Scottish rockers Twin Atlantic, released their new album, GLA, on September 9th. They released the video for the first single off the album “No Sleep”, a track playlisted on the BBC’s national pop music station Radio 1 where it was named “Hottest Record In The World” and “Track Of The Day” by leading British music bible, Q Magazine. “No Sleep” was heard for the first time on SA radio on Stephanie Be`s show on 5fm on July 11th. It is also playlisted on various campus, community and online radio stations nationwide. South African fans got to see Twin Atlantic live at Oppikoppi 2015 and One Night in Cape Town 2015. The band received rave reviews. In the words of music journalist Wayde Flowerday: “Twin Atlantic proved a point at Oppikoppi 2015. Not only are they a phenomenal recording band, but they are a powerhouse of a live act. Definitely one of the highlights of the festival!” The songs on GLA were written in Glasgow, and the band repaired to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles to record the album, working with Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol, Two Door Cinema Club), who had previously produced a couple of tracks for ‘Great Divide’. Under his direction, they eschewed old school recording techniques, taping their parts separately. “At no point did we play together,” McTrusty says. “We changed our approach and turned the idea of a rock band upside down, conforming only to this one idea – to take back rock and roll. To give people something real again”. This change in their recording process marked the grander ambitions of the new songs, while their dream mixer Alan Moulder (best known for his unforgettable work with Arctic Monkeys, Foals, Foo Fighters and My Bloody Valentine) came aboard to give the album the essential finishing touch. We had a chat with Craig Kneale from Twin Atlantic: Hi there. Thanks for having the time to chat with us. How long have you all known each other? How did you meet? Sam and Ross went to school together so they’ve known each other a long time. I got to know them and Barry through the music scene in Glasgow a year or so before we started making music together. We were all playing in different bands from each other, but realised we had common ideas + goals from playing on the same shows. You guys just brought out a new album, GLA. Has the recording of the new album been different to your previous albums? Yeah, this one was recorded really differently. Sam + Ross demoed all the songs separately at home and we didn’t actually play in a room together at any point. They worked through the songs in LA with the producer Jacknife Lee and then we tracked the parts individually. Interesting. What track stands out for you the most on GLA? And why? My favourite at the moment is a track called Missing Link. It sounds exciting and youthful, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Did GLA bring out of a different side of you as musicians? Yeah, definitely. It’s the first album Ross has fully brought his own songs to the table, so that was a whole new side of him. On top of that, Jacknife constantly challenged us as musicians and tried to get us to work outside of our comfort zone. It was a painful but rewarding experience. The album is amazing. It definitely paid off. What’s your personal favourite memory of playing in Twin Atlantic? I don’t think I could pick just one. Playing in a band is a rollercoaster of big highs and lows – and with the perspective of time, the lows are all really important to me as well. Playing in front of people who know your songs is such a rewarding experience, but I also loved the struggle getting to that point too. Not to get sappy, but being on an adventure with 3 friends for nearly 10 years will be the lasting memory – I don’t think there are many bonds stronger outside of family that you make touring in a band. Does it ever get competitive between artists out there? I guess it does, but we try to just stay out of it all and do our own thing. It’s hard not to be envious when other bands are achieving things that you’d like to achieve, but you need to just stick to your guns and do what feels right to you and see where it takes you. Twin Atlantic played a few shows in South Africa last year, anything that stood out for you guys? It was definitely one of the most memorable experiences we’ve all had in our lives. South Africa is really different to most places we’ve played before, from the landscape to the culture. Personally, waking up on the first morning in Cape Town and looking out the window with Table Mountain right in front of you was pretty exciting It’s mesmerizing to say the least. How would you describe playing a show in South Africa as opposed to the States or Europe? Well, it was a lot warmer for one. And we were playing out in a place called Northam which is the dustiest place I’ve ever seen. The crowd was great though – so passionate for a band they’d never seen before. It was pretty overwhelming actually – to be that far from home and have a crowd be that enthusiastic. Northam is the Red Sea of South Africa. As you prep for tour, what songs are feeling especially fantastic to play live? It’s always nice to play the songs off of a new album in front of people for the first time. So, I think we’re all getting a lot of enjoyment playing the songs from GLA at the moment. We’re still finding our way with them so it’s always fresh and exciting when we get to any of them in a setlist. Last question, any plans to visit South Africa again? I really hope so. We’re trying to get over again in 2017, so we’ll keep pushing for it. Awesome! Thanks for the chat. Hopefully we’ll see you again next year in South Africa. Take care. Photos by Steve Gullick.