We’re an hour early for our interview so we have one of the worst coffees I’ve ever tasted at a nearby café before wandering over to Sheffield’s O2 Academy to chat with Glasgow’s men of the moment Twin Atlantic. Following in the footsteps of Biffy Clyro these guys are getting a lot of attention from the major radio stations and music publications, and judging by the healthy queue building up outside the venue it won’t be long before they’re reaching the same heights as their compatriots.
Tour manager Andy comes to meet us outside and leads us through a side door into a kitchen, filled with flight cases, water bottles and band members Craig and Ross, looking relaxed and happy and sporting fine beards (it seems not having a beard in music these days just isn’t done).
So, are you getting plenty of sleep?
Ross – Erm… we’re all a bit croaky and under the weather, so maybe that’s down to lack of sleep. Going to sleep in a strange place and waking up in someone else’s bed can be a bit freaky.
Do you live on the bus, or do you get to stay in hotels?
Craig – We are sometimes “gifted” with a hotel room, but we still have to pay for it, so we at least get that on our days off.
Fans assume that because you are so big you are mega rich stars, but that’s definitely not the case is it?
Ross – It’s harder these days to make a living in music, we are probably just about making enough to scrape a living, but it’s definitely not something to get into for the money, if you don’t love [making music] you shouldn’t be in it.
With that in mind, kids don’t have a lot of money these days and it’s far easier for them to steal your music, how do you feel about that?
Ross – We all have a different outlook. Craig has a massive bought collection of music, whereas I stream all my music. We used to not care if people took our music for free, but in the last few years it’s been harder to make money, and it’s more apparent that it is technically theft. It’s awkward, people should be able to listen to music regardless of how much money they have, but without the sales, there would possibly be no art. It’s a complicated issue.
Back to the tour, you played your homecoming gigs at Barrowlands at the start of the tour, how do you stay up for the rest of the tour after such massive shows.
Craig – We’ve always done better in Scotland until this tour, so we are just so excited to be playing these venues. This is our biggest tour to date, so we are playing shows outside Scotland that are just as big, we always had to do that little bit extra in Scotland but now we get to do the shows the same all over the country.
What was it like for you guys playing Barrowlands?
Craig – We’ve played there a few times, but when our tours are announced it’s always the one we’re mega excited about playing. Maybe next time we’ll have to step up [to a bigger venue] so maybe will never play there again, which is a shame. When you first walk in the place is ancient, everything is falling apart, but when you get 2000 people in that room it’s probably the best venue in the UK, there’s no atmosphere like it.
Hampden Park next?
Both – That’s the plan.
You played the NME stage at Leeds, how does a festival crowd differ to a tour crowd?
Ross – It depends from festival to festival, we had amazing crowds all summer, but I think I prefer these kind of gigs, it’s kind of like your territory, people have come to see you and you can put on a better show.
What does it feel like to have 2000 people sing your words back to you?
Ross – Life affirming. It never ever gets old, we never started in a band for that to happen, but when it starts it drives you to get bigger and bigger, it’s addictive. Earlier in the year we played our first headline gigs, at smaller venues in America, and it happened there and it drives us to get bigger out there and build that party atmosphere.
You’ve supported some huge acts like Blink 182, Smashing Pumpkins, Biffy Clyro. Do you learn much from playing with acts like these?
Craig – Yeah absolutely. We’ve learned at least one thing form every band we’ve toured with and try to remember to do ourselves. We’d been around for less than a year as a band when we were asked to tour with Biffy Clyro and we learned so much from that experience. Most of them have been really nice and very willing to help.
Do you stay in touch with any of them?
Ross – Yeah, we keep in touch with most of them, we meet them at festivals for a drink quite often. They are all usually pretty alright kinds of people.
Any interesting stories to tell, can you dish the dirt on Billy Corgan?
Craig – Ha, we didn’t have a great experience with them, we were very young when we toured with them, it probably wasn’t anything to do with Billy but we were told where we could go and stuff, they had a team around them who kept us in check.
Politics now, Scottish referendum result – happy with the result, or not?
Craig – We sat on the fence before it, it was kind of awkward for us, we didn’t want to be associated with either side, but our band seems to have got a voice and a lot of people in Scotland listened to what Sam has to say, so we just decided it wasn’t our place to influence people. It was a struggle for all of us to decide which way we wanted to go, but we had to work hard to ensure we didn’t influence anyone one way or the other.
When I interviewed Barry at Leeds we talked about your track being used in Felix Baumgartners record breaking parachute jump, but the record has since been broken, so, with that in mind do one of you guys fancy jumping from space to re-associate yourselves with the record?
Craig – Absolutely, I was talking about going sky diving with a friend, so figured why not just go for the record on your first jump. The mechanics are the same right? I could just take one for the team.
Lastly guys, what was the first record you ever bought?
Ross – I think the first album I ever bought was Definitely Maybe by Oasis, but the first single was Nancy Boy by Placebo… come to think of it, I think the first one was one my aunty bought me, Encore Une Fois by Sash.