Part of my job as a music journalist is to discover or seek out new bands and musical talents to pass on to my readers or viewers. However, it’s in my nature to get stuck in the past…in more than a few aspects of my life. Of course the odd band or song manages to sneak on to my commute playlist, but the majority is still monopolised by the songs played during childhood car drives with my parents, my favourite songs by alternative bands I was obsessed with in my teens, tear inducing film scores, and my favourite rock bands from the last twenty years or so. Catchy anthemic rock has a better chance infiltrating my playlist than most formulas though, and Twin Wild deliver this in abundance.
It would seem I am not the only one to be lured in by Richard Hutchison (vocalist), Imran Mair (drummer), David Cuzner (guitarist) and Edward Thomas (bassist). In recent (and upcoming) months we’ve seen the foursome invited by huge and hyped bands from rock, including You Me At Six, Pvris, Young Guns and We Are The Ocean, to join them in a support role. Pretty impressive for such a new band on the touring circuit, without an album to their name.
I’ve been lucky enough to watch the progress of this band pretty much from the day they started playing together, and I’ve always been astonished by the speed at which they managed to achieve not just a notable sound, but one that was polished and mature. For a band so young in age, so early in their career, they seem to have grasp of who they want to be and where they want to go….and I expect them to reach the destination at a swift pace.
Following on from their recent dates with another ‘it’ band of the moment, Nothing But Thieves, I wanted to catch up with the guys. After-all, If tastemaker Zane Lowe deemed them worthy of showcasing to his vast audience on his lauded BBC Radio 1 show, I predict things are going to get pretty hectic for the band in 2015.
You’ve JUST finished a tour with Nothing But Thieves. If your Instagram updates are anything to go by it has been great success. Do you think it’s been a bit of a game changer?
IM: Well we couldn’t have hoped for a better start to the year, that’s for sure! As a first tour, we really hadn’t expected to be playing to sold out shows every night, let alone to be receiving such an awesome response from the crowd after each night. It’s definitely been a big push in the right direction, so big ups to Nothing But Thieves for that – it was a hell of a lot of fun!
Has it helped in terms of your confidence as a performing band?
ET: In a big way! Although practice makes perfect, there really is no substitute for getting out on the road and playing to lots of people. It just helped us to really hone in on specific parts of the set and start to gauge what people respond well to, which is something that we’ve all been waiting for. Spot shows are great, but the real value for us has been playing consecutive nights.
Best tale from tour?
IM: It’s definitely got to be when we came on stage for the final night of tour, only to realise that the guys from NBT had switched our walk-on music to the Animal Hospital theme tune. It then later became apparent that the guys had also replaced the ‘Twin’ in our name to ‘Chin’ on the on-stage banner.They were way too pleased with themselves. But don’t worry, we got them back!
How well have you guys adapted to playing regular gigs?
IM: It’s been great! This is what we’ve been waiting for, so it’s exciting more than anything. This year is mainly going to be spent on the road for us, so it really feels like we’ve hit it off to the perfect start. The more the better!
You played with YMA6 in Guildford recently. Thats a big deal for bands as relatively as new as yourselves. Was it a daunting prospect?
IM: Not at all, it was genuinely just a real privilege to be playing. This has been our biggest show to date, so naturally there was a feeling prior to the show that there was a lot of weight resting on it. But YMA6 are all great guys and the crowd were so welcoming, so it didn’t really feel daunting on the day thankfully.
Do you allow yourself to think about the influential eyes and ears that are on you during gigs as high profile as that?
IM: Haha… well we honestly try our best not to! It seems like it’s better to see every gig as an important one in it’s own right – you’re always going to be playing to a crowd of people who just want to see a great show, so we try focus on that instead!
Have you noticed a significant reaction post gig – increase in social media numbers etc?
RH: We have – we especially enjoy seeing the camera phone shots uploaded after shows, mainly of us caught at a bad time looking sweaty and half eating a microphone. Always a good laugh!
You seem to have a good about of momentum at the moment, with new gigs/support slots being announced all the time….how easy has it been to get to this point?
IM: It definitely hasn’t been easy that’s for sure. There have been a lot of learning curves to even get to this point. Balancing all of this with part time jobs has been the real challenge, so considerably less sleep seems to be the winning option. But the fact that it isn’t easy is all part of the fun for us… so it’s a good thing really.
You’ve announced that you are playing with PVRIS, which I know was a very sought after slot. What do you think swung it for you?
RH: We’d been listening to PVRIS for a while and had heard they were about to announce some of their own headline shows. We knew booking agents would be working on getting us on the list for consideration but by complete chance someone over in the PVRIS team had asked bass extraordinaire and chicken wing master, Matt Barnes of You Me At Six if he knew any bands that he thought would be a good match. Kindly enough he suggested us!
For a band that is relatively young in terms of your ages and how long you’ve been a band, you have a mature and polished sound. Would you say you guys are old heads on young shoulders?
