At the sunny sites of Main Square Festival in France, Snoozecontrol got to spend some time with Sam McTrusty, who sings and plays guitar for Glasgow-based rock band Twin Atlantic.
The band is quite a long way from home to play a run of festivals all across mainland Europe – what is Sam’s view on playing outside of the UK so much?
‘I like it. We love it. It’s part of the reason why we wanted to be in a band, just to be able to travel and experience new stuff, to meet people from new cultures and everything. The festivals are, it’s hard to explain.. They are different. It’s like in Europe they’re a bit more organised. That’s kind of a difference. But we are slightly better known in the UK, so maybe it’s more straight-forward. Maybe that is why I enjoy being here a so much; to relax.’
The band have never made a secret of the fact that they’re a Scottish band: Sam’s accent is always on the surface. Is this a decision the band made on purpose?
‘No, it’s not on purpose, not at all. It just happens to be where I’m from. When we started the band, the idea was for it to be really honest, and play rock music with substance behind it that was real. It would just go against everything if we were trying to do that in a fake American or English accent . So, it’s not on purpose; it’s just who we are.’
With their music, is there any specific audience they try to reach out to?
‘We’re trying to reach everybody! We wish to reach everyone, or anyone, who at all just connects to it. It doesn’t need to be the message, it can sometimes just be the feel of the music, or the chords, or the way it makes you just escape for a minute. We’re just putting it out there, just let it be what it is. We don’t want to ever feel like we’re forcing it down someone’s throat too much.. We just want to put it out.’
Twin Atlantic gained worldwide recognition after releasing their second album ‘Free’ in 2011, and touring exhaustively with it. August last year their latest album, ‘Great Divide’, was released. Are they planning to tour for ‘Great Divide’ this long as well?
‘No, definitely not! The reason we did that last time was that we hadn’t been to any of these places before, and the record started doing quite well, so we had to go back [laughs]. It’s just kind of kept going in a cycle like that for 3,5 years. And honestly, we didn’t want it to stop because we were having a great time. We were like, “let’s keep doing this until it runs out of energy!”
But as we speak, we’re already writing a new album and we’re recording it this year. We want to have a new album out at the start of next year for definite.’
Are they taking a different approach to writing and recording this upcoming album?
‘A little bit, I think.. We used to focus on the songs and keep it all as individual songs, and now we realise it kind of sounds like that. It sounds like every song could be on a different album on our previous records. So now, we try to focus on the album having more of a solid, like, tone, a concept. Not so much a concept as in the meaning of the songs, but a concept in the sound of it, from start to finish. We should have done that from the start [laughs]. We thought we were doing that at the start, but no. Turns out we’re still learning how to do this.’
So they do listen to their own work and re-evaluate from time to time?
‘Yeah, pretty much. That’s all we’ve got really. It’s the stuff we’ve put out and ultimately the only thing you can really measure on is the music. We sometimes like to review ourselves.’
In the beginning of their career, Twin Atlantic could be found doing plenty of support slots for bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, Blink-182, and The Gaslight Anthem. But now that them are becoming a bigger band themselves, do they try to use that power to take smaller bands on that road to success with them?
‘We do try to do that. We have friends in Scotland, we try to take out as many Scottish bands as we can. We took a band out called The Xcerts on our last UK and European run - that was the first time we could really take a band to Europe with us, so it’s slowly happening. Yeah, we’re not all-powerful yet.. We’ve got a long way to go.’
Maybe so; all we can say it that we're looking forward to hearing Twin Atlantic's new work.