Chicago does a lot of cool shit for rock n roll and lately running wild about the town is a band of garage rockers whose name you probably have been seeing pop up a lot, Twin Peaks. If you’re wondering how and where these guys came from, keep your ears peeled because, unless you despise the classics of rock and anything from the 1960s, you’ll be thankful to add some of this flavor to your playlist.
When thinking about the roots of garage rock there isn’t much that compares to The Kinks, T.Rex, or the Rolling Stones. Twin Peaks are well aware enough to draw you in with familiar influence but keep you listening ‘til the end thanks to their own personal touch, which deems the songs as unique and the band as something reputable to our generation.
Their sound is catchy and everything flows the way it should. If you already have been listening to them you’ll find that their new album, Down in Heaven, continues on in an Almost Famous stardom-like manner. With more opportunities at hand, the sound is naturally more clean and coming into its own, but still preserves the integrity of their original garage rock steaze. The album was notably mixed by John Agnello who has worked with the likes of Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile, and Sonic Youth in the past, just to give you a taste.
I caught up with the band’s vocalist and guitarist Clay Frankel on the phone while they were getting gas somewhere in Buttfuck, Texas. We had a quick chat about lyrics, Neil Young being cooler than Neil Diamond, and something about finding god at one of their shows. Catch them this Saturday in Long Beach at the Music Tastes Good Festival or anywhere else on the rest of their tour for, what Clay says, will be an eye awakening experience. –Asal Shahindoust
WY: For people who are new to Twin Peaks, what song would you suggest they start with and why?
Clay: I would just start at the beginning, so maybe “Baby Blue,” that’s the first song on the first record (Sunken).
The new album is heavily inspired by late 60s garage rock, but what about it would you say makes it relevant and relatable to this day and age? Or would you say you’re setting out to resurrect that precise sound and vibe from that era through your music.
Yeah I’d say it’s old sounds, but not the lyrics. I don’t really draw anything particular from ‘60s lyrics or anything like that, so the lyrics I would consider modern or modern enough… Or just relatable I guess.
Ok cool so going off of that then what would you say are key influences when writing music?
Stones, Bob, Neil, Johnny Cash, oh and not Neil Diamond, Neil Young of course! I have to say Young or else you’d think I was a huge Neil Diamond fan!
Young, of course! Ok so would you say that there is a theme in the lyrics in this new album or does each song kind of has its own life and its own thing going on?
I think each one has its own life yeah. I don’t think there’s any particular theme.
Are the songs focused on anything particular? Heartbreak? Life on the road?
Well, all my songs are pretty much just about me.
About you? Cool, that’s good. And what about you in particular? Life experiences?
No not really, they aren’t really stories, just feelings.
Being on tour right now, tell us what the band likes to do when they have free time to chill.
Well we like to drink and we like to eat good meals, which is hard to do sometimes when you’re on the road. Like even just right now, even if you have the money for it it’s hard to find when you’re all the way out here… We like to eat good food, I like to read. Seeing a movie is a luxury but we like to do that if we can.
Awesome, the simple things. So, for someone who is seeing you guys play for the first time, what sort of experience do you hope they can take with them by the end of the show?
A religious experience.
So something eye opening and enlightening?
Yeah eye opening, a truth so enlightening that it changes your life irrevocably for bad or good.
What’s the most misconstrued comparison your band gets in terms of other music and genres? How do you feel about being compared in general when people critique your music?
I think a lot of people write it off as sort of stoner, beach pop like all those bands that just stay on the beach all the god damn time, but that’s not what we are about you know? We are from Chicago where it’s cold. And I’m not really care free in lyrics.
Right I see what you mean. OK well I just have one last question before I let you go, tell me a mantra the band lives by when ya’ll are out on the road.
Our mantra is that we’re going to get fucked but you just have to do it. Because shit happens but I don’t know, you got your gang at the end of the day to walk over it so whatever happens they will get ya through it.