TWIN ATLANTIC PREPARE TO HIT THE ROAD IN SUPPORT OF NEW ALBUM “POWER” 0 11

Scots arena rockers Twin Atlantic are back with devastating new album Power – and it’s stunned fans with a dramatic shift in style and tone.

The gritty guitars of the last record GLA have been swept away by a thunderous wave of glorious synthery, cascading out of your speakers in the most potent, anthemic choruses the band have ever produced. If ever an album was made for festivals, stadiums and arenas, it’s this one.

Frontman Sam McTrusty said: “I see it as an arrival rather than a departure. It wasn’t a deliberate plan to be different. We had this new studio with loads of new equipment, we’d lean on something, it would make a cool sound and that would birth a song. It was like being back to the beginning when we started writing and I’d been playing guitar for less than a year, so it was the joy of discovery. We were back to that template of, if you like it just follow it, there are no rules, it doesn’t matter.

I think fans will get it but if they don’t, that’s cool, things I loved ten years ago I don’t now, you grow in and out of things. To try and make music for people who like what you did before means we are stuck in a loop. We are doing the opposite, we are trying to forecast what people will like six months from now so they may not like it at first – and we started writing two years ago so we were looking pretty far ahead.”

Sam, Ross McNae and Craig Kneale approached this record completely differently on the advice of former producer turned pal Jacknife Lee.  He encouraged them to build their own studio and essentially produce the album themselves.  So they bought a mountain of equipment they didn’t know how to work, and messed around with it until they made this frighteningly good record. And rather than isolate themselves as they used to when making music, they went the other way completely, surrounding themselves with a barrage of input to reflect the way we all live these days.

Sam said: “We used to dim the lights and focus on nothing but the music – this time we did the opposite, looking at movie trailers, Craig’s pictures, our phones, we had a barrage of input because that’s the life we all live now. Everyone is fully stimulated all the time, that’s why there’s so much going on in the songs, that’s by design.We are trying to reflect the culture of bombardment.  We’re confident, carefree really about it. I love it so much and I enjoyed making it so much that I don’t really care if people like it, in a good way.  I have no anxiety or nerves about it. Even if people hate it.

We’ve always tried to be different but just been too respectful of the rules. We just always made music from a place of absolute gratitude for opportunity because we are from a small country that sometimes is the butt of a lot of jokes culturally, and we had a shot to add to culture, so we always thought ‘try really hard, respect the genre that we have been allowed to play in alongside some of the biggest bands of all time so felt we should try to fit in. It’s a sign of the times we don’t have to fit in any more and know we never did which is why I don’t think we ever really gelled to our full potential until now.”

The record’s roots lie in electronica and the band’s surprising – to some – love of dance music. It’s the first time they’ve explored that passion in their own music and the results are incredible.

“It’s a whole part of our adulthood that we have never let influence our music before. We are from Glasgow, which is world famous for nights out. It’s got this whole culture where you go to a gig then you go to a club night afterwards. For some reason we had separated the two in our heads. Then it was like a moment of arrival we figured out a way to fuse those two things. That is the BIGGEST influence on the whole thing. It’s not about us signing to a major label so we’ve made a pop record with snyths on it, on the face of it I can see why some people might think that, but it’s turning a corner in our lives and having an awakening. 

We were in our studio in Glasgow and Ross and I had a ‘eureka’ moment where we listened to Felix Da Housecat’s Ready To Wear. Not many people really know that from our world but the sound of that song sparked something, like ‘wait, we could do that but in our own way’. This side of our musical taste has always been there, we just haven’t brought it into what we do before, and it was so stupid. We thought we were only good at this one bit of music so that’s what we need to do. Until now.”

