Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Show Preview - The Twilight Sad - Interview - 5/25/10 - Brillobox with Mono - Pittsburgh

The Twilight Sad will be performing at the Brillobox on Wednesday, 5/25 with Mono. I was lucky enough to catch them when they came to Gooski's back in 2007. That was my first and only show I ever attended there and it was one of my favorites. I recall being crammed into the back room, right up against the stage. Twilight Sad put on a very powerful show, almost haunting. I don't recall if the lights were broken or if they requested the lights be turned off......I believe I remember lead James Graham fiddling with the light and it falling down. The band played their set practically in the dark. Graham was off to the side of the stage standing sideways and screaming into the microphone; his silhouette appeared like a shadowy force to be reckoned with. I don't know if they can pull that off again, but can't wait to see them try.

Below is an interview James Graham was kind enough to give us. There is also some songs streaming for you listening pleasure.

In February your original bassist (Craig Orsel) left the band. How has the transition been? Any hard feelings from him moving on? Has new bassist (John Docherty) fitted in?

its been pretty easy to be honest. johnny was the obvious choice, we were friends and he was a really good bassist. nothing has really changed as it was always andy and myself who wrote the songs. if anything i feel we have become a better live band. craig leaving was a surprise but we all understood why he left and remain friends with him.

The Neighbours Can't Breathe by The Twilight Sad

I read that you write the lyrical content. With your last album Forget The Night Ahead did this change? How does the band create the song structures?

the lyrical content on "forget the night ahead" was all pretty heavy to be honest. our first album was pretty dark as well but i had a really rough two month period of my life whilst writing FTNA and lost someone very close to me and didn't deal with it too well. when we are writing songs andy sends me some music and i write my vocal melodies and rough lyrics then andy puts them together and then we all get together and arrange the song and add the layers of noise/instrumentation ect..

In past interviews you mention the aversion to the business side of the industry. How do you feel about it now?

its still something that i cant get my head around, some people are business minded and enjoy that but not me. i just like playing live and writing etc. there's alot of dicks in the music industry and hangers on and i like to steer clear of them. i am not in this to make money but i do know we need to do that to survive as a band so i am going to have to get my head around it at some point.

Twilight Sad - Reflection Of The Television by The Twilight Sad

Could you explain your vision from some of the album artwork? Is there a meaning behind it? The art looks like it was produce in the 40’s?

well we work with a guy called Dave Thomas who works for our label Fatcat. andy and dlt have similar interests in 40's 50's artwork so the talk about what kind of style they want to go for then i send DLT the lyrics and he relates the artwork to them.

You have been well rcvd in the ‘indie world’ of North America; how is it in Europe?

we do really well in Scotland and England but we have only really toured mainland europe supporting bands such as Mogwai and Beirut. those tours went really well and we hope to get back out there some time. we would also like to get over to North America a lot more.

I Became a Prostitute by The Twilight Sad

Your first single was called “I Became a Prostitute”. Was the label ok with that title? Or did they meet you with resistance?

to be honest they weren’t too happy with it but we stuck to our guns and we got to keep it. it probably isn’t the best idea to call the first single of the album that as far as radio play etc. its just a metaphor for becoming something that you don’t want to become and you can see it happening and there is nothing you can do about it. none of us have ever prostituted ourselves.....yet

How are the shows you play in Europe compared to the ones in the US? Are you getting the same attendance? How does the audience differ in responding to the music?

we aren’t the kind of band where people go crazy and dance around and start mosh pits, our crowds are very respectful and show their appreciation by either singing along or shouting abuse at us in between songs. the US crowds are great they do go a bit more crazy and we like that but they still are very respectful and supply us with a lot of alcohol at the end of the show which is fine by us.

That Birthday Present by The Twilight Sadt

Paul Savage has been producer on both your albums (really loved the Delgados). What does his experience bring to the table? How does he influence your sound?

to begin with he is a good friend which creates a relaxed atmosphere in the studio and nobody is scared to voice their opinion. paul co-produced the records with Andy our guitarist and they knew exactly what they were looking for before entering the studio. Paul’s worked with so many great bands such as Mogwai, the delgados, The Phantom Band and Arab strap so we were lucky that he wanted to work with us.

Is there an album or show that made you want to dedicate your life to music?
we write music because that was all there was to do where we stay, that and drink. we are influenced by a lot of albums/bands but our main influence is where we are from and the old/new stories from home.

What are the goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish?

i think every band wants as many people as possible to here their band. but our main goal is to keep making albums that we are proud of and playing live all around the world. to be making a living out of making music is a privilege because there are so many bands that are trying to that, so i am happy if we can get by whilst making music we are proud of.

Is there a theme behind your new album Forget the Night Ahead? Or are these songs that shouldn’t be grouped together?

to us Forget the night ahead is an album and not a collection of singles. it should be listened to in its entirety to really get it and it’s also an album that you need to give time to to really appreciate it. as i said before lyrically its about a rough time in my life and its also a very honest record - every word you hear is meant to be heard. its a very dark album but that’s how i like my music.

Anything you would like to say to Pittsburgh?



  1. Cool interview. Got my ticket to the show. Yay, excited.

  2. ill check them out tonight