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Music |


Tuesday 21 October 2014
Words Ailis Mara

I met up with Twin Peaks, the Chicago based quartet and not the TV series just FYI, during their trip to London recently. You’d assume that the guys were pretty ancient rockers based on their sound and not some twenty-year-old ‘dudes’ as they refer to themselves regularly. That might come from the fact they’ve been playing together since they were in school. They’ve just released their second album and my suggestion is that you blast it at maximum volume, as soon as poss.

After a few English accent imitations Clay and Connor, guitarist and drummer of Twin Peaks, reverted back to their, quite adorable, slightly southern accents and talked to me about they’re up to!

So how long have you guys been in London for? Are you enjoying it so far?

Clay: we’ve been here since Friday.
Connor: No
Clay: Yep
Connor: Wow, we’ve been here since Friday. It’s a lot of fun.
Clay: We’ve played two shows already. We played one at Notting Hill Arts Club and one at Rough Trade. They were good. New album, some old gems.

Have you played in the UK before? 

Clay: Never even been here.
Connor: First time out of USA. It’s the first time out of America for two of us. It’s great, it’s really cool.

And you’ve all grown up together?

Connor: More or less. We haven’t always played together.
Clay: There was a time there when I didn’t even play with anybody. I didn’t know how to play guitar. That was when I was a little lad.
Connor: But then we started playing together, you see.
Clay: We started playing in secondary school, right? (Getting the English school system in there) You’re third year of secondary school. (After a lot of debate about what age a year ten was, we concluded that…) By the time year ten came around we were playing together.
Connor: We were called Friend.
Clay: Just one friend.
Connor: I still like that name. I never wanted to change, so I’ll put that on the record. They thought it was too hoakey (I think that’s American slang) like some 16/15-year-old dudes that had a band named Friend was lame. I was like “What?!”

After a muddle up and some eavesdropping done by me of people talking about Twin Peaks… it was actually the TV show, I’m assuming you get that confusion a lot?

Clay: Yeah, for sure.
Connor: Now I think it’s going to get really bad because they just announced that they’re coming back for a third series. So we might be finished. We’ll see.

So Wild Onion is the second album, which sounds slightly like something you’d come across in Pokémon.

Clay: A Wild Onion appears.
Connor: Catch him or let him go.
Clay: It just sounds like magic.
Connor: Magic. It’s very exciting.
Clay: I love onions too. And there’s this old Native American idea like Chicago meant either Stinky Onion or Wild Onion. That’s where it’s from.
Connor: It’s what Chicago means to the Natives.

And there are 16 tracks on the album, that’s quite a big one! Did you have a burst of writing inspiration? 

Clay: They’re short. That’s not even all the songs we had at the time. We all write songs pretty quickly but we just picked those ones and we put them in an order we felt makes sense. It’s like 45 minutes or something like that. We just like to play rock and roll, and a lot of people butcher it these days. We’re trying to make it fun again.

There are a lot of comparisons between you and bands from the 60s and 70s. Do you feel like old souls in twenty-year-old bodies? 

Clay: Sure.
Connor: Kind of. (That’s a no) I want to be twenty for ever.
Clay: We like all your old bands. English bands. Stones, Beatles, Kinks, The Kinks are one of my favourite bands.
Connor: Floyd, Zeppelin.
Clay: You guys are good.
Connor: It just seems like the music we like to play. It’s not really a nostalgic thing I don’t think.
Clay: A lot of the songs are about things like passing. All the lyrics are about things moving, passed. A lot of movement. You know it’s good to have movement in songs. Having a sense of a song ending.

I like that idea. But you’re about to go back to the USA and do some more touring around America and Canada. Are you planning to come back to the UK to do a longer tour?

Connor: We’re going to do a whole Europe thing in early 2015. Keep your ears and eyes and balls pinned.

Have you got any dream venues? Or maybe some places in the UK you’ve heard of that you’d love to play…

Connor: The Swiss Alps…
Clay: (a lot of laughing).

Now for some quick fire questions… If the band were a pizza topping, what would it be?

Connor: Sausage and Onion.
Clay: Pepperoni.
Connor: Maybe a few pepperonis.
Clay: Okay wait, check this out. It would be a quarter sausage and onion, because you know you can cut it up. Quarter pepperoni. There would be one slice that would be pineapple for the weird kid. What have we got left? We’ve got like 5 or 6 slices left, those would all just be…
Connor: Bacon, artichoke, olive, onion, cheese pizza
Clay: Your garden variety of meats and vegetables. It would be real cheap too.
Connor: It would be free.
Clay: Free pizza.
Connor: You would buy one shot of whisky and you’d get that pizza.
Clay: And most of it would fall on the ground face down and it would get really dirty. But the type of kids that bought the pizza, they wouldn’t care. They’d just eat. One guy would be so high he’d eat it right off the ground. That’s the kind of pizza we are.
Connor: Whisky shots in-between.
Clay: Mothers love it.

If the band were an item of clothing, what would it be?

Connor: Socks! Halfway through the day socks. Or a baseball cap maybe.
Clay: Or a pair of mittens.
Connor: You think we’re cute?
Clay: Maybe a diamond jockstrap then.

If the band were a cartoon, what would it be?

Clay: We would be the characters. And it would be a whole ensemble.
Connor: Shouts to The Landlords. It would be a cartoon show that we wrote called Landlords.
Clay: And you know every show has a Seinfeld, like they’ve got the apartment. They have their places. Ours would be right in front of a chicken shop. And we’d just sit on the stoop and eat the chicken sandwiches. We’d get into trouble and things like that.

(After being handed their artist passes for the gig that evening)

Clay: This is what you put on your body so that chicks talk to you.

If the band were an emoji, what would they be?

Connor: A middle finger.
Clay: A tie-dyed middle finger.
Connor: With a big fucking ruby on it.
Clay: Right on the middle knuckle. Nice to look at, but a bit offensive.

Words by Eliza Frost