The band will play the following UK shows:

March 2020

Tue 3rd            Motherwell, Concert Hall

Wed 4th           Aberdeen, Music Hall

Fri 6th              Dundee, Fat Sams

Sat 7th             Kilmarnock, Grand Hall

Mon 9th           Newcastle, Riverside

Tue 10th          Manchester, Academy 2

Wed 11th       Sheffield, The Leadmill

Fri 13th            Cardiff, The Tramshed

Sat 14th           Oxford, O2 Academy Oxford

Sun 15th          Leicester, O2 Academy Leicester

Tue 17th          Bournemouth, The Old Firestation

Wed 18th       Brighton, Concorde 2

Fri 20th            London, Electric Ballroom

You can keep up to date with Twin Atlantic by visiting their website, giving their page a like on Facebook or following them on Twitter.

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JP SAXE TALKS “ITWWE”, UPCOMING PERFORMANCE PLANS & ARTISTIC INFLUENCES 0 21

2019 was a big year for JP Saxe, which saw him become somewhat of a staple on the lips – and social media accounts – of numerous celebs and music fans thanks to the release of “If The World Was Ending”, featuring Julia Michaels. Now, he’s kicking off 2020 with the release of his debut EP and has a run of UK shows taking place later this month. ThisIsTheLatest caught up with him to chat favourite artists, song-writing inspiration and his ambitions for the year ahead.

TITL: At what age did you first realise you wanted to make music a career and was there a particular band or artist/song or album that impacted that decision? 

JP Saxe: Around 19, when I moved to LA. At that time, I was listening to a lot of Justin Nozuka.

TITL: Which bands and artists would you say most inspire you when it comes to the music you make?

JP: Gershwin, Yesika Salgado, Julia Michaels. 

TITL: If you had to describe yourself and your music in four words what would you say? 

JP: Over-intellectualized but generally sincere. 

TITL: What would you say your unique selling point as an artist is?

JP: Asymmetrical jaw line. 

TITL: From who or what do you most often find inspiration for your song-writing?

JP: The feelings I don’t quite understand yet. 

TITL: There are many brilliant songs around, spanning the decades, but if you had to choose, which, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written and why?

JP: Itsy bitsy spider. It’s timeless. It will always go up the water spout.

TITL: Your latest single, “If The World Was Ending”, which features Julia Michaels, has proven to be a HUGE hit with several celebs posting and tweeting about the track. Did you ever expect or could you ever have anticipated the reaction it’s received? 

JP: Nope. It’s really fucking cool. 

TITL: How exactly did Julia come to be involved on the track? 

JP: She posted my song “25 In Barcelona” on IG. I messaged her, she said we should write, and we wrote ifwwe the day we met! 

TITL: The track was produced by Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother who is also making quite a name for himself. What was the creative/productive process like between the two of you?

JP: So easy. He’s brilliant. All his instinct were spot on. 

TITL: Are there plans for an EP or album in the works? 

JP: My EP Hold It Together was released on Friday!

TITL: What about tour and performance plans? Any chance fans can see you in a town or city near them soon?

JP: Yup!! Europe with Lennon Stella and then at least another tour this year but likely and probably more.

TITL: As well as praise, artists often face a lot of criticism from critics but do you pay much attention to or care much about what such people think? Do you ever find negative comments hurtful and how do you overcome how they make you feel?

JP: I get compared only to other sexy gingers. I’m happy about it.

TITL: Taking into account all the praise you’ve received from users of social media, how do you feel about the industry’s – and society’s – apparent reliance on it?  Do you believe it’s at all possible for bands and artists to achieve success without being socially interactive these days and do you think there are any downsides to the industry in particular being so technology/connectivity driven?

JP: It’s just a tool. It can be a beautiful connector or a delimitating distractor. The differentiation is entirely in our own hands.

TITL: Finally then, what are your plans for 2020? After the success you’ve achieved so far, what’s the next goal for you to reach for and achieve? 

JP: Keep being myself and stay happy for the right reasons.

