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INTERVIEW: The Junkie Twins

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks for having us, we’re doing great! At the moment we’ve been focusing on our upcoming tour, filming some music videos for our new album Push to Exit and creating content for our YouTube series The Wino Diaries. -Anthony

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Untitled Love Song”?

The basic music for the song was written by David around 2009 when were living in Melbourne, Australia where we’re from. Musically, it’s easily the oldest song on the album. We tried to finish it a few times while we were in other projects but nothing ever stuck. I had lyrics in one of my notebooks that I had always liked but never used, and they just so happened to fit with the mood of the earlier version of Untitled Love Song. We slowed the song down a little and created more space sonically from the original concept. I think overall its catchiness gives the album a great lift amongst some of the more haunting songs. -Anthony

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I spent a lot of time living in Philadelphia over the last 10 years, a lot of that time I was living above a bar, Old Eagle Tavern in Manayunk. I wasn’t really doing much at the time but writing songs and frequenting the bar downstairs with the two friends I was living with. I felt like a lost individual who was trying to find anything outside myself to feel some kind of sense of fulfillment. I guess the song is about trying to find that person within that I wanted to be, while knowing that he’s just that dude in the mirror, combined with the setting of late nights drinking in Philadelphia waking up and not remembering a thing. -Anthony

Any plans to release a video for this single?

We’re currently collaborating with a talented artist from Australia, Betty Holdsworth, to create a psychedelic animated music video forUntitled Love Song. We’re hoping to release it in May as a series of four music videos for Push To Exit. -David

The single comes off your new album Push To Exit – what’s the story behind the title?

Living in New York City you tend to encounter a lot of “Push to Exit” bars on doors. While thinking of an album title I happened to push one of those doors and thought it would be a great name for the album. I also happened to use the lyric “push to exit me” in the final track of the album, Tyranny, to express the stress, excitement and anxiety that was building up in my head over the creation process of it. I guess you could also interpret it as the idea of pushing a bar to exit a negative space and step into a new one. -Anthony

How was the recording and writing process?

We wrote about 20 songs over a 12 month period and by the time we were ready for pre-production, we’d trimmed it down to 10 songs. From there we bunked down in Studio G, Brooklyn and started the recording process. This was a completely different experience from anything else we’d ever done previously, for previous projects we’d always been a live recording band, throwing down minimal overdubs and letting the performance and song speak for itself. This time around we wanted and really needed something different, we wanted to make something great, we wanted an album that was difficult to classify, to pigeon hole the sound, we were completely open to anything and everything. Our producer, Gary Atturio, was the technical wizard who managed to interpret our mouth noises into actual instrumentation. -David

What was it like to work with Joel Hamilton and how did that relationship develop?

Joel owns Studio G, so we saw him most days that we were in there recording. He kept his ear close to our sessions and when we were getting close to wrapping up he offered up his services to mix it. It was extraordinary to watch a man with ears like that work, the studio is apart of him and he’s just a very relaxed and calming presence, an absolute joy to work with. -David

How much did Joel Hamilton get to influence the album?

Joel really changed the dynamic of the album quite a bit in the best way possible. He brought out certain elements of the songs right to the front of the mix that we originally thought would be background layers or textures, he just hears things that most people don’t. He’s truly a master in the studio and we learned a lot about what makes a song exciting and interesting. -Anthony

The album features some great musicians – did you handpick them or how was the selection process?

We met Rob Walbourne, our drummer, at the pub, drank too much Guinness with him and became life long friends. He’s English, so we bonded over the Monarchy and music. He also happens to be the touring drummer for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, so he’s an absolute monster and just brought so much love and passion to the tracking, it was very enjoyable to witness. All the other musicians were friends with Gary, so he handpicked them himself over many years of engineering and producing, including Cat Popper, who came in with her double bass, made us laugh our arses off and nailed a song to the wall in about 25 minutes. We were gob smacked, and I immediately went home and practiced, then cried, practiced a little more, then listened to Puss n Boots. – David

What did they bring to the table?

Well Gary also played bass on the record, and he and Rob have played together in the band Belle Mare for years, so the two of them lock together like a well oiled machine, there was a lot of head bopping and hip thrusting going on in the control room.

As a producer Gary is a wealth of ideas and we were only too happy to go along with most things he suggested. He was also very receptive towards our ideas, and if he wasn’t, we told him to do it anyway and he always did, usually for the best as well. -David

Any plans to hit the road?

We embark on our East Coast tour over the course of a few weeks in May (tour Dates below) and have more shows in the works in September as well as an Australian tour in October that we’re currently booking. If you’re reading this and live in any of the cities below, we’d love to meet you. -Anthony

Tour Dates:

May 7     The Nines                          Ithaca, NY

May 8     Two Boots                        Bridgeport, CT

May 10   Blue Moon Diner               Charlottesville, VA

May 11   Bossa Bistro & Lounge    Washington, DC

May 12   Bourbon & Branch            Philadelphia, PA

May 13   Stone Tavern                    Kent, OH

May 20   The Bowery Electric        New York, NY

What else is happening next in The Junkie Twins’ world?

We’re working on a video for our song Long Walk Home which we’ve been shooting the last two months. It starts from the middle of Winter through the end of Spring to show how Brooklyn changes and comes alive. We’ve met so interesting characters along the way, so that in itself has made it worthwhile. We’ll be releasing it on our YouTube channel so make sure to subscribe! -Anthony

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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