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The Twilight Sad Interview

Emily Jackett


Currently on the road with a co-headline tour with Errors More Than The Music caught up with vocalist James Graham from The Twilight Sad to find out more.

More Than The Music: The Wrong Car, your new EP was released to coincide with a joint headline tour with the Errors. You’ve spent a lot of time on the road, with a lot of different artists. Is your music influenced by the bands you tour with?

James Graham: Eh, if it is it’s definitely a sub conscious thing. We’ve been very lucky to have toured with some of our favourite bands and I’m sure that we have picked some things here and there. We’ve toured with a lot of our friends such as Mogwai,¬†Errors and Frightened Rabbit and aside from the music there were a few bad habits we have all picked up from each other.

MTTM: There is a lot of tension in your songs. Ambient building up to rhythmical and wild, the tension maintained with emotive vocals. Is this energy difficult to capture in the studio?

JG: Me, myself I enjoy playing live a lot more than being in the studio. When I’m in the studio doing my parts I always think about why I wrote the lyrics and the point or story I was trying to get across when I first wrote them and why I decided to write them in the first place. Doing that helps in getting the best out of me in the studio and the thought of someone else listening to the song for the first time makes you want to deliver the song in the best way you can.

MTTM: How do your songs evolve? What is the writing process behind them?

JG: Andy writes a piece of music then sends it to me and I come up with some melodies and I record them, then send them to him and he tells me if their shite or not. If their not shite I go over to his house and we record them and he pieces them into some sort of structure. Then I do my lyrics. Then we layer the song up with other instruments and noise. Some songs are pretty straight forward when we take them into the studio and are similar to the demos but a lot of our best songs have been an idea that completely changes in the studio and turns into something we never expected. We never go into the studio without an open mind and we are always up for experimenting with our songs.

MTTM: Can you give us five words which describe your sound?

JG: Scottish, Noisy, Dark, Honest, Shite

MTTM: Who have you been listening to lately?

JG: Portishead, Caribou, Fever Ray, Errors, Menomena, Haushka and The Smiths. Oh yeah and a little Depeche Mode.

MTTM: Glasgow is renowned for its lively and supportive music scene. Do you draw inspiration from Glasgow, it’s surrounds and it’s local music scene?

JG: I spend a lot of time in Glasgow but I actually stay in a small village between Stirling and Glasgow called Banton. It has five streets and the best pub in the world. I take more inspiration from this small close nit community because of all the old/new stories that come out of small towns like these. In Glasgow your a small fish in a big pond but where I stay everyone knows everything about everyone which can be either a good or bad thing. On the other hand Glasgow has a very healthy music scene and with new bands such as Errors, Remember Remember, The Phantom Band, Frightened Rabbit, Take A Worm For A Walk Week,Moon Unit etc,¬† it’s never been healthier and it’s pretty easy to draw inspiration from a scene like that I suppose.

MTTM: The thematic album designs are great. Sinister like the music. How did they come about?

JG: We work with our friend Dave Thomas. Andy and Dave discuss what kind of style their into at the time then I send down my lyrics and Dave interprets them into that style. We’re really proud of what he does and we will always work with him throughout our career.

MTTM: Is there an LP in the pipeline?

JG: Yeah we’ve been working hard on writing new songs, we’ve got 13 songs already and we are looking for a producer and a studio at the moment to revered the record before the end of the year. It’s all sounding pretty different, in a good way. I’m pretty excited about the direction we are going with it, I think it might surprise a few people.