Twin Sister may be one of the newer additions to Domino’s illustrious roster, but with debut album In Heaven they’ve shown they’re as capable of winning the hearts of the music press as any of their lofty label mates.
Curious to find out more about the Long Island dream-poppers, we caught up with keyboardist Dev Gupta. You can see what he had to say below.
For the benefit of those who are new to Twin Sister, how did you form and what’s the inspiration behind your name?
We met growing up on Long Island, mostly through playing in bands. As we got to know each other better, we started to gravitate towards each other's music, and started playing together. Over time it became more serious until we were finally a band. The name comes from a painting of twin sisters that Andrea made for Eric years ago.
So, congratulations on In Heaven – we love it! How long did it take you to write, what did you set out to achieve with it and are you happy with the results?
Thank you! The album was made from December 2010 to April 2011. Some songs were written during this period, while others had been kicking around for years. We wanted to try moving in as many directions at once as possible, and I think the songs show that intent. We're happy with the record, but also eager to start making another one and improve on what we feel are some of the more problematic elements of In Heaven.
Can you pinpoint a particular track you’re most proud of?
The whole process of writing and recording ‘Bad Street’ felt really good, mostly because it was very collaborative. The song was mostly written with us playing together in one room, something we don't get a chance to do very often. Writing it that way made recording and mixing much easier, because all of us had a good idea of what the song should end up being.
Your album’s pretty diverse and yet it tends to get branded as “dream-pop”. Do you think that’s an apt description of the overall aesthetic?
It's tough for a band to classify themselves, and that's something we prefer to leave to listeners and critics. I think “dream-pop” works reasonably well as a descriptor, but I think it's better suited to our first two EPs than this newest record.
The playlist you gave us suggests you have pretty eclectic tastes – are there any specific artists that have had a profound influence on the music you make?
Since our tastes are very varied and eclectic, it's always tough to find a band or record that all five of us agree on. We've had our phases: we just went through an intense relationship with Kraftwerk and, more recently, we’ve really been enjoying Grace Jones. We do have our individual touchstones, and you can usually get three or four of us to agree on one artist, but there's always one or two hold-outs.
You always have really interesting artwork and videos: how important is the visual aspect of things to you and do you take a hands-on role?
Andrea and Bryan are the two that are most interested in visual art, and they definitely take a big role in shaping our aesthetic. All three of our videos and all our record artwork have a tonne of input from those two.
You’ve already toured with some great bands – who’s been the most impressive live? And, if you could pick anyone, who would you like to open for you?
My favourite live band to play with was Bear in Heaven. It's rare that you want to watch a band you're touring with every night, but I just couldn't help myself with them. I would love to tour with Ava Luna; hopefully we can make that happen at some point next year.
Aside from your album, which record’s excited you most in 2011?
Have you started work on the follow-up to In Heaven yet? And what’s the plan for the rest of the year?
We have a couple of songs kicking around, and we just went to the studio a few weeks ago to start the process of recording some of those ideas. We want to take our time, hole up in our rooms and get crazy for the details.
We're currently touring the US, after that it's three weeks in Europe, and then we'll take December to recuperate and prime the the “Twin Sister Recording Engine” for some heavy usage in 2012.
Ultimately, what would you like to achieve as a band?
I'd like to make things we're proud of. And still all be friends in a decade or two...
And finally, who’s the boss in Twin Sister?
Andrea's the boss.