Glaswegian bandmates Sam McTrusty, Ross McNae, Craig Kneale and Barry McKenna are Twin Atlantic, the rock four piece whose distinctive sound has taken over our radio waves. Their latest album, Great Divide, jumped to Number Six on the album charts, and Ross, the band’s bassist, pianist and backing vocalist, found a gap in their relentless touring schedule to discuss their recent success.
Twin Atlantic’s new album, Great Divide, is out now. They are on tour around the UK during October and November, including dates in Aberdeen (October 23rd) and Glasgow (24th/25th).
When Twin Atlantic formed in their late teens, the guys joined Glasgow’s pub gigging circuit, gaining a dedicated following and, “listening to more alternative music. Bands like Queens of the Stone Age, who are nowadays headlining festivals but back then were not so mainstream,” he says. Citing “less heard of bands like At the Drive-In, and Oceansize,” as their main inspirations, Ross says, “At that age you try and emulate the bands that you’re listening to.”
The band are the first to admit that their sound has changed since they first formed seven years ago. They’ve evolved from restless teens into international musicians, home owners and married men. But, Twin Atlantic are still constantly surprised by their own success. “It’s kind of surreal right now, I suppose it will sink in at some point next year…” laughs Ross.
Twin Atlantic have spent the summer tackling the festival circuit, revisiting their muddy teenage haunts but this time at the top of the bill. “It’s just amazing to see people singing along to these little songs that we worked on, and to see people’s reactions,” Ross says. The band are fresh off the back of their Scottish tour (“Every single minute was a highlight”) where they enjoyed the support of a home crowd.
The band’s latest album, Great Divide, reflects how, “Over the years we’ve become more comfortable in what our band should be.”
“A lot of it is just not being scared anymore to do exactly what we want. Also, your music tastes change so much between the ages of 18 and 26, it’s crazy to think that you would continue making the same thing. In the past, if we wanted to have a song that was just piano and vocal, we might have been worried it might sound a bit too poppy, but you know what? That’s the music we like, so let’s just do it.”
Glasgow boys through and through – “if it’s a sunny day in Scotland, it’s the best place in the world” – the next few months will continue to take the band far from home.
“We’re going to Europe to do promo stuff, before coming back to play to Ryder Cup Gala in Scotland so that’ll be fun. Then we’ve got some freshers events, another Scottish festival at the end of the month, then getting ready for the UK tour. Then it’s off to America and a New Year’s Show. It’s really exciting, just a bit mad!”
While Twin Atlantic’s schedule seems daunting, Ross and the boys are looking forward to leaving the distractions at home and returning to the tour bus. After all, 90% of Great Divide was written on the road.
“When you’re away, you’ve got the experience of playing a show. It’s coming offstage and seeing what worked and what didn’t work and thinking about what song you want to have in your set. We always try to play the best possible show and when you come off stage that’s right at the forefront of your mind, that feeling of ‘I wish we had ‘this’”.
The band may be still searching for their elusive ‘this’, but judging from recent developments, Twin Atlantic are well on course to find it.