked us before, it’s bigger and heavier, it’s definitely a lot more mature. It’s like the old stuff but better! You can tell we’re a band that has been playing together for two and a half years, as opposed to six months.
N: Why did you decide to re-record ‘Audience & Audio’ above the other tracks off your debut EP ‘A Guidance From Colour?
CK: I think it’s because it’s maybe the most immediate. It’s the first song we wrote as a band which we all thought ‘this is really good’! It’s also that only a select group of people know our band, so we thought it’d be the most impressive song if people heard it.
N: Did it turn out as well as you’d hoped?
CK: Well, it’s different because we recorded it live, so it sounds a lot more aggressive. I really like it, a lot of people don’t like it. Sam’s voice is a lot more grown up on it, it’s completely different to how it used to be, it used to be really low, but now it’s operatic!
N: You’re a band that tours constantly, what are your favourite things about touring, and is there anything you hate about touring?
CK: My favourite thing is getting to see new places and getting to meet and play for people who you’ve never met before. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d get to do things like this. The worst things are playing gigs to empty rooms or the van breaking down in the middle of Exeter at three in the morning, they’re the low points! It ebbs and flows, you play a really shit gig one night, and then it’s fantastic the next!
N: How do you cope with being so far away from home?
CK: It gets a lot easier, it’s becoming like second nature because we’re away from home so much now. It’s harder being at home because I get so restless!
N: You mentioned that you played a few festivals over the Summer, both in the UK and abroad, do you enjoy the festival experience?
CK: Yes, it’s a lot more stressful because you don’t get to sound check and everything, so you just go on and hope for the best! People come and see bands at festivals out of curiosity, so you can make a lot of fans that way, if you play well that is, which we didn’t! It’s really cool playing a show and then hanging around watching others. You get treated so well at festivals in Europe; they treat you like you’re one of the actual big bands! It’s not like that back home!
N: Finally, where would you like to be this time next year?
CK: Hopefully we’ll have our full length album out, but as long as we’re enjoying ourselves and people are still coming to see us we’ll all be very happy!
By Ben Connell