Interview: The Twilight Sad
Published on November 30th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Kilsyth’s finest The Twilight Sad are bringing the campaign for their excellent No One Can Ever Know album to a close with the release of an album of remixes featuring contributions from the likes of Liars, Com Truise and Tom Furse from The Horrors, and they shall play their biggest headline show to date at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on 15th December (click here to book tickets). Just over a year on from our previous chat, Rocksucker was once again delighted to get the chance to fire over some questions to front man James Graham…
Do you have any particular favourite remixes from the album? How did you go about sourcing all the remixers?
I’d say my personal favourites would be Liars remix of “Nil”, Com Truise’s remix of “Sick”, Tom Furse of The Horrors remix of “Not Sleeping” and the two remixes of “Sick” by Brokenchord. The Liars & Com Truise remixes are quite obviously noticeably interpretations of the the original songs and I really like the way they’ve worked with the vocals and certain important elements of the song.
We made a list of possible remixers and asked our label to get in touch with them to see if they would be interested. Luckily for us a lot of them were. We said they could remix any song they liked off the new album and let them get to work. We thought it would be cool/interesting to see what other artists we liked would do with our songs and we were really happy with the outcome
Did you plan all along to release something like this, or was it all a happy accident?
We like to release something at the end of an album campaign which brings something new to the campaign but also points back to the original release. With Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters there was the Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did EP . With Forget the Night Ahead we had The Wrong Car EP. This time we wanted to do a full-on remix album because as you said the songs on this album lend themselves to being remix/reworked.
It’s just something we hadn’t done before and we also want to try something new all the time. Some of our favourite bands have had remix records and we thought it would be an interesting project. We made a list of our favourite bands/artists and approached them, and luckily enough most of them were up for it.
Did you try to structure it like an album in terms of the running order? If so, what was your thinking?
It was Andy [MacFarlane, guitar] who came up with the track list. We went through a few different running orders but thought this was the best. It was just a case of structuring the album so it had a flow to it. The remixes were that diverse that it was pretty easy.
I think we were more relaxed with the track list as there wasn’t really any pressure with the release, it was a project where we weren’t as heavily involved as other people were remixing our songs so we could sit back and enjoy it a bit more. We’re pretty relaxed about the whole release, we realise that remix albums aren’t for everybody but it’s something we wanted to do.
Have you listened much to No One Can Ever Know since its release? How do you feel about it now?
I don’t listen to our albums once they’re finished and we’re happy with them. I don’t see any point in looking back, I’d rather look forward and move onto the next thing. I’m still extremely proud of this album. No one wants to hear a Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters part 2 or a Forget the Night Ahead part 2. Those albums are special for a reason and they documented our lives perfectly at the time we recorded/released them, and so does our third album. I feel we took risks on No One Can Ever Know and in my humble opinion they payed off
Do you think you’ll work with Andrew Weatherall again on your next album?
Theres a number of people we’d like to work with to be honest. Once we’ve finished writing and demoing our new songs we’ll see who’s available and interested in working with us. Working with Andrew was amazing and a great experience for the band but as I’ve said before we’re a band that likes to try new things and don’t like to repeat ourselves if we can help it. I wouldn’t rule out anything and the opportunity to work with Andrew again would be a privilege and a pleasure. We’ll just have to see what happens with the new songs.
What does 2013 hold for The Twilight Sad?
I don’t know. It’s been a hard year so we’re taking some time out from touring in January, but we’ll be writing a lot. We are a working band and if we’re not writing or recording we want to be on the road, hopefully we’ll be playing some gigs in places we haven’t been to this year. The band are at a weird place in our career, we’re three albums in and I still really don’t know where we fit into the music business and if we ever will.
I’m pretty fed up of playing the game and just want to write music, I’m not enjoying everything else that comes with being in a band apart from writing and playing. Writing and playing music is what I love doing most in the world, I just hope we can do it for many years to come. I think our next album will decide whether or not we can.
We’re just as dedicated to this band as we’ve ever been and I feel we’ve still got a lot to say. We’ve been let down by a lot of people this year and sometimes it feels like you’re working hard to help the band progress by touring and writing as much as we can, but sometimes it feels like you’re smashing your head off a brick wall.
I noticed you hobnobbing with John Earls on Twitter – I mentioned him in our previous interview as I remember reading his review of your demo on Planet Sound back in the day. Who got in touch with who?
I’m pretty sure it was us. We sent our first demo out to all our favourite labels and people in music. I used to go on Planet Sound every day so when our demo came up on it one day I was surprised and really happy that they liked it. John’s supported the band since day one and I will always remember that day I first saw someone write about our band.
In our last interview, you said you were looking forward to the new Errors record. What do you think of it, and the one they’ve released since then?
Well we’re just back from a North American tour with Errors and we had a great time together. I got to see them play every night which was both a pleasure and a privilege . They’re one of my favourite bands and Have Some Faith in Magic is one of my favourite records this year. New Relics is also amazing. I would love it if we could tour mainland Europe together.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Adam Stafford: he directed our video for “Seven Years of Letters” but is also a very fine and underrated musician.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life in solitary confinement, with the entire works of just five different musical artists to tide you over, whose would you choose?
James Graham, thank you.
No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes is out now. The Twilight Sad will play their biggest headline show to date at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom on 15th December. For more information, please visit www.thetwilightsad.com