If you’re in Glasgow, McChuill’s is a great place for live music, with a convivial atmosphere, a salubrious environment, good bar staff and hosting all manner of music, whether it’s locally, legendary or internationally-selling bands. I headed down to interview the Reverse Cowgirls who I’ve been keen on covering, and I got to interview the phenomenal Twin Guns from New York as a happy bi-product of that, set up once again by Urban Shaman, Loic Monerat.
The Reverse Cowgirls blew us all away with a storming set but I’ll go into that more in my next article and my interview with them. Once they had finished it was time for the Guns to take the stage and they cranked up the speakers, put the roof down and slammed their foot on the accelerator, driving us at breakneck speed down a dark desert highway; past the spooky, eerily-lit gas station of rockabilly, the shady, dusty truckstop of punk rock and the barren boneyards of surf rock to emerge with their own unique slant in the sprawling, soaring wasteland of their sound.
Before the Cowgirls’ set, Native-American-Indian-For-Hire Kemosabe materialised, and the rotten bastard sabotaged me with a little purple pill. I wasn’t going to take it so early, but a few more pints of cider cost me my judgement and by the time it was hitting me I was outside interviewing the Cowgirls. By the time I got inside again, my mind was so distracted from reality, and surfing waves of euphoria (that were only heightened by the storming set the Twin Guns delivered), that I decided I probably shouldn’t impose my mangled-self on a band visiting our country from the US, I was in no fit state to be an ambassador, except maybe of the seedy underbelly, and I settled down at the bar with a double bourbon and a beatific smile. But then, that psychedelic merde Loic shattered my peace, when he came looking for me and said, ‘The Twin Guns are round here, they wanna know if you’re ready for the interview?’
Oh well, I thought, if I can interview the Mickey 9s in a hot tub after a whole bottle of Wild Turkey and if I can interview Dave Sharp and Aziz Ibrahim on magic mushrooms and do a good job, then surely I can interview these guys on one of Kemosabe’s happy pills? More a question framed in my mind than an affirmation to myself but in no time I was introducing myself to the band, who cut a fine and sexy figure in their shades and leathers and giving the impression of a team of bad-ass post-apocalyptic punk-rock vampire-slayers who were oozing cool and calm while I was oozing MDMA out my pores.
I did salvage an interview from it though. I had ten carefully researched and tailored questions in my notepad, but a great difficulty to focus on my hieroglyphic scribbles through one good eye proved a spanner in the works, so I had to just ad-lib some questions. Another reminder that I should move with the times and keep notes in my iPhone not my notepad, especially as my iPhone doubles as a Dictaphone! Apart from my slurred speech though, and my crap on-the-spur questions, and an inability to focus my attention for too long, it went well. Largely thanks to the coolness of the band who were seemingly unphased by my intoxication and were consummate professionals in their answers and their geniality towards some half-crazed gonzo journalist who was chewing on his own jaw.
Big thanks to the Guns for bringing their music to this little stormy island and for putting on a scintillating show that took us through a psychedelic array of genres, and which was unanimously loved by the whole crowd. What follows is an interview I’ve salvaged from my Dictaphone between the pulchritudinous Kristin Fayne-Mulroy (bass), the suave Andrea Sicco (guitar/vocs) and the legendary ‘Jungle’ Jim Chandler (drums) who has played for The Cramps and in various Sub Pop bands!
CTH – So how was playing Glasgow?
KRISTIN – Everyone is wonderful, the crowd is fantastic, made us feel really welcome we had a lot of fun!
ANDREA – A lot of great energy, we’ve only been here a few hours, and I love it already, a great bar, and I love it! Some great people are in it. We came from Edinburgh, 2 days ago we played Edinburgh.
CTH – Yeah you started your UK tour 2 days ago in Edinburgh.
ANDREA – And that’s just the beginning, and we could be going home happy, you know, even just after these two days. We’re gonna play some English towns all the way down the country, and yeah I love it, I wish we had more time to explore, but we will come back.
CTH – It must feel great to be able to go around the world and play your music. The crowd were very responsive, it was a fantastic show.
KRISTIN – I feel really lucky and people give us this amazing response and it’s a fantastic gig.
JIM – We love the owner of this establishment by the way, we wanna put that on record. The owner of this bar has been so benevolent to us.
CTH – McChuill’s are really great with the local live music.
JIM - Yeah we’re so happy to play here.
CTH – Shout out to McChuill’s! In a lot of online reviews I read of you, they compare you to Jesus & Mary Chain, is that a fair comparison?
ANDREA – When me and Jim started this band just on the guitar and drums we had more of that kind of influence going on, it was a little bit Cramps a little bit J&MC but then we changed it up a little bit…
[interrupted as the Reverse Cowgirls walk by to cheers]
CTH – Yeeeeeeah! How fucking good were the Reverse Cowgirls! They were really fucking great weren’t they?
TWIN GUNS – Yeah they were.
CTH – Okay so you were the drummer for The Cramps?
JIM – Yeah, it was good, it was fourteen years ago back in 2003 and it was the first time I came to England and the United Kingdom, we played two shows at the Astoria Theatre in London. This is my first time since then that I’ve been back and I’m very excited to see other parts of the UK, not just London, it’s great to come up to Scotland with you guys, and I’m excited to see the rest of the country as well.
CTH – Yeah, you’re touring schedule is extremely tight, every single night!
KRISTIN – We have Monday off. We had such a limited amount of time we had to get it in as fast as possible.
CTH – Are you okay on the road, are you just buzzing for it, or do you find it hard sometimes?
KRISTIN – It’s a balance cos’ we’re so thrilled to be able to do this, but at the same time we just landed two days ago and I dunno if I’ve slept at all, and you don’t have a homebase to go and do the things you need to do, and you’re constantly in a car or in a bar...
CTH – Do you manage to feel at home on the road eventually?
KRISTIN – Not quite, you have to create a home feeling on the road to be able to do the stuff that you need to do, you can’t just go home and relax and take a nap and get ready for your show you have to go straight to the place and be on.
CTH – Twenty-four hours a day with each other and you don’t hate each other! Wow!
KRISTIN – No they’re quite lovely people
JIM – But it’s only the second night (everyone laughs)
KRISTIN – We just started the tour so I don’t know yet what I hate about it
ANDREA – It takes a lot of patience from me..
KRISTIN – From you or for you?
ANDREA - Haha, no they’re lovely people, but I’m well aware it can get difficult, if we’re all tired and we all want to shower before the show…
CTH – It can be a high-pressure situation
JIM – Yeah all of the comforts of home, like a shower, a meal, and sleep…
KRISTIN – …You can’t schedule them, you can’t say I’m gonna have my dinner now
CTH – So you just get drunk all the time! Yaaaaay! Sorry, my Dictaphone’s gonna’ run outta’ battery so I better wrap it up there, thank you Twin Guns!
THE TWIN GUNS – Thank you. And thank you Glasgow and Edinburgh, you were great!
Find the Twin Guns on Facebook here to keep up to date with their tours https://www.facebook.com/TwinGunsNYC/ Listen to their brilliant music here https://twinguns.bandcamp.com/ and their official website is here http://twingunsmusic.wixsite.com/twinguns
Seeya’ in the pit!!
CTH. (NHC Gonzo Division)