Far from the movie or TV series, exists another Twin Peaks. A group of young, talented and incredibly energised musiciens from Chicago are back on their second European tour since the release of their last album Down in Heaven. Under the rain, between the Point Ephémère and the canal Saint Martin, we were able to catch up with Clay, Colin, Cadien and Connor, before what they claimed as their « best concert in Paris » to date.
Tell us about how you guys came together as Twin Peaks.
Clay : My name is Clay and I operate a guitar and I tell stories. We all pretty much grew up in Chicago. We’d all hang out, get drunk and listen to music, then we decided to start a band in 2009. After a blood pact and two albums later, Colin joined the band, about two years ago. He also helped on the second record, though he wasn’t officially in the group at that time, but he played a lot of stuff and helped us record Wild Onion. On New Years day he played his first Twin Peaks show in an old run-down church, at this DIY space in Chicago called Young Camelot.
Colin : Hello my name is Colin and I play keyboards and guitar. Rest in peace Young Camelot, I had a lot of good times there.
Cadien : I play the batterie and my name is Tuna.
Connor : I’m Connor and I play drums. We’re missing Jack, who plays the bass.
That last group we interviewed from Chicago was Jimmy Whispers, who happened to name drop Twin Peaks.
Colin: He’s a good friend of ours from Chicago, he went on tour with us in the U.S.! We’ve known him for a long time and we hang out with him a lot. He was opening for us but he was also in our van.
Cadien: Good guy Jimmy, sometimes I call him Crusty the Clown. He used to sleep on my couch, but now he’s living in LA.
Do you guys have any plans to move out of Chicago?
Colin : Chicago is home.
Clay : We’ve talked about it, but it’s hard. It would take a lot of planning, which is something we’re not very good at (laughs). But we live in a car for the most part, we live everywhere.
Cadien : If it made more sense I’d like to move, but there’s five of us and we’re grounded there.
The last album Down in Heaven came out in May 2016. This is your second European tour this year, what brings you back so soon?
Colin : The last time we played in France was in April at la Mécanique Ondulatoire, the day Prince died. We got to keep playing shows, we’ve been two U.S. tours since then.
Cadien : We sold out Paris last time and this time, so it’s probably a good idea that we’re here! We had a good time in Spain. We played at 2h30, Clay came up to me saying, « we’re about to ambush them. »
Clay: The Madrid show was great, a nice conventional show. Then in Barcelona we played in this 3-story dance club. I think that 85% of the people there didn’t know that there was going to be a band playing, because we were hidden behind this curtain while setting up. When they lifted up the curtain, we were like, « Hey we’re Twin Peaks » and everyone was probably thinking, « what the fuck? »
How would you say the group has evolved since the beginning? In what context was Down in Heaven created ?
Connor : Each record was recorded very differently. The second album was recorded in a studio, we had more equipment and knew more of what we were doing.
Colin : We recorded the last record at our friend’s house in western Massachusetts. It was a big estate where we brought up a bunch of equipment. We recorded over the course of a couple months while we were between tours. It was awesome!
Cadien : First we turned 19, then 20, than 21, and than we turned 22. The way each one was recorded was shaped by the environment. The first record we made in a dingy basement with really bad gear, the second album in a studio but without a producer, then we bough a bunch of vintage gear for the last album where we recorded at this beautiful place with a lake outside. We were able to experiment with sounds, a lot more keyboards and horns and getting the right guitar tones.
Clay : It was probably the most amount of touring that we had done before we set out to make a new record. So that’s a lot of driving back and forth across America. We were listening to a lot of older music like country and 70s, so that probably had a large influence on how we recorded and what we wanted to sound like.
How do you guys stay sane with being on the road all the time?
Colin : Smoke a lot of weed (laughs). In general you feel a lot of positive vibes being out here, maybe because of the language barrier. You sort of feel more in your head and you’re sort of exploring without the suggestion of who is around you.
Cadien : It’s all about enjoying the simple pleasures. If I can sit down and have a good meal, look at something nice and maybe watch some good bands, that’s all it takes for me. Being in a good company. Life is not complicated.
Clay : Touring simplifies your pleasures. Like he said, if you just get a good meal, something to drink and some good shows, sleep when you’re tired if you can.
Connor : If we can make it to the zoo or a movie, or any extracurricular activities, it’s great!
What are some of your favorite bands at the moment?
Clay : White Reaper, we just toured with them. Natural Child, we listened to them a lot in the car.
Colin : I’m a big fan of this band called Knee High, they’re from Chicago. They’re going to release another record pretty soon. Otherwise there is also Hoops, Whitney…
Connor : Fat White Family.
Cadien: A screaming gorilla
Connor : People shit talking
Clay : Drugs
Colin : Alcohol