Twin Atlantic

Twin Atlantic (9:00 PM)

Kiven (10:00 PM)

Badflower (8:00 PM)

Mon, July 21, 2014

7:00 pm

Adv Tix $10.00 / Day of Show Tix $12.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Twin Atlantic - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Twin Atlantic
That much of Great Divide was written in the back of tour buses, late at night, after Twin Atlantic had stepped off yet another festival stage is evident from first listen. Addictive, arms-aloft anthems with instantly catchy choruses and refrains that beg to be howled back dominate the Glaswegian band’s glorious second album. Bristling with energy and oozing optimism, Great Divide is a rock record with widescreen ambition, inspired by the band watching their own fans and from sharing stages with the likes of Springsteen and Foo Fighters.

“Our aim was always to make songs this size,” says Twin Atlantic singer Sam McTrusty. “Coming from a punk rock background, it took a while - we like to say we went the scenic route. But it was the right route for us, full of interesting stops on which we learnt a lot – about ourselves, about each other, about how to make music that connects with fans which is always honest, never forced.”

Almost three years and over 300 gigs since the release of their silver-selling, debut album, Free, catapulted them from clubs to sold-out shows at Shepherds Bush Empire and the main stage at Reading and Leeds, Twin Atlantic have made a mainstream record that marries their incredible energy live with a more mature approach to songwriting that acknowledges their long-held love of pop. Great Divide may be driven by guitars and drums, but it is also steeped in piano and strings, built on soaring melodies and littered with lyrics, sung in McTrusty’s strong Scottish accent, that express grown-up emotions as chantalong slogans.

“We’ve been through our punk rock rebellion phase and come out the other side,” laughs McTrusty. “We’ve all grown up being in this band. Dare I say it, we’re finally fully-formed adults. Since Free, some of us have got married and bought our own places and I’ve spent time in Canada because my girlfriend lives there. When the four of us got back together to work on this album, there was no bullshit. With our own lives sorted, it was easier to see the point of the songs and how we wanted them to sound. And, definitely, part of that was embracing pop.”

Pop hooks and harmonies abound on songs such as Hold On, an ode to self-belief driven by drums it’s difficult not to dance to. ‘It’s a risk worth taking/To have a life worth living’ sings McTrusty on a huge, hooky chorus that’s a surefire summer singalong. The stunning Brothers And Sisters, set to shimmering guitars, bulked up by multi layered vocals and boasting a soft-loud dynamic is a collective call-to-arms dedicated to those who refuse to give up on their dreams.

Flamboyant first single Heart and Soul is a dirty rock stomper that sums up the shared feelings of a bouncing festival crowd, nods to both classic Bon Jovi and Queen and has already moved George Ergatoudis, Radio 1’s head of music, to tweet ‘Hyperbole alert. No joke - STUNNING does not do them justice.’

Twin Atlantic formed in 2007 when McTrusty and bassist Ross McNae, a friend from school, joined forces with drummer Craig Kneale and lead guitarist and occasional cello player Barry McKenna. All four had been in previous bands on the Glasgow scene. They bonded over a shared love of alternative rock, punk-pop and the city’s skate and street art scene, as well as a determination to make music their day jobs. Their ferocious shows soon saw them booked to support Smashing Pumpkins, Biffy Clyro and their teen idols Blink 182. Within two years, they had played most major UK festivals and been signed, following a tip-off from Alan McGee, to American label Red Bull Records.

“Our A&R person saw us at this strange snowboarding Channel 4 gig at Battersea Power Station,” recalls Kneale. “We pure went for it at that show, not because we knew anyone was watching, but because we were fucking freezing. We were surrounded by fake snow, our hands so cold we couldn’t hold our guitars. Either we went for it or we froze. Our A&R said it was the craziest gig he’d ever witnessed.”

A mini album, Vivarium, released in 2009, found Twin Atlantic fans in Kerrang!, saw them tour Europe and the States, play festivals including Download and Sonisphere and support My Chemical Romance. Free, their debut proper, followed two years later, boasting three singles playlisted by Radio 1, including the title track, which soundtracked Felix Baumgartner’s historic space jump in 2012.

“We were told Felix himself chose it,” says Kneale, “because he liked the lyric ‘Set my body on fire so I can be free’.” I guess he knew something could go horribly wrong. Thank God it didn’t! It wouldn’t have been a good epitaph for us.”

Most of Great Divide was written last year, while Twin Atlantic were still touring Free.

“90% of it was written in the back of the tour bus, or a sweltering van in America,” says McTrusty. “Our adrenaline was through the roof because, for the first time, thousands of people had come to see us. I’d be in the lounge, unable to sleep, recording ideas on my phone, trying to make sense of the reaction we’d had to our songs. You can’t hear 10,000 people singing a chorus back at you and not be changed by it.

