Twin Atlantic: “What matters is authenticity”The Scottish rockers refuse to get rid of their quirks. And that’s exactly why they’re so successful, says singer Sam McTrusty
Almost 10 million people heard Twin Atlantic’s Free on October 14, 2012, as the victory anthem of the live broadcast of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space.
The event promoted the Scottish foursome into the premier league of rock, with sell-out concerts and a top-10 position in the UK charts for their third album, Great Divide.
An extraordinary achievement, considering that, early on, several music industry experts deemed them to be of limited potential, due to singer Sam McTrusty’s heavy Scottish burr.
THE RED BULLETIN: An unwritten law of the music business says: If you want to become famous you have to get rid of your quirks. You sing in a thick Scottish accent.
SAM MCTRUSTY: The accent isn’t too important to me. What matters is authenticity. When I write songs I want to express my thoughts in my own voice, rather than pretending to be someone else. And I think that’s exactly why our fans love us.
Do you think fan love is all you need to make it in the industry?
You do need people along the way, not just in music but in any walk of life. But you should ask yourself, does that person believe in me or is this someone working for me so they can get a paycheck? Make sure you feel their passion, and there has to be a vested interest. When it comes to advice, always question things and listen to the voice in the back of your head.
Which kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?
I think it’s essential to take risks to achieve real success. As a band, we pretty much take a risk every day for something. Not because we’re ultra-cool daredevils, but there is so much competition out there that you need to think outside the box.
So a healthy sense of suspicion is key to success?
You do need people along the way, not just in music, but in any walk of life. But you should ask yourself, does that person believe in me or is this someone working for me so they can get a pay cheque? Make sure you feel their passion, and there has to be a vested interest. When it comes to advice, always question things and listen to the voice in the back of your head.
What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve received?
It was the first piece of advice we were ever given. We wanted to move from Glasgow to London, to get a record deal. Someone told us, ‘You need to pull a crowd in your hometown first. If your own people don’t support you, how do you expect anyone else to believe in you?’ We took that literally and worked really hard. So that even before we signed our record deal, we had sold out shows in Glasgow with more than 1,000 people.