Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks
Photo by Tyler Brooks

Chicago rock and rollers Twin Peaks bring their new record Wild Onion to Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar tonight. Yesterday, we gave the group a call while they were travelling over to Canada to discuss Chicago pride, recording highlights, Fat White Family, and tour fun. Here’s what they had to say:

AMBY: Thanks for having a chat today, guys.

Caiden Lake James: No problem.

AMBY: Let’s get to the questions, and don’t worry; I’m not going to ask you about the origins of your name.

Caiden Lake James: Thanks [laughs].

AMBY: You recently released your new record Wild Onion — congrats on that. What were some of the highlights you had while making the album come to life?

Caiden Lake James: We were working in a pretty cool spot in Chicago called Observatory and worked with a real DIY mentality which we really enjoyed. We also had a lot of friends there. That was nice.

AMBY: The band has stated before that you take inspiration from rockers like Ty Segall and The Strokes to develop your fun and energetic sound. When it came to recording Wild Onion, who were your personal biggest inspirations or influences?

Caiden Lake James: I was feeling pretty inspired by the start of a new year when we were recording, by the Jimmy John’s across the street from the studio, and when our homies would pop in and out as we were working.

AMBY: There are sixteen tracks on the new record, but they’re all relatively short. I know the band operate on a firm ‘he who writes it, sings it’ policy, but how do you come to a decision of which songs go on the album?

Caiden Lake James: We all show each other the songs and we like them or don’t like them. Pretty much everyone put up what they were bringing to the table.

AMBY: Did you get into any arguments when choosing which songs were going to make the album?

Caiden Lake James: No, we all kind of liked what we had and were on the same page.

AMBY: The album’s title came from the origin of Chicago’s name — the French-Indian word shikaakwa, which means wild onion. Aside from the album title, what other influence has Chicago given the band?

Caiden Lake James: I feel like we’re inspired by the environment we grew up in. We have a lot of pride being from Chicago. Chicago is where we live and experience things and that’s what matters most to me.

AMBY: You’ve been doing a ton of touring in support of the record’s release and you just played a few shows during CMJ. How’s tour life been going for you all?

Caiden Lake James: It’s been rad. We enjoy being on the road and CMJ was exhausting, but lots of fun. The shows were really good. We’re driving up to Canada right now and that’s going to be awesome. We’re having a good time.

AMBY: What are some things the band likes to do for fun while touring?

Caiden Lake James: [speaks away from phone] Guys, tell them what we like to do for fun on the road.

Jack Dolan: Hey, this is Jack.

AMBY: Hey Jack, welcome to the interview [laughs].

Jack Dolan: On the road, we like to – I smoke a lot of weed.

AMBY: I had a feeling.

AMBY and Twin Peaks: [laughs]

Jack Dolan: …All the time. Clay likes to read a lot and I read the newspaper and listen to a lot of music. I’ve been listening to this band from England called Fat White Family who are pretty fucked up and saw them at CMJ.

AMBY: They’re a cool band. Did they end up playing naked by the end of the gig?

Jack Dolan: He was really close to it. It didn’t happen, but I could see his pubes which was pretty rad [laughs]. They’re sick though – the show was awesome.

Jack Dolan: They’re the next best phenomenon in terms of cool bands I think.

AMBY: Fucked up cool bands.

Jack Dolan: We need more fucked up shit like that.

AMBY and Twin Peaks: [laughs]

Jack Dolan: We also like to go over to McDonalds a lot and we play some baseball. We like being on the road. It’s all fun.

AMBY: You mentioned how you’ve been listening to a lot of music. To get more of your personal taste – where would your dream concert take place and who would be in the line-up?

Jack Dolan: That’s a good question. Guys, where would your dream festival take place? [members discuss] How about in a cabin somewhere? Actually, I would put it in a giant mansion or something. Or, actually, fuck that! I’d just put it in Chicago. I’d close off a shit ton of streets and have a bunch of Chicago bands play.

Caiden Lake James: It would be called “Chicago Rock and… Rolls”?

Jack Dolan: No… “Chicago”.

AMBY: [laughs] Chicago, Chicago.

Jack Dolan: Yea! Chicago, Chicago, Chicago. I’d invite us to play, too. It would be dooooooope.

AMBY: To wrap things up… hypothetically here… Twin Peaks are allowed to say one sentence, which will reach the whole world. What would you say to everyone?

Caiden Lake James: That’s so hard to think of. What would you say to the world, my friend?

AMBY: Probably some huge, shameless, self-promotion.

Caiden Lake James: [laughs]

AMBY: Your turn, my friend.

Caiden Lake James: Watch out for the snakes in the grass!

***

Thank you Twin Peaks, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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