With their smash hit ‘Heart and Soul’ soundtracking the recent People Make Glasgow advert and a rip-roaring set at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic are probably bigger than ever. qmunicate’s Alice Lannon sat down with the band to discuss QM clubnights, fan tattoos and missing out on Top of the Pops.
So you’re here in the QMU rehearsing for T in the Park today, do you feel quite a strong connection with the union? You’ve played here quite a lot over the years…
Weirdly I think the start of the connection is that we used to come to this club night called Rev here – It’s kind of embarrassing to admit that! So yeah we used to come here every Thursday when we were just students, way back before we were even allowed to play gigs on a stage. That was the point where we just played in bars, on the floor. It was the first place we ever supported a gig- this band called Aerogramme, they were one of the original, Scottish rock pillars. The connection goes even deeper now we think about it; the QMU was the first place we ever did a real, big headline slot too. AND it was the first place we ever did a Jägerbomb!
Are you pretty excited for T in the Park then? How are your rehearsals going?
We haven’t played that many shows this summer so we’re still enthusiastic about practicing and stuff! This is like our seventh time T in the Park but we still get excited every year. We’ve played every stage now so we know the ropes and it should be really good this year.
And how was Radio One’s Big Weekend?
Amazing! Being in Glasgow was great. Getting to play to our home crowd was an extra lift – before you even play a note the crowd are so receptive. We were a bit out of our depth but it was one of the first gigs we actually all enjoyed, which is rare.
Oh, so what makes you not enjoy a gig then?!
Well obviously we’ve got pretty high standards for ourselves. There can be little technical things or I can say something and then two seconds later I’m like “oh my god, did I actually just say that?! I’m such a dick!” Two minutes after going off stage you kind of calm down a bit though.
How did it feel when your single charted at number 17?
Mad. It’s funny because when we were writing the album that wasn’t our intention at all. We didn’t think we’d care about how well it did, but when people tell you your single’s gone to number 17 you’re like fuck! We do care! Why do we care? Our friend Kerry is a huge nineties fanatic, and when we came number ten in the midweek charts she was so excited, telling us “you would have been on Top of the Pops”! It’s little things like that that really make it quite cool.
You have come quite a long way…!
Yeah it’s a long way from doing Jägerbombs in the QM. Now we’re doing our rehearsals here; it’s pretty mad! We did our rehearsals here about a year ago for the first time and we all just looked at each other and started giggling. It was like a sign of how far we’ve come; before we were so excited even to be playing here and now it’s like “oh, we’ll just pop off to the QM for a rehearsal”.
Do you see any other young Glaswegian or Scottish bands that you think will make it big?
Fatherson. And we’ve become really good friends with the LaFontaines, they’re really good. Carnivores as well, they’re from Paisley…We’re really out of touch with bands. I guess we just care too much about ourselves!
And what would be your advice for aspiring musicians?
Well basically we just had one rehearsal and then decided we were just going to be a band, we were going to do everything we could to be a band. We quit our jobs, went away on tour, started trying to live in a van. Scraping by with no money. Making it work. Unless you get exceptionally lucky the only way to make it work is just to work hard I think. Just dedicate your life to it.
And on a final note, what is the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you?
We do get some pretty weird things! I don’t think we can really repeat them though. We’ll keep it clean! Someone messaged me “ you signed my wrist, look, I got it tattooed.” I have this triangle tattoo on my wrist and a few people started getting them, but this girl wanted me to sign it for a photograph and next thing she’d got it permanently tattooed. It was mad! I was really flattered on one hand but on the other hand it felt like a really weighty thing to be told.