Music Spotlight: TWIN XL
LA-based alt-pop band TWIN XL recently released How To Talk To Strangers, and the 7-track EP is our perfect feel-good summer soundtrack. The trio, composed of vocalist Cameron Walker-Wright, bassist Stephen Gomez + guitarist John Gomez, flawlessly blends vibrant melodies + lively lyrics, reminiscent of LA summer nights. Walker-Wright is formerly part of the synth-pop band Nekokat, and the Gomez brothers are well-known for The Summer Set. Collectively, the three musicians have written + produced for artists like All Time Low, Lindsey Stirling, + Life of Dillon. The trio just kicked off their summer tour with I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, and we caught up with Cameron Walker-Wright about the start of TWIN XL, the EP + playing live.
Asymmetric Magazine: We’re loving your EP How To Talk To Strangers. Can you tell us all about it?
Cameron Walker-Wright: Thanks! When we started making music together, we actually didn’t know we were going to start a band. We knew each other from previous bands we were in, and we played shows together when we were in different bands. We would always see each and plan to write together, and finally we actually started writing. When we wrote the first three songs on the EP, we still weren’t intending to start a band together; we thought we were just doing it for fun. So, the EP means a lot to us, because we see it as the birth of the next chapter of our musical lives as a band.
AM: Is there a track off the EP that you would say resonates with you most?
CW: The last two tracks we wrote Sunglasses and Don’t Wake Me, I’m Still Dreaming lyrically are a lot more personal to me. There’s a line in Sunglasses ‘Terrified of new friends; they love you then they leave you dead’. There’s something about that—especially living in Los Angeles. How many times have you met someone that you think is your best friend and you see them a year later, and you don’t even know that person?
AM: We’re based in LA, too, so that’s so relatable. Do you think LA plays a role in your sound or approach as an artist?
CW: We started this adventure together in LA. LA is this beautiful sunny place, but once you live here and become familiar with it, there’s a dark undertone that surrounds the city and your experiences. Friends is all about having house party backyard experiences where you’re like, ‘What am I doing here? I don’t know any of these people, but these are my friends now’. In Sunglasses, there’s a line, ‘It’s funny how all their faces glow’. I was thinking of this picture in my head: I was at a backyard house party, and it was dark; there were no lights. I looked out, and everyone’s faces were glowing because they were looking down at their phones. It’s a weird culture, but at the same time, we love it. There’s a lot of contrast here, which is what makes it great.
AM: How do you guys think being a part of the punk rock/emo scene has shaped your current sound?
CW: There are definitely things that trickle through, but the cool thing about this band is that it’s so different from any of the music we made in our previous bands that were more pop-punk/emo leaning. But some of the lyrics do shine through from those genres. When we get a little dark, we tend to go too dark. We’ll all kind of look at each other and be like, ‘this is really emo’. We always say, ‘we’re definitely not an emo band, but we’re definitely an emo band’.
We’re definitely not an emo band, but we’re definitely an emo band.
AM: You guys just wrapped up tour with The Mowgli’s and Jukebox The Ghost. Can you share a favorite memory from tour?
CW: Hanging out with The Mowgli’s is always a trip. Also, it was just us in a van without a trailer, so I felt like we were Scooby Doo and the Mystery Machine with all our gear in the back, and we were smushed up front. It was an adventure, and we haven’t done something like that in a really long time, so it was very humbling and overall such a great experience. Oh, and I got to see Stephen eat more Chipotle than anyone I’ve ever met.
AM: Do you have a favorite track you like to play live?
CW: I think we all have different ones, but I really like to perform Friends. It has a groove to it, and it’s always a turning point in the set. There’s a new song we just started playing live called Messy. I kind of sing-rap in it, which is weird for me, but that one is really fun.
AM: What other musicians are you listening to?
CW: Lately I’ve been listening to DREAMERS, The Mowgli’s, Jukebox The Ghost. I really like the new Blink 182 single, too.
AM: What’s next for you guys as a band?
CW: The rest of this year is focused on promoting the EP and playing more shows. We’re going to go on tour with a band called I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, and we’re really excited to do that. We’re excited to keep playing the EP!