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The Twilight Sad Interview
Straight off the back of this year’s fantastic No One Can Ever Know album, The Twilight Sad are about to release a remixed version, the factually titled No One Can Ever Know - The Remixes. Featuring stellar contributions from Com Truise, Breton, Tom Furse (The Horrors) and Liars it’s released by FatCat on 26th November. The band will also play their biggest headline show to date at Glasgow Barrowland on December 15th (tickets here). Adam Taylor met with frontman James Graham just before their gig at London’s Digwalls venue to talk about remixes, comics, football and ceefax amongst other things.
So how did the new remix album (No One Can Ever Know - The Remixes) come about? Was it your choice to do a remix album?
I think it was more Andy (MacFarlane, guitarist) wanted to do it, he thought that this last album suited it more, whereas other albums in the past it maybe wouldn’t have made sense with the production and stuff, this album definitely lended itself a lot more to it. There’s a few bands that have released remix albums that we’ve really liked, like the Radiohead King Of Limbs one (TKOL RMX 1234567), I thought that was amazing. We actually got one of the remixers from there, Brokenchord, that’s where we kind of heard of him and we went “well maybe he could do it” and he did two for our remix album. So aye, it’s just something we hadn’t done before, we’d had a few remixes before but not a dedicated remix release and we always just want to try and do as much stuff whilst we can. It just made sense with us.
Did you choose any of the other remixers?
Aye, we made a big list and gave it to FatCat records and we just went “go and get them”, and to be honest I’m really surprised about the people that came back. We got Wires which was brilliant, Tom Furse from The Horrors, Com Truise, Brokenchord, Breton… aye I was really surprised, I thought I was gonna have to ask my ma’ and da’ to do it (laughs). But no, I’m really happy with it, when you listen to it I’m like “I’ve no idea what that song is off the album”, they’ve kind of written their own song in a way and you’re just like “woah fuck!”. I think it’s a really interesting release, and it’s not just remixes where they’ve kind of fucked the whole thing up, they’ve taken it pretty seriously which I suppose it’s a compliment to us. Either that or they really hated what we did and went “fuckin’ scrap that! I’ll just use a piano from that”…
It’s interesting the way you brought out the EP (2008’s Here, It Never Snowed. Afterwards It Did) after the first album (Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters), which contained re-workings of the album, and then you re-arranged your third album for a live setting. When you put things down for an album, do you expect it to go on and take on new life?
Especially live, aye. Once the albums done and we’re all happy with it, in that moment, I don’t listen to it again, because the jobs done. I mean…once I’m old and all that, well I’m getting old…but when I’m an old man and I can look back, then I’ll probably listen to it. But I think if we’re happy with them then the next thing to do is make them into live songs, so I don’t need to go back and listen to them (laughs) unless I forget the lyrics. So once the songs are recorded they just taken on a different life…so yeah, it’s what you said basically (laughs).
What have you been listening to on the tour bus?
The new Bat For Lashes album, I’ve only given it one or two listens but there’s some really nice stuff on there. I’m a big fan of hers. I listened to Paul Banks from Interpol’s new album thing today, I like that. RM Hubbert who’s supporting us, I listen his album a lot, because it’s different fully arranged, but when he plays solo, it’s amazing…it’s ridiculous how it just sucks you in.Errors last album Have Some Faith In Magic, we’re good pals with them so I listen to them anyway… (Laughs) actually I’ve been watching Breaking Bad a lot, it’s brilliant. I’d say it’s better than The Sopranos and all that stuff.
Just because it’s in the new with Ceefax (Teletext) going under, when was the last time you got reminded of Planet Sound (who were early champions of the band)?
Early this year when John Earls (legendary Planet Sound writer) reviewed our “Another Bed” single, and funnily enough my girlfriend emailed me today saying “Ceefax has gone down, no more good reviews for you!” (laughs). Because Planet Sound was the first thing that ever reviewed us, ever, it was a demo they reviewed and they were always amazing to us. That was quite a big thing for me, cause I used to go on there every day and look at it, and then I saw us up there and I was like “Fuck!”, and then when I saw how good the review was as well, I just sat there and watch the pages go by for half an hour going “ah…somebody knows who our band is and it’s Planet Sound, cool”. So it’s a wee bit gutting in a way but it’s a nice pre-internet memory to have.
Have you ever had to try and describe Teletext to anyone?
Nah, and I don’t know how I would do that. It’s like a website on your tv…before the internet.
Did you know any of the numbers off by heart?
I did used to, it was Bamboozle as well…that’s really gonna annoy me now. It was always the first thing I went and did on a morning. The album reviews changed, I think, every Tuesday…you’re totally bringing back memories cause I used to be on it constantly cause the news thing was amazing as well.