Women Underground - The Twistettes - Jenny Tingle

There are so many awesome and inspirational women in the UK's music and arts scene. Women Underground is a series of articles showcasing female creatives. The purpose of these interviews isn't to complain, to undermine men or to cast women in the roles of victims of an unfair society - it's to highlight the sheer volume of amazing music, art and creative contributions to the world population made by women right here, right now.

The Twistettes are a musical force to be reckoned with. Jo (bass and lead vocals) and Nicky (drums and vocals) D'Arc have toured the UK pretty extensively and are about to depart to play South Korea.

The last time I saw The Twistettes was at Girls To The Front Festival in The Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh. With the duo basically comprised of a rhythm section their music is stripped back, raw and immensely catchy. The sheer noise the two-piece make is part of the excitement of seeing them live. Not a band to be missed!

Songs like "Suck It, Fake It", "I Think Not" and "Is This It?" can get stuck in my head for days on end and I don't even mind.

Lyrically cutting, yet easy to sing along to, The Twistettes have created a breed of politically and socially-relevant music which is highly contagious.

Cheers for chatting to NHC music!

Are you excited for your tour of South Korea?

Yes, we can’t wait!! We’re particularly looking forward to experiencing Zandari Festival which has the most amazing line up of alternative/indie acts from all over the world. Apparently the Korean’s really know how to party so we’re really excited to get involved in this haha…the national drink (soju) is meant to be amazing as well. What an trip it’s gonna be!!

What has been the highlight of your year so far?

Touring in general has been a highlight. We wouldn’t want to pick one date as they were all really great in different ways. The experience of being away together and meeting new people wherever we went was fantastic. We made some good friends along the way and saw some epic bands. Many funny stories to tell which I hope to write down and share some time soon.

I would also say that the amazing support and momentum behind trying to get my bass guitar back after it was stolen is up there in some sense (not the bass being stolen as that was horrible but the help people offered me). The fact that so many people shared it and also donated to help me replace the stolen equipment absolutely blew my mind! Amazingly, I got my bass back and we were able to refund everyone who contributed to the crowdfunder. I can’t thank people enough as I am positive that I would not have gotten my bass back if it hadn’t been for the social media campaign that built around the theft.

Jilt The Jive is a pretty amazing album! Are you working on any new material at the moment?

Yes! We’re planning to get the new album recorded by the end of the year. We have been trying out some new tunes in our live set for a few months now and have got the bones of a full album but just need to take some time to pull it all together. We have been gigging pretty relentlessly this year which has been great but we’re looking forward to some time in the studio now to be creative. We expect to have the new album out early next year.

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How have your own lives and experiences helped to shape your music and its subject matter?

They are what makes our songs really…whether it be from direct experiences or from our interpretation of others experiences. Our songs usually have some kind of political/socially concious element (sometime obvious and other times more disguised). Our dad and many other family members were miners which meant we grew up in the midst of family parties fuelled by fierce debates about the system and how it needed to change. Despite mining having all but died out by the time we were able to contribute to these debates, the spirit that forming an opinion mattered regardless of your background endured. We were always encouraged to think for ourselves and speak out. This is what we try to do.  

Glasgow has an amazing music scene! How do you think it could be even better?

We’re lucky to know so many brilliant people and musicians involved in the Glasgow scene and it really is a great place to be right now. So much talent across a variety of genres. I really don’t know what I would do to improve it! Maybe something like UBI (universal basic income)? It would probably improve music scenes across the country allowing people who are trying to work at grassroots level to be able to do what they do without having to burn the candle at both end in order to make enough money to eat. I’m not totally sold on UBI mind you…it puts lots of power in someone’s hands (whoever will be administrating the process) and I’d be willing to bet that that someone will be a dick lol. The other thing would be bringing people together more. We are lucky to be involve in a number of great scenes to some extent or other (yellow movement, Scottish riot grrrl scene, Scottish punk scene). This working together to support each other is fantastic and really helps everyone creatively.

What would your advice be for any musicians and bands starting out?

I would say just keep going. You will have ups and downs but that’s what it’s about. Learn from as many people/experiences as you can and try to be open minded while knowing your mind! Enjoy what you do…this is meant to be fun! Don’t get bogged down in chasing record deals or trying to sound like something. Be yourself. Express yourself. And say yes to as much as you possibly can!

What's your favourite thing about gigging and touring?

Hearing new bands and meeting new people. We have been really lucky that almost every place we went to on tour we were really well looked after. It makes such a difference in a new place. It’s also helpful in giving perspective and creating challenge in the creative process as well. We love to play new songs at gigs fairly early on in the writing process because the energy of the audience gives us guidance and influences where we will go with the song (or if we should patch it haha). Korea is the next level for us in this sense. We really are buzzing to be immersed in such a different culture.

What’s your favourite song to play live?

We actually love playing them all! Currently top slot is probably a toss-up between Concrete and Juliet though which are both new and will be on the new album. I also love playing Suck It Fake it as it always get a giggle. Is this it is also fun cause it’s so banging…someone once said the chorus sounds like Gabber haha…not far off to be fair!

What does the future hold for you?

Who knows! New album and more touring. Hopefully some more international tour dates as well. Loads of fun and probably loads of hangovers as well hehe!

Thanks for your time!

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