Scotland has always been on my bucket list of places to see. Rich with history, beautiful scenery, pubs and music.
If I could, I’d pack up right now and head over, making sure I head into Glasgow to catch The Twistettes.
This sister duo’s debut record – Jilt the Jive is tailor-made for 50third. It’s a 10-song barrage of fuzzed out, heavy as hell riot grrl garage surf punk, with enough heavy metal riffage to keep me satisfied.
Tracks like Lampost Light, Suck It! Fake It!, Turn It Up, and Is This It? roar out of the gate with the distorted punk rage of Seven Year Bitch, but also the heavy ferocity of Motörhead.
This is a wicked debut and The Twistettes are a band to watch. I don’t doubt that Jilt the Jive will show up on a few “Best of 2016” lists around here.
We hooked up singer/distortionist Jo D’arc for a little Q&A.
Jo D’arc (bass, lead vox, distortion) and Nicky D’arc (drums, backing vox, noise)
How did you become The Twistettes and what’s the story behind the name?
Nicky and i are sisters so we’ve been playing music together since we were pretty young. We’ve been in a few bands over the years with various other members. All of these were great fun in their own right but The Twistettes is definitely the most comfortable and happiest we’ve been musically. I think this is partly an experience thing…we’ve come to realise that the best way to be satisfied musically is to just play what we want. None of this trying to fit in or be something ‘cool’ or ‘scene’. we just play now and are loving it.
The name The Twistettes is really meant to signify the music…we love loud rocking grrrl music but also wanted it to be danceable. We were really surprised the name wasn’t actually taken cause we liked it so much!
Tell us about your hometown scene…
So, our home town is Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland. When we were starting out the scene there was pretty limited with most live music being club bands performing covers. There’s nothing wrong with this in the big scheme but that wasn’t ever what we wanted to do. This has definitely changed in more recent years and now there’s a few cool venues supporting original music. There were always good bands in Fife so it’s good there is a local platform now. Nicky currently lives in Dunfermline after being in Glasgow for a few year and I currently live in Glasgow. I suppose that makes it a bit of a 2nd home for us. The music scene in Glasgow is ridiculous with so many talented musicians doing great things in all sort of genre’s. We are also linked with the Yellow Movement which is a group of performers/artists/audience members/photographers/writers from across Scotland (though primarily Glasgow based) who support each other and work together as a kind of collective. Most recently we all collaborated to sell out the famous Glasgow Barrowlands…5 independent, unsigned acts selling out a 2000 capacity venue…we’re really proud to have been part of that.
Describe your sound as a cocktail – what’s it called and what’s in it?
I’d say we’d probably be something like a ‘twisted’ ice tea…strong, in your face and no-nonsense
Tell us about your live show…
Our live shows are loud and lively. Recently we’ve had some pretty raucous crowds which is great. At the album launch there was a guy rocking out while crowd surfing who ended up head-butting a hole in the roof…it was wild. There are usually as many girl at our shows as guys which I’m really pleased about…I love to see girls in the audience enjoying the show and feeling like they belong.
How does your song writing process work?
We tend to jam stuff out and then I’ll maybe go and tweak stuff and write the lyrics around the music. Sometimes it works the other way round as well but for the most part we work on the bones together.
What influences the band lyrically?
The lyrics are a combination of things that impact or have impacted upon my life. This is heavily influenced by my views of society & politics. There are comments on life, love and sex in the mix as well and an overarching tone that embraces feminism and equality.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
That’s so hard cause I’m into so many different styles of music but I think it’d have to be the early 90’s for riot grrrl, grunge, the rave scene in the UK and rise of madchester/brit pop.
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
I’m still listening to the Kate Tempest album loads…love her. The PJ Harvey album is great. Also, some local Scottish bands like Girobabies, Hector Bizerk, Mickey 9’s and Colonol Mustard.
If you could tour with any band right now who would that be and why?
Sleatford Mods cause they speak a beautifully raw truth.
If you could only bring ONE record in the tour van/bus/plane what would it be?
Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon cause I could probably listen to that album on repeat for ever!
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
We like a bit of a walk in the countryside…usually accompanied by a pint but yeah…nature’s good.
What’s up for the rest of 2016?
So, we just released our debut album ‘Jilt the Jive’ so the plan is really to enjoy performing and get the album out there for folks to hear. We’ve got a load of dates coming up to promote the album over the next few months.