Twin Atlantic are an alternative rock band hailing from my hometown of Glasgow, comprised of Sam McTrusty (vocals, guitar), Barry McKenna (guitar, cello, backing vocals), Ross McNae (bass, backing vocals) and Craig Kneale (drums). I watched the guys perform at T in The Park Festival in 2010 and although not being too familiar with the group, I was amazed at the massive support from their loyal fans who packed out the tent sang along to each one of their songs – I knew they had to be something special to generate this amount of hype. They have since gone on to support the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, Biffy Clyro, Funeral For a Friend, The Lost Prophets and Kids in Glass Houses and made a name for themselves Stateside. Since signing with Red Bull Records, they have released an album titled ‘Vivarium’ and are in the process of recording their second album ‘Free’.
Sick Chirpse managed to snag an interview with bass player Ross McNae who shared some of his thoughts on life in the band:
- Tell us a bit about yourselves, how, and when did you all get together?
There’s no crazy story unfortunately. Myself and Sam (our singer) have been friends since early on at school and grew up listening to the same music and eventually thought, we could give that a crack. We played for a few months as a three piece until we realized it wasn’t perfect and we needed something different. We met Barry on our first DIY tour and knew Craig from another band in the area and in some confusion it was agreed that we would all be Twin Atlantic.
- What are you up to at the moment?
We’ve just recorded our debut record “Free” and we’re getting ready to tour it through the rest of the year.
- You’re touring soon what can the audience expect? And what are your high and low points of touring?
We just decided to embrace rock and roll a little bit more on this tour so I think it might just be slightly grander. Obviously we’re all excited to be playing as much of the new record as we think we can get away with too.
- Who would you say are the biggest influence in music for you both, past and present?
Each of us would have a very different answer but I can try and guess — Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Freddie Mercury and Jeff Buckley.
- What are your non-musical influences?
Nothing crazy really. Sam is fairly into painting and studied that at art school before the band, myself and Craig are into photography and I studied that before the band started.
- What is your favourite song to perform live?
At the moment I’m really enjoying playing a song called “Yes, I was Drunk” which is on our new record. Every song ends up being good fun to play to when you’re playing live for its own reasons though, even songs you feel like you’ve played a thousand times before. It’s just a totally different thing playing in front of people so nothing has got old yet for me.
- What can we expect from you guys this year?
I think we’re going to try to headline as much as possible. We supported an awful lot of bands last year which really helped us, but I think we want to go back to as many of the places that we’ve visited and play our own show. Hopefully we’ll be playing a lot of festivals over the summer months too.
- What sort of story do you like to tell with your music?
I hope our music is pretty uplifting. I know Sam tries to cover a lot of different emotions and ideas with his lyrics throughout our new record.
- Who are some of your favourite bands at the moment?
I think we’re all really into Pulled Apart by Horses at the moment.
- Who has released a stand out album this year?
The Joy Formidable released a great record this year as did Mogwai.
- You’re all from my hometown of Glasgow, what is your favourite part about the city? And where is the best place you’ve played?
I love the city for numerous reasons but definitely not the weather. It’s a real melting pot of different cultures. I love the west of Scotland mentality about life. We’re very matter of fact.
- Which song do you wish you had written?
Bohemian Rhapsody without a shadow of a doubt!
- Outside of music who are you? What do guys like to do to unwind, have fun?
Paint, take photographs, watch the football, play the playstation. Just normal things I suppose. Sam plays quite a bit of golf. We all really play music on our own to unwind aswell a lot.
- Tell us something that would really surprise us about you guys?
We’re not even a real band. We’re merely a thrown together bunch of failed actors.
- Plans for the rest of the year?
We’re just going to tour as much as we can and as far and wide as we can and try to let as many people as possible hear about our new record. Hopefully we’ll be back in America and other places around the world we haven’t been yet.
- What do you hope to achieve?
I think I can honestly say that we just want to be able to play music and travel and continue what we’re doing. If our band gets much bigger then great, but that’s definitely not a requirement to keep going. We all just have a lot of fun being in this band.
- What are your favourite sites or blogs, other than Sick Chirpse of course?
There’s an incredible site called Avaaz.org that petition against atrocities around the world. They really fight for great causes and are really worth supporting.
- Tell us about a sick chirpse you pulled off recently?
The most recent sick chirpse we’ve pulled off is recording our record with the great Gil Norton.
- What’s the sickest chirpse you’ve ever pulled off at work?
The sickest chirpse we’ve ever pulled off is probably being in a band that can tour the world and calling it our job!