You just can’t listen to a track from the Twin Tribes album Shadows without it evoking some serious new wave nostalgia. It’s dark, but minimal cold-focused sound is unmistakable—also helping to prove that talented bands will continue to crawl out from the Texas dark wave scene and into the world spotlight. And, of course, that ever-present “dark wave” designation just isn’t enough to describe anything we listen to anymore. Twin Tribes, like so many talented acts, bleeds into many other genres and sub-genres, thus increasing its audience potential. And that’s why we like them.
Since the release of their debut album earlier this year, helping to create an amazing fan base in the process, Twin Tribes is off to a magnificent start. So let’s take a look at what Joel and Luis had to say when they took the time for an interview with me.
Tell us a little about how your cultural upbringing might have influenced your sound.
Joel: I don’t believe our cultural upbringing plays a huge part in our sound, or how we go about writing the music. There is one track, Still in Still, that we made specifically for a compilation album called Wild Tongue, which explored what it was like growing up in the Rio Grande Valley. That was probably the closest we’ve come.
Has playing in different cities changed how you plan a performance (perhaps due to fan interactions or feedback)?
Joel: We tend to plan our performances as a whole show. We’re really big on having a specific stage lighting and ambience for them, and it is something that is still a work in progress. We always strive to give the best possible experience no matter the city, or event. That being said, our live show has slowly evolved towards the better. What someone may have seen at the beginning of our journey may not be the same as going to one of our live shows now. It’s something that we are still working hard to master, and hopefully, an incentive for fans to continue coming back to see us.
How does your family feel about what you do artistically? Are they surprised with fan reactions?
Joel: My family has always been supportive in any of my musical endeavors. Whether it was me playing in the school jazz band, marching band, or rock band, they have always been there to tell me to not stop doing what I love. I’ve been very fortunate to have that kind of support. I do get the occasional second glance from my mother though, when I have full makeup on and dressed in all black. “Quien se murio?” is one of her common quips. I’m not sure my family fully grasps how amazingly our fans have reacted, and supported our music, since we put out the album in January. It’s a feeling I’m still trying to come to grips to myself.
Luis: My family has always been very supportive with my music projects. I don’t think they understand sometimes the positive reaction the album has had, but they’re still very surprised on how fast everything has happened.
Twin Tribes released its first album only months ago entitled Shadows. What was the most difficult obstacle you guys faced while putting this album together?
Joel: The most difficult obstacle was finding the right snare sound for the album. Legitimately, the biggest one. Whole days were spent trying to find the perfect sound for each song. Kudos to Allen Michael, for sticking with it, and not strangling us towards the end of recording.
How did Twin Tribes form?
Luis: Twin Tribes was formed in the summer of 2017. I started recording demos months earlier and drew inspiration from bands in the period of the dark 80’s as well as films and the occult. I knew I needed help to bring this project to life so I asked Joel, a close friend who I already knew from a previous band. After that, we started Twin Tribes.
Interview by Veronica Campbell – follow on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/verocampbell