Ahead of the launch night for their second album A Strange Play, I caught up with lead singer and bassist Jo D’arc to discuss punk rock, cover songs, and advice for young musicians.
How do you think your musical direction has changed in the last two years?
We were still always going to make another raw punk record. It’s how we enjoy playing together and what gives us a buzz live. I think what we have worked on is the songwriting and the lyrical flow. The songs are still simple but with a little more depth at points. Some tracks are more stripped back, slowing up a bit while hopefully maintaining the impact. We stray a little more from the punk basis but still remain firmly in the scuzzy rock camp.
Do you find it weird when people cover your songs?
No, not at all… its amazing!! I can’t wait to hear them. My mate sent me a video a while back of a band in Edinburgh covering ‘I Think Not’ and I genuinely think their version was better than ours! It’s so cool. What a compliment!
What was the reaction to the ‘Weird Me’ single? Were you pleased with the response?
Yeah, it was great. We get lots of support. The launch night was an absolute rammy with all sorts of people coming together in what may have been one of the sweatiest gigs ever. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and the single has sold well. all we can ask for really!
What’s your favourite track on the new album?
That’s a hard one. They’re all on there for different reasons. ‘Selling Skin’ is lots of fun to play live, ‘Juliette’ is nice and catchy and I’m happy with the starkness of ‘State of Affairs’. I don’t know! I suppose it doesn’t really matter what we think… it’s what our supporters think. I really hope they’ll be happy with it.
What have you learnt about being a band since your debut album Jilt The Jive?
We’ve been on tour for the first time which was an experience! Lots of learning in that. We are totally DIY so navigating a tour is very hard work as well as lots of fun. The tour took us all over the UK where we’ve met some brilliant people and heard some ace bands. We were also luck enough to be invited to Seoul in South Korea. What a place. We really had a blast. The music scene over there is going from strength to strength and they love a party. I don’t think I’ve drank as much beer in my life!
Do you have any advice for young Riot Grrrl punk bands, specifically in regards to the Scottish music scene?
The most important thing is to push yourself to keep moving, regardless of whether you have the fear or worry you won’t be good enough just do it anyway! For many people in music confidence holds us back and I think this is something that affects girls especially. The thing is, you don’t really need confidence, just to be able to block out the ‘what if’s’.
I’d also say be prepared to work hard… when you’re in the studio and your voice has almost gone or your arms feel like jelly from drumming for two full days, or when you’re on tour and your van breaks down, or when you’re sound checking and don’t have time to eat so have to have six bags of crisps instead of real food! Being in a band can be tough!
Finally, don’t let the boys push in. They don’t always know better. You are just as able. You belong just as much. Overall, it’s all great fun and will give you so much in return… do it!!!
The Twistettes second album A Strange Play will launch at Stereo on Renfield Lane in Glasgow on Friday 14th September, from 7pm – 3am. Tickets £11.25. Support from The Honey Farm, Quotes of the Dead, and The Girobabies.
Words: Ana Hine