INTERVIEW: Irish electronic duo All Tvvins is one to watch
‘Dreamy’ and ‘melodic-electronic’ may just be the best words to describe All Tvvins, the duo from Dublin who have been steadily on the climb with their unique and refreshing music. Since letting their debut record lIVV out into the world in 2016, the boys have reached #2 on the Irish music charts as well as embarked on an Europe-wide tour. From co-producing with James Vincent McMorrow to chatting about their upcoming second album Just to Exist, we had the pleasure of speaking to the lovely minds behind All Tvvins:
All Tvvins has taken Ireland and the UK by storm, with many shows sold out across your recent tour. How has it felt?
It's been pretty amazing. You start off with a simple idea of making music with someone, then that develops into a band, then suddenly you're living with these people and seeing them more than family or friends. You are travelling together and playing shows across the world. It's amazing thing to think of everything we have done, all because myself and Conor decided to write some music together in a small room with a minimal set-up a few years ago.
What was your first encounter with the electronic genre, and did that spark your interest right away?
I think I first became aware of the electronic genre through the warp label — Aphex Twin was on daytime MTV and it really crossed into mainstream culture for a moment. That opened up the door to exploring other acts. Bjork was releasing music of various styles too and it all was very inspirational. I think we both take influence from every style of music, if there's something in it we like. The reality is most bands now include computer software in a live set-up too. I'm not sure that really means as opposed to being a tool to help creation or another instrument.
Do you remember your earliest show?
Yes! We played a showcase festival In Dublin. I remember we had a really short space of time to get a set together and we were using a different live set-up to what we were both used to from earlier bands. My main memory is setting up loads of equipment side stage, feeling stressed out and thinking, "This is all going to break.” It was pretty fun in the end though, I think just putting ourselves into that situation helped us to not overthink what we were doing and helped to build the momentum.
You’ve played alongside Kodaline, another amazing Irish artist. What was that experience like?
That was pretty crazy, they are such nice people and we had an amazing time supporting them! We just got to see the potential a band can have; we grew up in the same area as Kodaline so to see them achieve such heights is inspiring. We got to play across Europe with them and join them on stage in Dublin in front of 14 or 15 thousand people. The band and crew looked after us every day which was something you really don't forget.
What was it like having James Vincent McMorrow co-produce your latest single ‘Build A Bridge’?
We were lucky enough to have James produce the whole record — it was a huge learning experience and something we couldn't have imagined happening. To me, the most interesting part about it was the time frame. We sent James a folder of sketches and ideas we had, and over email, we decided what had the right vibe.
We moved our set up into his studio in January last year and we did most of the record in about two weeks. It was intense and also very inspiring. Getting to see James’ work ethic and vision was something we both learned a lot from. He really made us work harder then we ever had before and it was a lesson in what can be achieved and created in such short space of time.
‘Build A Bridge’ was a track that shocked us a bit... Myself and Conor had worked on a few different versions of it but it never really felt right. We all agreed the initial vocal hook had something great about it, but finding the full song around it wasn't easy. I do remember us maybe wanting to bin it at one stage because it was frustrating us so much, but James kept the push and motivation of finding the song… When we did, it was such a cool feeling in the studio. Everyone just knew it had come together and the pay off felt amazing.
What are the sentiments behind this track?
I think we always liked to let people make their own vision of what a song means. I know in the studio we had a projector set up with time lapse imagery of cars driving around various cities and landscapes . We really wanted to capture a sense of movement and escape in the whole album. I had my own vision of the track when Conor put down his vocal tracks — for my guitar tracks, I wanted to help support the story and theme I got from listening back to Conor. I felt it needed space and a washed out soundscape, spending time on small musical clips to help evoke each line or image.
Name the top 3 festivals you’ve played at.
We had some really special shows in Ireland — I think Electric Picnic two years ago was a special one for us, and Longitude In Dublin was amazing as well. We played Reading and Leeds Festival which was a big deal, and something we had wanted to do for a long time.
Your music video for 'Darkest Ocean’ has hit over 1 million views on Youtube — looking back, what was your favourite part about filming it?
It was a fun day all round! I think for me, I spent many days with my family when I was younger on that beach for summer holidays. I remember setting up my gear and seeing the crew get allt he cameras and equipment ready, and I just thought, "Wow this isn't something I had imagined in my future!" It all was a little bit surreal to be honest. The funniest part was we used our actual gear and till this day, we are still finding sand pouring out of pedals and cases!
Was it freezing cold on that beach?
No actually, it was a one-off sunny day in Ireland! To be honest probably not as warm as the coldest day on an Australian beach, but I remember that in between shooting, the three of us were able to hang out on the beach without it being too cold!
Are there times where you felt like you going out of your comfort zone while making music was worth it?
I would say that this band was a complete step out of our comfort zone initially. We were both used to a certain type of sound and anything different didn't sit right with us. It took time and work to get past that and understand where we were going. It would have been easy to stick with what we knew, but stepping out of that comfort zone has been the most rewarding part of it all!
Your upcoming second album is on the cards. How does this depart from your debut record?
I think it's a natural progression really. It doesn't sound like the first record yet you can tell it is the same band. Certain tracks have reminders of what our sound used to be and others step into new directions. It could have been an option to recreate the first record but we never wanted to. I honestly can say this is the album we both wanted to make. We still used all the same elements, and to me, as a collection of songs they all flow and feel connected.
Where do you hope to see the next few months taking you?
We will be releasing the new record on April 12th, and we start touring that month too. In May, we are heading out on an European tour and we have a lot of festivals booked for this summer! I think we want to try to make this record translate as best it can live and hope to demonstrate what the band sounds like now. We are excited to get the record out and do our best to play live as much as we can over the next year.
You boys are certainly on the rise! That being said, we hope to see you boys down in Australia sometime soon!
Thanks so much! Doing interviews really helps to remind you of what you have achieved in the past. We're so focused on the present and keeping things moving that it's cool to think back on the last few years sometimes. We can't wait to visit your beautiful country!