Brig’s music editor Amy Pollock quickly caught up with rising rock band Twin Atlantic’s Ross McNae to chat all things GLA, touring, and some Scottish favourites…
Q: It’s not long until your fourth album is released. Compared to your previous albums, what can your fans expect from ‘GLA’?
A: It kind of goes back to where we were when we started the band, where the music we were listening to was slightly more angular and heavier and I think that blends into this new album.
The band had kind of ran its course trying to be ‘pop’ if you like, and we got further and further towards that through the last few albums but I think this is more of a homecoming to what got us excited about music in the beginning when we were in our late teens.
The last album wasn’t a pop album but it was influenced by pop structures and trying things that sound pleasing to the ear, whereas this time we’ve wanted to use more discorded sounds and what got us excited about the angst of rock music from when we were younger. It’s just rawer and has a bit more grip to it. We have had a lot of experiences and have learned a lot about songwriting and now we’ve managed to find a way to use that to make something that we would truly listen to ourselves.
Q: You’ve gone from producing with people who have previously worked alongside Funeral for a Friend and Kids in Glass Houses to working with Jacknife Lee who’s produced with Taylor Swift and One Direction – over the years did you notice your sound change significantly with switching producers?
A: We were really firm (about our ideas for this album) but I think there has been a big shift. The guy who we worked on this record made ‘Heart and Soul’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’ with us, and it was tinged with that pop sound, but this time I think the reaction from ourselves and him to what we did with those two songs was that we wanted to get back to what excited us.
He also comes from playing in bands that were more angular before he was a producer, so I suppose because we did make those last two songs with him and the band had become known by more people that gave us the opportunity to do something different but still have people there to listen to it when it came out.
Q: In December you’re playing three nights in a row at Glasgow Barrowlands. Is there any difference that you see between the Scottish crowd vs the rest of your national and international crowds?
A: We’re actually quite lucky, our fans are a lot like us and are just music fans for the most part. I know that when I was going to shows it’s just a way of escaping and getting a release from your daily lives and I think that kind of happens to us no matter where we are in the world.
Obviously a homecoming show in Glasgow has that slight edge over other places but apart from that, people are pretty similar wherever we go. There’s definitely an edge in Scotland though, people are so patriotic and love to get behind people of their own country, all Scottish bands that start to do well will always do better in Scotland.
Q: Where is your top favourite place to play in Scotland?
A: I would probably say the Barrowlands or there’s a venue in Inverness called the Ironworks – we’ve had so many good shows there and I don’t know what it is about the venue or if it’s the people further north. I’d say the Highland people are pretty crazy but maybe that’s why they have that slight edge, they’re always up for a party when we play there!
Q: What has been your personal peak moment throughout Twin Atlantic’s music career?
A: Well, we never really take the time to look backwards because we’re pretty driven to try and do more with the band – but the first time we played Glastonbury three years ago felt like a special moment, because that is the festival to end all festivals and to be asked to play and have a full tent of people who wanted to see you just felt like you were doing something right and gave you a little kick-on to remember why you were doing this.
I suppose that probably had a lot to do with the writing of this new album, to have that experience made us realise you can do whatever you want and as long as you’re doing whatever excites you then that’s okay.