Interview: Colin Young of Twitching Tongues

Twitching Tongues - DisharmonyDeclan Waters caught up with the lead singer of Twitching Tongues, Colin Young, at their latest Glasgow gig at Ivory Blacks.

“You have recently been touring with Terror and Wisdom in Chains across the UK. How has the tour been so far?”

 “It’s been good! The UK portion is the tail end of the Persistence tour that all three bands just did with Ignite, H20, Iron Reagan and a band called Risk It from Germany and these three bands all wanted to do the UK afterwards so decided to do it together. It’s been awesome, a really cool package of three different bands and tonight was by far my favourite of the shows including the Persistence tour shows with six hundred to two thousand people there.”

You have just recently released your new album Disharmony. How does the vibe on this record compare to your last record In Love There Is No Law?

“I think it’s just a little more extreme, we weren’t inhibited by any second thoughts, so if we felt like we were going to do something musically we were just going to do it. You know, that didn’t really feel as unnatural to us as I think it might have to some of the listeners. It didn’t feel like a crazy different step for us, it just felt like a better step. We are extremely happy with it and proud of it and we’re glad that some people out there hear it and feel the same about it.”

That’s great, there is definitely a buzz about it. How do you think it’s been received?”

“I don’t know, I think the entire history of our band has been very polarising, and now I think that the audience that was already polarised into liking us is now double polarised into liking this record. So it’s like our audience is cut in half of people who think it’s weird and don’t understand it and then there is people who write to me and tell me that it’s so much better and by far our best and that feels good because that’s how I felt when we were doing it. This is like scientifically in every way better you know? It feels good when people understand that but I think there is a lot of people out there who don’t really get what we were doing which is weird because well how did you get what we were doing in the first place and then not understand this?”

“What was the main inspiration behind the new album?”

“Umm, what’s funny is, Disharmony was like the history of our band so far and it’s us expressing, we know that we are polarising and the people who are down are just… it’s hard to explain. Like if you read the lyrics to the song it kind of explains the goal for the whole album were it was like we’ve got this group of people who are so supportive and have been backing us from the start, that this record was like a tribute to and now some of those people are like “I don’t know, I don’t like this it’s different” but there is all kinds of lyrical aspects on there just my personal life put to song which people have already told me certain songs on there they can relate to and that’s the best feeling.”

“Do you prefer to be in the studio or out on the road?”

“Hmm, probably in the studio. It’s weird, it’s this weird thing were you, this is for me and I can’t speak for everyone but when we start the creation process it’s such a consuming, obsessive thing that I think about all day and all night like this one part of the song will be like, aww what do I do! It will just consume my entire existence until it’s done and then we will go to record it months later and it’s like this feeling of steps. You know, it’s like alright we’ve got to record, we’ve got to wait for mastering, we’ve got the artwork to get done, we’ve got to send it to press, we’ve got to wait for it to get to the press, we’ve got to do all the PR bullshit and then you get the record in and it’s like… Here it is and I’ve got a massive urge to do it again, it’s because the whole time we are doing it I’m thinking about how excited I am to hold the finished product and then the day I’m holding the finished product it’s like, start over. So it’s this consuming obsessive thing that I totally amerce myself in and thrive off of. So the Studio, the roads hard man, I’m tired all the time.”

“Are there any bad aspects to the studio? Because from the outside, it looks like a fun project with all the time that you need depending on label contracts”

“Us especially as we record our own stuff so there is no studio constrictions or time and all that. Umm you know, sometimes parts don’t work the way you wanted them to in the studio, like vocally I will track something that I will have in my head and I’m like damn this doesn’t sound the same. Sometimes the opposite happens were its like fuck yes this is satisfying but yeah, I mean it’s hard work all around and it’s a thoroughly consuming process. It is very hard and there is issues all the time but the outcome is always beautiful.”

“What gear do you use live?”

“We are a Marshall band for sure. Any opportunity we get, we are just going to use an old Marshall head or something. Umm JMP, lately Taylor has been using either the Marshall silver Jubilee or the Marshall JVM. Sean has been using the Marshall DSL and for bass heads we will use either like an Orange Thunderverb or just like some old Peavy bass head, I don’t really know what it is. Microphone, I used to travel with a Shure fuckin’ SM Beta 58 but it was always, the difference between the Beta and the regular 58 was just always a little bit louder, so I would always have to get mixed differently so the sound guys wouldn’t really like that and something would always go wrong so I just started using whatever was at the show you know.”

“When you are in the studio, do you use the same rig that you are using tonight or does this differ at all?”

“Oh no, for the studio we’ll use like a tube… what’s it called? It’s like one of the same microphones Frank Sinatra used, yeah it’s awesome. It has external power, it’s crazy, it’s awesome.”

“After this run in the UK you will be touring Japan in April. Is this your first time in Japan and how did this all come about?”

“It’s actually our second time, we went two years ago with Nails and it was the best thing ever. So pretty much we’ve just been waiting to go back but it’s a matter of timing, you have to go back when the record comes out and stuff like that. But going to Japan is like the reason I’m playing music, like straight up, I want to go to Japan all of the time and would live there if I could. Alliance Trax put out our previous two records in Japan and decided it was time for us to come back with my other band, God’s Hate, which is really new and it’s kind of crazy that that band gets to go to Japan so soon. But it’s the coolest thing, we’re psyched – I can’t wait to go back.

“Is there anywhere else in the world you haven’t been to yet but would love to play?”

“I haven’t been to Russia yet but I’ve heard it’s insane. So I’m looking forward to doing that one day. We actually haven’t played in Spain yet, I don’t know if the shows are amazing but I’d love to go. I don’t know, Hawaii maybe but other than that we’ve done some stuff, we’ve played pretty much anywhere we can imagine.”

“You and Taylor are in multiple bands such as God’s Hate and Nails, how do you balance the writing, recording and touring between each band?”

“It’s a lot easier than what most people expect it to be, because Nails, they’re not doing six months of touring a year, they’re doing two weeks here and there and that’s it. So that’s really easy to work around. God’s Hate is a super new thing, we haven’t done a full US tour yet so we’ll just go do a weekend here or there. Twitching Tongues is the one that both of those bands work around. Not that Nails works around, anytime Nails wants to do something it’s like “Oh okay, sounds good, we’ll do this instead”. It’s way easier than people think it is because it’s three bands who aren’t touring all the time. So it’s easy to balance all three out effectively.

“Last question, who is the laziest band member?”

“Oh man, laziest in the band? Generally speaking, I might be? I hate not being horizontal. Anthony is also extremely lazy – I hope he hears this, fucking bastard. Cayle is bad, so even if he is awake and doing stuff, still his brain is shut off. (Laughs) It’s still probably me, I really like laying down.”

“I really appreciate your time today and allowing me to be here. Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans before you go?”  

“I appreciate the way Scotland turns out when we play. It’s not the same all over the world. The US will say “I’ll see them next time” or “I’ll see them at this fest”, the UK can say “They will play London again” and whatever. But since the first time we came to Glasgow it was hard and people were looking at us funny, we were weird but they were processing what we were doing and the next time was amazing and this time was amazing. I think I will just say that “You never know when it’s the last time you get to see a band so remember that”.”

Twitching Tongues have released their new album Disharmony. If you like hardcore, metal, extreme music with a twist, Twitching Tongues are the band for you. Check them out!

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