Hailing from Scotland, Twin Atlantic are becoming a worldwide favourite as the band continues to climb in popularity. The group’s latest record, ‘Great Divide’ combines all the rock aesthetic we’ve come to love them for with some of biggest choruses and hooks that will easily fill the huge rooms they’re set to play. We caught up with bass player Ross McNae to talk about the album and Scotland as a music scene.
How are you feeling about the success of ‘Great Divide’?
It’s pretty crazy so far! This last two weeks we’ve been hearing news and stuff and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind. Eighteen months between our last two records, that’s a long time between records for such a young bands as us. So these last few weeks have been crazy.
On ‘Great Divide’ what did you guys do differently from ‘Free’?
For the first time we were just one-hundred percent relaxed and we had this confidence. When we were among ‘Free’ no one really knew who we were. We had no expectations and we had obviously never made a record before so we were just trying to work as hard as we could. Now we’ve had that experience of playing shows and people have heard it a lot more and connected with it. I think that has just given us this confidence to just relax and do whatever we wanted to do as opposed to doing what we thought we should do.
The album feels more conventional and more standard than ‘Free’, which was a bit more unique. That’s not a criticism as I love ‘Great Divide’ more than ‘Free’ but do you feel that too?
I do think you’re right and I think that the songs are better. We’ve gotten better as musicians on this last record. We’ve gotten a lot better at song writing and even Sam’s lyrical content is better. I think it’s conventional because we’ve learnt the trade a bit more and we’ve just gotten better.
The press release said that you’re playing with Bruce Springsteen and playing to ten thousand people really changed you. What kind of an album would you have made if you hadn’t those experiences?
You get to watch these people play and see how they interact with people and all the things that work and you learn all these things from people like Springsteen and Blink 182 so there’s always these diverse experiences you get. One thing it gives you is confidence. If you get to share these stages with those bands then you feel confident that what you’re doing is good! It allows you to relax and be yourself. Without that, it would have been a completely different album.
Do you think coming from Scotland, that gives you guys an edge over other rock bands?
I think it works in two ways. For years and years, in the beginning, not being in London or down south in UK was quite hard because it was so much harder to break through. But now you are known it definitely gives a bit of edge. But right now there’s a bit of a new culture coming through where some Scottish bands are really making it through, even in the last year Scotland has become a really great music nation.
There is however only five million in our country when there’s like sixty in England. And two hundred million people in America, when you look at it like that there’s a reason why some bands never make it as there’s fewer people in our country to really propel them out.
Did you ever think that you would get this big?
Somewhere in the back of your mind you have to think that, otherwise you won’t. There are loads of things we wanted do as a band so we always thought we could do it and if we didn’t than we probably wouldn’t have. This is our totally wildest dreams right now. The album’s been in the carts back home for awhile now and just thinking about how that’s going to impact our lives; I don’t know however if anyone of us properly thought it, you know?
Yeah man. So we’ve just hit our time mark.
Hopefully we’ll able to catch up later when we come down to Australia.
Sounds good, I’ve been dying to see you guys for awhile now.
Well we’ve had plans before but none of those ended up happening and it was with other countries too. But we will we definitely be down there this time.
Great Divide is out now on Red Bull Records.