RH: Despite being relatively young, we’ve all been in bands for as long as we can remember. Twin Wild is effectively the name of what all our previous involvement in bands has culminated in. As we all write and have been independently from the age of 13, we’ve had time to mature and develop as song writers. As for the sound, thats just what we get when we write and play together!
How quick did you guys find the sound/style you wanted to the band to have?
RH: You will hear lots of bands talk about all the different genres of music they listen to draw inspiration from, and it’s the same for us, but what we all had in common was that we loved the power rock music holds, both live and on record. We love that rock music in recent years has diversified – people aren’t afraid to hear more than just guitars. This is important to us because we never want our last song to define our next. We treat each track as a new project with it’s own sound and message. We’re not looking to alienate listeners, but at the same time we’re not afraid to write the music that we want to.
You have some great support from established acts in the rock and pop worlds. How important is encouragement but also social media help from influential people?
RH: Social media made new music incredibly accessible for a short time and allowed bands like Arctic Monkeys, in the early days, to get their songs out there themselves. Those tools are all still out there, but the difference is now everyone is doing it and it’s hard to stand out amongst the huge sea of great new bands. Support from established acts has really helped people find their way to us online, but has also given us some confidence that we’re not crazy for pursuing something in such a competitive world.
I am sure you are full aware of how tricky the music business can be. Do you feel at least one of you has a business mind that is keeping an eye on things?
ET: It’s true! You certainly need your wits about you. As a group we’re interested in all aspects of what it takes to get a band off the ground successfully. We like to make informed decisions and try not to be too hasty. This can sometimes be to our own detriment, but hey… that’s what business is all about right?
If your momentum continues the future is looking pretty good for you.Is there anything about your profile/fame increasing that scares you?
RH: I don’t think we’ve particularly thought about fame that much so far, everything has been focused on our nailing our live shows and writing lots of songs.
I guess it would suck if we couldn’t all go to our ballet classes without being followed by the paparazzi…
Is there a band you look to and think you’d like to emulate in terms of their journey or ethos?
RH: I’m not sure there is any band in particular, but like anyone trying to make it in any industry, we believe you have to half see how it’s been done before, and half follow your gut and do it your own way. Musically though, we love how Biffy clyro have developed from album to album and the fact they weren’t afraid to release a double album.
Where do you see yourselves sitting, what magazines/scenes do you think you fit into – who is your audience?
RH: On the homepage of the Huffington Post mainly…
Can you describe your standard writing process?
IM: That’s a tough one because it really does seem to change from song to song. The consistent thing is that it always ends as a collaboration, but it can start anywhere from an idea one of us has had individually, to something that has come out of just jamming together at practice. That’s what seems to keep the whole process fresh for us – it’s never the same and it’s never boring.
Where are you in terms of process of your debut album?
RH: We definitely have an albums worth of material, but we’re not in a rush to release our first album. There’s a lot more writing to do before we think we’ll have a body of work we’d be happy to call our debut album.
Being a musician involves much more than playing music. You may have to look sexy in videos, be entertaining in interviews, interact with fans, and so on.How comfortable are you with these aspects?
RH: It’s not something that really comes naturally to us, but then again, it’s important to remember though those type of things rarely come naturally to anyone. Just like playing live, it all takes practice really. Successful acts have all learnt to nail shots during video shoots and get themselves across well in interviews, so I guess we’re beginning to learn!
It is not the most secure of career paths. How have family/partners reacted to your pursuit of success in music?
IM: We’re very very lucky to have such supportive families and friends. They all share the same excitement we have for it, which definitely makes things a lot easier. Not only is it not the most secure of career paths, it’s also not the most social at times, with us not being available for a lot of the time or having to put aside plans for something important that might have come up last minute…but they’re always supportive and always understanding, which really is amazing.
Recently played on your iPods….
All: Sia, Aerosmith, Haim, Nothing But Thieves, Jeff Buckley, Childcare, Josef Salvat, Death From Above 1979, Say Lou Lou.
ET: There are so many people we’d love to work with, but if we had to choose… it’s got to be Prince or Dave Grohl.
Stage you’d most like to play…
IM: Brixton Acadamy
IM: Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift – I’m not sure we’re even guilty about them…
Festival season hopes?
ET: We’re always excited by Glastonbury. I think it’s just one of those festivals everyone wants to play. It sounds cliche, but to be a part of such a prestigious music festival would really be a huge milestone for us as a band. To play it this year would be amazing!
You can catch the guys live at the following events…
16 Apr 2015 – PVRIS – London’s Barfly
18 Apr 2015 – PVRIS gig – Birmingham Academy 3
2 May 2015 – Live At Leeds
14 May 2015 – Brighton’s The Great Escape
16 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – Milton Keynes’ The Craufurd Arms
17 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – Cambridge’s The Portland
18 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – Liverpool Arts Club
19 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – Nottingham’s Red Room
20 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – Plymouth’s Underground
22 May 2015 – We Are The Ocean – London’s Electric Ballroom