JP Saxe’s EP Hold It Together is available now and for more information on JP, visit his website, give his page a like on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

RACHEL BOBBITT & JUSTICE DER TALK NEW MUSIC, ARTISTIC INFLUENCES & FUTURE PLANS 0 40

While some artists might be afraid to touch on delicate subjects, Rachel Bobbitt and Justice Der most certainly are not, as proven by the subject matter behind their latest single “Beneath Our Feet (Exit Music)” – death. Though the subject is difficult, the video to the track presents death in a friendly, yet eerie presence sort of way that feels almost familiar and perhaps may even encourage those to watch it to speak more openly about the issue itself. Currently working on new material, ThisIsTheLatest caught up with the duo to chat favourite songs, social media and ultimate ambitions.

TITL: Let’s go back to the beginning. When did you each first realise you had an interest in/passion for music and how did you come together?

Justice: I first realized I had a passion for music when I heard Breezin by George Benson in the car.

Rachel: I can’t really pinpoint an exact moment. My mom was playing a lot of folk music around the house when I was growing up, so I think it pretty quickly became an intuitive way for me to communicate my feelings and thoughts. We met at school in Toronto.

TITL: Which artists growing up made you think “I want to follow in their footsteps?”

R: Leonard Cohen.

J: George Benson.

TITL: Is there any particular artist you might say you sound similar to, or do you make a determined effort to just be yourselves and something fresh and new?

J: We are a blend of our influences, and our own sound. We are definitely inspired by many different artists, but also try to bring something new to everything we make.

TITL: What would you say is your unique selling point as a duo? What one thing makes you stand out from your many artistic counterparts?

R: It’s hard to say, we don’t think too much about our selling point.

TITL: Which bands and artists have most influenced you over the course of your career and how do those influences impact the music you make?

J: We have been heavily influenced by Alex G, Phoebe Bridgers, Soccer Mommy, Frank Ocean, Miles Davis, etc. These musicians all inspire us to create music we are passionate about and believe in. 

TITL: Is there a story behind your latest music video “Beneath Our Feet (Exit Music)?

R: The video is about being mortal. The ghost in the video represents the grim reaper. We wanted to try to present death in a lighthearted way.

TITL: Death is never an easy subject to broach, in any form, so why did you choose to do so through music? What do you hope people take from the story/meaning behind the song?

R: It has a lot to do with the age we have arrived at. We inevitably are confronted with thoughts of our own mortality more and more as we age. Through the song, we wanted people to try to think about death in a way that isn’t daunting, or overwhelmingly negative. It’s a song about putting a lighthearted spin on one of our biggest commonalities as people.

TITL: The track is taken from your album When This Plane Goes Down. For those who might not have heard it yet, how would you sum it up and could you each pick a favourite track?

R: The album is about growing up. Mine is “Alex.”

J: “Passed out Trees.”

TITL: Who or what most inspires your creativity when it comes to songwriting? Which song might you say is the greatest ever written and why?

J: We’re inspired by our experiences from our childhood and young adulthood.  The greatest song ever written is pretty hard, some of our favourites of all time are “Close To You” by The Carpenters, “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and “Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith.

TITL: If you could put together your dream show with four bands or artists, living or dead, who would you choose and where would you play?

R: Frank Ocean, Elliott Smith, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen. Outside in rural Nova Scotia.

TITL: Do you have any performances/tour dates lined up? Where can music fans next check you out?

J: None as of right now, we’re working on new material to release in the spring.

TITL: To what extent do you use social media? What’s your view on how technologically ‘obsessed’ we as a society seem to be?

J: We don’t take social media too seriously. It’s important to have a sense of humour about it, and not spend too much time on it.

TITL: Finally then, given that so many bands and artists tend to fall by the wayside, what’s the long term goal for the two of you? Where would you like to see yourselves, personally and professionally, 5-10 years down the line?

R: Living humbly, putting out albums.

Check out “Beneath Our Feet (Exit Music) below and you can follow both Rachel Bobbitt and Justice Der on Instagram.