Interview: The Twang
Published on October 19th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Midlands rockers The Twang are back with their self-produced third album 10:20, titled after a quite tremendous note left on their door by a disgruntled neighbour, so Rocksucker caught up with front man Phil Etheridge for a bit of a natter about it as he prepares for the band’s imminent UK tour (scroll down for dates). First, though, check out the LP’s lead single “Mainline”…
Has whoever left the note been made aware that it’s been used on an album cover?
Nah (laughs). D’you know what, I got asked this earlier today. I do feel a little bit sad for him though because they’ve bought one of these posh townhouses not realising there are studios behind it, but choosing an album title and artwork is always difficult and they’ve given us both!
They went into some nice detail, talking about the bass rattling the painting on the bedroom wall…
I think it reads really poetically. That’s why we put it on, not just because it was funny, but I do think that it reads like an MC lyric to me.
How would you describe the new album to those of us who haven’t heard it yet?
It’s different to the last two because we’ve changed our line-up quite a bit. It’s different straight away because we’ve got a different guitarist on it – John Simcox, a friend of ours – but it’s hard to describe. You see things described as “Hey, this is the new kind of indie-dubstep…” but I can’t go down that slippery path. It’s just a collection of songs about our lives, really.
I see the album as being kind of like a good mate who takes you out and gets drunk with you, stays for a good chat at the end of the night. It starts quite heavy, quite fun, and it’s interesting at times. We’ve been through a lot as a band, a lot of people, things change as you get older – a couple of us have kids, stuff like that – and it does affect your writing.
Who played the brass parts on “Mainline”?
Our new drummer, Ash Sheehan. He does percussion at house clubs, gets his trumpet out and plays along, gets them to pour champagne on the snare drum type of thing. He does really well. We had some problems with our previous drummer so we had to fire him, and Ash had already come in to do something on “Mainline”, we knew he was a great drummer anyway, so it made sense.
Did he lay down all the brass parts?
Yeah, he layered them up in our studio.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There are a few bands from Birmingham who are now getting the recognition they deserve. We put two bands on with us called Swim Deep and PEACE, and I had a feeling they could do something because they both sounded really good; but they’re both doing really well now, getting Radio 1 airplay in the daytime. There’s another band we’re taking on tour with us called Wide Eyed and a few others coming through, so in my opinion there’s more of a scene there now than when we were coming through, even if the word ‘scene’ is a bit shit.
You know straight away when you see a band, though; without being nasty, most bands are pretty rubbish really, and the ones that are good usually end up doing something, know what I mean? In my opinion, anyway.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your live with the back catalogues of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?
The Smiths, Happy Mondays, The Beatles, The National, and Billy Joel to remind me of my dad.
Phil Etheridge, thank you.
The Twang’s third studio album 10:20 will be released on 29th October. For more information, please visit thetwang.co.uk
The Twang will play the following UK tour dates over this month and next:
Mon 29 Oct 2012 19:30 Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Tue 30 Oct 2012 19:30 The Garage, Glasgow
Thu 01 Nov 2012 19:00 Liquid Room, Edinburgh
Fri 02 Nov 2012 19:00 The Cockpit, Leeds
Sat 03 Nov 2012 19:30 Leadmill, Sheffield
Mon 05 Nov 2012 19:00 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
Tue 06 Nov 2012 19:30 Waterfront, Norwich
Sat 10 Nov 2012 19:30 The Cooler, Bristol
Sun 11 Nov 2012 22:00 Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth/Southsea
Tue 13 Nov 2012 19:00 HMV Ritz, Manchester
Wed 14 Nov 2012 19:30 Scala (King’s Cross), London