Twin Atlantic have recently been out on tour supporting The Gaslight Anthem. Glasswerk caught up with Sam McTrusty (lead vocals and guitar) and Craig Kneale (drums and vocals) when they came to Manchester to get their views on support slots, festivals and touring.
So, how are the shows with The Gaslight Anthem going?
Sam: Really good, it's really fun playing sold out shows, but kind of scary also. We’re out of practice because we have been at home the last month and a half. Nothing has gone wrong yet though, thankfully!
Twin Atlantic fans and The Gaslight Anthem fans are quite different though, how are they reacting to you?
S: We've had mixed reactions. Birmingham reacted really well, but in Glasgow we had a weird reaction. No-one has booed though. We don’t normally play to that age group. It can be hard to create an atmosphere at the start of the show. The older I get the less involved I get when I go to shows and these fans are like that. On this tour I have just tended to shut up more because The Gaslight Anthem fans just don’t get my sense of humour at all!
Hopefully the next time we are in Manchester there will be extra 100-200 fans there to see us. It’s weird though because the shows where it seems no-one was there is where fans claim to have first seen us. When we toured with The Subways, not many people seemed that interested in us, but when we talk to our fans, a lot of them say they first saw us on that tour.
You're supporting another huge band this summer, Blink 182. How are you feeling about that?
S: Getting on the Blink 182 tour is fucked up! I was thinking whether or not to get a Blink tattoo when our manager rang and told us we were the support. I met Mark Hoppus when I was 14, I was stood at the merch table at the back of their gig when he just walked by, and I was trying to take a photo on the sly! We have all met Tom through getting involved with Modlife and Macbeth, and I guess that’s why we got put forward for the support slot. He is massive in real life like 6 foot 5!
Craig: I only got into them after they split, I never realised how significant they were until they got back together and everyone is so excited for them.
Well, with two massive tours in a short space of time this summer under your belt. Who else would you like to tour with?
C: Foo Fighters! I would love to tour with them, they are my favourite band. They’re also the last band to write classic, timeless rock anthems, which is what we intend to do so we look up to them a lot.
S:Bands like Rage Against The Machine, Muse, My Chemical Romance, staple rock bands y’know. I would implode if we got to tour with Bruce Springsteen!
At 16 I wanted to tour with bands like Funeral for a Friend, Taking Back Sunday etc they really shaped how we write songs.
C: Machine Head! Bands were we would get booed off really! Last time we were here in Manchester with The Subways I got hit by a battery thrown from the crowd! And we got heckled by their fans.
S: At a gig in Southampton this 40 year old man was heckling pretty bad until I had enough. After one song he said “You’s haven’t got any songs!” so I turned to him and said “What are you on about, we’ve just played 4 songs”. The crowd turned on him and started booing him, and he walked off in shame! That was pretty cool for the fans to stick up for us like that, I think he just left the entire gig and went home.
As if you're not satisfied with two support tours, you're playing loads of festivals this summer. How does that feel?
C: We want to do more!
S: Reading & Leeds are the ones we really want to do, but our album has already been out a while. We’re hoping the next album will be out in time for next year’s Reading & Leeds. We are going to back off for a while once our commitments are done anyway, you can’t make people like you.
With all this talk of festival and support shows, which do you prefer playing or do you own shows always rank the highest?
S: Each one is good for different reasons. With support shows it's scarier because the people aren't there to see you, but at the same time it makes you play better to try and win them over.
There tends to be more of a community vibe at our own shows which makes for a better atmosphere. You can also rile your own crowds more, whereas with support shows it would be stupid to approach them in the same way because the crowd doesn’t like your band.
C: With festivals people are there to see a variety of bands, so crowds are never full on into the one band which makes for a different kind of atmosphere. I prefer the challenge of having to win a crowd over at support shows.
Do you have any rituals you like to go through before you play live?
S: I’m meant to do vocal warm ups, but I don’t. Although once a tour I will be a diva and make everyone leave the room while I do them, but then I won’t bother again!
We get changed into our stage wear, which is basically the same as how we dress normally. We touch foreheads, but we don’t psyche up too much, we try and save the energy for the show.
Rituals become robotic, and we don’t want the show to become like that. Like, there was a point one time when I would say the same thing at a certain point in the show, and it was embarrassing, so we don’t do too many rituals to try and prevent that.
Do you have any last words for the readers of Glasswerk?
C: Don’t drink beer!
S: (Laughing) If you saw us at a Gaslight Anthem show and didn’t like us, fuck it. If you did, great, show it next time. I’m gonna regret saying that…. but right now I don’t.