Twin Peaks, self-proclaimed young ‘dudes’ from Chicago (100% unrelated to the TV show), sat at the top of most of the ‘bands to watch’ lists going around at CMJ 2014. Their shows over the week gave no doubt as to why, with them bringing the house down at the best NYC’s venues over the course of the week. Behind it all, they’re just a group of young guys who are having the time of their life, and we sat down with them at the swanky Hotel on Rivington during CMJ to see how they’re handling the hype, and find out where the best spots are in Chicago, as well as their favorites here in New York.
Congratulations on the release of Wild Onion! How is the response going so far?
Splendid. Wild. Wild funny. Better than expected. We didn’t really know what to expect; but when it came out, so many people loved it. We spent a lot of time on it and it’s about double the length of our previous album, so we’re happy.
You seem to have a variety of distinctive sounds coming from your latest album. How are your fans responding to the variations of rock and ballad?
A lot of people come to our shows and they each have their song that they want to hear; their favorite song I guess. It’s like a record that you could choose which side to put on first; some people like side 2 better than side 1 and vice versa. If we have lost any fans over the diversity, we haven’t heard any of that! No one has come up to and said “Man, you guys were really great on Sunken, but you really fell off with this album”!
There is a lot of hype about you guys at the moment, what do you think of it and how are you dealing with it?
We’re freaking out. We forgot to study big time and the mid-term is tomorrow [laughs]. You just kind of do your thing and keep rocking. And a lot of that is make believe anyway, so we just play shows, that’s what we do, we don’t really let any of that get in the way. I mean, even on this tour we’ll play to small towns in the south and there’ll be 10 people there on a weekday. We’ll play to anyone.
Who would you name as your biggest influence right now?
[Clay]: I love The Velvet Underground. They were my band growing up. My favorite albums would probably be Loaded, or White Light/White Heat, I mean they’re all good, that’s why I like them. They’re like a band within a band; each album is different. You could have The Velvet Underground in Nico day, or White Light/White Heat day… yeah I love that band.
[Jack]: Black Lips were really big for me when we first started; I thought they were just like the most bad ass people, and they still are, they’re still making awesome albums. I think when I first started playing I looked to them a lot to kinda see what they do differently.
How is your Instagram series of #TwinPeaksDudes going on Instagram? Has it made you famous yet?
[Lots of laughing] Yeah! We’re getting movie offers, actresses are flying in, and we’re like ‘Get outta here’. But if you have any ideas, I mean, we need to make one for today and we’re losing daylight…
We actually run something on our Instagram called ‘One Week of Vibes’ – if you guys took over that for a week, what Vibe would you roll with?
PENGUIN VIBES. That’s what’s going on right now. We just have a penguin kind of concept. Our vibe would be very happy; no one’s having a downer on our vibe week, that’s for sure. There’d be beer in your hand, a dog in your lap, and you’re going down the biggest, baddest waterslide. It’s all included in Penguin Vibes.
What are your favorite live venues here in New York, or at home in Chicago?
In New York, we LOVE Baby’s All Right – we love that place, they treat us right over there! They’re sick.
In Chicago, Lincoln Hall is great, and there used to be this place called Field Trip, a DIY loft space and shows there were always just so fun. We still haven’t been to a cooler venue, but they shut down. And that’s just how it is in Chicago; places only last so long. They had a 15-foot Paper Mache cat that blew smoke, all your friends would go, and they curate the best bills. There were cool bands who lived in the space when they were recording there, and they were good bands, so they would get the best bands to play there. They had a really cool studio there too where we recorded our first live session. It was a weird live session though, because Clay had already gone to school so we had to record as a three piece.
At Supper we like to highlight places with great vibes. Where are those places for you at home in Chicago?
[Clay]: (Sings) “Where the music is right and the food is sizzling”?
Exactly like that!
Well we don’t know anything about bars, but ask us in a year and we’ll be able to tell you all the best bars in the world!
Budacki’s in Chicago is pretty good. Ooh and if you’re ever in Austin, check out Trailer Treasure – it’s this food truck we found there, and we’ve been there every time since. They kill it there. They serve alligator meat, shark meat – really obscure meats. Their seasoned crawfish is so good and fresh. The only reason we discovered it is because we were walking from some party, and on the way were stopping at everything that was giving away something free. And there were a lot of ‘Free’ signs because SXSW was happening – this was the final place. We ended up talking to the guy there and he ended up becoming fans of us, and we became fans of him and his awesome food. He’s got a Twin Peaks sticker on his truck now!
And what about here in New York?
We’re super down with Vanessa’s, the dumpling place. Also, we just went to this deli called Daily Feed – I’m not sure what anyone else ordered, but I’m pretty convinced I just had the greatest sandwich of my life. I couldn’t tell you what was on it, but it tasted like magic. I love the delis in New York, I’m a deli kinda guy, you know? Grab a sandwich, sit on the curb, Boom. Watch the beautiful ladies go by.
You gotta go to Chicago, Supper!
Stream Twin Peaks on Spotify | Photo credit Fernanda Lenz
Leilani. For Supper.