10 Questions with | Alpha Twin
From its opening distorted riffs, Alpha Twin grabs listeners and throws into them into the mosh pit. Gripping and driving guitars pair with mammoth drums with devastating momentum that pulls in anyone listening, before revealing the band’s more introspective side. Weaving in topics close to themselves, Alpha Twin set themselves apart with a unique mix of crunchy rock and mature discussions on sensitive subjects. With the brand new EP "Symbolism", with pounding riffs grounded by a heartfelt core, Alpha Twin are proving that they are set to take Belfast and the wider world with immediacy.
IB: Hi guys. I would like to say right away that I am thrilled with your music. It sounds very harmonious and coherent. How did it all start? How you met and formed the trio Alpha Twin, cause the band sounds like you have been playing together all your life. AT: Alpha Twin actually met at a pretty wild house party that our fiend was having. Andy and Tomas knew each other, and I knew Andy but didn't know Tomas. Andy brought his kit, me my bass amp and Tomas his guitar amp and we set up in the living room, brought one singular strobe and tunes our top strings down and played for hours. We immediately knew the chemistry was good especially when our friends sister came home during the party and promised not to tell our friends mum about it because "at least the music was good". We actually scheduled our first practice for the next day and immediately started writing songs.
IB: Your creative process, I'd like to know in more detail how it goes. Who writes the lyrics, who writes the music?
AT: It differs. Most of the time we just get together and play. If we like an idea, we'll dissect it and work on it and then finally we'll add the lyrics after the structure of the song is sorted. Sometimes Tomas, or Eoin or Andy will come with an idea already there but just needs that Alpha Twin seasoning, so all three of us work collaboratively to get the song to where it wants to be. Tomas does most of the lyrics. He just seems to have a way with words and he gets that from the amount of reading he does. It's great because he can write from the heart and I think honesty is important in song writing. For us to stand over a song. it has to be from us and with sincerity. Sometimes Eoin and Andy will chip in with a verse or the guts of lyrics for a song or two, so again it's a team effort but sometimes someone takes the lead and thats okay because even if someone is in charge of lyrics, or instrumental, it's not without listening to everyone else.
IB: Each member of the group has their own hobbies that probably directly affect your music and lyrics. Did you come up with any crazy ideas during the songwriting process that you would like to use in the future?
AT: Yeah I think if any of our ideas were heard out loud we'd be taken away. Lots of music video ideas which we don't currently have big budget to do. Musical ideas, I think something that's cool is taking other genres and implements them into our own. It's not a crazy idea and has been done but a big scale Alpha Twin techno DJ set has been spoken about and I wouldn't be opposed to it!
IB: Before the interview I watched your video for the song "LIVE YOUR LIFE". So you are just drinking beer and Tomas fell down! I just want to know if everything is ok with him and how it happened?)
AT: Yeah so Tomas fell at least 47 times during that shoot. That one was particularly bad. At that point we'd been drinking for a while so we got a bit over excited in trying to create content and he tried to spin and land on his feet but fell. Luckily his skull broke the fall. But yes he's absolutely fine from it. Just a bump. I think it looked worse than it was. It did look pretty bad. I made the video (Eoin) and just thought It would be rude not to include it multiple times. We did all laugh about it a lot after.
IB: Your EP "Symbolism" is insane, it's stunning! You guys have managed to create truly powerful tracks. What was the most exciting thing about recording such a fiery EP?
AT: I think writing the EP was a really fun time. Spending time at practice and feeling really creative is always good. There was no such thing as writers block for us, everything we played we could've made into a tune . The actual recording process at Einstein studios with Frankie producing it was great. We hadn't seen Frankie in a while and he records pretty much all of our stuff so to see him and have some fun was great. I w really consider him a friend at this point and he knows how to get the best out of us and challenge us. So that's always great. I think the fire of the EP just came from some pent-up aggression and frustrations that being locked away for so long brought about in us. We were ready to create and to finally have it out is amazing.
IB: You often perform live, conquering the heights of rock festivals. Is there a band with whom you would most like to share the stage?
AT: We've been influenced a lot by Royal Blood, Rage against the machine and queens of the Stone Age so any of them would be great. At the moment it'd be exciting to do something with Cleopatrick or Fever 333. Their shows are like arse. Balls to the walls sweat and moshes.
IB: I would love to hear the new EP live, I'm sure you sound even better live than on the record. Will there be any gigs in the near future, if so, where and when can I come to your concert?
AT: I can assure you were very much a live band. Our recordings are great and I wouldn't change them but nothing compares to an Alpha Twin show. We play The Union Bar on Saturday 12th Nov. We'll be the first band to headline the new venue and we're really excited to bring some heat. All of our shows are energetic and I think this one could be off the charts. For the readers you can get tickets here >https://linktr.ee/alphatwinband and if you ever find yourself near us, reach out and we'll get you tickets to one of our shows. We'd love to have you.
IB: I would like to pay special attention to the exterior design. I noticed that you collaborated with an artist Ashley Mcilroy. The covers are very aesthetic and one gets the feeling that they are not just the artwork of the tracks, but have a story that helps to understand the "Symbolism" more deeply. Is there a hidden meaning in them?
AT: The artworks for Gaze and Live your life are more so influenced by the singles they are linked with. Gaze showing hypnotised eyes and Live Your Life portrayed with a dagger to the heart, commenting on the hardships of life much like the song. While the iconic peacock image for the Symbolism EP reflects a more broader sense of the band. Much like a male peacock we try to put on the best performance to impress our audience and stand out against our competition. Ashley did a great job in taking our audio and creating these cohesive visual stories to represent us and we can't wait to work with her again.
IB: In my opinion, Ireland is one of the most musical countries in the world and Belfast has an incredible concentration of rock bands. Is it difficult to compete with other bands?
AT: Yes and no. There's so many great bands that we love playing with and we don't really feel competitive. We practice to be the best and if we're not the best at the show then we will just need to up our game. I'd be confident in saying that we're probably one of the best live bands in the country at the moment and I'd urge anyone to come find out for themselves. To contradict myself too, there are obviously bands who maybe were about when we started and we sort of wanted to compete with them but only to make ourselves as good as they were or better. It's not about diminishing competition because everyone writes different tunes and they're good tunes. For us, we write all sorts of songs, slow, fast, heavy, mellow but they're all Alpha Twin songs and we're the best at writing them.
IB: And the last question. You are a band that has found its place on the stage, received recognition and response from many people. What advice would you give to aspiring artists who dream of making quality rock music?
AT: Don't write songs that you think other people will like. Write songs that you like and find what your vibe is. Always be honest and stay true to you. Work really f*cking hard at every aspect of your music, writing, recording, releasing, sending it to people. It counts.
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