“I’d sit there thinking ‘I wish I’d had this type of song’ or been able to make people feel a certain way. I tried to write for people who don’t dance, and didn’t intend to, but couldn’t help it cos the energy of the song meant they couldn’t stand still.

“I was definitely inspired by playing with Bruce Springsteen, who we supported at Hard Rock Calling last year. Every song of his is an anthem, even if it’s weird and complicated. You can’t see Springsteen and not remember it the next time you write.”

The bulk of Great Divide was recorded in Rockfield in Wales with producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies), who also helmed Free. Additional songs were recorded in the States with Jacknife Lee (Snow Patrol, U2, R.E.M.). The Rockfield sessions lasted much longer than had been planned and almost broke the band.

“We were there, between festivals, for most of last summer,” recalls McTrusty. “Remember how good the weather was? We were ridiculously decadent, lying in the sun, bringing back loads of alcohol. We bought a big projector screen, played FIFA and watched nearly every James Bond film.

“At the start it was amazing. We were inspired by stories of the bands who had been there before us. We used the piano that’s on Bohemian Rhapsody. But by the end, when the album still wasn’t finished, the place started to feel too isolated. Silence to me is terrifying – I’m from inner city Glasgow, I’ve always lived on a main road.”

One of the results of the extended Rockfield sessions was the song Oceans, Twin Atlantic’s favourite on the album.

“Oceans could only have been written somewhere like that,” says McTrusty. “It sounds like a cry from an unhinged, isolated person, which is what I became there.”

Hold On also took on new meaning, becoming a metaphor for a band at breaking point.

“There were a lot of frayed ends and decisions to make,” says McTrusty. “Hold On was us telling ourselves to not give up, that we’d get there in the end. Did we ever think the end was nigh? I’m not sure, but we did hold on and we made it and that’s what matters.”
Kiven - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
Kiven
KIVEN is Tyler Demorest [Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard], Matt Cohen [Bass], Danny Schnair [Guitar], and Jake Reed [Drums]. In a musical landscape that continues to bridge a gap between pop craftsmanship and hard-edged rock music, the members of Los Angeles collective Kiven find a meeting point between both with an inventive twist. Merging thick guitars and entrancing harmonies, the record properly captures the group's heavy and hypnotic sound, preserving its enigmatic intensity and ethereal spirit in the process. KIVEN manages to make history with one stand out track, "I Can Take It". For the first time, the drummer/man behind At The Drive-In's arrangements, Tony Hajjar, stepped behind the board to produce an outside band. With the legendary drummer's help, the group taps into palpable and potent energy. The energy transfers across the entire tracklisting though, especially on the undeniable first single "In The Fire", premiering online very soon. About the album, vocalist, guitarist, and keyboardist Tyler Demorest exclaims, "We spent a lot of time writing songs that were our sound and, at the same time, grew what KIVEN is.”
Badflower - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Badflower
Something happens when Badflower singer and guitarist Josh Katz steps up to the microphone. His primal, powerful, and passionate transformation is the most unmitigated kind of catharsis fueled by emotion and unfiltered intensity…
“The superhero version of myself comes out in the songs,” he affirms. “When I’m writing or performing, I go to this place that reflects the most emotional point I’ve hit at the moment. A lot of what’s being written is anger, lust, heartbreak, and all of that. Becoming an artist, I flip into this character I can’t shake or get rid of. I embrace it and keep writing in that direction.”
This approach stands out as Badflower’s calling card. It’s also a big reason why the group quietly became one of L.A.’s most buzzed-about rock ‘n’ roll bands. Since their emergence in 2014, the band—Josh, Joe Morrow [lead guitar, backing vocals], Alex Espiritu [bass], and Anthony Sonetti [drums]—has shared stages with the likes of KONGOS and The Veronicas, earned acclaim from OC Weekly, Loudwire, and more, and achieved a two-week run at #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only Show with “Heroin.” During 2016, fashion icon John Varvatos personally signed the band to John Varvatos Records. Little did he know, they had a big surprise up their sleeves.
“We actually had already started making a record without telling anybody,” smiles Josh. “After the deal was done, we were like, ‘How about this?’”
The boys cut the 2016 Temper EP [John Varvatos Records/Republic Records] in the garage of the Thousand Oaks, CA home which they share. Recorded during a blazing hot California summer, the sessions got so intense that their MacBook Pro often needed to cool down in the freezer. Wielding that energy, the music taps into a gritty and grunge-y gutter rock spirit complemented by jarring theatrical delivery and unshakable riffing, equally informed by Led Zeppelin and nineties Seattle as it is by film composers such as James Horner.
In 2017 the band signed a new deal with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records as a joint venture with Varvatos Records. Their debut album will be released later this year.
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change