“WHERE’S my revolution?” sings Sam McTrusty on the opening thunderous track ‘Oh! Euphoria!’, a clear standout on the brand new Twin Atlantic record and one that McTrusty notes as one of his favourites too. But before we get into the record, the journey and how a band from the Southside of Glasgow ends up sharing the bill and stage with an Oasis icon, let’s recap on Glasgow’s homegrown heroes ahead of the drop of their first album on major label Virgin EMI this Friday (24th January).
From King Tut’s to the dizzy heights of Main Stages with 55,000 strong screaming crowds, it’s undoubtable that Twin Atlantic have come a long way. The band’s desire to remain fresh and experimental ten years into their career might just be why the record – due drop on all streaming platforms imminently – is so fucking good.
Sam opens up about the pre match nerves as we grab an in-depth chat on all things ‘Power’ explaining: “We used to be much more uptight before big releases like this, but we all feel really relaxed as we approach the release of ‘Power’. I am looking forward to people either loving or hating the album, I am looking forward to both. I am looking forward to people not getting it at all and then people who really connect with it. I can’t wait for some to overreact in a positive and negative way and to hear people potentially say it’s the greatest thing they’ve ever heard.”
Ten tracks strong, as a collection of songs, ‘Power’ takes fans on a journey and to place we’ve not been led to by the band. Experimental techniques and 80s hints are peppered throughout, but we don’t lose that Twin Atlantic aroma. Those big choruses remain throughout. The big tunes made for the big stages are there.
“I have gained so much from writing this album, The band are at a point where we have something to show for over ten years of hard work. We’ve got the studio, we’ve made another album, we’ve signed a new record deal. That’s a really important notch for us, it’s been really cool.
“When we write music together, it ends up snowballing and results in the ‘epic chorus territory’. We always say, “Right guys, for one song let’s just be chill and pretend to be cool…. just one time,” then we get to the chorus and we can’t help but go as big as possible because it just feels so rewarding. We find it way more challenging to write a lowkey song.”
Diving in deeper on that big signing, McTrusty shares: “We always wanted to work with a label of this scale as we feel like it matches our ambition. We always feel like our music makes more sense in a bigger setting, be it bigger venues, bigger sweeping statements. The reach of Virgin EMI and their track record is amazing, and it feels like more of a comfortable fit for us. It matches what our instinctive music making results in.”
Sam picks up from the band’s experience of working with Jacknife Lee saying: “The studio and him as a person, it was a sensory overload. After that experience of working with him, there was no way back for us in terms of making new music. That stimulation was incredible.
“When we came back to Glasgow, we had the idea to turn our rehearsal room into a studio and start to make some demos and send them to labels. And even if it didn’t go the way we expected it to, we would just keep our mistakes. Before, when working with a really experienced producer time was money, you weren’t really able to experiment that way. You couldn’t really learn on that studio time. Because we were producing the album on our own, we were able to make those decisions.
“Creating a more electronic record wasn’t really by design in any way, we just kept acting on our instincts. With this record, we met limitations and met them head on. We took the fact that we weren’t in a big fancy studio with a hotshot producer as a freedom thing and just ran with it to the extreme and that’s how the electronic stuff started to play more of a role.”
When asked if Sam could only keep one song from the record and all others were to be deleted he replied: “I really like the first song ‘Oh! Euphoria!’. There are two versions of that song, one where the opening is 2 mins long before the vocals start and a shorter version. I think it sums up the album for me in a oner!”
Ahead of the sold-out King Tut’s shows, which will see the band return to their roots Sam said: “We feel we have the strongest connection to King Tut’s. Maybe more so than any other band. Even more so than Oasis. They were discovered there but our first single was out on King Tut’s recordings and Zane Lowe played that on the radio on the back of that record. There’s a whole group of people behind the scenes that are really special at King Tut’s and the fact that we’re from Glasgow makes it even more special.
“That’s the venue that not only have I grown up in and cut my teeth as a live performer in, but I have also had loads of musical epiphanies in there watching other performers. Having that venue on my doorstep is a pure privilege, so getting the chance to go back there with this new album was a no brainer for us.
“We started our last album campaign in Tut’s and we like our albums to have a journey. We could have went to big venues at the start of this tour but we like bring things down to a more grass roots level and then take people on that journey. It feels more rewarding that way. I love the feeling of nostalgia so much, so with Tut’s we are embracing being up and close with our fans.
“I won’t be able to control my emotions, I won’t be crying or weeping but at the same time I just like feeling the same thing as the audience. Because I am a music lover and go to live shows, it’s special for me to get that close to the audience. As close as I can get to the audience the better… it feels more real for me.”
As a Glasgow band with a strong foothold in the musical city, Sam and co have been working with a plethora of artists from around the UK, opening up their Glasgow studio and musical knowledge. Sam explains: “Lucia + The Best Boys are a band we absolutely love, from Glasgow. We’re really good friends with Lucia and her manager Hamish and we’ve been writing with them recently. Ross and I worked on her latest single ‘Good Girls Do Bad Things’ with her.
We’ve actually been using our studio to get other artists in to use our space and write and produce with them. LUCIA is an artist that we found to have a real kindred spirit and we love working with her.”
Ahead of one of their biggest shows to date this summer, Sam discussed his love for Scotland’s biggest music festival, TRNSMT: “This has never happened before, but the last time we played TRNSMT we all walked off stage and said “that was the best gig we have ever played”.
“I don’t know if we all just had a good day or if the fact it’s our hometown festival in Glasgow and special because it’s our hometown crowd and that bleeds into your subconscious and you channel that. You maybe just get a wee bit better that day because of that. Our studio looks onto TRNSMT’s site and you could measure within metres of the distance from our studio window to where the Main Stage is.
“This year’s TRNSMT will be really special. The fact it is taking place in Glasgow and the fact we’re sharing the stage with Liam Gallagher, I am like… how has that happened? It’s wild!
“TRNSMT is cool because it’s a new thing for the young people of Scotland to experience. Growing up, we all went to T in the Park and it was a pure pilgrimage for the youth in Scotland. Whereas this is just about the music, it’s much more civilised!”
Twin Atlantic’s fourth album ‘Power’ is out Friday 24th January 2020. Check out the live version of ‘Volcano’ below: